Halloween is probably a cat's least favorite holiday. The Humane Society advises people to keep pets -- and especially black cats -- indoors to protect them from becoming victims of candy-fueled mischief. Black cats are most at risk for pranks and cruelty because of their lengthy association with evil spirits.
In ancient Egypt, cats were held in high esteem and one goddess, Bast, was represented in the form of a cat. But in the 13th century, when the Catholic Church launched the Inquisition, the favorable feline tide turned as alleged pagans sometimes kept company with cats. Because of their dark coloration, black cats became especially reviled, and eventually people started to think that they were special companions to witches. According to popular folklore, witches can also turn themselves into cats.
Although many people probably don't believe in black cats' evil connotations these days, Halloween can revive old superstitions. For that reason, it's wise to heed the Humane Society's advice and keep them away from festivities.