Tips to Celebrate Hari Raya with Pets

With the biggest religious celebration of Malaysia coming, here's a few suggestions to make your pet feel included in the festivities!

Eid al-Fitr, locally known as Adilfitri or Hari Raya Puasa, is just around the corner! The celebration following the month of Ramadhan, this the biggest event across Malaysia with festivities as colorful and lively as Chinese New Year. 

And like CNY, lots of care must be taken with pets as the impending revelry also brings about lots of crowds and noise for a prolonged period. But as our Malay-Muslim community represent the largest cat-loving community around, here are some tips to make our furry friends feel included!

  • Dressing up!
    An increasingly popular trend is to highlight your furbaby in the family photos! Dressing up your pet in seasonal traditional clothing is a growing novelty, and pet fashion providers are increasingly attuned to making cultural curations available. Just be sure to double-check on pet sizing and get something comfortable for your furkid.

    rsz_cat_in_hari_raya_costumeBilbo the black cat wearing the male Malay Raya traditional clothing (Image credit: Mahizan Kasim, for The Star, 2023)

  • Treat them too!
    The highlight of the Ramadhan seasons are always the many foods that make the breaking of fasts an exciting time. Share your joy with your pets by preparing some pet-friendly treats for them too, such as boiled chicken or fish. Save the special pet cookies and cakes for the big days!

  • Ensure your decorations are pet-safe
    One of the most iconic decorative items of Hari Raya are the ketupat, a rice cake wrapped in palm leaves to be served with rendang and other dishes. Representing gratitude, unity, and togetherness; the ketupat is actually pet-friendly (in tiny amounts)! If you're having a ketupat making session, don't worry about your pet being around to 'help out' a little and bond with them.

  • Monitor and make a safe space!
    As always with coming crowds, open foods, and decorative items around, keep a close eye on your cat(s), dog(s) and/or other pets if they're allowed to roam. Provide comfy, safe nooks for them should they need a space to retreat to.

Note: Should you be planning to take your furbaby along for the 'balik kampung' visits, be sure to schedule a vet visit for up-to-date vaccinations and prevention medication. This article specifically noted a rise in Parvo cases among housecats after Raya, something all of us would like to avoid.

Our pets are more than just companion animals - they're family!

Alternatively, if you find yourself unable to bring your furkids along, or are occupied with house visiting yourself, consider cat boarding or cat sitting services to provide a comfortable season for your pet as well. Inquire early, as pet service providers (such as us at Swirly and Friends) are often booked up as fast as a whole month before!


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