How to Keep Your Cat Safe – Outside and In
Anybody who has owned a cat knows that the phrase “curiosity killed the cat” could very well be true. The very thing that we love about our furry friends – their insatiable need to see what’s in, behind, or below – can pose a real threat to their health and well-being.
The good news is that by taking a good look around and trying to see things through our cats’ eyes, we can usually clear the environment of things that could pose problems.
Cats don’t take well to training or to the word “no,” so it’s important for their owners to be aware of the common household items that can cause cats harm.
How to Keep Your Outdoor Cat Safe
Quite a few pet owners allow their cats to roam outside their homes, but the American Humane Society says there are some safety concerns that arise from doing so.
From diseases from feral cats and parasites to the risks posed by cars and other predators, your cat is probably best kept indoors.
If you do choose to let it roam, inspect your garage and shed, as these places often hold items that cats find all too attractive and delicious, including:
- Rodent poison and insecticide – The most common source of poisoning to companion animals
- Antifreeze that contains ethylene glycol
- Cocoa mulch
- Lawn and garden chemicals
- Salts for melting snow and ice
- Garbage cans – These not only contain spoiled foods and potential poisons but can also trap or injure cats.
- Animal traps set for rodents and small wild animals
How to Keep Your Indoor Cat Safe
Though your cat is much safer indoors than out, you should still look around and try to think like your cat, who will have a tendency to climb into places that look comfortable.
Leaving your washing machine, dryer, or reclining chair open can pose a threat, so try to remember to keep them closed – and it might be a good idea to check them before turning them on or sitting down. A cabinet door, refrigerator door, dishwasher, and even exercise equipment also look like kitty playgrounds, so be mindful of those.
While it may be adorable that cats like to hide in shopping bags, the handles can get caught around their necks, so if you’re going to leave them out for playtime, cut the handles off.
Cats love strings and ribbon, and it is a joy to dangle a colorful tangle in front of them, but make sure that when you’re done, you store it safely to prevent them from trying to eat it and causing themselves harm.
Finally, there are certain common household items that can lead to emergency room visits. The top among these include:
- Lilies of all kinds
- Plants such as philodendron and others that contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals
- Household cleaners
- Flea and tick products for dogs
- Medications — Anti-depressants; non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen and naproxen; prescription medications; cough, cold, and allergy medications
- Glow sticks and glow jewelry
- Any small item – Earrings, safety pins, pen caps, etc.
Cats have an uncanny ability to get into everything – it’s one of the things that make them so interesting and charismatic! By keeping your eyes open and familiarizing yourself with the things that can pose threats, you’ll ensure that your kitty stays healthy and will bring joy to your life for a long, long time.