10 Cat Hazards in Your Home (& How to Cat-Proof Them)
If you’re reading this blog we are assuming you never want anything bad to happen to your furry friend. That’s why we came up with a list of potential cat hazards in your house and how to cat-proof them. After all, cats are basically toddlers with fur so we need to keep an eye on them. We want them to live long and healthy lives now onto the list.
Cats are curious creatures so in a cat’s mind an open bag is like a secret world waiting to be explored. Many cats will crawl inside a bag and lay in it like a bed and others will play with it. However, a cat in a bag can easily get stuck and suffocate to death. Please keep bags away from your cats. An easy prevention is to get a bag holder so you can hide them and hang them somewhere your cat can’t reach.
Many pet parents know that dogs like to chew things but some don’t realise that cats can also be chewers and the last thing you want is your furry friend to chew on a hazard like electrical cords. Think of anything with a plug such as computer cords, tv cords, power strips and so on. To keep your cat safe from this type of hazard use cable management sleeves or tubing. There are many different options out there and this safety measure is affordable and easy to install. As an added bonus cable sleeves also serve as a way to keep cords neatly tucked and out of the way giving the spot a cleaner look.
Toys with strings
Every cat should have access to toys because they are a great way for them to exercise and stay occupied. However, your cat should not play with certain toys unattended such as fishing pole toys. This is because these types of toys are strangulation hazards. This is not to say that you should completely ditch fishing toys but when you’re not playing with them just make sure that these types of toys and anything else with strings are put in a place where your cat can’t reach. While on that topic ribbons, yarn, rubber bands, hair ties and anything else string-like should also be hidden from your cat.
By appliances we are talking about refrigerators, ovens, stove tops, washers and dryers. The good news is that preventing an accident is pretty simple. Just look, when you open a fridge it’s possible for a cat to sneak in. We all know that cats can be stealthy and if you have a kitten or young cat they are small enough to slip by undetected. If a cat gets stuck in the fridge, it will suffocate. The same rule applies to washers and dryers. Always look because a cat can easily sneak in there if you get distracted or walk away before you turn it on. Also, we all know some cats like to jump on counters. So if you just cooked dinner and then when you walk out of the room a cat could get seriously burned. If they step on the stovetop so if you have a cat that’s counter-obsessed you can always add burner covers or burner locks to your stove.
When I say furniture you might be thinking we’re going a little overboard here but hear me out. Recliners and automatic beds are also hazards, especially for small cats and kittens. Cats like to crawl into things, so if you’re reclined in your lazy boy a cat can sneak under there and then when you lower the footrest it can get seriously hurt. The same goes for any other kind of automatic furniture. Just like with appliances, always look before you close.
With candles a cat especially one with long fur can catch on fire. Aside from that candles can be a huge hazard to you and your home. Needless to say, if a cat knocks over a candle your house can catch on fire. So if you have candles make sure you only have them lit when you’re in the room. Another solution is to use tart warmers instead which have become pretty popular in recent years because they are much safer than traditional candles. Instead of a flame a bulb melts a block of wax so you get the same smell of a candle but without the open flame.
Surprisingly dogs aren’t the only pets that like to drink toilet water; some cats also like to drink out of a toilet because they are attracted to running water. Their primal instinct is to seek out running water because in nature running water is usually safer to drink than still water. But although toilet water is regularly flushed it is still a breeding ground for germs and bacteria that could potentially make your pet sick. Another danger is the chemicals used to clean toilets, for example, toilet cleaners that are left inside the toilet reservoir continuously release chemicals into the water. So if a cat drinks out of the toilet they are ingesting those chemicals which can be deadly. The easiest solution is to always keep the toilet lid closed when not in use. If your furry friend is highly attracted to toilet water another thing you can do is get them a cat drinking fountain to satisfy their love of running water.
This next item applies mainly to outdoor cats and that’s cars, more specifically car engines. Cats are attracted to warm places so it’s not uncommon for them to crawl under cars. If they get in the right spot they can get caught in the fan belt then when you start the car you’ll hear a tragedy. It’s always a good idea to bang on the hood of a car before you get in especially if you live in an area with lots of stray cats.
Foods and drinks
There are certain foods in your kitchen that are hazardous to cats. Some examples are grapes, raisins and onions. It’s easy to drop a few pieces of onion as you’re shopping or leave a bowl of grapes out when you step out of the room. This is why the best rule of thumb is to keep all people’s food away from cats. There are also toxic drinks like alcohol and caffeine although this sounds obvious it’s easy to forget a cup of coffee or beer on the table which your cat could easily get to. Remember that caffeine and alcohol are absolutely toxic to cats.
Chemicals and medications
Although this one may sound obvious this is far too important to leave off the list. As we all know cats are curious creatures so they can easily paw open a cabinet filled with chemicals such as cleaning products, bleach, dishwashing pods and antifreeze are just a few of the many chemicals that are absolutely deadly if ingested. So to protect your cat put a child safety lock on cabinets with chemicals or keep them completely out of reach. We know this is another obvious one which is why we group these together but it also has to be said that prescription drugs are also a hazard for cats. Remember that these medications are designed for humans, not animals. This means that a safe dosage for a human can be deadly to an animal, so if you use a pill organiser consider zipping it in a bag that way it won’t pop open if a cat knocks it on the ground and just like for chemicals you can also get child safety locks.