Toddler Proof Your Home For Your Cats
Cats are like toddlers! Just like kids, you have to save us from ourselves.
Mom and I have our hands full with Beau, who mom laughingly calls our juvenile delinquent. The old adage “curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back” must have been written for him.
He is forever on the prowl for prey whether it be a scrap that may have fallen from the kitchen counter, a paperclip left out that is particularly shiny or the need to investigate the open dryer. He has eaten pistachio shells, large rubber bands and nibbled every plant in the house.
He loves to chew on cardboard, wood, mom’s sneakers and yoga mat. He doesn’t actually swallow any of that stuff, just bites it off and spits it out all over the floor.
We learned early on that we had to be proactive to protect Beau from all his shenanigans, which could lead to some very serious trouble health-wise if we were not!
Since we are all home now, we felt it was a good time to remind you of the ways us cats can get into trouble.
The two most basic safety measures to take is to spay or neuter your cat and keep it indoors.
When you spay and/or neuter your pet, you not only prevent unwanted litters and potential diseases of the reproductive organs, but you also prevent our over-active hormones from getting us into trouble in other ways such as fighting with other cats in the house – and worse if let outside.
An indoor life is the only life for a friendly feline today, as there are so many things outside that can ultimately kill us. I have spoken extensively about all the threats and dangers of letting us free-roam outside. We can wander off and get lost! We could also get killed by a car, or attacked by wildlife, and you will never know what happened to us. Imagine how you would feel!
Make the house “toddler safe” for your cat and you will sleep better at night!
Here are a few ways to make the house safer!
Be sure to pay attention to which plants come into the house, only non-toxic plants should be in your home since many cats like to nibble on all greenery.
Refrain from using real candles around the house and switch to the faux lit candles, except perhaps at the dinner table during the meal. We still want you to have some nice candlelight at times! Cats swishing tails and candle flames do not mix!
Be mindful of strings, ribbon, yarn, tinsel, rubber bands, etc as some cats like to chew on stringy things and swallow them like spaghetti, which is very dangerous to our insides. And you will have a big vet bill if they have to operate to remove those types of items.
Also, watch out for your medications, vitamins and supplements so that they don’t fall to the floor or get left on the counter for your cat to taste-test! Protect your medical marijuana and carefully put away. Cannabis can be poisonous to us kitties.
Burners and stovetops can be particularly tricky when you have a cat who likes to counter surf while you are cooking, much to your frustration. Besides making it hard to cook, it’s another dangerous place for cats to want to hang out. Mom manages to defend her space, but after she’s done cooking and turns everything off, we still want to get up there and see what we missed. Since the burners are still hot, she covers up the burners with upside-down cookie sheets to protect our little paws from getting burned.
With the warm weather coming, windows can be a danger spot if not handled with your cat’s safety in mind. Do not leave a window open if there is no screen. Cats have been known to escape out a window cracked only a few inches. We have very flexible skeletal structures and as long as we can get our head through, we can get our bodies through.
Also, be sure your window screens are secured and well-connected to your window frames. Make sure the screen has no holes or tears. Cats have the ability to “break out” of window screens and escape if they are not secure. Any little space where the cat can wiggle her paw through can eventually, with some time and effort, provide a way out of the window to the outside.
Lastly, watch out for us cats when it comes to things with doors, compartments, hidden spaces, etc. Beau loves to go exploring and what’s more fun than curling up somewhere dark for a snooze? Trouble spots include all appliances such as washers and dryers, dishwashers, ovens, refrigerators, closets and furniture that closes up like sofa beds and recliners.
I have to own up and one evening I slipped into the space between the storm door and the front door while mom was talking to a neighbor through the door. Being black and after dark, she didn’t notice me and a couple moments later, they finished and mom closed the door, with me stuck in the 8” space between those two doors!
Meanwhile, it was about 35 degrees and honestly I could have been stuck in there all night! But since mom knows that Beau and I are basically toddlers, she never goes to sleep without taking a “cat count” to be sure neither of us are stuck somewhere or are in any position to get into trouble overnight.
This night, she heard my meows when she went looking for me and rescued me right away! It was kinda scary actually being stuck between the two doors, so I won’t be trying that anytime soon again!
So, humans, take that as your “go ahead” to save us from ourselves!