While a scary Halloween might be a treat for us, it isn’t for our cats. And cat emergencies aren’t the kind of frights we want either! So here are some ways to treat your cat to some Halloween fun — and keep our cats, especially our black cats, safe and un-spooked whether we’re at home or on the road.
Cat Safety Tips
Keep your cat indoors, preferably in a quieter, comfortable room where he can’t accidentally slip outside. And especially if your cat is black! Incidents of cat abuse, torture, and death spike this time of year with black cats being prime targets.
- If your cat is more adventurous, try a room with a view of the action on the street or doorstep.
- If your cat is nervous or timid, put him a quiet room with a comfortable place to hide from the doorbells, shouts of “trick-or-treat,” and other hustle and bustle inside and out.
Make certain your cat is wearing a reflective collar and I.D., and ideally, is microchipped. Just in case she manages to slip out, we want to make her as visible and returnable as possible. Make certain the I.D. includes a contact number where someone can be reached immediately. If you are traveling with your cat this is especially important. Your cat is in a strange environment among even stranger strangers.
If you decide to put your cat in the spirit (pun intended) of the night with a costume, make certain your cat can’t get tangled up, choke or trip on the costume. Be careful with any elastic, cords, ribbons, and other ties which can easily tighten around paws, neck, or other body parts, or get caught. Break-away costumes make for a safer Halloween for any kitties in costume, especially if they do escape into the night.
Sure, it means our cats will be able to pull a Houdini and get out of their costumes pretty easily but that’s the idea. It’s more important for our cats to be safe than cute. Besides, it only takes a few seconds to capture all that cuteness with a photo and post.
For some safe holiday fun with your cats, try some play and environment-enrichment. And check out the video below to see some Big Cats getting into the action.
Here are some really Big Cats carving pumpkins their way!
Laser pointers with their spooky dots that appear and disappear like ghosts are always a hit. For some extra fun, set up the lights so your cat’s antics become shadows trick-or-treaters can see through the front windows.
Use tissue paper and some ribbon or elastic banding (not rubber bands or thin string that your cat can swallow) to make dangly ghosts or spiders or other ghoulies for your cat to attack and bat at. Attach them to doorknobs, hooks, or create a Halloween mobile.
Get some tiny gourds for your cat to roll around and pounce upon.
Carve an extra-large jack-o-lantern for your cat to climb in and explore. Create a pumpkin patch maze with 2 or 3.
If you don’t want to deal with all the pumpkin guts of the real things, create a pumpkin patch from paper bags or paper mache (aka papier mache).
Or use cardboard boxes and create a spooky haunted house, complete with dangly paper ghosts and spiders to bat at and play with.
Everyone deserves a treat on Halloween, even our cats! However, too many treats and not enough exercise can make our cats (and us) overweight, so limit the treats and make your cat work for them.
The easiest way is to use a commercial cat toy that dispenses treats. An inexpensive alternative is taking paper sacks of various sizes, putting in some treats (or catnip) and cutting slits or punching small holes in them that your cat can reach through to fish out the treats.
If you are feeling crafty, you can create Halloween-themed dispensers such as jack-o-lanterns, skulls, or haunted houses with hidden treats.
Consider a holiday-appropriate treat by giving your cat a little bit of pureed pumpkin. Many cats like the taste of cooked, mashed pumpkin and it is excellent for their digestion without a lot of calories. Just remember to keep the serving small. Not only is it a new food but it can be rather rich.
Or make your own healthy salmon cat treats with the recipe below.
Salmon Cat Treats:
- Chop canned salmon finely. Use a food processor and pulse to make it easy.
- Mix the finely chopped salmon with one egg and just enough flour (preferably whole wheat) to form a dough.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness.
- Pre-heat oven to 350°F (180° C).
- Cut into pieces. You can use very small cookie cutters or simply slice into small, reasonably consistent pieces.
- Put the treats on a baking sheet & bake for 15-20 minutes.