We have entered into the month of October, bringing with it a new season, cooler weather, and, above all, the only day where it’s acceptable to dress up as a giant frog or a Pokémon and take people’s food. Halloween is a holiday that is generally highly anticipated, as children await the day that is sure to bring sugary treats. But with this holiday comes a true tragedy, in the form of the iconic black cat.
As many people know, black cats have come to represent witchcraft, night and, in most cases, evil of some sort. Because of this, they are often associated with Halloween, and many people try to adopt black cats around the time of this holiday. Afterwards, they find themselves with a cat that they can’t or do not want to care for, and oftentimes abandon or return them. Not only that, but these animals are also at an extensive risk of abuse around this time. Many people with superstitions will be distrustful of the cats and try to “protect” themselves from black cats, which could include abusive behavior. Because of this, it’s best to keep black cats inside on Halloween if you own them. The holiday does see a rise in animal abuse, so while black cats are not generally being hunted for Satanic rituals, as some people may believe, they are in a fair amount of danger and this should be considered.
In order to protect the cats, many adoption shelters will halt the adoption of black cats during the month of October. However, this leads to overcrowded shelters, unhappy animals, and lessens the chance of the black cats ever being adopted. While there may be some people who just see the cats as party decorations, there are also families and individuals who would give these cats a warm, loving home, but cannot adopt the cats while the adoption ban is occurring. This begs the question: How do we keep black cats safe while also ensuring that they do get adopted? An increased check of ability to care for the animals around this time could be beneficial, as well as a requirement for examination by the shelter some time after the adoption. This would help ensure that the cats will be and are being cared for, even beyond Halloween. If you happen to be looking for a cat around October, don’t be afraid to adopt a black cat. They want nothing more than love and care, and if that’s what you can offer them, then that will be enough.
Be aware of you and your pets on Halloween. Not everyone may be looking to protect themselves from the curse of a dark feline, but there are other dangers, including candles and chocolate! Stay safe, and happy Halloween!
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