Cats may be independent creatures, but we still worry about them as their owners. Keeping them safe is a priority that many of us struggle with. Dangers are present in the outside world, but we can't forget about indoor dangers as well. Click to learn how to keep your cat safe at home.
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BE CAREFUL WITH HOUSEPLANTS
You may love to add some green life to your home with potted plants, but your cat is not going to feel the same way. Many plants are toxic to felines, making it extremely risky to keep them in the house. Lilies are commonly known to be hazardous to your cat's health, but did you know that aloe plants are toxic to cats? Take extreme care when deciding what, if any, plants are kept in your house. If you are set on having plants indoors, take a look at lists of houseplants that are safe for cats.
TRIPLE-CHECK WASHER AND DRYER BEFORE STARTING
It's sad to think about, but many cat owners have lost their feline pal to a washer or dryer. Cats are known for seeking warm places to sleep, and the laundry room can become a favorite place for them. Be diligent when doing your laundry to double and triple check that there is no cat lurking inside the machine. When doing the laundry, many times you are going through the motions and not paying attention. Don't risk your cat's life with your distracted mind. All it takes is one final check before starting the machine to save your feline from an unpleasant end.
KEEP DOORS SAFE FROM CURIOUS CATS
Cats are very intelligent creatures. Some are smart enough to figure out how to open doors. While the feat is surely an impressive one, it can also be dangerous. Once a door opens, it can also close. Your cat could get trapped in a room with no food, water or litter box if it figures out how to open that door. This may be fine if you're home, but it could also be hours, possibly all day, before you return. There are several solutions you can try. If the door has a locking mechanism, then simply lock the door. You could also leave all doors open with something blocking them from fully shutting. Child locks are another option to keep your cat from opening doors.
HIDE HAZARDOUS TOYS
Cats can make almost anything a toy, and that can be dangerous. Pieces of string, ribbons or even dental floss quickly become a hazard that your cat can choke on. The same goes for paper clips, rubber bands, pins and needles. The small objects may be fun for your feline to chase across the floor, but they should be kept safely hidden away. Plastic bags should also be put away unless you have cut off the handles. Cats love to play with them, jumping on them and pouncing inside. However, the handles could easily get wrapped around them, so they should be removed before becoming property of your cat. Even a single-serve potato chip bag could trap your feline's head, causing suffocation.
CHECK FOR A CAT UNDER YOUR CAR
If you keep your car in the garage or driveway, make sure that you know where your cat is before leaving. Cats love curling up in warm places to sleep. Oftentimes they can be found under cars and even crawling into a warm engine compartment under the hood. You don't want to put your cat's life in danger and start driving with a feline curled up inside of the car or on top of one of the tires. Honk the horn or bang loudly on the hood to startle it from its hiding spot.
PUT SECURE SCREENS ON ALL WINDOWS
Cats may be known for their incredible sense of balance and supposed belief that they always land on all four feet, but you still need to be careful with windows in high places. Make sure that there are screens on all the windows and that they are securely fastened. The screens should not have tattered holes that your cat could easily claw through to make an escape.
DON'T SHARE YOUR FOOD WITH YOUR CAT
Your cat may love to join you in the kitchen for dinner, but you need to be careful when preparing your own food. Onions, garlic and even milk are all dangerous for your cat to ingest. You are putting your feline at risk when feeding it certain "people food." So even if your cat is giving you its own version of puppy dog eyes, resist temptation and don't give in to that sweet look. Learn what people food is safe for your cat to eat, and only share those items.
CREATE A SAFE PLACE OUTDOORS
It's your decision whether or not you let your cat outside. If you want to allow your kitty to enjoy the pleasures of the outdoors without risking its safety, consider a "catio." The cat patio is an enclosed structure that lets your cat be outside without being outside. If you are lucky enough to have a fenced backyard, that is also a great option. You need to secure any gaps or holes that your cat could disappear through. However, cats are excellent climbers and explorers, so the fence might not be enough to keep your feline enclosed.
BE CAREFUL WITH CLEANING PRODUCTS
It's important to remember that your household and all of surfaces are open to your cat. Be careful with the types of cleaning products that you are using, especially on the floors that your kitty is walking on. Ammonia and bleach can both be harmful to your feline's health if ingested. Consider using only pet-friendly cleaning products in your home to keep your cat healthy.
Next: How to Kitten-Proof Your Home
KEEP CATS OUT OF RISKY HIDING PLACES
It's hard to do, since cats love to explore, but it's important to stop your kitty from climbing inside the attic or any other nooks and crannies in your home. It's fine if your cat is hiding under the couch, but hiding inside the air ducts could quickly become a dangerous situation. Your cat could easily get trapped for hours in a small space in your home while you're out. Save yourself the inevitable rescue mission and seal off risky hiding spaces in your house.