Halloween is full of frights, but for your cat, these frights aren’t the fun kind. In fact, Halloween can be highly stressful for your cat, with the doorbell ringing constantly and people in costumes coming to the door. Loud noises, lots of change, and big gatherings can further add to your cat’s stress. But Halloween doesn’t have to be a holiday that causes your cat to run and hide. When you understand how to keep cats calm, you can minimize your cat’s stress during this holiday. While you might not have an entirely anxiety-free cat, you can keep your kitty feeling more comfortable and less anxious.
Keep your cat safe and secure
Before any Halloween festivities start, give your cat a safe place in the house to go. This might be a room in the back of your house, or even a room in the basement. Try to choose a spot that’s away from the action, whether you’re having a party or expecting trick-or-treaters. Make sure that the room has some dark and cozy spaces where your cat can go to feel safe, like under a bed or in a closet.
Putting your cat in a secure room serves multiple purposes. It can help reduce your cat’s stress, since he won’t be in the middle of the action. But the room also helps keep your cat safe. With the doors opening regularly for guests or trick-or-treaters, it’s easy for a stressed cat to escape and get lost. Knowing your cat is secure in another area of the house can give you peace of mind and keep him safe.
Give your cat distractions
You can create distractions to help drown out the noise of trick-or-treaters and visitors. Play a radio quietly in the room where your cat is or turn on a fan. You can also turn on the TV or a white-noise machine. This steady sound can give your cat something else to focus on, and the background noise of Halloween becomes less important.
Eliminate the doorbell
Trick-or-treaters who frequently knock on the door or ring the doorbell can further stress your cat. Try to cut down on the noise they generate by putting a bowl of candy on the porch, or by sitting out on the porch and greeting them as they come up. If your cats are located in a room where they can still hear the noise from the porch, try to avoid any loud, Halloween-themed sound tracks full of stressful noises like screams.
Pheromones offer natural support that can help your cat feel calm and safe. Consider using pheromones on Halloween to relieve the stress your cat is feeling.
You can use pheromones in multiple ways. They’re available in convenient spray bottles that you can spritz around the room where your cat is spending Halloween night. Pheromones are also available in a plug-in diffuser. The unit gradually releases them, ensuring there’s a steady supply. This can be an ideal option if you want to help soothe your cat’s nerves in the days leading up to Halloween.
Avoid greeting your cat in costume
Costumes can be terrifying for cats, especially if they involve masks. Try to avoid wearing costumes around your cat, if possible. If you put on a costume, put on your mask last and avoid approaching your cat while you’re wearing it. It’s easier to avoid your cat if you put him into his room or safe space for the night before everyone gets into costume.
Even with these tips, Halloween can still be stressful for your cat. The best thing you can do for your cat is to give him some space. He’ll probably hide and avoid people for a while, but that’s how he feels safest. If you’re worried about your cat, then check on him occasionally but try not to disturb him. Instead, continue on with Halloween in a different area of the house. Once the festivities are over, the house is secure, and you open the door to his room, he’ll probably come out gradually on his own. With a little time, he’ll settle down and feel right at home again once the holiday is over.
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