When was the last time you crawled around your house on your hands and knees? As strange as that may sound, you may want to give it a try sometime – because this is how your cats experience your home much of the time. Things that seem innocuous to us can present a real danger to your cat.
Protecting your cat from hazards in your home is not all that different from child-proofing a house. The following tips can protect your cat from common household hazards.
Dishwashers, refrigerators, washing machines and especially clothes dryers can all turn into death traps for cats who consider them innovative hiding (or napping) places. Always check before closing doors and starting a cycle.
If you have a counters surfer, your stove probably won’t be off limits, either. Make sure that stoves and hotplates are cool to the touch before you let your cats near them.
Many household cleaners contain contain hazardous ingredients
such as organic solvents and petroleum based chemicals which can release volatile organic compounds into your indoor air. Some ingredients in household cleaners are known to cause cancer in animals and are suspected human carcinogens. Lysol, Pine-sol and other products containing phenols are deadly to cats as they can cause serious liver damage. Chlorox bleach, especially when concentrated, can cause chemical burns when it comes in contact with sensitive cat paws. Use pet-friendly products instead.
Rodent and insect repellents
These products can be deadly to cats if they come into contact with them or ingest them, and they do not belong inside a home shared with cats. Look for natural alternatives.
Shorten or eliminate blind cords, or use childsafe blind cord covers.
Rocking chairs, fold-out recliners and sofa beds can trap or injure cats. Always check for cats underneath these pieces before sitting down.
Plants and flowers
Many plants and flowers are toxic to cats. Make sure that you know whether your plants are safe. The ASPCA maintains a list of toxic and non-toxic plants.
Keep them unplugged when not in use. Curious cat paws can accidentally turn on a plugged in shredder.
If you drop a pill on the floor, make sure you find it before your cat can get to it. Store medications in a safe place away from cats.
The most important thing you can to do protect your cat from household hazards is to be mindful. Most accidents in the home happen when we’re not paying attention to what we’re doing.
Photo: Flickr Creative Commons