In a world where memes often escalate into dares, how do you protect your feline loved ones from the peer pressure to consume seemingly innocent household objects? We jest—but in reality, the number of potential household hazards facing your naturally curious kitty is no laughing matter. Avoid a trip to the emergency vet by considering the enticing pitfalls of every room in your home.
The Laundry Room
You probably don’t need to worry about your cat succumbing to a trendy and dangerous dare for a few petty video views. However, leaving out an open container of laundry detergent—or even a closed container that offers remnant drips of detergent—is a bad idea when you have four-legged friends running around.
Secure your laundry detergents and other cleaning products in raised cabinets where your cats are least likely to pry. You may think you’re in the clear by placing these products on exposed shelves up high, but we all know what heights felines are willing to go to for some naughty exploration.
After a long day of work and an evening of cooking that scrumptious Italian pasta, the last thing you probably want to do is wash the dishes, or even load the dishwasher. Many of us vow to take care of the mess tomorrow, and even rinse a few of our pots and pans in the sink to appease that lingering sense of guilt.
What you may not realize is that a sink of dirty dishes filled with standing water can be a peculiar temptation for your cat. We’ve already covered how many cats skip over their water dish in search of other ways to stay hydrated. The dirty dish water in your kitchen may be contaminated with ingredients that are highly toxic to felines, such as garlic and onion. So do yourself and your cat a favor, and take a few extra minutes each night to clear away any remnants of your meal.
The Living Room
If you walk into your living room right now and count every single exposed cable, cord, and wire around your home entertainment system, you might be in for a shock. Far worse, your cat could be in for a literal shock if she has developed a taste for chewing on such connections, like many young felines.
Take every measure possible to hide, secure, or sheath your cables and cords so that your cat is not tempted to chew on them. Not only will the cord end up destroyed, it could be dangerous and even fatal for the cat if bitten while plugged into an electrical current.
Let’s just say it: Cats are weirdos. Somewhere out there is a cat who likes to lick mold, and he’s most likely to find it in the bathroom. Breathing in mold is obviously harmful for all members of the house, but our pets are not above actually ingesting the stuff. Keep a clean tub, sink, and toilet for peace of mind for everyone, and don’t forget to inspect the faucets. Just remember to close the bathroom up for an hour after you’ve cleaned, in case your cat finds himself attracted to the residue of a particularly delicious cleaning product.
The bedroom is a place for serenity (despite what your cat says at three in the morning). Many of us keep plants in this space, or in any number of rooms throughout the home, without understanding how many indoor and potted plants are toxic for felines. The symptoms of ingesting a given plant can range in severity, from rashes to coma.
We’ve covered some common poisonous plants as well as safe plants for your cats, but it’s a good rule of thumb to always consult ASPCA’s list of Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants or your veterinarian any time you’re thinking of bringing a new floral feature into the home. We’re all for serenity—but consider the impact on all of the other living things in the house first.
No, your home is not a kitty death trap! Awareness of potential hazards is key, and it only takes a few small steps to prevent catastrophe. So, no need to become a helicopter parent (unless, of course, you notice your cat posting increasingly outlandish videos to YouTube…).