The leaves are turning from green to muted golds and persimmon reds, and the morning air is suddenly crisp when we walk out the door and head into our busy weeks. Fall is finally upon us and with it, all things pumpkin and cinnamon and Halloween related. October is designated as Black Cat Awareness Month and, while we’ve blogged about our love of black cats in the past, we thought it would be nice to acknowledge the joy of owning a black cat.
Black Cat Awareness Month was created in 2013 after its creator, Layla Morgan Wilde, a holistic cat expert, pet industry consultant, and founder of the popular blog Cat Wisdom 101, noticed that there was nothing dedicated to our sable feline companions on a national level. So, she launched the non-profit initiative Black Cats Tell All to promote black cat adoption. Such an observation was welcomed by animal lovers, as superstitions surrounding black cats have run rampant for centuries.
Even in 2020, as silly as it sounds, black cats are still associated with superstitions, black magic, and pagan holidays. In fact, some shelters suspend black cat adoptions during the month of October, as black cats were being adopted merely as part of the Halloween holiday mystique; they would then be abandoned (or worse) after the holiday passed.
Keeping Your Black Cat Safe During the Holidays
Black cats are particularly at risk around Halloween. Here are some quick tips to ensure that your kitties stay safe this Halloween:
Keep Them Indoors
If you plan on having Halloween festivities at your house, set your cat up for success by providing him with a sense of safety—a quiet room with a litter box and plenty of food and water will suffice. If your cats aren’t already indoor-only cats, be sure to keep them inside on Halloween night so they are not terrified by trick-or-treaters.
A cat out on the street is not only at risk of being abducted, but also of being panicked by children wearing strange costumes who may scare your cat without meaning it real harm.
With lots of scary noises and children in costumes, many pets can become overwhelmed and skittish. There is generally an uptick in the number of lost pets each Halloween, as our furry friends (cats and dogs alike) get scared and dart out of open doors. So, keep your cat safe and away from the commotion by keeping them in a back room.
Of course, another reason to keep your cats indoors during Halloween is to protect them from people who wish to do them harm. While the harming of black cats during Halloween doesn’t happen as often as we probably imagine, it's a good reminder that this type of cruel treatment does exist. It may have to do with the mythological association between cats and witches, however unfounded those long held beliefs might be.
It’s best to keep your pet, black cat or otherwise, safely indoors until the holiday is over.
Keep Candy Out of Harms Reach
Halloween candy can be very dangerous for cats, especially chocolate and candy loaded with xylitol. So be sure to keep all Halloween candy away from your pets. If you have kids bringing food home or candy left out on the counter, be careful not to leave it unsupervised.
Be Careful with Cat Costumes
A sweet kitten dressed up with fairy wings or a tuxedo cat bedecked with a top hat may sound adorable, but be careful when choosing costumes for your cat.
Most cats seem to hate costumes and wiggle their way out of them within a matter of minutes of getting them dressed for the occasion, but if you do have a cat that is okay with being dressed up, make sure there isn’t anything that she can get tangled up in or that can cause them to choke. And remember to monitor them closely the entire time they’re in their costume, just in case.
How to Celebrate YOUR Black Cat
One way to celebrate your black cat is to do your part towards dispelling the myths surrounding black cats and their supposed mystical abilities. Help them by fighting the stigma associated with their black fur by championing their sweet dispositions to your friends, family, and colleagues.
Consider some fun ways to celebrate the black cats still in need of a loving home:
· Adopt a black or tuxedo cat
· Donate toward their care
· Share this post on Facebook and other social media sites
· Check out our adoptable cats on Facebook and pick one black cat to share on your page
Also, be sure to check out this fun photo shoot idea from How Life Unfolds.
Of course, bringing the love of a new black furbaby in your life, or helping another one get adopted, is the best celebration they could hope for. We have a number of black cats at BCARL right now—big, small, young, and old alike. Do you think you have it in your heart to help one of these cats in need? Check them out on PetFinder, fill out our adoption form, and come meet them. Who knows. your new cuddle bug might be waiting for you at BCARL this very moment.