4Paws Rescue Team News,Pet Wellbeing Monthly Tips: 10 Safety Tips to Protect Your Cat

Monthly Tips: 10 Safety Tips to Protect Your Cat

You can kitty-proof your home with these ten safety tips to make sure you have a safe environment for your beloved pet.  This month’s tips cover everything from hiding dangerous electrical cords to keeping medications out of your cat’s reach. During the holiday season, these tips are critical!

1) Hide Your Cords: Just like dogs, some cats love to chew, and if they chew through an electrical cord this could start a fire or hurt your cat. Purchase covers for your cords, hide them, or try one of these quick fixes.

  • Apply a pasty mixture of cayenne pepper, hot pepper sauce, nail-biting nail polish or orange/lemon peel.
  • Put cardboard tubing around the cords and keep them in an organized bundle.

2) Plants: Many plants are toxic to cats and dogs. It’s a good idea to avoid bringing the following plants into your home.  And to prevent your cat from digging in the dirt around your houseplants, go to your local craft store and buy a few pieces of plastic needlepoint mesh. Cut it to fit the pot, with a slit and an opening for the plant and place it on top of the dirt. You can see a full list (with photos) of toxic plants/flowers here.

  • Azaleas
  • Birds of Paradise
  • Buttercups
  • Caladium
  • Carolina Jessamine
  • Castor bean
  • Christmas Berry
  • Day Lily
  • Dumb cane
  • Easter Lily
  • Elephant Ear
  • English Ivy

  • Holly
  • Hyacinth
  • Irises (the leaves and the roots are dangerous)
  • Lantana
  • Mistletoe
  • Morning glories
  • Narcissus
  • Philodendrons
  • Poinsettias
  • Wisteria
  • Yellow Oleander

3) Food and Medicine: Many of the things people eat each day are poisonous to cats. Make sure you keep the following off of counters and out of reach of your curious kitty. Grapes, Onions, Garlic, Chocolate, Aspirin, and Tylenol.

Key Point: While some cats can digest milk and beef products, many others are intolerant. We suggest that you keep “people” food out of reach at all times just to be safe and discourage bad habits.

4) Curtains and Screens: Cats like to climb, so be careful with what kinds of curtains or draperies you hang. A cat’s claws can become snagged in a loose weave drape or screen, causing the cat to pull at an awkward angle. This could cause a minor muscle injury, as well as damage to your window treatment. For safety’s sake, make sure that the pull-cord is not a loop – cut it so there are two strings, so neither your cat nor your child will inadvertently get it caught around their neck, hand, or paw.

5) Carpet: Cats like to scratch things like carpeting. While this is also damaging to the rug, carpets with loose weaves and thin piles may catch and hold their claws. This could trap the cat, causing him to panic and potentially injure himself to get a way. Young kittens may also try to get beneath throw rugs, where they may be stepped on or trapped. Use a very tight weave for shag or deep pile carpets whenever possible and pin down throw rug corners to prevent your kitten from slipping beneath them.

6) Plastic Bags and Buckets: Cats love to sleep inside bags, buckets and baskets as well as cardboard boxes. Never leave an open plastic bag around where you cat could become trapped and suffocate. Likewise, keep lids on buckets to keep your cat out. Also check bags, buckets, and empty boxes before you take them outside or throw them away.

7) The Garbage Can: The smells and tidbits in the garbage can continually pique your cat’s interest, which can be hazardous if things like chicken bones, grapes or onions are thrown inside. Make sure that your garbage can has a lid or keep it in a cabinet to avoid problems.

8) Litter Box Care: The litter box may be the way that your cat keeps the messes in the house to a minimum but can also be the breeding ground for some potentially harmful parasites. Always wash your hands after cleaning the litter box and keep the litter box as clean as possible to avoid transmitting any diseases.

9) Take Care in the Dark: Cats like to lay stretched out on the floor and may not move when they see you coming. If your cat is dark colored or black, take care when moving around in the dark so you don’t step on or trip over your cat.

10) Nail Care: A cat uses her nails to defend herself and to give herself purchase when jumping off of things. Keep her nails trimmed properly to avoid being scratched either by accident or from an angry feline friend.

In conclusion, many of the things your cat could get into in your home may be right out in front of you. Use common sense when you kitty proof your home to help prevent potential problems for you both.