Is It Possible to Keep Kitty Safe?

Last Saturday afternoon as Gram and I were having our usual end of the week conversation, we talked of many things and because the weather was so spring like we began thinking of puppies and kittens.

We realized that we have been talking a great deal about dogs and puppies, but we have really not touched upon cats. I really like those words “touched upon,” as I don’t believe I have ever touched upon a cat, came upon a few in my day, but never had the pleasure of touching one. Gram says I probably would not be one happy dog if I did touch upon one. Claws and sharp teeth being a few items that would create pain.

Anyway since I put cats in the same category as squirrels (things I love to chase,) we decided to do a nice article on cat safety, as many people will be getting a kitten for the first time.

Kittens are not as curious as puppies and though they do get into plenty of trouble, their natural ability to think and act with better sense prevents them from a lot of the dangers that puppies get into.

Everyone knows that kittens need kitten food in order to grow up into strong healthy cats. Kitten food is made especially for the first year and provides everything your kitten will need to grow into a beautiful cat (personally I think dogs are beautiful, cats, well they are just squirrels with skinny tails.)

However, there are some people foods that are toxic to cats. I realize that it is hard to believe that a cat would think of eating some of these things, but you know the old saying “Curiosity killed a cat,” so Gram and I are going to list of few of the things we found.

  • Onions, garlic and related root vegetables seems there is a substance in these tings that can cause a type of anemia in cats and it destroys blood cells.
  • Tomatoes and raw potatoes are members of the nightshade family and contain a bitter poisonous substance that is toxic to cats and can make them very sick. Also the leaves and stems of tomato and potato plants are harmful
  • Chocolate – one of our favorite things and is a no-no for dogs is also considered toxic for cats, though I don’t think cats have the same sweet tooth we dogs have. Any product containing the sweetener “Xylitol” is toxic to both dogs and cats.
  • Grapes and raisins – bad also for us dogs, but have been found to create problems for cats, too. Gram says always proceed on the side of caution.
  • Coffee grounds, beans, and chocolate covered espresso beans are toxic.
  • Nuts like walnuts and macadamia nuts are bad, too.
  • Plants many of the common house plants are bad if a cat chews the leaves, Gram says the best list of poisonous house plants it put out by the Humane Society of the United States and you can get it by going to their website for free.

    Gram says if you are getting a new kitten or two the best thing is to pack away any breakables off tables and shelves until the kitten(s) are out of the curious play stage. This saves a lot of tears on your part.

    Also watch for these things around the house:

  • Loose and dangling cords, cats like to play with things they can bat around and can get caught. Chewing on electrical cords can cause burns and death, though puppies are most notorious for doing that more so than cats.
  • Watch tablecloths that hang over the side of tables, these are great for swinging on and for trying to climb up on.
  • If you have a screen door keep it latched as kittens love to climb screens and cold swing a door open and get lost.
  • If wearing cat hair is not an acceptable part of your wardrobe, put old sheets on your furniture to keep the hair off and invest in a good adhesive type roller to gather pet hair from your clothes.
  • Train kitty early on to stay off counters by using double sticky tape and/or put light weight metal containers or empty soup cans near the edges of the counter so if kitty jumps up the fall and make a big noise. Cats do not like that and will soon learn not to jump up.

    Gram has a great idea that works really well, she takes empty clean soup cans and punches a hole near the top and attaches several together with string. Then she places them along the counter’s edge, when kitty jumps up they fall and make a great clang, which scares the poor baby.

    I hope that Gram and I have helped you by covering some of the things to be careful of when you have young kitten or cat. As my Gram says an ounce of prevention is worth whole lot of tears, vet bills and damage to the household.

    Until next time, I remain

    Your Sadie

    Drs. Foster and Smith Inc.