Last week, we talked about some common household dangers that can be found in your living room and home office. This week, we'd like to discuss some of the common household hazards that lurk in your kitchen and bathroom.
Oven/Stove: Cats seem to be drawn to warm places where they can curl up and sleep. The stove and oven are certainly warm, but they are obviously dangerous for cats. Whenever you're using the stove or oven, please keep an eye on your kitty. If your cat seems interested in walking on the stove, cover the burners with covers whenever they aren't in use.
Cats can also get underfoot. Please be careful when you are transferring hot pots and pans from one place to another in the kitchen. Locate your kitty before moving boiling water so you don't accidentally spill any on your furry friend.
My grandmother will turn on her oven and leave the door open for a while to help heat her home. This is obviously not a good idea if you have cats in the home!
I would also recommend rinsing off your dishes before placing them into the sink to be washed. Some cats will lick food off dirty dishes in the sink if given the chance to do so.
Trash: Leftovers, meat bones, package wrappers... The kitchen trash can be a very tempting place for your kitty. Please be sure to keep a lid on your trash can so that it's harder for your cat to get into. Alternatively, you can store your trash can in a pantry or cabinet where your cat cannot access it.
Junk Drawer: I don't know if you all have one of these, but when I was growing up, we always had a drawer in the kitchen we called the junk drawer. The junk drawer is where we kept light bulbs for the night lights, rubber bands, paper clips, batteries, coupons, pens, tape, and other miscellaneous items. Please keep this drawer shut when not in use. When ingested, batteries can cause ulcers in the stomach, mouth, and esophagus.
If ingested, paper clips, rubber bands, and other small items can cause an abdominal or intestinal obstruction. Surgical removal of the item will need to occur in order to resolve the issue. Signs of an abdominal or intestinal blockage may include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain or tenderness, producing a small amount of feces or straining to defecate, lethargy, and decreased appetite. If your kitty has ingested a foreign body, he may also growl or try to bite when you try to pick him up or touch his stomach. If string, thread, or a rubber band has gotten wrapped around the base of his tongue, your cat may paw at his mouth or face.
Vet Street, ingestion of a single zinc penny can be fatal to cats. Zinc poisoning can also lead to anemia and liver, kidney, or heart failure.
Plastic Bags: When I come home from the store, I tend to set down all of my plastic bags in the kitchen in order to unpack them. If you keep plastic bags, please keep them in a closet or cabinet that is not accessible to your kitty. Cats can suffocate themselves in plastic bags. Other cats try eating plastic bags, which obviously isn't good for them.
Household Cleaners: Some people keep a few of their household cleaners, like bleach, glass cleaner, and oven cleaner under the sink. If your cat can open cabinets, I'd recommend getting cabinet locks so that your kitty cannot access your household cleaners. Many household cleaners are toxic to people and to our furry friends.
Veterinary Medications: I don't know where all of you keep your cat's medication, but I keep Carmine and Milita's medications in the kitchen because most of their medications and supplements get mixed into their canned food. Please be mindful of what you are putting into your cat's food. Make sure you are giving your cat the right medication and the right dose. If you have more than one cat on medication, please make sure you are giving the right medication to each cat. It is so easy to accidentally give your kitty the wrong medication or the wrong dose of medication.
Human Prescription Medication: Many human prescription medications are also dangerous to our furry friends. I'd recommend taking all of your medication in the bathroom or another room without a carpeted floor. This way, you can more easily hear if a pill accidentally falls on the floor so you can retrieve it. Don't leave any medications - prescription or nonprescription - on the sink or counter unattended.
Treated Toilet Water: Toilet bowl cleaner is toxic to cats. If you use an automatic toilet bowl cleaner, please ensure you always keep the toilet lid down so that your kitty cannot drink from the toilet bowl.
Additionally, kittens can easily fall into the toilet and drown. Please keep toilet lids down if you have any small kitties in your home.
Bathtub: Likewise, a curious kitten can slip and fall into a bathtub full of water and drown. If you aren't in the bathroom, please keep the door shut when you are running a bath or have a full tub of water.
Dental Floss: Cats love to play with string-like objects such as thread, tinsel, and floss. Dental floss is dangerous for cats as it can get wrapped around the base of your cat's tongue when she swallows it. It can also get wrapped around the intestines, leading to an intestinal blockage. Please dispose of all dental floss in a covered trash can or a trash can your cat cannot access.
If you think your cat has ingested a foreign body, has been poisoned, or is injured, please take him to your veterinarian.
Your kitchen and bathroom certainly contain many potential hazards for your cat. However, being mindful of these potential dangers will help you protect your kitty from them.
Catster: 15 Common Household Hazards for Cats.
Vet Street: Pet Poisons from A to Z - 26 Common Items that are Dangerous to Cats and Dogs.
Cat Behavior Associates: Nine Foods You Shouldn't Feed Your Cats.
VCA Animal Hospitals: Ingestion of Foreign Bodies in Cats.