Jack-o-lantern and black cat with text "Halloween Safety for Cats"

Halloween marks the beginning of the holiday season for humans, but did you know, next to the 4th of July, the October holiday is the most dangerous time of year for our pets?

While Halloween may be a fun and exciting time for children, cats may find it more stressful than fun.  Toxic candies, ringing door bells, front doors opening and closing for people in spooky costumes shouting “Trick or Treat” can be upsetting for pets.

The National Humane Society has a few tips to help protect cats from the hustle and bustle of Halloween.

• Before the trick-or-treating starts, place pets in a quiet room where they will feel safe.

• Halloween candy – a treat for the children, a trick for the pets.  Many foods, such as chocolate, gum, and xylitol (a sweetener) are hazardous to pets. If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, contact your veterinarian right away.

• Keep decorations and electrical cords out of cats’ reach.  Fake cobwebs, glow sticks, and rubber eyeballs can pose a threat if eaten.

• Be careful of open flames, like those in a lit pumpkin. As an alternative to candles, use LED lights in pumpkins to help prevent fires.

• Make sure kitty is wearing an identification tag in case he or she accidentally escapes. A collar with ID tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver for a lost pet.

Do not hesitate to contact the veterinarian or the 24-hour Pet Poison Helpline immediately at 1-800-213-6680 if you suspect that your pet has ingested something or might be injured. Symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, agitation, increased thirst, and in severe cases, seizures.

Happy MEOW-o-ween!

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