Your Questions: 'Should I keep my six-month-old kitten indoors during Halloween and bonfire night?'
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Saturday 23 October 2010
Q. This will be the first winter with our six-month-old kitten. Is it true that you have to keep him indoors and away from all the fun of Halloween and bonfire night? Or can he join in the fun with us?
A. In these situations you need to think of your pet as a toddler. You wouldn't let your toddler go to a bonfire party on their own and it's pretty much the same with your pet – especially kittens or puppies!
Most of the things you hear from animal welfare organisations about keeping your pet safe on bonfire night are true. You do need to take precautions. Many pets will be frightened by the noise of fireworks and, if your cat is outside, there's also the risk that he could be accidentally – or intentionally, in some sad cases – injured by a firework.
So, first of all, try to keep him in on Halloween and bonfire night. Also, make sure he has identification on his collar – just in case he slips out and then gets lost. At this time of year, Battersea Cats and Dogs Home sees a huge number of lost animals being brought in.
In terms of dealing with the big bangs and flashing lights, try drawing the curtains and putting some music on – and be around so that he has the option to cuddle up on your lap. And if you're having a big party, it would be advisable to put your kitten in a separate room with his water and litter tray.
If you don't feel comfortable with that, at least give him an option to escape – don't leave him locked in with the party-goers. I know I sound like a party pooper but things that we enjoy can be very stressful for our pets, so we need to offer them a safe and loving environment.
Remember that if an animal shows signs of distress or discomfort, an early visit to the vet is always recommended
Life & Style blogs
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Extend Right To Buy to tenants of private landlords, Labour's Jeremy Corbyn says
David Cameron struck double blow in his hopes to win Britain a new EU deal
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
- 1 Kim Jong-un shows off airport designed by architect he likely had executed
- 2 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 3 Why it matters 26 million people have changed their Facebook profile picture to a rainbow flag
- 4 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 5 Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L James's Twitter Q&A didn't go exactly as planned
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An On-line Sales & Customer Ser...
£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...
£16575 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity is ava...