All About Cats

Hazardous Items for Cats

We encourage you to search your home for these dangerous objects, to help ensure the safety of your cat when you are not home. Try to put them out of reach or behind closed doors.

· Poisonous Plants – Cats of all ages and sizes love to play with and chew on plants, and eating some plants can be fatal, so get rid of those or hang them safely out of reach. Please see our Toxic Plant page for more information on plants you may have that might be hazardous.

· Plastic Bags – This includes any kind of plastic bag, such as lunch bags, trash bags, and even grocery bags.  Many cats like to chew on plastic bags, and the bits they swallow can become lodged in their digestive systems, and can require major surgery by your veterinarian in order for the cat to survive. Cats can also become entangled in handles of bags, panic, and really harm themselves in a frenzy to get free.

· Small items – There are many small and chewable (or swallowable) items that you should keep out of your cat’s reach.  These include string, floss, rubber bands, loose buttons, small children’s toys (such as LEGOs), small pieces from games, earrings, paper clips, thumb tacks, broken balloons, and Christmas tree tinsel.  A general rule of thumb is that if something is small enough to fit in a cat’s mouth, it is best to keep it out of the cat’s reach.

· Household Cleaners or Pest Poisons – Many of the household cleaners you use can be poisonous to cats.  It is best to keep these put away behind closed doors (such as in a cabinet), where your cat cannot have access to them.  At the same time, many chemicals used to control insects or rodents are poisonous to cats, and should not be left out once you bring your cat home. Finally, if you are going to have any major cleaning done (such as having your carpets cleaned), or use any type of “pest bombs” in your home, be sure you remove your cats when this is done.  If you have any questions, please call your veterinarian.

· Hanging blinds cords -- Cats of all ages love to play with hanging blinds cords.These are NOT good toys for cats. The cat can get tangled up in the cord and choke to death. Please tie the cords up out of reach.

· Strings -- Floss, yarn, thread, cords, etc. all pose hazards to cats and kittens. Not only can felines get tangled in these items and choke, but the greater risk is that they will swallow these items. Strings can find their way into kitties’ stomachs and intestines and cause great discomfort, which can lead to the cat not eating. X-rays cannot detect these items. Gone untreated, this can be lethal to kitties.

· Electrical and phone cords -- Electric cords are also a dangerous temptation for a cat of any age.  One way to solve this issue is to invest in a cord management system, or tape the cords together and try to put them out of reach. Phone cords should also be managed.