Friday, April 22, 2016

Common Household Dangers to Cats: Living Room and Home Office

Protect your cat from these common household dangers.
Indoor cats face fewer dangers than outdoor ones, but homes definitely have dangers of their own cat parents should be mindful of.  Some of these potential household dangers just might surprise you.

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.

Cats love to play! Be sure to purchase safe toys for your cat.
Toys: Believe it or not, cat toys can pose a hazard to your furry friend.  Toys with parts that can be chewed or torn off easily by your kitty pose a choking hazard.  Purchase toys that don't have parts that can be easily chewed or torn off them.

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.

Potpourri and burning oil can provide relaxing scents, but they are potentially dangerous for cats.
Oil Burners and Candles: Though you wouldn't imagine that oil would taste very good, the smell of it might tempt your cat to give it a try while its in the oil burner.  If burning oil is licked or ingested, it can cause mouth, tongue, and esophagus burns that may become life-threatening if they are not treated appropriately right away.  If you believe your kitty has licked or ingested oil, please take him to a veterinarian right away.

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.

Roses are safe to have around cats - they are not toxic to kitties.
Household Plants: Flowers and plants make great home accents, but many of them are toxic to cats.  Some common plants toxic to cats include Amaryllis, Calla Lily, Daffodils, Dahlias, Daisies, Easter Lilies, Hyacinths, Gardenias, Geraniums, Holly, Irises, Marijuana, Peonies, Poinsettias, Rhododendrons, St. John's Wort, Tiger Lilies, Tomato Plants, and Tulips.  This is by no means a full list of toxic plants to cats.  You can 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.

Sources:

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. 

39 comments:

  1. This is a great PSA post. Many people don't stop to think about the dangers of such common items.

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  2. Great information, even for seasoned cat lovers!

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  3. Great post, thank you! The office chair always makes me nervous. I always take a before moving.

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  4. A lot of these things are common to dogs too! I have to be careful with reclining chairs around Mr. N.

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  5. Those are great tips. Our mom crochets, and knows to keep the yarn out of our reach when she's not around. We do like batting at it when she's crocheting, though!

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  6. Great posty. Fanks fur sharin'.

    Luv ya'

    Dezi

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  7. Great post!!! There might me one more for the list but Sister Kit isn't saying what it is yet.

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  8. These are all really good to know! My human tosses all rubber bands - Sparkle used to love playing with them, so they just couldn't be in the house. And our shredder always stays turned off with something on top of it unless it is being used.

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  9. Really important post! 'Specially cat toys. The mom always checks our toys for things that we could chew off or swallow and removes stuff before giving them to us.

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  10. This is a really important post, with so much great information. The paper shredder scenario is so scary. We are glad we always unplug ours when it's not in use.

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  11. Great advice! We got all those things covered. TW doesn't like wand toys cos I spin around and sometimes get caught in them. She had a coworker who's ferret got caught in the folding couch and crushed. It wasn't pretty. Our trash can has a lid. TW is always afraid that she'll miss the pail with her dental floss and I'll eat it.

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  12. Excellent post, so many hazards and it is our job as pet parents to protect our babies.

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  13. Great info and things fur our pawrents to pay heed to.

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  14. A great post. There are so many things that can hurt us a good pawrent is always on guard.
    Purrs

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  15. This such important information! I had a cat who somehow got a string tied around her paw, which swelled up. Thankfully, we got it off in time so there was no damage but you just never know and it is so important to be aware of potential hazards!

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  16. This is great information. We're always so careful to check under the recliner before putting it back down. For window blinds cords, Annie loves to chew on them and tries, it seems, to ingest them. I have to put them up. It's so important to be careful. Kitties love to chew on string-like items and they're not able to push them back out.

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  17. All good tips. Thank you for sharing! I try to do all of these. I don't even use real candles. I use the battery-powered ones.

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  18. all are great tips and I try to be mindful of all of these. Another great one, an indoor cat should NEVER wear a collar unless it is a "break-away" type. They can get caught on furniture when jumping and choke the kitty.catchatwithcarenandcody

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  19. A great list - you can never be too careful with the safety of kitties!

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  20. This is such an important list for cat parents - I should do something like this for dog parents. It's so comprehensive!

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  21. Being aware of what your cat can get a hold of is so important. These are all great points! It is easy to overlook some of them. I am always worried that I'm going to run over a cat tail (or paw) while moving my office chair. I've come close before!

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  22. Great post ! Cats are so... creative, it's a good list for every cat parent, especially the new ones. Purrs

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  23. Thank you for sharing. Peeps isn't the tidiest of humans but will be after I've had a word or two....

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  24. What a great list and reminder. I am a bit messy and I find Kilo the is attracted to pencils, rubbish, and all sorts of things. He is so curious and loves to play and chew.

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  25. Most of the time, the toilet lids are closed in my home. One time, however, Parker got past me just after I had finished, and fell in. It was more embarrassing and inconvenient rather than dangerous, but it could have been worse if there had been cleaning solution in there.

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  26. Great post. So many things cats can get into. I have always worried about screens and my cats getting out. I had my husband cut lattice to fit our windows, so when I open a window I put the piece of lattice in there and close the window to the top of the lattice. If you get nice white lattice it looks pretty and you can even paint little paw prints on it. Now my cats can't get near the screen and I can open all the windows with no worries. Thanks so much for all the great tips.

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  27. Boy, there are so many things a cat can into. Great post with tons of reminders of all the little things you tend to forget about!

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  28. Whoops - too fast! I think I entered a comment already. Just a note about how great this post is and how to learn more about kitties as their care is so very important - thanks of sharing!

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  29. And bags with handles. Did you mention those? Peep #1 cuts all handles in two on paper shopping bags 'cause a kitty can get halfway in one and get stuck and end up dragging the bag around all over the house. Yup, happens more often than you might thing. Believe me, I know. I know all too well. MOUSES!

    Purrs,
    Seville.

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  30. What a great list. So many things people don't think about. I know I have a couple of screens that need repairing and that is a concern for me.

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  31. Cats get into...everywhere! It's hard to save them from themselves sometimes. Great post and sources. Thank you =)

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  32. It is a big responsibility to have pets! Thanks for these reminders on things to think about to help keep cats safe in the home.

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  33. Cats definitely are curious! We let Ricky out in the backyard but he doesn't leave and likes to be with his pack. The pack consists of a cat and dogs. We have to be doubly careful as Ricky (the cat) will also play with the dogs things and whatever else he can get into he will share with the dogs too!

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  34. I love seeing folks call attention to these things that many do not think about. Thanks!

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  35. Great post! Very helpful :)

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  36. Great post! I do so many things differently around the house since Truffle and Brulee came to live with me.

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  37. This is a great compiled list! Kitties can get into far smaller and taller areas than dogs, so you have to take close care to keep these things locked down!

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