7 Must-Know Household Hazards for Cats

cat playing with string

1. String Can Kill

If ingested, string, thread, ribbon yarn, etc. can cause life-threatening intestinal issues in cats. Learn more about string and cats, then check out these safer ways to play with your cat

2. Look Before You Lock

It may seem strange, but some cats like to hang out inside the washer or dryer. Some cats, like Natasha who survived a 35 minute wash cycle, get lucky, but others don’t. Be sure you keep your kitty safe by looking before starting your laundry.

cat playing washer dryer

3. Pass on the Milk

What’s a better treat for kitty than a nice warm bowl of milk? Almost anything. Most cats are lactose intolerant, so a big bowl of milk for kitty will likely equal a big litter box mess for you. Side effects can include vomiting, diarrhea and upset stomachs, Susan G. Wynn, DVM, CVA, CVCH, an animal nutritionist in Atlanta, tells WebMD. (Photo: Hemera/Thinkstock)

cat with milk

4. Watch Those Wires

My own cat Toby had a love of curly wires, especially phone chords. Toby got lucky — he avoided getting shocked — but many cats can shock themselves and/or burn their mouths from chewing on wires around your house. Check out these tips for cat-proofing wiring in your home. (Photo: iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

Petfinder: How to cat proof your home

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cat playing with cables

5. Screen Your Screens

Cats love to look out the window, but make sure your kitty is safe by checking and re-checking your screens. Cats may fall out of unscreened or poorly-screened windows. In fact, it happens often enough to have a name: feline high-rise syndrome

cat sitting at window

6. Take a Peek at Your Plants

Many cats like to snack on household plants. In fact, a great way to enrich your cat’s environment is to keep cat grass in your windowsill. However, be sure to check the ASPCA’s database of toxic and non-toxic plants to be sure your kitty’s treat won’t come with a nasty trick. (Photo: iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

cat eat indoor plants

7. Ban Those Rubber Bands

Much like string, rubber bands can cause serious and possibly fatal intestinal problems if they’re ingested by cats. Lucky us, there’s a simple fix — putting away your rubber bands and hair ties not only keeps your cat safe, it also keeps the house looking great! (Photo: F1online/Hemera/Thinkstock)

kitten playing rubber band