Common Cat Dangers in the House

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  • A great many dangers are lurking in our homes that pose a risk to our feline companions. As a rule of thumb, if it’s not safe for a young child, it’s not safe for a cat. It is up to us to be diligent and ensure our cats stay safe and out of harm’s way.

    Common dangers:

    • Plants (see our list of plants that are toxic to cats).
    • Aluminium foil.
    • Cling Film.
    • Tinsel.
    • String, dental floss, sewing thread.
    • Drugs (including vitamin pills).
    • Electrical cords.
    • Washing machine and dryer-Leave the door to the washing machine and dryer closed at all times. Before putting on a load, check inside the machine to ensure your cat hasn’t snuck in. I personally know of one cat who was killed in a washing machine and heard of another cat who was tumble dried for 30 minutes. Fortunately, the cat survived the ordeal with a few minor burns.
    • Sewing needles and pins.
    • Toothpicks (I know of a cat who ate a toothpick and needed surgery to remove it.)
    • Poisons (see our list of some common household poisons)
    • Household cleaners (see our list of common household poisons)
    • Cheap cat toys with toxic parts or parts that easily break off.
    • Check for loose eyes etc.
    • Curtain cords.
    • Food – This includes cooked chicken wings, meat with string attached, food that is past its use-by date. Properly dispose of such items some cats tend to scavenge for discarded food in the garbage bin.
    • Elastic bands.
    • Twist ties.
    • Toilets – Young kittens can accidentally climb into them and not get out. I know of two kittens who have drowned in the toilet.
    • Cardboard – I’m including this because recently I bought a blender, I left the box on the floor, there was a cardboard insert which had a hole in the middle, my cat managed to get his head and shoulders through the hole then became stuck and panicked. Had we not been home it could have been very dangerous.
    • Hot Stoves – Never leave hotplates on if you are not there to supervise. Again, I have personal experience with this. Recently my cat positioned herself to jump up onto the stove, fortunately, I was standing next to her and managed to stop her before she jumped.
    • Scented oils, many of which are toxic to cats.
    • Aromatherapy oils (some) -Never leave burning candles unsupervised. A cat can knock them over and cause a fire.
    • Small children – Teach young children how to properly pick up your cat. Ensure the cat has a place to escape for timeout should it need. Make sure your child knows this spot is out of bounds.


    • Julia Wilson is the founder of Cat-World, and has researched and written over 1,000 articles about cats. She is a cat expert with over 20 years of experience writing about a wide range of cat topics, with a special interest in cat health, welfare and preventative care. Julia lives in Sydney with her family, four cats and two dogs. Full author bio