This is a short post on the hazard that recliner chairs pose to kittens and cats. I am particularly concerned for kittens because they are able to crawl into smaller spaces. The idea for the post came from Elisa’s article on cat accidents that can happen in the home.
Recliner chairs are pretty popular. Perhaps they are more popular with older people. Older people are potentially the best group of people to care for domestic cats because they are around the home more than active younger people. They are also less likely to be moving home and relinquishing their cat.
Photo by uberculture (Flickr)
Recliner chairs have a mechanism that allows the chair to recline. That is obvious. The mechanism is under the chair. The mechanism will by necessity have air spaces around and through it to allow it to work unobstructed.
These air spaces are ideal dens and sleeping spots for kittens to curl up into. As these spaces are accessible from under the chair and close to the ground a kitten can easily jump up into the space.
As it is impossible to see a cat in this space you can see how a disastrous accident can occur.
When the chair is reclined the space will be compressed (flattened) or the shape and position of the moving parts will change. This is highly likely, perhaps almost certainly, to cause the kitten to be trapped and crushed.
Severe injury is likely to result.
Conclusion: Well, the obvious conclusion is not to buy a reclining chair if you keep cats and particularly if there is a likelihood of kittens being present in the home.
If kittens and cats are to be in the home temporarily an alternative is to jam the recliner mechanism in the closed position, or block access to the underside of the chair or remove the chair to a locked room to which cats do not have access.
I feel that there is a great and unrecognized danger to kittens particularly from recliner chairs of all types.
Please be aware of this.
Note: Some recliners may well have a valance type structure around its base to prevent access but many don’t. Also these chairs will allow access when in the opened up (reclined) position.