Ask the Vet


Dear Dr. Schelling,

Halloween can be a scary time for cats and people who care about cats. What can I do to make this holiday as safe and pleasant as possible for my cat? (I will also be sharing your answer with my neighbor; she has an indoor-outdoor cat.)

–Be Kind to Felines
Dear "Be Kind to Felines,"

There are a number of threats to cats around Halloween: the commotion of trick-or-treaters, rowdy parties, a profusion of candy and sweets, and the possibility that people who dislike cats may be more emboldened about expressing their hostility toward them. Fortunately, a few common sense preventive steps can go a long way toward placing your cat out of harm's way and setting your mind at ease.

This article—HOW TO KEEP YOUR CAT SAFE AND HAPPY ON HALLOWEEN—outlines measures you can start taking now to help ensure an enjoyable, stress-free Halloween for all. You may want to show the article to your neighbor. At the very least, let her know that for her cat's safety, she should keep her cat inside during this holiday.

Click here to read the full article.

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Now that Halloween is on its way I'm hearing a lot about myths about cats. Will you set these humans straight? I would tell them myself but they don't speak cat.

–Mr. Meow

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Dear Mr. Meow,

I've been hearing that a lot too. We cats have certain qualities that are endearing or enchanting to cat lovers but may induce fear in those who are unfamiliar with felines. For example, we are stealthy—this is part of our hunting acumen which enables us to survive in the wild—and some people find this disconcerting. Unfortunately, too often the human response to behaviors that aren't understood is to consider them—and the individuals who engage in them—evil or undesirable. The good news is that each year, more and more humans are discovering the wonder and companionship of cats, and hopefully, over time, negative stereotypes of cats will be replaced by widespread respect for our true magnificence.

The following article looks at how and why cats have been both revered and feared, beloved and disdained throughout history; it also notes differences in cat lore from place to place: PERCEPTIONS AND MISPERCEPTIONS ABOUT CATS..


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PLUNKY CATNIP PUMPKIN: Can a toy be so cute it's scary? Yes!

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KITTY BAT BERBER CATNIP TOY: Made from durable Berber fabric and filled with frighteningly fresh catnip. Kitty will enjoy batting at Kitty Bat!

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A cat has 517 muscles in its body.
Every cat owner knows, nobody owns a cat. -Ellen Perry Berkeley
Kitty Bat Plunky