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Home Sweet Home: 10 Tips for Cat Safety
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Home Sweet Home: 10 Tips for Cat Safety

Critter Culture Staff
Updated Jan 17, 2023

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Felines are curious creatures and love to explore their surroundings, which can, unfortunately, lead to them getting into trouble.

For example, kitties may chew on electrical cords or lick cleaning products, both of which can be dangerous. They may also jump up onto high surfaces or drink from toilets, which can lead to accidents.

As a pet owner, it's important to be aware of the potential hazards in your home and take steps to keep your cat safe.

1

Watch out for electricity

Gray kitten gnaws on the electric wire, dangerous situation Vera Aksionava/ Getty Images

Electrical cords are often incredibly irresistible for cats, but chewing on them can lead to burns or even electrocution. To keep our kitties safe, it's important to keep cords out of reach. One way to do this is by tucking them away behind furniture or using cord covers.

Even the most diligent pet parent can't keep an eye on their furry offspring 24/7. That's why it's also a good idea to choose products specially designed to deter cats from chewing, like pet-safe cord protectors with a bitter taste.

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2

Tasty, dangerous foliage

American shorthair cat biting houseplant Kilito Chan/ Getty Images

As a cat owner, it'd be wise to think twice before adding any new plants to your home. While most houseplants are harmless to cats, a few can be poisonous if ingested. Plants toxic to cats include lilies, tulips, and azaleas.

If you're unsure whether your greenery is safe for your cat, it's best to err on the side of caution and keep it out of reach. Or, better yet, choose from one of the wide varieties of feline-friendly plants available.

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3

Cleaning products

A large gray cat looks at a bottle of homemade eco-friendly cleaner made from vinegar and orange peels. Andrei Zonenko/ Getty Images

Whether they're knocking over a vase or scaling the curtains, it seems like there's no end to the curiosity of a cat. And, while it may be amusing to watch your kitty roll around in a puddle of spilled shampoo, many cleaning products contain chemicals that can harm cats.

To keep your cat safe, always store cleaning supplies in a safe place where they can't get to them. Doing so will help ensure your cat has more of its lives to fall back on.

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4

Bite-sized items

Woman drawing with cat on desk trying to chew on her pen Konstantin Aksenov / EyeEm/ Getty Images

Cats like to put everything in their mouths; whether chewing on a plant, licking your face, or taking a nap with their head in a shoe, it's all fair game.

Kitties can choke on coins, buttons, and beads, so it's important to keep small objects out of reach or put them away safely. If you suspect your cat has swallowed something that might hurt them, watch for signs of distress, such as drooling, gagging, or pawing at the mouth.

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5

Shutters and cords

Cat playing with curtain strings Carlina Teteris/ Getty Images

It's no secret that cats and climbing go together like David and Victoria Beckham. Kitties scale shelves, trees, and sometimes even curtains in their never-ending quest for high places. So it's only natural that they'd be drawn to window blind cords.

These seemingly innocuous objects can pose a serious hazard to our feline friends. Cords can get wrapped around a cat's neck, leading to strangulation, so keep window blind cords out of reach or tie them up so they don't become an impromptu noose.

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6

Items that'll shatter on impact

close-up of cat swatting at Christmas tree decorations Farhad Tehrani / 500px/ Getty Images

If you want to add excitement to your holiday season, why not invite a cat into your home? After all, what's more festive than the sound of glass shattering as your feline friend knocks over a cherished family heirloom?

Nothing says "Christmas cheer" like seeing your cat tangled up in a string of lights or with a mouthful of tinsel.

Use a strategically placed Christmas tree skirt or baby gate to keep your feline friend safe and sound.

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7

String, yarn, and ribbon

A mischievous young cat plays with a ball of multicolour wool in a sunny domestic environment. Catherine Falls Commercial/ Getty Images

Cats are masters of destruction; they can turn a well-kept home into a minefield of sharp objects, paper shreds, and half-chewed toys. And if something can be shredded, a cat will find a way to ingest it.

This is especially true of string, yarn, and ribbon, which can cause severe intestinal blockages if swallowed. Kitties are attracted to the colorful strands and often mistake them for prey. The next time you're wrapping gifts or knitting a scarf, keep Puss far away from the tempting ribbon or yarn.

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8

Open windows and doors

Cute young inquisitive cat with beautiful big eyes balancing and standing in open window Matthew Troke/ Getty Images

One of life's great pleasures is a pleasant day when the smell of fresh air enlivens the house. Unfortunately, open windows means your feline friend has easy access to the great outdoors.

Before you know it, your cat is perched on the windowsill, ready to take chances with the outside world. While it may seem like harmless fun, there is always the risk that they could fall out or get lost.

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9

People food

Curious cat at the table. Kseniya Ovchinnikova/ Getty Images

While we might enjoy a delicious chocolate bar or a plump grape, these same foods can be toxic to our feline friends. Symptoms of toxicity can include vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. In severe cases, these foods can lead to organ damage or even death.

Be mindful of what you feed your kitty, and avoid giving them any human food unless you are sure it is safe for them to consume.

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10

Dirty litter boxes

Cute maine coon cat sitting in a closed llitter box and looking curious sideways. Lightspruch/ Getty Images

A clean litter box is essential for a healthy cat — not just because of the smell. Regular cleaning prevents health problems like urinary tract infections, which can be painful and potentially fatal. It also reduces the risk of gastrointestinal problems, respiratory diseases, and other illnesses.

If you're not cleaning your cat's litter box regularly, you're not just being inconsiderate to your nose — you're also putting your kitty at risk. Fortunately, it's easy to maintain a clean litter box: Scoop it out every day, and give it a thorough cleaning every two to three weeks.

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