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Safety - Travel, Home, & Toxins

Updated: Jul 21, 2020

Travel

British Shorthair generally travel well. However, there are a few considerations regarding both the safety and the comfort of your cat.

If you are traveling, be sure you take some water and food with you, and some non-breakable dishes. Also, think about what you will do for a litter box - we have found that a rectangular plastic box (Tupperware or something similar), filled with some litter and then sealed with the lid, is quite handy to take along in the car.

Never travel with your cat, unless it is in a carrier. If you are involved in an automobile accident, and your cat is not in a carrier it could easily be injured.

A carrier is a cat’s only seatbelt!

If you were to be injured, and someone opened your car door, your cat would almost certainly be gone before anyone knew to contain it.

When looking for a carrier, consider getting one that is airline approved if flights are ever on our itinerary. If you are traveling by air, airlines will want advance notice that you plan to bring your cat with you. Each airline has their own requirements, so be sure to check with them, but generally all airlines will require a health certificate with rabies information. Regulations vary from state to state, so be sure you contact the airline and your vet ahead of time!

Generally, cats travel better without trying to sedate them, but if you must, be sure it's something your vet gave you, and never give your cat human sedatives!

General Around the House Safety

The absolute most important thing you can do to insure you and your cat will have a long life together is to keep your cat inside. There are many diseases in the outside environment, many of them becoming a problem in just the past decade. Parasites abound in the outdoors - fleas, tapeworms, lice. There are irresponsible pet owners, who allow their animals outside even if they know they're ill. Cars kill cats. Dogs kill cats. Raccoons, opossums, coyotes - the list goes on. Not to mention- people will love to steal your new, beautiful cat!

The single most important thing you can do your for cat is to keep it inside, away from the hazards and diseases outside. The cat you have just acquired has never been outside, and is content to stay cozy and safe inside.

Inside the house, relate your kitten to that of a human toddler.

That's just about the level of "child proofing" that is appropriate. Think for your cat - look around for things that could trap them, small spaces that they could get their heads stuck in, exposed electricals, open windows, loose screens, uncovered heat vents, rubber bands laying on the floor, etc. Kittens are teething for much of their first 6 months and love to chew and explore with their mouths!

It's also a good idea to put away anything that is very delicate and breakable, at least during a kitten's early months. Give your kitten a chance to be a good pet, and put fragile things away for a little while. You'll be able to bring them back out when the kitten matures into a cat.

Toxins

Many common plants are highly toxic to cats, and highly tempting.

If you have always enjoyed poinsettias at Christmas, you should know these beautiful plants are toxic to cats.

So are philodendrons and ivy. You may want to remove some plants from your home, or change to some non-toxic plants, for the safety of your new kitten or cat.

Ask your veterinarian for information on other things that are toxic to cats. Cats have a very different physiology than humans; some things are harmless to humans, but toxic to cats, such as aspirin and certain human foods.

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