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Keeping your cat safe and administering first aid

Hints & Tips

Accidents happen all too easily, but with care you can keep your cat safe in and outside of the home. Below are some of the steps you can take to try and avoid accidents. Use your common sense and think of your cat as a very lively toddler running around your home, fascinated by and wanting to play with everything!

Look around your home, possibly on all fours! Be aware of anything which may pose a danger to your cat and wherever possible put it out of reach or in a safe container - electric cables, medicines, disinfectants, bleach, cleaners, paint/paint stripper, mouthwash, soap, even cosmetics. Remember that stairs and stairwells are potential hazards too. Aim to make your house pet-proof!

Unfortunately, people are often unwittingly the cause of injury to cats, due to their quiet and inquisitive nature! A cat can easily get under foot without you noticing. Many have sustained broken legs by getting under their owner's feet, children cause injuries if their play becomes a bit rough. It is worthwhile ensuring that they know how to handle and play with your cat properly.

Outside the home the garden, shed and garage can be dangerous places for cats. Keep insecticides, slug pellets, weed-killers, petrol, paint, cleaning fluids and sharp tools out of reach. Ideally, stop your cat from gaining access to the shed or garage at all. Cat's if left outside, can easily sneak into areas they consider to be warm and safe. If you know your cat is doing this, close gaps or ensure the area is clear or hazardous substances.

Be aware that many garden plants and shrubs are poisonous to your cat, so to avoid temptation do not have them in your garden. The plants to be avoided include: foxgloves, lily-of-the-valley, deadly nightshade, rhododendron, laburnum, hemlock, daffodil bulbs, monkshood, ivy, rhubarb, mistletoe, yew and holly. This is just an example of some of the plants that you are most likely to come across. There are a number of other plants that are poisonous or have poisonous berries. Good gardening books will tell you which these are or you could ask for help at a garden centre.

If you think your cat has swallowed something poisonous, quickly phone the vet for advice. Be ready to explain in detail what has happened. Do not do anything unless your vet has specifically told you to do so. If your cat has eaten something, it would be useful to take a sample or the container with you to the vets.

If something should happen to your cat to scare them or make them nervous, as with humans, shock can be a major problem. Try and keep an injured or scared cat as warm as possible with a blanket and comfort them until they show signs of improving. If the cat has been injured or is deteriorating (even if you cant see external signs of any injury) make sure you comfort them and protect them appropriately whilst taking them to the vets.