Here's How To Avoid Things That Can Harm or Even Kill Your Cat
If you have a cat, you know just how curious they can be. Truth is, cats have a tendency to get into just about everything. Not that they’re not smart, quite the contrary. Their quest for adventure is a testament to their intelligence. But there is some truth the old saying, “curiosity killed the cat,” because their insatiable appetite for adventure can get them hurt and in some cases, it can even get them killed.
One thing you can do to keep your cat's curiosity occupied is to get them some toys or things to play with like a cat tunnel or scratch post.
Here are nine common things that you should be aware of, with tips on how to protect your cat from injury or even death.
- 1. Hormones Can Get The Best Of Them
Your cats urge to mate can sometimes be overwhelming. And just like a teenager, they don’t always use their best judgment. What this means is that they can often get themselves into some pretty hairy situations. Spaying or neutering your cat can help. It not only prevents overpopulation which can fill the animal shelter with unwanted cats, it can also make your cat less aggressive and a whole lot happier. Simply fixing your cat will make them less likely to even want to go out on the prowl which can keep them safe, bringing me to my next point…
- 2. Allowing Your Cat to Go Outside Unsupervised
I can’t tell you how many cats I see walking around the streets in my neighborhood. And while I know that some would argue that being free makes the cat happy, it’s also very dangerous.
That’s because all sorts of dangers lurk outdoors for cats. Vets often see many emergencies including cats being run over that could have been prevented by simply keeping cats inside.
There are also a lot of other animals out there, including other cats and other animals and they’re not always friendly. Additional risks include a variety of infections and diseases as well as some of the more contagious feline diseases like FIV, FIP, and FeLV.
Cats can also get stuck looking for shelter, expose themselves to poisonous substances, sustain injuries from falling, and of course, there are always the typical fleas, ticks, and parasites.
If you still want to allow your cat to go outside, microchipping is a good idea, that way you still at least have a better chance of bringing them home safely.
Instead of allowing your cat to go outside if possible try making an enclosure that allows them the sense of being outside with the safety of being inside. Enclosed porches are great for this.
- 3. Other cats
While technically this is an extension of number 2, it still is worth mentioning. That’s because other cats often pose some of the biggest threats to your cat and they can happen indoors too.
Bite wounds are particularly dangerous because they are often punctured wounds and many times they can go unnoticed, which means they can become infected and lead to more serious health problems.
And like I said, while these are often associated with fights that occur outside of your home, indoor scuffles can also cause them.
If there is an existing rivalry going on inside the home, there are products out there that can help defuse the aggression. Sprays, supplements and even food that can help calm your cat and minimize aggression.
- 4. Strings, shoelaces and other objects can lead to a trip to the vet
While it’s cute to see a cat playing with a ball of yarn or a piece of string it can also be extremely dangerous. Sure, they bat them around and chase them, but when you’re not watching they can also swallow them. That’s why you should put them out of reach after you’ve played with your cat because they can cause injury to your cat.
Cats are notorious for eating things like ribbons, strings, shoe-laces and even dental floss. This can cause injury to their digestive system and may even lead to choking or suffocations. Remember, these are foreign objects and can also lead to infections, a fever, and other health problems if swallowed. If you think your cat may have swallowed something, it’s best to get them to the vet immediately.
- 5. Objects with doors that can close
Have you ever noticed how your cat hates a closed door? It’s that curiosity that often leads them into everything from kitchen cabinets, closets, and appliances. And while it’s cute, it can also be quite dangerous too. The reason is that they can often get stuck or trapped. Even small places like in between furniture, behind a clothes dryer or even a hot water heater, can pose a threat.
If you have a cat running around, always double check to make sure they’re not inside before closing a door or cabinet.
- 6. Candles may smell good, but they can also hurt your cat
A flickering candle can be a huge temptation for your cat. They often try to swat at it or even rub against it. Candles can burn your cat and they can even potentially catch them on fire. But candles aren’t the only hot surfaces that can injure your cat. There are also dangers in hot stoves, irons and anything else that generates heat around your home. Make sure to keep stoves covered and candles and irons out of reach until they’ve cooled.
- 7. Cat’s aren’t afraid of heights
Cats are notorious for climbing trees, but they can also climb to the top of window seals, balconies or ledges. And while cats do often land on their feet, they can still sustain injuries from their falls, including broken bones.
If possible, don’t allow your cat to explore areas where falling is a risk. If you live in a multistory house or in a high rise, keep windows and doors closed so that your cat doesn’t get tempted.
- 8. Toxins and other poisons
Dropping a pill, whether it’s a vitamin, a prescription or even an over the counter cold tablet can be extremely hazardous. If you ever do drop something like that, immediately pick it up. For starters, while a human dose of a relatively harmless medication won't’ hurt you, it could be lethal to your cat. If you spill some sort of liquid medication, clean it up immediately. You don’t want your cat walking through it and licking their paws.
But medications aren’t the only potential toxins. Certain plants can also harm your cat. You can go on the ASPCA website and find a list of toxic plants that you’ll want to keep out of your home. Lilies, for example, are especially lethal to cats. Also keep other household chemicals out of reach too. Thing like cleaners, bug spray, and related items should be safely locked away.
- 9. The Human Element
We’ve all done it. Started to walk across the room only to step on our beloved fur ball. Yep, humans can be extremely dangerous to cats. In fact, we are often the MOST dangerous element in our cat’s environment.
To keep your cat sage, always look where you’re stepping, be careful when you close a door and always be mindful of where your cat is.
If you spill something, break something or use something that can be harmful to your cat always clean it up or put it away.
While we could all use a little help staying safe and out of danger, your cat could really use a helping hand. By simply being a bit more mindful and removing potential hazards you can quite literally save your cats life and protect your wallet from costly vet bills too.