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Accidental Ways To Kill A Cat — 19 Comments

  1. Thank you for writing this article so people can be aware of the common things that are dangerous for cats.
    Purses or anything with cords that are hanging in closets. I came home from work about a month ago to find my beautiful 3 year old cat Mic Fuzzy Butt hanging from a purse strap in my closet I always shut the door but he could open them, drawers, windows and other doors. Nobody was home and he must of freaked out and was spinning cause the strap was wrapped tightly around his neck and I was to late. I never thought anything like that could happen I’ve heard of curtain blinds but never this I just wanted to tell my story so nobody ever has to go through what I just did. My heart is broken and I just wish I had been home to do something I’ll never get that image out of my head and I’ll never forget him he was the greatest cat ever and my dog’s best friend both of us miss him so much 💔. RIP Mic Fuzzy Butt I’ll never forget you.

    • OMG – your comment is very painful. Phew. That’s hard to take. May I use it to write another article on this subject to warn others? Are you the only person living in your home? If not did the other person object to your cat?

      • Yes you may anything that can inform other people of the dangers of common household items so this doesn’t happen to another person and I do live with my sister but she is just as heartbroken as I am we had had him since the day he was born from her cat ( anime ) who she had to put down last year from kidney issues so he was very special to both of us ( he was a lot like his mom 😔 who was also a great cat). We both wish someone had been home that day but we both work during the day so it’s been hard not to beat ourselves up over it. We are now going to close all our bedroom doors whenever we aren’t home once we do get another cat but that might be awhile still 😔💔

  2. I have a cat who is a year and a half. He likes to jump on this shelf thing in the bathroom. I was just outside the bathroom when I heard him struggling, and I looked over and he was hanging upside down by his back leg. I ran and picked him up out of there. His claws went deep in my arm when I picked him up, but that’s a small incident compared to what could have been worse had I not been there. I’m closing that door, until I can take that piece off the wall. There was another time where an old friend had her dog and the big cage kennel at my house. Another cat of mine got his front leg caught in the kennel, and was hanging there. I kept that kennel broken down under the bed after that incident. These incidents make me more aware that I need to steer clear of any furniture or objects that can be a hazard to my boys.

    • Thanks Daniel for your stories. They are instructive. There are many hazards in and around the home for cats. We have to be thoughtful and vigilant.

  3. Collars can kill them by being kicked into their mouth and breaking their jaw or suffocating them. They can’t dislodge it when it’s stuck around their neck and into their jaw. Also if you leave jogging pants/shorts around some cats will chew and swallow the waist string or any string you leave around including on toys and get it lodged in their stomach or twisted around their intestines. They some eat buttons and parts of their toys too. Also rubber bands.

  4. I had a cat once her name is Gemma she didn’t die but I had to return it…. not cuz of me it’s just stuff and I LOVED cats for that day on so now I have wenston my black and white cat he’s a very lovable animal. I love him so much thx for the artical cuz now I can keep my kitty safe.

  5. Thanks everyone for sharing. I have approximately 6 hours before our little ball off gorgeousness gets here. I know some comments will be considered overzealous or paranoid but I think whatever info I have to interpret helps me.

  6. Great subject, Elisa. We give a long list of all the dangers we can think of to each of our adopters. You and other commentators have listed many, so I won’t repeat those, but here are some more that haven’t yet been mentioned or some additional comments on those you did mention:

    Poisonous plants – anything in the lily family is very toxic to kitties if they even just chew on the leaves – Easter lilies, etc. are very bad – keep away from kitties. EMERGENCY POISON CENTERS: 1-800-548-2423; 1-900-680-000?; 1-888-4ANIHELP (press option 3). You can google “plants poisonous to cats” for a list.

    Potpourri, essential oils or even heavily scented candles can be poisonous.

    Electrical, phone and computer cords – some kitties like to chew on them. Mostly more of a nuisance to you, but if it becomes a problem put the cords under rugs/carpet or get some conduit from home or do-it-yourself store.

    Automatic flush cleaners in the toilet – some kitties do like to take a drink from the toilet or paddle in it – eeewww! Small kittens may not be able to climb out of toilets, pools, baths, buckets, etc. if they fall in.

    If kitties are running about playing chase, etc., and one suddenly makes a beeline for an open door or sliding door, try not to have the gut reaction of slamming the door shut – many a kitty has suffered a severe head injury this way. Be especially careful if your cat either goes outside or tends to escape into your garage that you don’t close your garage door onto him or her.

    Some have already mentioned about kitties getting underfoot – be especially careful about them being behind you if you step back. I’m sure we’ve all stepped on our adult cat’s paw or tail at some time and all they do is screech and run off, but a kitten is so small that stepping on it can cause serious damage or kill it.

    Many people medicines are toxic to cats -aspirin, tylenol, etc., sleeping pills, tranquillizers, blood thinners, heart and blood pressure meds in particular. Keep all of them away from cats.

    Many household products are also toxic: insecticides – especially those containing pyrethrins, rodenticides (warfarin, etc. – can cause internal bleeding – others may cause neurological problems); cats may also be poisoned by catching and ingesting poisoned rodents or insects, so be extra careful when treating homes or yards. Bleach, pine cleaners, caustic cleaners such as drain cleaners and mothballs can all be toxic. Cats may not only ingest substances – they may also walk through them and thus absorb them through their skin/paws and/or groom them off of their fur.

    Don’t leave milk or other enticing drinks around in a glass or jar – kitty can get his or her head stuck and may then suffocate.

