LT here. We can all agree that we want all cats to be safe. Attached to this blog is ASPCA’s list of 101 Household Pet Dangers. Although most cats can read, there are some that choose not to read (we tend to rely on mental telepathy). So, cats are sure to read about the dangers. Humans – put the list up where your cats can read it. If you are not sure the cats that you work for can read, then you need to read the list and assist your cat in being aware of the dangers. Let’s go over some of them right now. I may need more than one blog to be adequately thorough.
Under the heading “Products” are various items that a cat might consume. As a general rule, always keep human medications away from cats. Over-the-counter-medication consumption by pets is the number one reason for calls to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. Don’t try to determine for yourself whether a medication will hurt your cat – just put them away so cats cannot get them. If you’re a cat, don’t eat or drink anything unless you are sure it’s safe. Dogs aren’t quite so bright – they tend to eat way too fast so be extra careful with them.
Let’s look further at some specific items. Cold and flu meds often have something called dextromethorphan (crazy human-made word). If a dose of that is high enough then it will affect a cat’s cardiovascular and neurologic systems. If the effects are severe then take the cat to a vet because IV fluids may be used to help with excretion.
What about vitamins? These are normally viewed in a positive way but what if a pet consumes them? It’s estimated that 52% of humans in the US take dietary supplements and 31% take a daily multivitamin. Although be careful with all of these, vitamin D and iron have the smallest margin of safety. Also, if a vitamin or supplement contains several ingredients then they can be more dangerous because of the combination. Common signs that your pet has a problem are vomiting, drooling, depression, or hyperactivity (which makes cats act like crazy kittens). Again, you can always call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center but if you keep your pet safe then everyone will be happier.
A lot of the items – like bleach, paint thinners, gasoline, lighter, insecticides, etc., most cats know better than to try (but dogs, you never know). Still, keep them in a safe place because you just never know. One that I worry about is rodent bait. I find rodents to be very intelligent. I’ve tracked lots of them and believe me, they are smart and quick. But because they are so smart humans have to try and trick them into eating something that is bad for them. Cats might be tricked also so be really careful with this one. Plus, the whole idea for humans is to try and harm the rodents so they tend to have terrible effects on whatever consumes them!
The most important rule is to keep anything on the ASPCA list away from pets – put those items in a cabinet or in someplace that a pet cannot get into. Notice I used the word “cannot” because you shouldn’t just make it difficult – make it impossible! Remember, pets are – in many ways – smarter than humans. One of those ways is the sense of smell. Pets have an incredibly better sense of smell. It’s hard to say whether the items on the ASPCA’s list smell good to a pet but you never know – rodent poison might for example. If a pet smells something that he or she wants, then look out! A pet will spend hours and even injure himself or herself trying to get what it smells. So, if you are worried, place the items that can harm your pet in a plastic container that you can close.
I know a cat named Boots and it was necessary to lock doors because he learned how to open them. You can see many videos on YouTube of pets getting into or out of places that they were not supposed to. It’s amazing what we can do when we put our mind to it. Let’s say a pet makes his or her way into your garage – very easy for many of us. Sometimes pets simply run in there when the human assistant is not looking and then stay there. Well, the first thing the pet does is start sniffing around. Sometimes pets even like to sample things because it may be food. Again, rodent poison might be tempting but antifreeze could be also. In fact, I hesitate to say if there is anything some dogs won’t try. So, again, be very careful to keep the ASPCA risky items in a place where your pet just cannot get them!