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Keep Your Cat (and Other Pets) Safe This Halloween!

Tomorrow is Halloween – which means pumpkins, candy, costumes and all things spooky! As exciting as Halloween can be for us humans, it is also a time of caution for pet owners – especially black cat owners. Many black cats are often associated with dark forces and end up missing on Halloween night due to pranks or other unspeakable reasons. In fact, most shelters do not adopt out black cats during the entire month of October for their safety! To ensure both your family and pets enjoy a fun and safe holiday, please remember the following tips:

  • Keep Your Pet Indoors: Keep your pet in their own safe haven for the evening – a pet carrier or a closed room are a couple of options. Animals can easily become anxious when children are constantly ringing your doorbell while wearing strange costumes and yelling, “Trick or treat!” Not only does keeping your pet in a safe place help calm nerves, but it also eliminates the risk of your pet running away with the constant opening and closing of the front door. As an added precaution, always make sure your furry companions wear identification!
  • Choose Your Decorations Carefully: Decorations pose a threat to not only cats, but all animals. Keep your four-legged friends away from jack-o-lanterns, candles, balloons and any other decorations they could ingest, become tangled in or be injured by.
  • Save the Candy for Yourself: One of the biggest hazards to furry family members during Halloween is candy. Chocolate is especially toxic to both cats and dogs. Be aware of candy wrappers as well – ingesting wrappers can cause choking or even life-threatening bowel obstruction. Keep candy in secure containers in an area your animal companions cannot gain access to. If you have reason to believe your pet has ingested something toxic, contact the Pet Poison Helpline immediately!
  • Halloween Costumes: Who doesn’t love an adorable pet dressed in an even more adorable Halloween costume?! As exciting as dressing your pet for the day can be, it is important to make sure your animal is safe. Use non-flammable and non-toxic items that your pet is comfortable in. Also, make sure the costume doesn’t restrict your animal’s movement, breathing or vision.

After the Halloween commotion begins to die down and you’ve put all potentially hazardous items away, give your cat (or dog!) a chin scratch for putting up with all the loud, strange humans! Moving forward, it is important to remember cats are safer living indoors. After all, knowing your beloved pet is safe and happy is the best treat you can give yourself this Halloween season!

Keep Your Cat Safe this Holiday Season

The holidays are here, and that means life is busier than normal. We have parties to host and attend as well as friends and family stopping by to spread holiday cheer. Our homes are fancifully decorated with trees, glitter, a singing Santa Clause, gifts covered in wrapping paper with bows, and that dreaded fruitcake from Aunt Alice that will sit on your counter through the New Year. All of these things leave opportunities for your cat to experience harm in some way. This article from catster.com gives tips from a vet on keeping your cat safe this holiday season.

1. Poisonous plants

While some pet owners have worried for decades about their cats getting into the poinsettia, vets don’t lose any sleep over these plants, because poisoning problems are rare and mild, more often causing slight stomach irritation.

On the other hand, there is a saying among veterinarians that “lilies are lethal,” and they scare them to death. Why? Cats are easily attracted to the smell, taste, and texture of lilies, and the petals, leaves, stems, and pollen are very poisonous.

2. Candles

During the holidays, we love to have candles burning in most rooms our the house. Ahhh, the scent of balsam fir, gingerbread, and pumpkin filling the kitchen, family room, and master bedroom. What we don’t want to smell is burnt cat fur.

It’s easy for a cat to jump up on a counter or table, swish a languid tail across an open flame, and have the hair on his tail go up like tinder. Use covers on jar candles, and put candles up where they’re inaccessible. Best option: Use the new battery-operated candles that look like the real thing.

3. People food

While cats aren’t typically garbage guts like dogs, they can definitely get into problems by eating the wrong thing or too much of the right thing. For example, a 7-pound cat can run into digestive problems if you give him half a pound of fatty turkey, ham, or roast beef trimmings. Sticking to cat food — or a few cat treats from Brookside Barkery is always the best option.

4. Well-meaning family members

We never want to see our cats in pain or discomfort, and it’s our first instinct to want to help them. However, resist the urge to give them any non-prescribed medicines. There have been many cases of cats becoming ill or even poisoned, because their owners decided to try and treat a medical problem with something from their own medicine cabinet.

Never give your feline any human, over-the-counter products or prescriptions without getting permission and dosages from your veterinarian.

5. Wrappings and ribbon

While presents look beautiful, they could be very dangerous for your cat. Cats love ribbons, shiny things, and boxtree cates.

“Leave the box for them to play in, but get the ribbon and decorations out of sight,” said Dr. Elizabeth Colleran, past president of the AAFP and member of the Cat Friendly Practice initiative. “Playing with ribbon can result in a very dangerous obstruction in the intestines [that is] often life threatening. Almost always, these require surgery.”

6. Trees and decorations

Choose decorations that are feline-friendly to make it a happy holiday for the entire household.

  • Low hanging ornaments on your tree should not be breakable or made of a material or small pieces that your cat could chew and ingest.
  • Some cats like to climb, and your tree might make an excellent adventure opportunity. Secure it in place, so it cannot be knocked over.
  • Tinsel can be very tempting to cats, and, like ribbon, it can require surgery.
7. Travel

If you are hitting the road for the holidays, make sure your travel plans include how your cats will spend them.

  • Pet-friendly hotels are common now, but you’ll need to pack some extras. Familiar bedding brings along a little bit of home, along with disposable litter boxes, food, and water bowls.
  • If staying with family, see if there is a separate space, so the cats don’t have to share with unfamiliar pets.
  • If the cats get to stay home, make sure that the people taking care of them are familiar to your cats as well as familiar with your cats. It’s also good for the cat sitters to know your cat’s habits, hiding places, and any special needs. Write down everything they need to know, including your veterinarian’s phone number for questions or emergencies.

However you and your cat are spending the holidays, make sure checkups and vaccines are current. It is always a great precaution; no one likes these types of surprises. Keep these simple steps in mind, and you and your cat will have a very happy holiday!

Don’t FURget to pick up a gift for your cat as well! A sealable, customized treat jar with your cat’s name on it is great for those frisky felines who love to tear into their presents early. If you are concerned about protecting your guests’ ugly holiday sweaters from cat hair, pick up a Be Forever Furless Brush. It’s a reusable hair and lint remover that doesn’t require refills and cleans with a little soap and water. Whatever your needs, Brookside Barkery2014-12-02_1549 has a huge selection of cat treats, food, and toys that will keep your cat occupied and happy through all of the holiday hustle and bustle!