Why are cats (particularly black ones) synonymous with Halloween? The myth about black cats and witches began in the Middle ages and we still, today, have spooky associations with our feline friends when we celebrate Halloween on 31st October!
But while we let our imaginations run away with us for one night, dress up in scary costumes and knock on strangers' doors when trick-or-treating, what do our modern day, (un-spooky), cuddly, feline friends think about Halloween?
Cats like routine, and having the whole neighbourhood knock at your door, in scary costumes, in the dark, is certainly not part of their daily routine and can cause some stress! Particularly if there are also fireworks or lots of loud noises too!
So, what can we do to keep them calm?
10 Tips to Keep Your Kitty Calm on Halloween
- If your cat is normally outside, make sure you bring them indoors before the evening celebrations begin. This may mean enticing them indoors before dusk (and the witching hour!)
- Keep all windows and doors closed so that they cannot wander off outside during the evening.
- Make sure they have access to all of their favourite resting places, whether that is under the bed or on top of a shelf.
- If you're expecting guests or trick-or-treaters, you may even consider putting them into a separate room, with the door closed; if you do, make sure they have everything they need - food and water bowls, toys to play with, a clean litter tray and, of course, a comfy bed. You could also play some of their favourite music to disguise the sound of the revelry outside.
- Plugging in a FELIWAY Optimum diffuser in the room a couple of days before Halloween, will help them feel safe and secure and provide constant reassurance.
- If they are going to be in the same room as you during the evening, try and keep to your normal routine - feed your cat at the same time, play the same games, or even chill out together - with the TV volume turned up enough to drown out some of the outdoor noise.
- Just in case your cat makes a quick getaway outside when you open the door to trick-or-treaters, make sure their microchip is up to date. Cats can gain a lot of ground when they are frightened and may end up somewhere unfamiliar.
- If you, or the kids, are dressing up, don't force your cat to join in. Cat's don't like strangers and probably won't recognise you when you are in disguise, unless you put your costume on when they're watching. Let them come to you on their terms - or they will probably retreat to their favourite hiding place.
- Don't try and get your cat to join in the fun. Dressing them in a costume, or hanging Halloween decorations around their neck, can be dangerous and frightening for them.
- Keep an eye out for your cat exploring Halloween objects which could be dangerous:
- We know cats are nosy and if there's a candle-lit pumpkin sitting on a shelf, your cat may well knock it off, causing a fire.
- Some Halloween decorations may be scary or hazardous. If you have a string of flashing lights, these could confuse your kitty. Or they may get tangled up on cotton cobwebs and panic if they can't release themselves.
- Although cats don't usually eat sweets, they may investigate them if they are left lying around. Be aware that these may contain ingredients that are toxic for your cat, so if you want to treat your kitty, use their own treats or some of their kibble and make sure that human treats are out of your kitty's reach.
The truth behind the black cat mystery!
Black cats are typically associated with witches and Halloween, and it's well known that dark-haired kitties have a long (and unfair!) myth-filled history. However, there are lots of fascinating facts about cats that we should celebrate! Such as:
- In Ancient Egypt, all cats, including black cats, were considered sacred and worshipped
- Historically, sailors and fishermen believed that having a black cat onboard would bring the ship good luck and guarantee a safe journey
- In certain parts of the world it's actually believed that owning a black cat can improve your love life and attract potential suitors.
Whatever colour or breed your cat is, make sure you both have a fun-filled and safe Halloween!