Newsday Tuesday—Your Home; a Danger Zone for Cats

AlyzayPoolLily 041Yesterday we mentioned a few toys that might be dangerous for cats. I’d like to expand on that theme. While some dangers I’ll mention today apply to all cats, others might never be within the realm of concern for your particular cat. What are some of the hazards for cats? Depending on the cat, it could be something as seemingly benign as string, ribbon, rubber bands, cord, raffia, etc. Our cat, Sophie, is what I think is considered a wool sucker. She used to chew on some fabrics. She especially liked towels or other fabric that were starting to unravel. She’d bite off the strings and eat them. Since then, she has expanded to wanting to eat long pieces of string, ribbon, and now metallic bows. We can no longer use curly, grosgrain, satin or any other type ribbon or bows (fabric or metallic) or string or yarn on gift packages where Sophie might get to them, like under the Christmas tree. If any of you want to know what we use as an alternative, contact me. What is the big deal about cats swallowing ribbon or string? It can get tangled in their intestines and cause severe damage or death. We discovered Sophie was eating metallic bows when we found her vomiting large amounts of blood one morning. Seriously alarming.

I know a cat who eats plastic and rubber. She even chews into the connections for the



computer and other electronic devices. Her family has spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars not only replacing and repairing things around the house, but in vet bills for this kitty. I wonder if she should have been a cow. Aren’t they able to digest strange objects?

Watch out for small objects a cat might choke on. I’ve never had a cat choke on anything, but I’ve read that it can happen. If your cat tends to pick up beads, small bells, etc. in her mouth, try to keep these things up off the floor. I have an iron cat figure guarding our broom closet because Lily likes to chew on the broom straw. As I understand it, feathers are not good toys for cats. When I saw one of our cats chew a large feather into pieces, I could see the danger in the splintering. Like a chicken bone, you would not want a cat to get that caught in his throat. Lily also has a fetish for glue and tape. She attacks anything UPS drops off for us.

They say a cat can suffocate in a plastic bag. Although we don’t leave them around, I’m not sure how this could happen, unless a kitten got inside, rolled around and got stuck. We had a curious cat once get caught in the handles of a gift bag. So beware of that scary danger for your cats.



Also be careful about vertical sliding windows—especially those old heavy wooden ones. I kept braces in the windows when I had them open so if the cats got in the opening, the window wouldn’t fall on them. Likewise, if your cats are inside only or you don’t want them sneaking out into the night, make sure all screens are secure. Our neighbor had a terrorist cat attack her cat through a screen on a window and knock it off. The inside kitty didn’t get out, but the terrorist cat got in and caused some damage inside the house.

The kitchen trash can should have a lid or be in a cabinet. We had a cat once lick a sardine can lid and cut her tongue quite badly. Ouch.

Speaking of the kitchen, there are a lot of dangers in there. A kitten who hasn’t learned the ropes, yet, might get caught in the refrigerator door. The kitchen can be a popular place for some cats when there’s cooking activity going on. Lily is my kitchen helper and I have to watch every step I take when preparing a meal because she is often under foot. If I’m taking something out of the oven or hot off the stove, I often call for backup. “Come get Lily; hot stuff coming out.”

Another danger for a cat like Lily is getting locked away in a closet. I’ve learned to keep my sliding closet doors ajar if I don’t know where Lily is, because she loves to go in there and hang out. There have been times when we couldn’t find her, eventually discovering her sitting quietly, waiting for someone to open the closet door and let her out.

Also beware of your cat tree. I’ve trusted cat trees for years to stand the weight and exuberance of kittens and cats, until something awful happened. Sophie and Lily were playing happily on the cat tree. This was a short, squared off tree with a tunnel. It wasn’t lightweight or top-heavy. But the larger cat, Sophie, hit it just right and it went over with 10-week-old Lily on it and fell against a brick fireplace hearth injuring Lily quite seriously. In this story is another caution—make sure the area around the cat tree is free of anything that could cause harm to a cat or kitten if the tree were to topple over.

Remember the post about poisonous plants and flowers.

Have I left out any obvious dangers I should discuss? Let me know. Now go make sure your fur-kids are safe.

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2 Responses to Newsday Tuesday—Your Home; a Danger Zone for Cats

  1. There are so many potential hazards in the home for cats. I’m working on a series of posts about this very subject on my blog and have posted two of them already. Around here, I keep everything small out of my cats’ reach. I store all plastic bags in a closet, too. As responsible cat owners, we need to do everything we can to keep our precious babies safe, and I thank you for sharing these reminders!

    • Patricia says:

      Thank you for what you do to keep our kitties safe, as well. I urge my visitors to stop at for more good information.

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