I often joke that Aine, Emmett, and Seamus are the reason we can’t have nice things, but the reality is they’re well-behaved cats, and I have no reason to complain. What they do like to do, though, is chew on plants. They don’t care if they’re real or fake. If it has a leaf, they want to nom on it.
I don’t have a green thumb, so not being able to keep plants indoors doesn’t really bother me, but occasionally, I’d like to bring fresh flowers into the house. That’s a no-go for me; we plant outside instead.
But if you can keep plants and cats in your house, stay away from these blooms. This graphic courtesy of Petco highlights some of the most dangerous flowers for cats – as well as some other ways our feline friends might get themselves into trouble.
How to Cat Proof Your Home
Cats can get into all kinds of trouble. It’s up to pet parents to make sure their homes are as safe as possible. Cats like to chew and play with many things, some of which may surprise you.
- Check houseplants
Some houseplants are toxic to cats. Check yours; a good starting point is this list of plants that are toxic to cats.
- Close the toilet lid
Some cats—especially curious kittens—can slip into a toilet and drown. Make sure to close the toilet lid after each use.
- Latch cabinets and cupboards
Cats can get into unlocked cupboards if they put their minds to it. They also like to knock things over. Use child safety locks on cabinets where you store medicine or cleaning supplies. Keep dangerous items out of reach so your cat doesn’t ingest anything except food or treats, or walk through a puddle of something and lick it off their paws.
- Be diligent about string and yarn
Most cats love playing with these. Unfortunately, some cats will ingest string and yarn, which can lead to organ damage. Dispose of or store these items out of reach.
- Keep rubber bands and hair ties out of reach
Similar to yarn and string, cats can ingest rubber bands and hair ties.
- Secure windows and screens
Keep windows closed and screens closed and/or locked. Cats love sitting in windows, and a loose screen can become a safety hazard if your cat pushes against it and falls out. Keep dangling cords from blinds secured safely as well.
- Unplug or secure electrical cords
Your cat may be tempted to chew on these dangling hazards. Either unplug cords that are not in use, or secure them along window or floor trim. Alternatively, you can wrap cords in plastic tubing (found at hardware stores) or spray them with pet-safe, natural deterrents such as citrus or apple bitters.
- Remove fragile objects
Do your cat and yourself a favor by anticipating accidents and removing breakable items from the tops of dressers, counters or cat-accessible shelving. The slip of a paw or tail can send these valuables crashing to the floor.
- Check the washer and dryer before you use them
Curious cats and kittens can crawl inside these appliances and be seriously injured.
Watch your new cat carefully to understand how your cat gets into trouble and which hazards you should safeguard.
Friday: Preparing Your Home for a New Cat