Friday, April 22, 2016
Common Household Dangers to Cats: Living Room and Home Office
Small Office Supplies: Cats are curious by nature. They like to play with things we might not think they'd enjoy, like rubber bands or paper clips. However, cats can easily swallow small items commonly kept in a home office, such as thumb tacks, rubber bands, paper clips, and small erasers. These objects may cause an intestinal obstruction, which requires surgery to fix. Please keep all small office supplies in closed containers out of your cat's reach.
Electrical Cords: Even if you don't have a cord chomper, it's a good idea to invest in some cord covers or Bitter Apple to spray your cords with. Cats who chew electrical cords risk electrocution, electrical burns in the mouth or on the tongue, seizures, cardiac arrest, and breathing difficulties.
Batteries: According to Vetstreet, batteries are toxic to both cats and dogs. They may cause ulcers in the stomach, mouth, and esophagus. Keep batteries in a desk drawer or a closet - somewhere your cat cannot access.
Additionally, it's best to keep all fishing pole type toys out of your cat's reach when you're not playing with her. Cats love string, yarn, etc. and can chew through and swallow the string on fishing pole toys.
Office Chairs: Kitty paws and tails can easily get caught under the wheels of office chairs. Always look around you before scooting your office chair so you don't accidentally injure your cat's feet or tail.
Yarn: I used to knit while watching television a lot when Carmine was a kitten. He thought it was great - he'd try to take off with my yarn! Most cats can't resist a nice ball of yarn, so if you knit or crochet while watching television, be sure to keep an eye on your cat. Yarn is not only a choking hazard, but if swallowed, it can cause an intestinal blockage. Please put your yarn crafts away out of your kitty's reach when you're not working on them.
Paper Shredders: Cats love nice warm places to nap, and a paper shredder that's left on provides the perfect spot for a cat to curl up. However, his tail or paws can easily slip into the shredder and cause serious injury. When you're not using your paper shredder, it's best to unplug it so there is no risk to your kitty.
Candles also pose a danger to your companion. Kitties who get too close to candles can burn their whiskers. Curious cats may bat at a candle's flame and burn his paws. A cat may also knock the candle over, which can lead to a house fire. Keep any lit candles out of your cat's reach, and don't forget to blow out your candles before you go to sleep or leave the house.
Reclining Chairs and Couches: Some cats and kittens like to hide in or under reclining chairs. When someone goes to sit in, use, or close the reclining chair, cats can become stuck or injured. Always be sure to locate your kitty before you use or close your reclining chair or couch.
Trash Cans: Trash cans can contain all sorts of fun play things that are dangerous for your cat. Empty food wrappers, rubber bands, paper clips, and staples are just a few things your kitty might find interesting in the trash can. If you have an open trash can without a lid in your home office or living room, I recommend you empty it every night before you go to sleep. Alternatively, you can purchase trash cans with lids - these are more difficult for cats to get into.
Curtain and Blind Cords: Your companion can strangle himself if he gets a curtain or blind cord wrapped around his neck. Your cat can also choke on the plastic pull piece on the cord if he chews it off. To protect your furry friend from blind and curtain cords, tie or coil them so that they are out of his reach.
Window Screens: Make sure all of your window screens are secure, and check for tares in them regularly. Once, when Milita was very young, she tore open my bedroom window screen and got out. Thankfully, she came back several hours later (after I totally freaked out, went looking for her, and put posters up around the neighborhood). Now I won't ever leave a window open if I'm not in the same room as the kitties. You don't necessarily need to be as protective as I am, but checking your window screens regularly for rips and tares will help ensure that your kitty can't escape out the window.
view an extensive list of plants toxic to cats at the ASPCA website. When ingested, these plants can cause anything from gastrointestinal distress to coma and death. Protect your kitty by having non-toxic plants in your home instead. A few choices for non-toxic plants include African Daisies, Bachelors Buttons, Bluebottles, Catnip, Easter Daisies, Easter Orchids, Garden Marigolds, Impatience Plants, Petunias, Roses, Sunflowers, Venus Fly Traps, and Wax Rosettes. You can view an extensive list of plants safe for cats here.
With some simple steps, you can protect your cat from potential hazards lurking in your living room and home office. Please come back next week to learn about more potential household dangers to cats.
The Humane Society of the United States: Common Household Dangers for Pets.
Purina: Household Dangers to Cats.
Vetstreet: Pet Poisons from A to Z - 26 Common Items that are Dangerous to Cats and Dogs.
The Humane Society of the United States: Cat-Proof Your Home in 12 Easy Steps.
ASPCA: Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants.