Keeping your Indoor Cat Safe
Most of us are aware of the dangers to cats in the world outside the home. Traffic, wild animals, sadistic humans to name but a few.
Although there are good reasons for allowing a cat the freedom to enjoy the outside world, many folks prefer to keep their felines indoors.
However, we cannot assume that our much loved pets are completely secure inside the home.
Unless we take the necessary steps to reduce the risks we cannot say we are keeping a cat free from harm by keeping her indoors.
You may think that there is little chance of an accident occurring with your cat and a kitchen or laundry appliance.
You know how cats love to jump into places.
Open the closet and in goes your curious cat. Same with your appliances, open the door of your clothes dryer and kitty has to explore.
Now you would be sure to notice wouldn't you? A cat or kitten is not the normal thing that goes into your refrigerator, dishwasher, clothes washer, dryer or freezer.
But sadly it does happen, it is easy to get distracted, turn your back on your dryer and in sneaks your cat. You close the door and the machine starts and a nasty accident happens.
For your cat's safety always check before you close an appliance door and, needless to say, keep dryer and washer doors closed when not in use.
In planning how to avoid accidents and keep your cat safe within your home, imagine that you have a small child in the house. A child who has unending curiosity and is able to leap up onto counter tops, and other potentially dangerous places, in the blink of an eye.
Hotplates, stovetops, electric kettles, sharp knives and the like present a danger to cats, particularly to unsupervised cats. If it is at all possible, make your cooking area out-of-bounds and train your cat Not to Jump up onto Counters.
There are some foods that are unsafe for cats.
Chocolate, mmm delicious! We all love it and so do some cats. Unfortunately chocolate is not at all safe for cats and other domestic pets, because it contains chemicals that can cause problems for felines. In some rare cases it can be deadly. Cats And Chocolate.
Onions too are harmful for cats. This includes any of the onion family, such as garlic and chives.
It does not matter if the onion is raw or cooked, it can cause changes in your cat's red blood cells that may make her seriously ill. When you think how much onion is used in cooking human food and how often it is used in processed foods, you can see the danger in offering your cat food that she is not meant to eat.
You may be surprised to read that the A.S.P.C.A. recommends not to feed a cat tuna. It is alright occasionally as a treat, but should not be fed as a major part of your cat's diet.
Onions are harmful for cats, including any of the onion family, such as garlic and chives.
Mercury is often found in tuna, albeit in low quantities. If a cat consumes tuna frequently this could be a health risk. Also tuna is lacking in vitamin E, a deficiency of which can lead to yellow fat disease (steatitis.)
Tuna flavored cat food is, of course, perfectly alright for your cat. This is because the food just has a tuna flavor, or contains just a small amount. The rest is other meat derivatives that give your cat the necessary nutrients.
The above is not an exhaustive list of foods that are unsafe for a cat. There is good quality cat food and there is average quality cat food. Even poorer cat food is better for your kitty than food meant for humans.
Yes, some human foods can be given to cats v-e-r-y occasionally as a treat without any long term harmful effect. But it is far better not to get into the habit. Keep your cat safe from bad dietary habits, only give her Treats Made for Cats.
No! Food that is manufactured for dogs is not at all suitable for cats.
Cats and dogs have different nutritional needs and so their food is different.
Dog food is too rich in fiber and too low in protein to be good for cats. Also cats must have taurine (tauric acid) in their food. Dogs do not need it in their food because they manufacture their own.
A cat eating mainly food meant for dogs would not get sufficient taurine which could lead to serious heart problems and possible blindness.
We know how cats love to climb up drapes unless trained not to do so.
There are many potential hazards for an indoor cat.
Dangling drape and window blind cords are also a fascination for cats.
They love to bat at them, it's fun.
Unfortunately though accidents have happened, cats and kittens have become entangled in drape cords with disastrous consequences.
Be cat safe, secure dangling cords out of kitty's reach.
Tablecloths too present a climbing challenge to kittens and cats.
It is easy for something to be pulled off the table, perhaps something hot, onto your cat. The result could be a nasty injury.
Many plants have the potential to be Toxic to Cats.
Be sure about the plants that you have in your home and garden, try and avoid those that could cause harm to your cat.
Some cats, and especially kittens, love to chew at things. Often they chew on dangerous things like electrical cord. You can help keep your cat safe from the dangers of chewing by following the advice on this page - How do you Stop a Cat Chewing?
Many of the household cleaners that we use are highly toxic.
Do not leave cleaners where your cat can get to them, always store them somewhere safe. Remember always wipe up any spills before your cat can sample them.
At times we all have to leave our cats alone in the home. We may have to go and do the 9 till 5 thing each day, or make a trip to the store, or go visit someone.
As well as making sure that your cats have access to adequate food and water, you should make sure that your home is 'cat safe' for an unattended feline. Check that doors are closed to areas of your home that it would not be safe for your cats to be.
Ensure dangerous items are locked away out of the reach of your pets.
If you are going to be away longer than one night, arrange for a friend to check on your cats at least once a day. Better still, invite a trusted friend to house sit and look after your cats.
Boarding your cats in a cattery is another option. Be certain that whoever you leave your cats with is as safety conscious as you are.
Yes there are many potential risks inside the home for a cat. But that does not mean that your feline companion need be in constant danger. With a little thought and common sense, you can keep your cat safe and enjoy her or his company for many, many years.
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