What Can I Do With My Cat on Halloween? 7 Ways to Keep Them Safe

In many areas, the cold season brings all our favorite holidays. With its tricks and treats, Halloween is one of the best times of the year for the entire family to enjoy. While many children and family dogs adore the spook-fest, cats might not appreciate all the strange costumes, the excitement, or the constantly ringing doorbell. Some cats are more than happy to greet new people at the door, but others might get scared and run away.

For their safety, you must make sure you celebrate Halloween in a way that makes the holiday as minimally stressful as possible. Whether you have an outgoing, friend-of-the-world kitty or a timid hide-under-the-bed feline, here are a few tips for keeping them safe.

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Top 7 Ways to Keep Your Cat Safe on Halloween

1. Keep Them Indoors

With so many excited children running around in strange costumes, it’s easy for your cat to get frightened. Even if they’re used to being around people and wandering around outside, they might find themselves surrounded by too many people at once. Unfortunately, they might not choose to run home if they get frightened, especially if there are strangers on the front porch. If your cat does run off, they might get lost or try to make a break for it across a busy road.

Keeping your cat indoors during the Halloween festivities is the best way to keep them safe and stress free. You will have to make sure the windows and doors are shut too, especially if you have spooky guests.

Red and grey cat sitting on the window sill
Image Credit: Okssi, Shutterstock

2. Microchip Your Cat

If you like trick-or-treaters, the chances are that the doorbell will be going constantly for most of the evening. Since the door will likely spend a great deal of time open, there will be multiple opportunities for your cat to get out of the house, especially if they’re the sort to run for freedom whenever the door’s open.

Even if you try to keep your cat in another room when the doorbell rings, accidents are always possible. Just in case your cat does get out during all the excitement, make sure they’re microchipped and registered. This way, anyone who finds your cat will be able to help them return home as quickly as possible.

3. Use Cat-Friendly Decorations

Having decorations for the holidays is a common issue for cat owners. Always make sure your Halloween decorations are cat friendly and kept out of their reach. Try to avoid edible decorations that your cat might be tempted to chew on and accidentally ingest.

You need to be careful about jack-o-lanterns too, especially if you use real candles to give them that eerie glow. If your cat knocks one over, they risk getting burned or causing a fire due to the open flame. Leave your carved pumpkin masterpieces on the porch where your cat can’t reach them, place them in a window that’s inaccessible to your cat, or use battery-operated candles instead.

black cat with halloween pumpkin
Image Credit: Maya Kruchankova, Shutterstock

4. Don’t Dress Them Up

Halloween is the perfect night to dress up as your favorite movie or TV show character or a classic monster. It’s not just an activity limited to children, as adults and sometimes dogs can dress up too. If everyone else in the family is taking part, it can be incredibly tempting to grab a costume for your cat.

However, many cats are incredibly wary about clothing. This sometimes extends to dogs and other pets too. While certain clothing might be necessary, such as a surgical vest to protect stitches after an operation, Halloween costumes often cause unnecessary stress.

You need to pay close attention to how your cat reacts to clothes or accessories before you try to make them wear something. Wearing clothes isn’t a natural habit for cats or other pets, and it can be restrictive and scary. Let them say “no” about dressing up, and respect their decision.

5. Use a Cat-Proof Treat Bowl

Sweets and other treats are necessities on Halloween. Your cat might not be interested in the treats themselves, but those crinkly plastic wrappers could be irresistible to their hunting instincts. If you let your cat get into the treat bowl to play with all those shrink-wrapped sweets, they stand a chance of accidentally swallowing one.

Candy, chocolate, and other human treats aren’t designed for pets to eat. They contain ingredients that are toxic to animals and often pose a choking risk. The sugar content can be a problem too; even if it’s not outright toxic, it can still cause obesity and other health issues.

Never leave your cat unattended around any of the treats that you keep for trick-or-treaters. Use a cat-proof tin with a lid, and keep it out of reach. Make sure the kids know not to share their candy with the cat too.

woman holding halloween candy bowl
Image Credit: Longfin Media, Shutterstock

6. Provide a Safe Quiet Spot

When your cat gets overwhelmed, they’ll find somewhere to hide until all the stress is over. You can help them by providing them with a quiet spot somewhere away from all the activity in the house. This is even more important if you are hosting a Halloween party.

Keep your cat in your bedroom with plenty of water, their litter tray, and their favorite blanket. You’ll need to make sure all your guests know this room is off-limits to ensure that your cat has a safe spot where they can avoid everyone.

7. Keep an Eye on Them

With so many distractions and scary visitors, your cat might be stressed throughout Halloween. Even if you don’t partake in any traditions and prefer not to welcome trick-or-treaters, your cat might still be bothered by the noise outside or the parties going on in your neighborhood.

Check on your cat frequently throughout the evening. Don’t try to lure them out of their hiding spot if they’ve found one, but you can still check on them to make sure they’re comfortable and not freaking out too badly. This will also reassure you that they haven’t managed to get out through the front door if you do hand out candy.

cat rubbing its head against the owner's legs
Image Credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock


Are Cats in Danger on Halloween?

So much goes on during Halloween even if you don’t take part in the holiday yourself. Unfortunately, this means there are more risks facing your cat than there are during the rest of the year. Most of the issues come from how many stressful things your cat can encounter when they’re out and about.

Not only can your cat be frightened by all the excited children with sugar highs, but they can also be startled by the costumes or a reactive dog that’s tagging along on a trick-or-treating adventure. There’s also the potential for Halloween parties around the neighborhood that have loud music and screaming kids.

With all this going on, it’s best to keep your cat indoors where they’re safe rather than let them wander the streets. You also need to consider the dangers inside the house. Keep your cat well away from the front door, and make sure all the candy is locked away until you need to hand it out.


How to Celebrate Halloween With Your Cat

Taking steps to protect your cat during Halloween doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate with them. There are all sorts of cat-friendly ways to celebrate Halloween, even if you prefer to keep the candy to yourself.

woman in hallowen costume holding cat
Image Credit: Konstantin Zibert, Shutterstock


Even if they don’t feel comfortable dressing up, you can still add your cat to your Halloween photoshoot. After all, a witch’s familiar doesn’t necessarily need accessories of their own; they just need to be a loyal friend. If you’re a whiz with photo-editing software, you can always make your Halloween pics look the part later.

When all else fails, dress up as a character you love who has a cat familiar of their own. Your cat won’t need a costume, but they’ll still be an integral part of yours!

Scary Movies

Cats can take part in your scary movie marathon. Grab a fluffy, Halloween-themed blanket, dress up (or not), and settle in for an evening of spooks. Once your cat realizes how fluffy the blanket is, they’ll be purring on your lap in no time at all, especially if you entice them closer with their favorite treat.

Cat Treats

Since you’ve got your own bowl of candy, it’s only fair to keep a few cat-friendly treats nearby too. Stretch your budget to buy your cat’s favorite snacks from your local pet store, or find a recipe online for homemade cat treats. There’s also catnip if your cat reacts to it positively. Find a Halloween-themed toy, prepare a bit of dried catnip, and spend a few minutes playing with your pet.

woman positively training a cat with treats
Image Credit: Andriy Blokhin, Shutterstock

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Like most holidays, Halloween is fun for some but a nightmare for others. Overexcited kids, loud noises, and costumes often frighten cats. While you might find all this to be thrilling, your cat won’t understand what’s going on and might get hurt or worse. Follow these tips to keep your cat safe this Halloween yet still have fun, whether you welcome trick-or-treating, host a party, or prefer to celebrate by yourself.

Featured Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

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About the Author: Tony Ramos

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