Halloween is a very exciting time for us as humans, but for our cats, the entire season can be a little overwhelming or even completely frightening. For at least one evening during the month, the streets become filled with people in all manner of costumes, from the tame to the completely horrifying. Unusual lights, loud noises, shrieks and screams all contribute towards making it a confusing and fearful experience for even the most chilled out cat.
When cats are anxious or nervous they tend to either become withdrawn and sullen or go completely crazy. Other common behaviors that your feline friend may exhibit could include:
Hiding away from people and other animals
Becoming overtly aggressive
Excessive vocalizing. If your cat is ‘talking’ to you more than usual, it normally indicates that something is wrong.
Trembling / shaking
Refusal to use her litter box
Following you everywhere you go
Loss of appetite
No loving and compassionate owner likes the thought of their furbaby suffering, and for this reason, you will probably be considering what you can do to reassure her and keep her calm and happy during trick-or-treating season. Fortunately, there are lots of steps you can take that will make this popular holiday a much more manageable experience for your pet.
Top tips for helping to calm down a kitty during Halloween
Some of the most popular and effective methods of calming a kitty during Halloween include the following:
Keep her indoors. Being outside could be very frightening for her, so get her in the day before Halloween and ensure you keep her secured inside for the duration of the festivities.
Create a safe haven for her. If the noises and constant knocks at the door are going to disturb her it is a good idea to give her a safe space away from the hustle and bustle of trick-or-treat time. Choose a room where you can keep the door shut, so that she doesn’t bolt through the house and potentially escape.
Keep her entertained during the evening with some games, treats and plenty of affection.
Keeping your cat calm using natural products
As well as using these tried-and-tested techniques, there are also a range of different products available that can help your cat to remain calm during one of the scariest nights of the year. These products are very beneficial in that many of them actually trigger a response in your cat’s brain to tell her body to physically and emotionally calm down. This makes them very effective. Some of the most successful natural calming products include:
Natural supplements. These are often available in the form of chews, tablets or orally-swallowed liquid and contain ingredients that are known to induce a state of relaxation in the animal that takes them.
Scented air filters and diffusers. These plug in around your home and release aromas that cause your feline friend to feel calm and relaxed.
Sprays and topical lotions. These are placed onto your kitty’s body and contain ingredients designed to soothe her.
Calming collars. These collars release pheromones that modify stress-related behaviors in cats.
In some instances, natural therapies such as those listed above do not sufficiently reduce a feline’s anxiety or hyperactivity. If this is the case with your cat, you could consider speaking to your veterinarian about the use of anti-anxiety medications. There are several different types that can be used, and your vet will be happy to recommend which is right for your kitty. Always follow their instructions with regards to dosage and administration and contact them immediately if you have any concerns.
If you are worried that your cat won’t handle Halloween well, please contact the veterinary team at Shores Animal Hospital for more advice and support. Their comfortable, modern veterinary facility is based in Gainesville, FL and adjected to Prestige Pet Resort & Spa.