When we have animals living as part of our family, we treat them just like our family, almost like our own kids. After all, what are they but our furry children, dependent on us for guidance, food, protection and maintaining their comfortable environment.
We love them and get really attached to them, and it’s so important for us to keep them safe. But often we don’t know about potential dangers for our cats that exist within our own homes. In this article, I will list the common household things that could potentially harm your cat or get them into an accident.
Unfortunately, I myself have lost a cat to an awful accident, and the topic is sadly quite close to my heart. I want to help other cat owners to prevent accidents and keep their kitties safe and happy.
What can be dangerous to your Siberian cat in your house?
All cats are born athletes, and your Siberian is no exception. All cats, including Siberians, love heights. If you often happen to find you Siberian on top of the fridge, you know what I mean. Those kitty antiques are sure a cause of lots of laughs but do keep an eye on your cat’s safety. Even though cats have nine lives (or they act like they do) and even though they always land on their feet (or they act like they do), accidents still can happen and it’s your job to watch out.
Don’t let your cat get onto unprotected windows or anywhere where they can fall off from onto the ground. If your apartment is in a high-rise building or at the 2nd story of the house, keep your windows closed or set up protective screens. Don’t let your cats get out onto the balcony – they will want to get up high onto the railing and can slip and fall off.
There are also some height-related dangers inside the house. Don’t encourage your cat to climb on top of the fridge, no matter how funny or entertaining or fun for the cat it may look. They may still fall and injure themselves. Best case scenario they will just get a little bruised. Worse if your Siberian cat breaks a leg. Painful for them and painfully expensive for you to fix it.
Try not to let your cat climb those, especially if the dresser’s stability is questionable. I know of a person who lost their cat after the cat climbed the dresser and the dresser fell over onto the cat. A real tragedy that no one could have expected/predicted. This just goes to show that cats really can get in trouble even though they seem so tough and so athletic.
I used to have a cat that loved chewing on those until one day it chewed through and got zapped. Thankfully it ended well and the cat simply got frightened. It could have been much worse. Try not to leave plugged electric cords around if you know your cat is prone to chewing on those, and try to discourage your cat if you ever see them do it. A loud “no” or a spray from a bottle (with water!) could help.
The kitchen is a very attractive place in the house, both for people and for pets. If your cat is like most cats, he or she will be spending lots of time on the counters and possibly around your stove.
This poses a risk of burn on the stove element or if your cat knocks down a pot of boiling water etc. Cats are very curious and, although they are naturally cautious, they don’t always have a good understanding of what boiling water is. Teach your kitty to avoid jumping on counters/stove by using water spray. Hopefully, they will at least keep away while you are in the kitchen. This also reduces the risk of your cat tripping you while you are cooking and potentially have hot objects in your hands.
Especially if your Siberian is still a kitten. Kittens are curious and very fast. They will get in your way and it’s very easy to close a door while a kitten may be in the doorway. Our old cat has been (accidentally!) hurt by doors multiple times and he’s been always very suspicious about doors even when he grew up. The good thing is, if you do accidentally “close the door on your kitten”, they will yowl so loud you won’t be able not to notice.
Inedible chewy things. That’s shoelaces, any synthetic strings or threads or yarn that you may have around your home, stringy Christmas decorations etc. It may be fun to watch your cat play with those, but do remember that cats like putting things in their mouth and swallowing any of those things or pieces of them, can pose a serious hazard to your kitty! Never underestimate what your cat can swallow.
Needles, tacks, nails, any small inedible plastic or metallic objects. Again, very dangerous if swallowed. You wouldn’t believe the kinds of objects vets often have to deal with that cats swallow. (And they look so smart and full of dignity! I mean the cats, not the vets.)
Healthy Siberian cats in general are pretty sturdy and athletic and normally are very good with children. They are also good at standing up for themselves if the children in question are particularly rowdy (usually by leaving the room.)
However! If you have a small Siberian kitten and small children, do pay attention and teach your kids not to be too rough with the kitten. For one, if the kitten is very small and gets hurt or even just scared by a child, it may carry that trauma well into adulthood and become a cat that’s unable to exist around kids or mistrusts kids.
Also, even a small kitten can become a ferocious little animal if it has to stand up for itself. They do have teeth and claws and they know how to use them, especially in dangerous situations (or situations they perceive as dangerous.) You can never predict an animal, even if you’ve known them for their whole life.
In any dangerous or scary situation, a cat will always resort to its instincts and that may mean biting or scratching. That’s a danger both to your cat and your child. Many animals are abandoned after a what could have been a very preventable accident. It happens more with dogs than cats (after a dog bites a child for example), but it can happen with cats as well.
Particularly clumsy children can step on a cat’s foot or otherwise accidentally hurt them. You don’t want to have to take your kitty to the vet to fix a broken paw (or anything else, really). Keep an eye on both kids and your furry kids to prevent such mishaps and make sure everyone is safe.
Your garbage can.
Yes, even your harmless garbage bin can be dangerous for your cat. Because we all know cats love foraging in the garbage bins (unless you have the one that you can close securely). And there can be things in the bin that your cat can get to and potentially ingest that can hurt them. For example, chicken bones (can be dangerous for cats if swollen.) Or sharp pieces of plastic or shaving razors. Or any types of pills you might have thrown away (drugs, etc..)
Garbage bins tend to have a smell that’s attractive for cats and if you have one without a secure lid, be sure your cat will most likely get to it. To prevent it, keep your trash bin behind closed doors (there are special locks for babyproofing under-sink cabinets) or use secure lids.
Drugs and medical substances
If you have a child, you know how important it is to keep them away from any cans and bottles with medicine that you may have. The same goes for cats. Even such harmless things as vitamin pills can be toxic or even lethal for cats. I tend to often drop vitamin pills on the floor and have to keep in mind to quickly pick any such dropped pills up from the floor before my cat gets to them.
Any detergent, antifreeze, cleaning solutions, sprays, bleach, herbicides, paint, shampoo, hair dye, nail polish, insect and rodent poison solutions, etc – can be toxic or lethal for your Siberian. Don’t leave those out in the open where your cat can get to the substances. And don’t underestimate where you curious cat can get 😉
I hope this advice helps in securing and cat-proofing your house so you can be sure they are always safe and sound.