It’s a busy time for poison control centres. The Pet Poison Helpline sees a 12% increase in calls during the week of Halloween, mostly from pets ingesting candy or decorations. This week may be a fun feast for the senses for you but it’s a danger buffet for your cats and dogs. But there are many ways to stay worry-free and keep your pets safe this Halloween.
Here are 5 Halloween safety tips for your cats:
1. Keep candies far away from curious critters. Chocolate, raisins, and other substances in candies are attractive yet toxic to some cats and dogs.
2. Keep candy WRAPPERS away from them too! Aside from their poison potential, the candy’s colourful and crinkly wrappers can be fun for your pet to chew on which could be accidentally swallowed causing intestinal blockage.
3. Keep cats indoors and removed from the stress of the trick-or-treating action. Set up everything they could want – food, water, litter, scratching post, some clean laundry fresh out of the dryer – in a bedroom where they can feel perfectly safe and secure.
4. Keep decorations up high and out of reach. Halloween decorations are basically human versions of all the toys we try to get our cats to play with the rest of the year. Keep all the dangly web-like strings, streamers, toy spiders, string lights, and everything else far out of their reach. Don’t light any candles either because your curious cat could burn more than their just their whiskers if they knock one over.
5. And watch out for your costumes and everything that goes with them. Glow sticks and glow jewelry are particularly attractive to cats as 70% of calls to the Pet Poison Helpline over one year were regarding cats and punctured glow items. Though only moderately toxic, the gel inside these glow items can cause profuse drooling, gagging, pawing at the mouth, and vomiting. And aside from the dangers of playing and chewing on it, be aware that your cats may be afraid to see you in costume. Kodi was a big ol’ scaredy cat when he saw me last year in my headless outfit while Shorty didn’t see what the big deal was:
Keeping Halloween safety in mind, you can still let your cats have a fun time exploring; just be sure to monitor them closely. I was present the whole time while I let them play with the giant spider in the video below. It’s exciting for them to have new stimuli so as long as you ensure their safety, Halloween can be a fun time for everyone!
You try your best to keep them safe, but it can certainly be difficult to keep an eye on your pet all the time and you don’t always know if they’ve gotten into something they shouldn’t. Call your local poison control centre immediately if your pet shows any of the symptoms below. Patty Smith posted on the ShoKo Facebook that “The Kansas State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital offers a FREE 24-hour poison control hotline for pet and animal guardians as well as veterinarians. Phone: 1-785-532-5679 Hotline hours: 24-hours a day, FREE to call.”
- lack of appetite
- extreme thirst
- flooding the litter box with urine
- inability to urinate
- extreme lethargy
If you have any other tips or comments, please share them below. Have a SAFE and happy Halloween!