Household hazards for cats and kittens


When you have a new kitten you can understand the why the phrase ‘curiosity killed the cat’ came into being.

They cannot resist jumping climbing or crawling into or onto anything which looks interesting or different – and when you are a teenage kitten, that is just about anything. For the mature sensible cat which has lived through this process and learned a few lessons, there is probably less to worry about; however, even the most street wise of cats can get itself into trouble sometimes.

For people who have had small children it is time to go back and think like you did then remembering that a small cat can get itself into some very small spaces too. Get down on your hands and knees and see the world from the perspective of the kitten, but remember that he will be a great climber, so look up too.

Here are some things to think about:

  • Open washing machines or tumble dryers are very tempting, especially if they have dry or warm clothes inside which make a nice bed.

  • Hot hobs – especially those which are smooth and just look like an extension of the worktop. Keep kittens off worktops for safety as well has hygiene reasons.

  • Paper shredders which attract the inquisitive kitten paw or nose with horrible consequences.

  • Small holes or chimneys which are dark and attractive to nosy kittens or fearful cats.

  • Large ground level fridges where the kitten can climb in easily when you are putting the milk away and don’t notice.

  • Plants and cut flowers – kittens can nibble these out of curiosity and indoor cats may chew because they do not have access to grass etc outdoors. See our information on cats and poisonous plants.

  • Cleaners, bleaches, disinfectants, laundry capsules and concentrated liquids etc often kept under the sink but which may spill and coat a cat’s paw and will then be groomed off. See our information on cats and poisons.

  • Needles and thread left lying around which attract play and are easily swallowed or wrap around the tongue.

  • A rickety ironing board and iron left to warm up may tip over if climbed by a curious kitten. Likewise a cooling iron may still be pretty hot.

  • Wires may prove exciting because they move when the kitten prods them with a paw and then tries to chew them. Some cats seem to be attracted to chewing wires which is rather a dangerous pastime and they may need to be covered or put in covers temporarily or permanently.

  • Christmas trees! All those dangling baubles will prove irresistible and the challenge of climbing the tree too much for the adventurous kitten. It may be worth putting the tree in a different room for the year the kitten is small or having a smaller one up high and remaining vigilant. This is where a kitten pen comes into its own when you have to leave the kitten alone with the tree.

  • Pieces of tinsel, holly and mistletoe berries (which are poisonous) etc which fall off as the plants dry inside and could be eaten.

  • Balconies and windows in high-rise flats present a great danger for cats. For mosre information on what you can do to protect your cat see high-rise cats.

 

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