Why cats hate Halloween costumesBack to overview
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Contrary to dogs — who can be receptive to a properly chosen Halloween costume — cats have a profound hatred of costumes. A cat wearing a funny get-up can seem amusing to humans, but in reality this is actually a traumatic experience for the animal. Here’s why it is better to avoid this bad practice.
A Halloween costume affects a cat’s survival instincts
It’s easy to forget because of their small size, but cats are natural predators. They rely on their sharp senses to monitor their immediate surroundings and warn them of the presence of prey or danger. Halloween costumes for pets often cover the ears, touch the whiskers or hinder peripheral vision. When their senses are limited in this way, cats can feel threatened and anxious.
Costumes limit cats’ movements
Cats are agile and flexible and can climb fences, jump high, land on their feet or disappear under a couch in a flash. These are all ways for them to feel safe when they detect a threat. Since Halloween costumes prevent them from moving easily, they create unnecessary stress.
If your cat wears a collar and a tag, remember the first time you tried to slip it on? Your feline probably wasn’t very cooperative, right? A Halloween costume reproduces this discomfort, but to a much higher degree, by causing unfamiliar sensations all over your pet’s body.
The Halloween costume’s smell is distracting
Cats use distinctive odours to recognise each other and mark their territory. To a feline’s sharp senses, a Halloween costume emanates a pervasive scent that smothers ambient odours. The unfamiliar scent of a costume also masks a cat’s personal smell. In a household where several animals coexist, the others can perceive the dressed-up cat as an outsider!
Cats can choke on the costume
Cats are inexplicably attracted to everything that sparkles, glitters, hangs, rolls or moves, and Halloween costumes are designed with pieces that meet all these criteria. By trying to extricate themselves from the infernal get-up with their muzzle, cats can accidentally swallow small pieces and choke or experience serious health problems related to their digestive systems.
Attracting attention goes against their nature
In the animal world, eye contact is a sign of confrontation. If a cat has a timid nature, becoming the centre of attention for a whole evening can be a terrifying experience, like being threatened from all sides.
Hating the costume… and the human responsible
Our feline friends create associations between every negative experience and the guilty party. Forcing cats to wear Halloween costumes against their will is a terrible ordeal and risks deteriorating the trust between pet and owner.