Safe House

Your home is a source of refuge and comfort to you and your pet, but dangers may lurk just around the corner for your cat. Dusty Rainbolt shares common household scenarios and objects hazardous to your cat.

By Dusty Rainbolt

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According to The Humane Society of the United States, an inside cat can live 18 to 20 years compared to 5 years for an outdoor cat.  While the house is a much safer place for your cat, even the most secure home has some hazards lurking within its walls. Many dangers are not readily apparent to even a conscientious cat owner. Just as people childproof their houses when they have small children, consider catproofing your home to protect your pet.

This list of the most common injuries occurring in the home was compiled after surveying several emergency clinics across the country. Gastrointestinal blockage from string and foreign bodies tops the list as the most common cause of household injury to cats. These injuries seemed to happen everywhere, but other injuries occur more frequently in certain regions of the country. New York and Chicago have more incidences of cats falling out of high-rise building windows, but clinics in Oklahoma City and Dallas have more reactions to improperly applied flea products and heat stroke.
The most common injuries among indoor cats are:

1. Ingestion of small foreign objects, especially string, sewing needles and cotton balls.

2.
Reaction to improperly applied over-the-counter flea and tick products (dog products applied accidentally, contact with dog shortly after treatment or over-applying cat products).

3.
Falls from the upper floor.

4.
Being stepped or sat on as a kitten.

5.
 Attacks by other pets.

6.
Ingestion of poison and medication.

7.
Toxic plants.
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Reader Comments

debby    raleigh, DE

6/24/2013 7:54:41 PM

cats can get into so much without you knowing it, my tigger likes chewing on plastic bags or anything plastic!

Galadriel    Lothlorien, ME

3/17/2013 11:21:44 PM

5 years for an outside cat? Where is this coming from? All of my outside cats have lived well into their teens. They're healthy and much fitter than most indoor cats I know.

Marilyn    Columbus, NE

10/30/2011 6:09:59 AM

Wonderful article since I have two kittens.

M    G, CA

12/5/2007 9:23:10 PM

Very informative article.

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