Tito’s Guide to Cats

MeeMEE! My first column was about where to find your new cat.

Today, I’ll talk about things you need to do before you get your kitty. I’m hoping that you plan to keep your cat indoors. Outside is full of dangers for them.

If you are thinking of declawing your kitty, then don’t adopt one please. Just imagine having your fingers cut off at the first knuckle. It can cause permanent problems and leaves your cat defenseless. Kitsy and I have our claws. We use our scratching post, though once in a while we’re naughty and scratch the futon.  Mom makes sure she keeps our nails clipped.

There are a great many things in a home that can be dangerous to cats. A lot of houseplants are poisonous. For a complete list of poisonous plants for dogs and cats, visit the ASPCA for a toxic plant list.

While most people know that chocolate is bad for pets, not as many realize that there is a far more dangerous food ingredient. Xylitol is the main ingredient in sugar-free foods. It can be deadly, so keep all food with this ingredient out of reach of all cats and dogs. You can find out about Xylitol and more at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

Now for the rest of the cat-proofing.

  • Make sure all dangling wires and cords are out of reach. If necessary, get some Bitter Apple at the pet store. You can wipe the electrical cords with it. It prevents chewing. Yes, cats will chew.
  • Make sure all meds and make-ups are in a cupboard away from kitty.
  • Check all the nooks where a vacuum can’t reach for bits of string or rubber-bands. These can block the intestine if swallowed.

  • Put all breakable knick-knacks away for a while so that they don’t get broken.
  • Recliners and rocking chairs can be dangerous for a cat. My mom’s rocker sits in the corner and has stuffed animals on it. That way no one can sit on it and rock over a tail. Ouchie. We sleep on it.

  • When doing laundry, always check the dryer before starting and keep the lid to the washer closed at all times.
  • Make sure that you have a scratching post available before you bring your kitty home. It will help protect your furniture.
  • If you have expensive furniture, consider a good cover for them. The scratching post will help, but even so, kitty claws can be bad for them. Merely jumping on the furniture can be a problem.

These are just a few suggestions.  Look around and I’m sure you’ll see other things to do.

Next time I’ll tell you how to introduce your new kitty to your home.

MEE!  Goodbye for now.


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