Halloween Tips for Cats 


Five tips for keeping cats safe on halloween

Halloween is one of the most favorite times of the year for many people. It’s great to dress-up and give out candy to happy ‘trick or treaters’. Still, this all this fun we need to be mindful of its effects on our pets. Some pets love the commotion of Halloween and they even love to wear costumes or walk with their pet parents through the neighborhood. Others, however, might not. This is usually true of most cats. The commotion of shouting, ringing doorbells, etc. can make even brave cats and kittens scared. Sometimes they might run for cover in the house. At other times it might be out the front door. So here are five Halloween tips for cats so you can keep them safe this week as you celebrate.

1. Put your kitties in a separate room and keep the door shut. Cats and kittens are
FAST. The speed and nimbleness of a cat who is determined to escape the house is second to none.

2. Consider a collar for the evening if they don’t normally wear one. Even when confined, make sure they are wearing identification and/or has been microchipped. It’s also a good idea to keep them separate from your Halloween party guests at your home. With people coming and going it’s easy for them to slip out.

3. Keep Treats secure. Chocolate, while yummy to humans, can make cats and dogs sick, and sugar-free candy containing xylitol which can be deadly. Crinkly wrappers often mimic the sound of toys to cats like, and if accidentally ingested become harmful.

4. Avoid hazardous decorations. Although pumpkins and decorative corn aren’t considered nontoxic, they can produce stomach discomfort in pets. Furthermore, the fun, fake spider-webbing can be dangerous to kittens, cats and other pets, too. In addition to becoming tangled in it, it can be deadly when ingested.

5. Use pet costumes on a case by case basis. Yes, they can be photo worthy. But consider that animals, especially cats, rely heavily on all their senses to avoid danger. Costumes that cover ears impacts hearing. And some dress-up options interfere with their whiskers or their range of vision. It can make them feel vulnerable and raise your pets stress level. Some costumes might have potentially dangerous strings or ribbons too consider. The bottom line? While costumes make a great photo op, consider how your pet will respond and take the proper action.

These five Halloween tips for cats can help you make sure this Halloween is fun and happy time for everyone, including your feline (and canine) family members.

 

Barn Cats: Born to Be a Little Wild

 

Cats and barns have a symbolic relationship practically dating back to when man first began practicing agriculture. All of the stores of grain attracted rodents, which in turn, attracted feline hunters. Seeing their usefulness, farmers thought it might be a good idea to keep cats around and so began the domestication of these graceful, skilled hunters.

Though many cats are friendly and might be better at offering companionship than pest control, they are still, as a species, relatively new to the process of domestication. Some feral cats might remind you for a racoon than your fluffy house kitty. In between the lounging house cat and the street fighting alley cat, we have the timeless barn cat.

While we at Friends of Companion Animals always trying to find suitable homes for our feline wards, some cats are just happier when they aren’t confined indoors. They are not entirely feral and will typically tolerate some level of human interaction. These are the felines we find to be the happiest living in barns, hunting out pests and getting by with a little supervision and care from the lucky barn owners to whom they provide their services.

If you feel you could use the services of such a useful feline in exchange for shelter, food, and water, come visit our shelter and let one of our volunteers help find the right mouser for you. Just like the companion cats we care for, these barn cats are spayed or neutered and vaccinated before their re-homed. While we do not charge a fee for adopting these barn cats, we do appreciate donations to help offset the $100 in medical costs that make them ready for your barn or garage.

FIV Is NOT a Death Sentence

 

Most people tend to think that once aa cat is diagnosed with feline immunodeficiency virus the best course of action is euthanasia. While FIV is a lifelong disease and affected cats do require special attention, it hardly means the feline cannot live a fulfilling life without spreading the virus.

 

What is FIV?

 

FIV is commonly thought of as the feline form of HIV, but it’s only a risk to felines. Like HIV, it weakens the immune system, making infected cats more susceptible to other diseases. Unlike its more highly contagious cousin, feline leukemia, IV is mainly transmitted when an infected cat bites or scratches other cats earning it the title of a “fighting cats disease”. It can also be passed from mother to kittens, but only if the queen is infected while nursing or pregnant. 

 

What happens to  FIV infected cats?

 

Friendly cats continue to live a happy life for many years before the virus reaches its final, chronic clinical stage and the pet begins to show signs of illness. In the meantime, these cats are best kept indoors and away from other cats. This separation is not just to prevent the infected cat from spreading the virus, but also to protect the infected cats, with its weakened immune system, from contracting any other illnesses that other cats might be carrying. Some people might choose, in a situation where all cats are friendly and do not fight, to offer these special felines companionship by adopting multiple FIV cats. As long as they are monitored for any signs of sickness and kept away from potential sources of other diseases, they can live happily as typical house cats.

 

FOCA’s FIV Felines for Adoption

 

At our shelter, we have FIV cats for adoption. They are all extremely friendly with people, as well as other cats. We keep them away from the other shelter cats, more out of concern for their health than concerned that they might bite or scratch to pass the virus. If you can offer a safe, loving home with a little extra care, stop by our shelter and meet the sweethearts. They have as much love and life to offer as any other.