    Don’t leave rubber bands, paper clips, needles, straight pins, fish hooks, etc. lying around. Ingestion can be fatal or at least very serious. Keep yarn, thread (especially with needles attached), dental floss, fishing line, string, ribbons, Christmas tinsel, etc. and anything similar away from cats or kittens – ingestion can be serious to fatal – getting it out requires major, expensive surgery, pulling on it can cut tongue or the intestines themselves, and don’t leave string toys around unattended – not only can kitties can get the strings wound around their legs and go crazy trying to get them off, they can also ingest the string. They may even hyperventilate if caught up in the string. If this happens, have someone scruff the kitty and try to hold back legs together to immobilize, then have second person undo or if necessary carefully cut off the string. Watch kitty’s mouth – might be so freaked out he or she could bite! Same goes for collars that are on too loosely – one finger slipped under the collar is about right – any looser and they can get them into their mouth and get teeth stuck in them, which in turn causes salivation and hyperventilation. Use the same scruffing method carefully to cut off a collar in this case.

    When choosing toys, pick things that can’t unravel easily or have parts come off- the cheaper mice and such often have flimsy eyes and ears and tails that a kitten might ingest. Some “real” looking fur mice and toys with feathers are colored with toxic dyes that can come off if licked or if the toy is dropped in the water bowl; some “catnip” mice made in China may be stuffed with glue or other harmful materials.

    If you have a fireplace, block it off initially in case kitty decides to explore! They can climb right up in there!

    Never leave cats or dogs in the car – even for a a short while in hot weather – cars heat up like ovens, and kitty will soon have heatstroke and die.

    Don’t leave out foil or plastic wrap with meat juices on it – whether raw or cooked – cats may ingest the wrap or foil, causing intestinal problems or even death – I know of a beautiful purebred Siamese who was trained to use the toilet and to answer to 50 different commands who ingested plastic wrap from her raw-meat diet and died despite emergency surgery – she had fished it out after the pet sitter forgot to lock the trashcan.

    In addition to banging on the hood of your car in case a kitty has climbed up in the engine, always check BEHIND your back wheels, especially in warmer weather – many a cat has been run over accidentally by its owner because it has been lying in the shade there.

    Make sure that heavy scratching posts or cat trees are well-stabilized – more than once I’ve heard of one falling onto a smaller cat or kitten and severely maiming it.

    Antifreeze can be a danger even if a cat doesn’t go out but wanders into your own garage – just half a teaspoonful can poison tthe kidneys and kill, and it tastes sweet and is therefore attractive to cats.

    For cats who go outside, there are many more dangers – snakes, owls, hawks, eagles and other raptors, coyotes, cars, unattended dogs, other cats who may fight and transmit disease to your cat, yard, farm and industrial treatments that may be poisonous, getting accidentally shut up in garages, sheds, under houses etc. , which can be fatal in really hot or really cold weather, and people who simply don’t like cats and will call animal control or shoot or trap and otherwise dispose of them themselves.

    And finally, if you have dogs as well as cats, do not use Advantix on your dogs. It is toxic to cats if a cat just touches the treated dog or you pet your treated dog then the cat. In addition, the packaging is so similar to Advantage for cats that it easily confused – many people have applied the dog product to their cats by mistake.

  7. I rescued a kitty from under a mobile home… he had gotten his paw tangled in the nylon twine used to “strap” up the insulation underneath the home. He had been hanging there for several days and was starved, and dehydrated and his little paw was swollen 5x normal size. He would have definately died hanging there and it would have been a horrible long and torturous death. I had been doing TNR around there and someone mentioned faintly hearing a cat… they dismissed it, but I didn’t and went looking for it, Thank God! Gimpy is still with us today, but he lost all the digits on his right front paw except one. He was a completely feral cat and is now a total lover who will hug your neck when you hold him – such graditude! xoxo
    I found remains of two other cats that appear to have been tangled in the twine under THE VERY SAME MOBILE HOME though. I was upset and helped the owner cut as many loose straps as we could and then also fix the skirting so that cats hopefully would not be able to go under the home anymore at all.
    Found a cat strangled by his own collar near there also. It wasn’t the break away or stretchable type and he was found hanging from a fence top… the collar was caught and he wasn’t able to free himself. Please include COLLARS in your list Elisa. xoxo

  8. That was, like all of them, very sad. So many of these -hopefully isolated incidents–have occurred, and so sadly, as we don’t foresee every potential preventable accident.

    This may be one worth citing. Kitty cannot taste sweet with her olifactory (incl. upper palate), palate (tongue). Fluids left beyond the gutter or in the neighbor’s driveway/garage can be lapped up by a nondiscerning cat. Resulting in quick death. To all of you who read this page, make sure that if you accidentally leave your cat out during the day, make sure that there is plenty of fresh water available. several bowls placed strategically. [and do it anyway, for the neighbors’ cats.]

  9. Yes that’s very sad. Another danger is a steel bird feeding stand, which has hooks sticking out to hang fat balls or nuts on.
    If a cat jumped up to try and catch a bird he could cause himself serious injuries on those hooks.

  10. Bird baths can pose a danger to cats. The bowl of my bird bath was unstable and a neighborhood cat climbed into it. The bowl tipped over and in the process trapped the cat under it. When we came upon the site of the accident the poor kitty was dead. I felt so bad and I hope the cat didn’t suffer a lingering death.

    • I have never heard about that before. It is tragic but unusual. Thank you for sharing that information. It is useful with respect to cat welfare.

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