Here's how to take a safety inventory:
- Walk from room to room, keeping your eyes open for danger.
- In each room, get down on all fours and look around to see what hazards lurk at your cat's eye level.
- Then stand up and scan what lies above your head. Cats are remarkably agile, with the ability to leap to great heights, and dexterous, sometimes capable of opening doors and cupboards. Much that would be off-limits to a dog is fair game to a cat.
As you make the rounds on your cat-proofing tour, take special note of these room-specific hazards:
- Never let your cat walk on kitchen surfaces, especially the stovetop.
- Keep the toilet lid down when not in use, especially if your cat is still a kitten.
- Keep bathroom-cleaning products in tightly-closed containers, and store them in securely-closed or locked cabinets out of your cat's reach.
- Store both prescription and nonprescription medicines in childproof containers and keep them in a locked cabinet.
- Keep weed killer, pesticides, and other gardening chemicals out of your cat's reach. Clean up spills immediately.
- Follow the same rules for automotive-maintenance products, such as motor oil and windshield fluid. Take special precautions with antifreeze, as its sweet taste makes this highly-toxic substance attractive to animals: Make sure no pets are in the vicinity when you drain antifreeze, dispose of used antifreeze promptly and safely, store it properly, and clean up any spills immediately and thoroughly.
Continued on page 3: Kittens and Kids