Six Tips to Help Reduce Stress in Frightened Cats at Halloween

Cat sitting in the dark behind two scary pumpkins

Halloween can be a ghoulishly fun time for us humans but it’s not an event that our cats necessarily appreciate! Cats are creatures of routine, so new decorations in the house, constant noise from the doorbell, as well as the opening and closing of the front door with strange looking young humans outside can prove stressful for anxious cats. Here are some tips to help reduce this:

  • Allow anxious cats to hide without disturbance, this is their way of coping. It might be a good idea to place them in a room for the evening with a heated pet bed, food, water, a litter tray, a Pet Remedy plugin diffuser and let them (hopefully) sleep through it.
  • Don’t give your cats any opportunity to eat sweets or chocolate. Chocolate and xylitol (a sweetener found in many sweets) are poisonous to cats.
  • Many of the Halloween decorations these days work on a remote sensor to add an extra scary dimension to the proceedings. If possible, try and avoid these as they could send your cat running for the hills, or at least under the nearest bed!
Cat sniffing a scary edward scissorhands glove
  • Place any candles or electrical decorations out of paw’s reach. Otherwise they could be knocked over or ingested by a curious cat potentially leading to poisoning, choking, electric shock or burns.
  • Don’t be tempted to dress your cat up in a Halloween costume. They could find the clothing distracting at best and distressing at worst. It’s far better to leave them as nature intended.
Ginger cat dressed in a pumpkin costume
  • If your cat is allowed out ensure they are microchipped. Should they get stressed, run away and become lost a microchip can quickly help reunite you with them.

Clare Hemington

Clare has worked in the field of cat behaviour for sixteen years. She is an accredited Cat Behaviourist and respected member of the COAPE Association of Pet Behaviourists and Trainers. Clare believes that understanding cat behaviour is key to their overall welfare. Through consultation and education her aim is to share information with owners that enables them to give their cat a life that is as happy as it possibly can be. Clare is also founder and owner of Honeysuckle cat toys. Toys made from Tatarian honeysuckle wood which provide wonderful natural enrichment for cats.

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