Updated October 2022

Halloween is a fun-filled, spooky tradition in the U.S. Kids and adults enjoy dressing up in costumes, carving pumpkins and going trick or treating for candy. Be sure that your Halloween is filled with more treats than tricks for your cats. Follow these safety tips and be sure to share them with friends, family and neighbors, so everyone has a safe and fun holiday.

Kitten in a pumkin patch

7 Tips to Keep Kitty Safe at Halloween Time

Confine cats on Halloween

Strongly consider confining cats (even your outdoor cats) to a room in the house during trick or treating hours and Halloween parties. Confining your cat to a room with access to food, water and a litter box can ensure that your cat doesn’t slip out the front door and get lost. People in costumes, and the continual chime of the doorbell can be very frightening, confusing and disorienting to your cat. Consider using Feliway to help calm your cat.

Update your cats tags and collar

If you decide not to confine your cat, be sure that she wears a reflective collar and updated tags to ensure that if she does get lost, she can easily be returned to you. If your cat is not microchipped, strongly consider getting her microchipped as soon as possible.

Beware of those with sinister motives

Also recognize that while Halloween is a fun and harmless holiday for most of us, some people behave in a sinister manner and could pose a threat to your outdoor cat.  So again, please consider bringing them inside and having a catnip party instead. If you can’t bring them inside, for whatever reason, please try to keep an extra watchful eye on them to ensure their safety.

Don’t dress your cat in a costume

Avoid dressing your cat in a costume unless you know that your cat LOVES it (and some cats actually do). Never force your cat to wear a costume as it can cause a great deal of undue stress.  I know this can be an unpopular opinion, but use your judgement. If your cat is unhappy, just stop. Instead of dressing your cat in a costume, consider celebrating with a cat-themed craft project, like making a Halloween cat toy for your beloved kitty or decorating a pumpkin to look like a cat!



cat pumpkin carving

If you must put your cat in a costume, make sure it fits appropriately

If you choose to dress your cat in a costume, be sure that it fits appropriately and does not interfere with their senses – sight, sound, smell, or taste. Avoid covering the cat’s ears, eyes, nose or mouth. And be sure that the costume is safe and your pet can move freely.

Keep candy and chocolate away from pets

Keep candy and especially chocolate away from your cat (and dog). Chocolate is lethal to pets. Most of the other traditional Halloween decorations, like pumpkins and corn, are generally not toxic to cats, but ingesting them can cause some gastrointestinal distress.

Use flameless candles if you’re lighting a pumpkin

If you are planning on lighting up your pumpkins, choose flameless candles
to do so. Cats are curious by nature and a jack-o-lantern with a flame can lead to disaster.

Did we miss any tips? Feel free to add your own in the comments. Tell us how you’re celebrating Halloween with your cats!

Have a happy and safe Halloween everyone!

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