Top tips to create a cat-friendly home
Last Updated: 31/10/2023
Cats love their home comforts, and as a cat lover, you’ll want to make your home a safe haven for your pet and protect them from harm. We take a look at some of the hidden dangers around the home for your cat, and how to reduce the risk of injury.
Cats are clever creatures, and often learn to open cabinets so they can get to their favourite treats. Always store household chemicals such as bleach, disinfectant and white spirit in a locked cupboard, safe from probing paws.
Read more: How to play with your cat
It’s not just substances we know to be toxic that are a danger to your cat – many plants are poisonous to cats, too. Take extra care with bunches of cut flowers and houseplants in your home, and when planning your garden planting.
Plants that are toxic to cats include:
Our furry friends love to explore high spaces, which can leave them vulnerable to injury. Be particularly aware of hanging strings, cord pulls, loose electric cables or wires, and curtain tie-backs, which can get caught or tangled around your cat’s neck or limbs, or become attached to their collar.
The kitchen can be a source of hazards for your cat. Avoid obvious dangers such as sharp knives and utensils, glass, and heat from the oven and hob. Always keep washing machines and tumble driers closed so your cat can’t climb inside.
Antifreeze is particularly toxic to cats, causing severe symptoms and even death in pets. If you believe your cat has come into contact with antifreeze, take them to your local vet immediately – day or night.
Symptoms of antifreeze poisoning include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Appearing drunk and uncoordinated
Always keep antifreeze in a strong, clearly labelled, sealed container, out of the reach of pets. Clean up antifreeze spills immediately, however small, and keep your pets away from the area until it’s safe and clean. Read more about antifreeze poisoning.
Other hidden hazards for your cat include:
- Sewing supplies
- Drawing pins, staples, paper clips and tacks
- Plastic bags, cling film and tin foil
- Christmas tree tinsel
- Small items such as coins and earrings
- Medication, tablets, and vitamin pills
- Razor blades
- Irons and heated hair appliances
- Cotton wool balls
String, laces, elastic and other long pieces of material are often used as you play with your cat but be sure not to leave your cat with these as they may ingest them.
However hard you try to cat and kitten proof your home, accidents can happen, so be sure to keep the phone number of your local vet to hand in case of emergency.
Want more advice on creating a safe home environment for your cat or kitten?
For expert advice on home safety for your cat, just contact your local vet.