Halloween is getting close and I always have such mixed emotions about the day. I love dressing up in costumes with my kids and spending the evening trick-or-treating. The part of Halloween that deeply disturbs me though has to do with the way cats are portrayed on decorations, pumpkins and other things related to this day. There are countless Halloween images of mean-faced black cats with their backs hunched up, displaying piloerection. You won’t find any Halloween decorations displaying puppies with mean or evil faces but there’s always an abundance of menacing cat poses to choose from for your Halloween decorations.
Keep Your Cat Indoors
Because cats continue to get such unfair press this time of year, it puts them at risk in terms of their physical safety if they’re allowed outdoors. Cats, and most especially black cats, are very vulnerable this time of year when it comes to being the target of cruelty. Many shelters won’t even adopt out black cats during October just to prevent the potential for abuse. If you allow your cat to go out, please begin the transition to indoor life. He should, at the very least, be kept indoors starting a few days before Halloween and continuing for a few days after. If you have a black cat, I’d recommend keeping him indoors at least a week before Halloween. Of course, my best recommendation is to keep all cats indoors exclusively but if you do have an indoor/outdoor cat and don’t intend on permanently changing his lifestyle, at least consider the safety risks during this specific holiday where cats have historically been the targets of cruelty.
Other Safety Issues
Even without the risk of potential abuse or death during this time of year, there are other safety issues to keep in mind. The sights and sounds of kids and adults in costumes can be very unsettling. A person may not intend any harm to your cat but even pranks, teasing or games could terrify the unsuspecting animal. Costumes themselves can be frightening for some cats. Even with indoor cats, the sight of your children in costume could be frightening, especially if your children act out or display movements related to the costume.