Cats have a reputation as being risk-taking animals, and my two girls are no exception. While Ghost Cat and Specter aren’t exactly living a high-risk lifestyle as indoor-only girls, they are still drawn like magnets to things that can hurt them.
My girls are distinctly lacking a sense of self-preservation, and they seem to be extra attracted to things that could kill a kitty. Here are five dangerous household items that my cats are attracted to.
From grocery store sacks to Mylar potato chip bags, if it’s crinkly and used for carrying food, then my cats are obsessed with it. The noisy bags may be fun to play with, but they are a well-known danger for companion animals. Plenty of pets have suffocated inside food bags — and I’m not sure my heart could handle it if either of my girls met that fate. That’s why any plastic shopping bags get hidden in a drawer and the chip bags are ripped or snipped before being tossed in the trash (as much as Ghosty would like to stick her head into every single one).
When my husband comes home he empties his pockets onto the side table, and along with the bits of wire, screws and other weird dude-debris come the rubber grommets. These grommets look just like the slices of black olives you would get on a pizza, but they are probably a lot harder on the digestive system. Unaware of the danger these things could pose if swallowed, my cats try to catch a grommet every chance they get (and then they play soccer with them). If these rubber olive-imitators were just a little bigger I might consider letting the cats keep one for a toy, but when I see how perfectly these things fit into Ghosty’s mouth I just panic.
"That is a choking hazard and you can’t eat it," I tell Ghost Cat when I take away a grommet. She doesn’t understand why I have to ruin her fun, but her short sulk sessions are a small price to pay to avoid surgery.
There must have been a baby in this house long before Specter the (now nearly grown) kitten moved in, because one of the outlets in my dining room has those baby cover things stuffed into it. I figured the previous inhabitants of my house must’ve had a good reason to block the outlet, so I’ve never bothered to remove them — and boy, does that ever bother Specter. While I sit at the table and type she will attack that baby-proofed outlet with a tenacity she normally reserves for shredding our wallpaper. I don’t know why those baby covers are stuffed into that electrical outlet, but I am very glad that Specter has never been shocked while trying to remove them.
Unlike the unmoving baby covers in the outlet, another kind of hole cover in our house is moved all too easily — the fridge button. I don’t know what the official term for this thingy is, but it’s like a little white plastic button with a jagged tail sticking out the back. This button thing goes in the hole that is about half way up the fridge door (I guess refrigerators come with holes pre-drilled on either side so that you can switch the side the handle is on or something).
Anyway, as soon as we got our new fridge, Ghost Cat started going crazy for this button thing. Every chance she gets she stands on her hind legs and tries to bite the button off the fridge, and despite liberal applications of both glue and jalape├▒o juice, she can remove this thing in like five seconds flat.
After she removes the button she’s not content to just kick it around — no, Ghost Cat insists on carrying what is basically a jagged plastic nail around in her mouth. Since I could not stop her from removing the button from the fridge, I have removed it permanently, leaving a hole in my appliance and a hole in Ghost Cat’s activity schedule.
She still stares up at the hole like she’s wondering where her toy went. I will never understand why she was so attracted to a plastic hole cover.
I give my cats plenty of water, but every so often they will sneak into the bathroom while I am putting on my face and try to stick their cute little whiskers into that nasty porcelain bowl. I know plenty of pets drink from the toilet every now and then, but I just cannot stomach the thought of my little princesses lapping water from a bacteria pool party. I tell myself that the chemicals we use to clean the toilet would have killed all the germs — but couldn’t the chemical cleaners be just as dangerous?
It seems toilet water is bad no matter how you look at it. When the girls jump up on the seat I am quick to snap that lid shut, although I always turn on the sink or the bathtub on so they can drink a trickle of clean water instead. I love my cats, but I will never understand why they are so attracted to bathroom water — or all the other things I need to save them from on a daily basis.
What scary things do your cats love? How do you keep them safe from themselves? Let us know in the comments.
Learn more about your cat with Catster:
About the author: Heather Marcoux is a freelance writer in Alberta, Canada. Her beloved Ghost Cat was once her only animal, but Specter the kitten and GhostBuster the dog make her fur family complete. Heather is also a wife, a bad cook and a former TV journalist. Some of her friends have hidden her feed because of an excess of cat pictures. If you don’t mind cat pictures, you can follow her on Twitter; she also posts pet GIFs on Google +.