April 12, 2013
Cat-proofing Your House
Curiosity and playfulness are part of your cat's charm, but they can sometimes get her into trouble. Take these steps to make your home a safe environment.
Beware of poisonous plants
Cats like to chew on grass and plants inside and outdoors. You'd be surprised by the number of plants that are irritating, dangerous and even deadly to cats if eaten. Even non-poisonous plants can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
Keep these plants out of reach or, better yet, don't have them in the house at all. If your cat likes green stuff, purchase or grow your own cat grass.
Put child-proof latches on your cabinets to keep your cat from licking, chewing, or eating cleaning products. They contain dangerous chemicals. You probably don't want the cat lying on your pots and pans, either.
Off the meds
Keep all medications, both over-the-counter and prescription (human and animal) in a secure cabinet. Child-proof containers aren't necessarily chew-proof for your pet. Be sure to pick up any dropped pills.
Pack away anything you don't want broken. Cats love exploring, jumping on tables, cabinets, sideboards, and bookshelves to investigate their space. They may accidentally knock over or break fragile items and knickknacks, then walk or chew on the broken pieces.
Unplug electrical cords. If your cat's a chewer, she could be in for a nasty shock. You could also deter her from chewing on cords by placing them in a cord protector or coating them with a bad-tasting substance like hot sauce or a non-toxic ointment or spray available at pet supply stores.
Strike the cords
Keep drapery cords coiled out of reach. Your cat could strangle herself by getting the cord wound around her neck or choke on a plastic pull that she's chewed into pieces.
Check the dryer
Check the dryer before closing the door, then keep it closed when not in use. Cats love to hole up in dark, quiet places, which can be a recipe for a tragedy. Kittens often climb into refrigerators, freezers, and dresser drawers, so check these, too, before closing them.
Unset the table
Remove tablecloths from unattended tables. New kittens are especially curious about what's up there on the table and will try to climb the tablecloth. The result could be broken china and crystal and an emergency trip to the veterinarian.
Put a lid on it
Keep the toilet seats down. A kitten could fall in and be unable to get out.
Cover garbage disposal switches. Natural climbers, cats usually find their way to the kitchen sink sooner or later. Many have been known to play with electric switches such as the one for a garbage disposal. Special covers are available at hardware stores to help avoid disaster.
Make sure your screen door has a secure latch. Don't run the risk that your cat could slip out unnoticed. Check that your window screens are secure and sturdy.
Indoor cats don't wear down their claws as quickly as outdoors ones do, so they can overgrow. Untrimmed claws can grow into the cat's paw pads, leading to infection, pain, and difficulty walking and using the litter box.
Check your cat's claws every couple of weeks to see if they need to be clipped. Then follow our directions for trimming them.