Cat Guide


Cat-Proofing Your Home


Safety First

Try to get all family members into the habit of leaving the toilet lid down.


Cat-Proof Pages


Cats, like a lot of youngsters, will eat almost anything. And they will play with anything that can move. Strings, yarn, dental floss, elastics and especially needles and thread are highly enticing, but if swallowed they can do serious, often fatal, damage. Store anything string-like and any items small enough to swallow in a drawer or somewhere that feline paws can't penetrate. Chewing an electrical cord can be fatal, and pulling on it may bring down an appliance— in the case of an iron, possibly a hot appliance. Hanging cords, such as those for curtains, blinds and lamps can be strangulation hazards. Bundle all cords or tie them off out of reach.

Try to get all family members into the habit of leaving the toilet lid down. Cats, especially small kittens or less agile older cats, can fall in and drown. Make sure all windows are covered with sturdy screens and, if your cat will be an indoor pet, watch that he doesn't scoot out as you enter and leave the house. Keep garbage, a source of such dangerous items as bones and sharp tins, in a latched trashcan. Stow all breakable items, utensils and hazardous objects safely in cabinets, cupboards and drawers; if your cat figures out how to open doors (some do), use baby proofing latches to keep him out. Thoroughly clean up puddles of car fluids on your garage floor or your driveway. Gasoline, oil and brake fluid are all highly toxic, and the sweet smell of anti-freeze can attract a cat, with fatal results.

Cats will investigate anything they can fit into, and they can fit into tight spaces. Always check your dryer before starting it. Its warmth and darkness make it an attractive nest. Also check furniture with mechanisms—recliners and sofa beds—before using or closing them. Plastic bags are as dangerous for cats as they are for small children. And don't forget your car. Cats often crawl up under the hood of a car for a warm nap in cold weather. Get into the habit of banging on the hood before starting the car to rouse any stowaways.

sats and computers Cat-Proofing Computers

Cats and high-tech machinery don't always make for a safe combination. To allow kitty and computer to exist in harmony, follow these guidelines:
  • Buy computer hardware that can bear the weight of your cat or, if you have fragile parts, store them under a shelf or in a cabinet when not in use.
  • Use dust covers when you are not using your equipment.
  • If the system can be turned on by a cat's paw, unplug it when not in use or plug into a power supply that can be turned off.
  • If your computer doubles as a fax machine, configure your computer to send faxes to your hard disk so that you don't have to leave the printer on.
  • Spray cords with cat repellent, secure them to walls or under the desk, or run them through plastic conduits to avoid electrocution.
  • Use books to prop up any cantilevered paper trays that might break under a cat's weight.
  • Make sure CD-ROM trays are closed when not in use.
  • Do not block the cooling vents when making your area safe for your cat.
  • Clean cat hair from your keyboard regularly using canned compressed air.
  • Use a mouse pad with a smooth, washable surface. Clean the mouse ball often.
  • Save your work frequently so that there is no risk of losing or corrupting files if kitty should take a walk on your keyboard. Quit the application or close the window if you will be away from your desk.

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