Home building works are a potential danger to domestic cats

Stanley found under the floorboards using a thermal imaging camera
Stanley found under the floorboards using a thermal imaging camera. Images by his owner Brendan O’ Neill and partner.
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NEWS AND COMMENT: This is a story about the dangers of builders renovating or doing major works on your home if you are the caregiver of a domestic cat. The problem with builders is that they create holes and new areas through which an inquisitive domestic cat is likely to pass and there is a potential for them to become trapped. And if they are trapped in an area under construction there is the potential for serious harm by the builders.

And this potential is highlighted in a story on the BBC website. Builders were undertaking major works at a home in Swindon, UK. Brendan O’Neill is the owner of a ginger tabby cat called Stanley. He hadn’t seen Stanley for a couple of days and was concerned that he might have been trapped in the building somewhere.

Fortunately, the builders he had employed had access to a thermal imaging camera which was used to locate him. Stanley had wriggled through a hole created by a plumber who was working on the house. He had climbed down the hole and gone to sleep under the floorboards.

How many times do we read stories about domestic cats sleeping under floorboards? And how many times do they end up trapped down there? It happens not that infrequently. It is because cats like safe places in which to sleep. Lesson: create safe places for cats to sleep in. 😻🤔

Mr O’Neill said that “It was quite lucky because someone had placed a ladder over where the hole was, and that was what was stopping the cat from coming out.”

Mr O’Neill needs to be commended for realising that his cat might’ve been trapped in the building and therefore was in danger. Stanley was perfectly well when recovered if a little hungry Mr O’Neill said.

So what do you do if you’ve got a cat and builders in your home doing major works? I don’t think you should keep your cat confined to one room of the home but I do think you should be aware of the dangers and watch your cat and watch the building works and see what kind of access areas they are creating which might entice an inquisitive cat to dive through.

I think an awareness is all that can be done and then been vigilant about your cat’s movements. And of course to notify the builders that you live with a domestic cat and to ask them to watch out for him or her.

RELATED: Two men build scaffolding to release cat trapped in apartment window – trapped cats can bring out the best in people.

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