You are probably already aware of many household dangers for cats, such as certain toxic human foods, poisonous plants, and so on. But there are various other items, common in many homes, that could potentially harm your curious pet. Because cats are so curious, it’s best to keep these things out of reach. Following are five little-known household dangers for cats.
1. String on blinds. The strings that are used to pull window blinds open and closed may seem harmless, but I once heard the story of a kitten who got her paw wrapped up in one of these strings and hung there by the paw because she wasn’t able to get loose. After hearing this, I have been careful to keep the strings tucked up out of my cat’s reach. However, one night my husband woke up to the most pitiful meow, only to find our adult cat, Loki, caught in the string by her back leg, struggling to get free. We are glad the only blinds in our house are in the bedroom, but we are much more careful with them now.
2. Yarn. I have also heard the story of another curious kitten who died from intestinal damage done by yarn. We often associate balls of yarn with cats, but they can actually be fatal to your pet. When a cat starts to chew on a string of yarn, it will stick to his rough tongue and he might not be able to get it back out. As it passes through the digestive system, the yarn will often become tangled in the intestines, eventually causing death.
3. Dental floss. As with the yarn, dental floss is another common household item that can become entangled in the intestines. If your cat enjoys playing with string, be sure to keep your dental floss out of sight so she doesn’t get tempted by it.
4. Rubber bands. Again, rubber bands can cause internal damage to your pet, and should be kept out of reach. Loki enjoys chewing on my ponytail holders, and I have found them chewed apart on several occasions. I even found a digested one in the litter box once. Since then, I am very careful to keep them away from her.
5. Plastic bags. Grocery bags could suffocate, or even strangle, your cat; if yours is anything like Loki, he or she probably loves to hide inside bags of any kind. Plastic bags can be dangerous, so tuck them away as soon as they are unloaded, and tie each into a knot for good measure. Poor kitty has gotten her head stuck in the handles in the past, and this naturally causes panic, making the situation worse. Also, if you allow your cat to play inside paper bags with handles, make sure to cut them off before letting him have it.
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