Editor’s Note: The Scratching Post is a column that’s sponsored and written by the staff at NOVA Cat Clinic.
Don’t we all love Halloween? It is so much fun, but we need to be careful for our cats.
Some candy can be toxic to cats. How can something so wonderful be dangerous? Chocolate, especially the darker types, is toxic to cats. Chocolate has caffeine and theobromine. When ingested, these two ingredients can lead to various medical complications and may even prove fatal for your cat.
The artificial sweetener xylitol, which is used in gums and several candies, is also toxic to cats. The ingestion of xylitol primarily affects insulin release throughout the body. Xylitol causes the release of insulin from the pancreas into circulation leading to a rapid decrease of blood glucose levels. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can occur within 30 to 60 minutes of xylitol ingestion. This hypoglycemia can lead to liver toxicity, liver damage, and ultimately liver failure. Xylitol is perfectly safe for people, but because of different metabolisms, it can be fatal for dogs and cats.
So be careful to not let candy be lying around or fall out of your trick or treat bag. Click here for a link to the ASPCA hotline.
Some cats love to play with and then eat dangling decorations. Just make sure the decorations are out of reach. Vomiting is the most common symptom of the ingestion of foreign bodies. We want to be sure you do not spend the holiday in the emergency room. Although we are more likely to think of this during the winter holidays, there are those of us who go all out for Halloween too. Come by our office if you’d like to see our feline friendly decorations.
If you have outdoor cats, you may want to consider limiting their outdoor time during this period. This is especially true for black cats. Unfortunately, not everyone loves cats as much as we do.
You may want to consider a Feliway plug-in during the holidays. Lots of strange people coming to your door may frighten your cat and put them in seclusion. Feliway is a synthetic pheromone that can help calm kitties nerves. There are other anti-anxiety options including over the counter products such as anxitane. There are also a couple of prescription diets that can reduce anxiety. Royal Canin has a diet called Calm, and Hill’s has c/d stress.
Finally, if you dress your cat up for Halloween, please send us your photos to [email protected] We would love to put them on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.
You may want to ask your cat about their costume, though. Not all of them are very excited about dressing up.
The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.