Beyond Nine Lives: Catproofing Your Home

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This is a sponsored post by veterinarian Elizabeth Arguelles of Just Cats Clinic at Lake Anne Plaza.

Whether you have been a cat parent for years or are just introducing a new kitty to your home, it is worth taking a few minutes to make sure your house is a safe and secure environment for its feline inhabitants.

Household cleaners, beauty products, some plants and flowers, and even certain foods — all of which are found in most homes — can be dangerous or even fatal to cats if ingested. Fortunately, a little foresight and prevention can go a long way toward keeping your kitty away from potential dangers.

Here are some ways to “cat-proof” your house and make sure your furry feline stays happy and healthy:

Common household supplies and both over-the-counter and prescription medicines need to be stored in such a way that your cat can’t get into them. If you drop any pills on the floor, pick them up immediately. Store your medications in a cupboard or cabinet, because childproof containers are not necessarily “chew-proof!” Putting childproof latches on those doors will also keep your cat from investigating, chewing or even licking anything dangerous.

Many household plants and flowers are toxic to cats, with lilies being the most dangerous. Avoid bringing lilies of any kind into your home because even a small amount ingested can be fatal. Even though other plants and flowers are less toxic, some varieties can still cause vomiting or diarrhea if your cat eats them. For this reason, it is best to keep any plants and flowers out of your kitty’s reach. Or better yet, replace them with cat-friendly plants like catnip or “cat grass.”

Keep breakable objects out your cat’s reach. As we all know, our kitties love exploring and jumping on tables, cabinets and bookshelves. They have been known to “accidentally” break some of the fragile items resting in those spots. Broken glass or ceramic can also pose a danger to the cat if it walks or chews on the fragments. If you’re not able to move stuff out of your feline friend’s way, there are ways to encourage it to jump elsewhere. For example, make sure your cat has a cat tree or shelving that they can walk on instead. Scratching posts and pads are other options for deterring your kitty from jumping on the furniture.

Unplug exposed electrical cords when you are not using them. Some cats love to chew on electrical cords, especially those attached to Christmas lights. This behavior can expose your kitty to a nasty shock. To avoid this, you can cover your cords with a protector or coat them with a non-toxic spray from the pet store.

Make sure that drapery and blind cords remain out of reach. Cats love to play and bat around strings, but they can inadvertently strangle themselves if they wind the cord around its neck or choke on the plastic pull if they swallow it.

Always check refrigerators, freezers, dresser drawers, closets, washers and dryers before closing their doors. We all know how stealthy cats can be, and you might not notice your cat sneaking past you to find a quiet, dark place to sleep.

Keep the toilet lid down. Cats sometimes look for sources of water other than what’s in their water dish. In their quest to find new sources, they can end up venturing into the toilet. This could result in a very wet and unhappy cat.

These few easy little tweaks can help keep your cat happy and safe in your home.

If you have any questions or concerns about whether something is dangerous, please always consult your veterinarian. For more information please visit our Feline Health Library at:

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