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Content Image Kitten-proof your home: Making your house a safe place for your pet.
Published 2010/12/09

Like a child, your kitten can get into a great deal of trouble in the blink of an eye. We should ask ourselves if our home is a safe haven for them. A good rule to follow is that anything that is not safe for children is not safe for pets.

Here is some advice for a safe home:

• Children’s toys and small objects may attract a playful pet and become lodged in its mouth or swallowed causing damage in the gastrointestinal tract. Keep small items such as tinsel, rubber bands and beads out of reach – your kitten could choke on them. Although kittens are sometimes pictured with a ball of yarn, a playful kitten and yarn may add up to danger. If ingested, yarn as well as thread and twine could cause serious damage to the intestinal tract;

• Sharp objects such as knives and forks, paper clips, carpet tacks, pins should be kept out of cat's reach. • Be aware of the plants you have in your house and in your yard. The ingestion of a poisonous plant can be fatal (ex: aloe vera, azalea, dieffenbachia, croton, geranium, dracaena, kalanchoe, hemp, spider plant, poinsettia, onion, tomato plant, rhododendron, cyclamen, philodendron). For a more complete list of dangerous catty plants, consult your vet;

• Make sure all poisonous household items are securely stored out of the kitten's reach. Cleaning solutions such as disinfectants, drain cleaners, laundry detergents and bleach have a variety of properties. Some may only cause a mild stomach upset, while others could cause severe burns of the tongue, mouth, and stomach;

• Never give your cat any medications unless under the directions of a veterinarian. Many medications that are used safely in humans can cause an overdose and/or be deadly when used inappropriately. Medicines should be stored out of the reach of pets. • Never leave chocolates unattended. Approximately one half (1/2) ounce (14 g) or less of baking chocolate per pound (0.45 kg) of body weight can cause poisoning;

• When treating your lawn or garden with fertilizers, herbicides, or insecticides, always keep your animals away from the area until it dries completely. Always store such products securely and out of reach;

• All automotive products, such as oil, gasoline, and antifreeze, should be stored properly. Many pets are attracted to the sweet taste of antifreeze containing the chemical propyleneglycol which is highly toxic to cats. As little as one teaspoon of antifreeze can be deadly to a 3 kilogram cat.

• Do your best to keep electric wiring out of the pet's sight and reach. Exposed lamp cords and other wires should be kept as short as possible. If extension cords are used, mount them against a baseboard so they cannot be played with or chewed.

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