We all want our cat to lead his fullest, longest life. A healthy cat can live up to fifteen years and more. Unfortunately, even the healthiest of cats can have their lives tragically cut short because of a preventable accident. Here are six preventable accidents and how to avoid them.
Being hit by a car
One of the top reasons vets say animals are brought to their emergency room is because of a car hitting an animal. If your cat is an independent, outdoor cat, you may think that this is simply a risk you take with having an outdoor animal. There are, however, steps you can take to make sure your outdoor cat stays safe.
If your budget allows it, you could get an invisible fence for your outdoor kitty. Simply put the collar on and have the parameters of your fence stop before the street. If you rent or financially that is not an option, you can also opt for an enclosed, outdoor space for your cat to play in. If you feel like your cat would go mad without complete freedom, consider getting a reflective “cat crossing” sign to put near your street. At the very least, you will be able to alert motorists that they should drive more cautiously in this area. Be sure to have your outdoor cat microchipped with a collar so you can be quickly contacted in case of an accident.
There are a myriad of house cleaning products, plants, and human foods that could lead to sickness or even death for your cat. Educate yourself on what is toxic to cats, and either keep it out of your home or out of a place where your cat can accidentally ingest it. We have a few helpful lists to start with on plants, human foods, and other poisonous substances for cats.
Leaving string (and other things) around the house
Stock photos of kittens playing with a fuzzy ball of yarn lead many to believe that this is safe for a cat to play with. Playing with is OK, but many cats and kittens may move onto eating the string, yarn, thread, or other similar object which will often need to be surgically removed. Stick to toys made for cats instead of opting for a ball of yarn – we have a few suggestions here.
Turning on the dryer with your cat in it
Cats love warm, snuggly places, especially enclosed ones. Your dryer fits that description perfectly. Many cats have been killed in clothes dryers. This accident typically happens when there is already warm, dry clothes in the dryer and more are thrown in and the machine is started back up again. Make sure that your cat does not have access to your laundry room, and if he does, check the dryer AND washer to make sure he isn’t snuggled away.
In home animal aggression
If you have more than one cat – or more than one type of animal – there is no guaranteeing that they will get along 24/7. If you have two cats and they get physical, they can cause severe damage to each other with their bites. Cats have long, pointed teeth, which create a puncture wound as opposed to a dog bite, which is more of a tear. Puncture wounds can lead to abscesses and infection. If you do have two cats, be sure to use training methods to insure they will not fight. If they seem heated for any reason, separate the two until they have had time to settle down.
Pest-borne illnesses are sometimes more aggravating than lethal, but that is not always the case. If your cat has an infected tick bite them, they could be exposed several deadly illnesses, such Cytauxzoonosis, a lethal parasite; Tularemia, a fever that could lead to severe infection and sometimes, death; and various other pathogens. Granted, these diseases are rare and require the right circumstances, but it is silly not to use tick and flea prevention when it is so easy to do so. Even if you have an indoor cat, you can still bring things like ticks, mites, or fleas into your home. A monthly prevention medication is a simple but highly effective manner of preventing these pest-borne illnesses.
The best form of keeping your cat safe is through prevention. What do you do to insure that your cat is living all of its nine lives safely? Let us know in the comments.