Cats are very smart, but also very curious beings. For every story of a cat showing their incredible intelligence and consideration there is one where it’s the curiosity and haste that leads them astray. Today, dear fabCats, we take on all the stories that start with “My cat would never…” and check why, despite the efforts their Carers make every day, cats are able to get into trouble at any given time.
Domesticated, but wild at heart
The early stages of cats living with hoomans are very interesting because even today, we’re still wondering if we actually domesticated cats or did the cat simply see the perks of living alongside people and got used to us. It’s hard to deny that modern domestic cats have lost many of their wild, untamed qualities over the years to become fluffy couch potatoes, but we can’t also miss the fact that their wild nature is still there and drives most of their everyday lives.
What does it mean for a cat? In a nutshell, our feline housemates love their domestic life, they love that we serve them and their well-being is cared for by their hoomans. Because of that, they can let themselves feel safe and comfortable while staying independent, curious and always ready to explore. And even if their living space is limited to the 4 walls of the hooman’s house, a creative kitty will always find their way to have the adventure of their lifetime.
They say “curiosity killed the cat”. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of truth to that - curiosity can lead cats into some dangerous situations and it doesn’t even have to take them outside our house. We often feel like we’ve made the home 100% safe for cats. But did we really succeed?
“Don’t touch it, it’s poison”
One of the dangers that cats are subjected to in our homes is poisoning. Plants that cats shouldn’t be eating, food that shouldn’t be landing in their bowls, detergents they should stay away from - there are so many occasions for cats to consume substances that are bad for them. Cat Carers often explain their lack of caution by saying “my cat has never…” - never been curious about detergents in the bathroom, never took food off the table, never shown any interest in our house plants. And sure, there are cats that couldn’t care less about all this and all that they see is the tip of their tail. But with felines in general, we should never assume that if something hasn’t happened before, it never will.
Sure, your cat won’t purposefully drink the detergent - what would be the point in that? But they can step into a drop of the toilet bowl cleaner that fell onto the floor. No cat will allow themselves to have dirty paws so they will lick it off right away and there you go - you have a huge problem on hand. And the drop could be so small you won’t notice it at first to realize what happened.
Your cat doesn’t chew on your house plants? Respect - we can’t say we’re that lucky. But we know from experience that even if a cat never pays attention to the green leaves hanging from the plant pots, it’s better to be safe than sorry and only have plants that are safe for cats if they were to eat them. You never know what new brilliant idea can come to your cat’s head or what circumstances will make them think: “hey, that green stuff looks interesting. I must try it”.
“Cat on a balcony? Easy, they’ll be ok”
We’ll skip the topic of letting cats outside on their own today, but we’ll gladly turn our attention to the balcony business. Domestic cats love spending their time by the window, on the balcony or a patio and enjoy the beauty of nature and everything that’s moving around outside. And if they can, they should be given a chance to have access to that - it’s the best cat TV on the market! But let’s not forget that cats are predators that will jump to a hunting opportunity if they get one. And a cat hunt has one and only one rule: the end justifies the means.
Yes, cats have a great sense of balance. Sure, they can jump long and far, land safely and squeeze into confined spaces. But they’re not invincible and sometimes the excitement of the situation can cloud their realistic judgment of the circumstances. A slightly open window? “I’ll fit there”. “Look hooman, a fly!” - You’ll fall, says the hooman, and still won’t catch it. - “Let me check that for myself, thank you”. Cats are intelligent and aware of their abilities, but let’s not give them credit for complex thinking processes similar to the ones we have. As their Carers, we have the obligation to ensure our cats’ safety and installing a safety net on the balcony or in a window which our cats use daily, is a must.
House appliances under investigation
In a cat’s mind, any item that the hoomans use on a daily basis has the potential to be very interesting. Kitchen counters? Wonder what they are cutting up there. Moving images on the TV screen? Must catch them! The feline curiosity can be quite dangerous for a cat. Let’s imagine them jumping up onto the countertop right as we finish cooking. They may find no tasty treats, but carelessly walk over a cooker that’s still hot and burn their paws. Or turn on the electric cooker that we forgot to lock after using it. We know such cases from experience - fortunately the result was only a burnt pot.
Questionable food preferences
If we were to call cats out on their lack of consistency in any field, we’d say it’s their food preferences. Only domestic cats can make a fuss about the best quality of food they get in their bowls and immediately after that go to hunt for a fly or eat the entire bowl of dog’s dry food. And here it’s on us, again, to protect them from harm. Eating one fly probably won’t hurt them, but catching a hornet can have a tragic outcome. And eating dog food or snacks we bought in a local supermarket? Well - snacks are great in a cat’s diet if we use them as occasional treats, but let’s make sure there’s no ingredients in them that won’t do our cats any good, like sugars and carbs they simply don’t need.
We could endlessly list situations that can get cats in serious and unexpected trouble. But we would love to give you, dear fabCats, a voice and let you say what odd and dangerous ideas your furs have. Drop the best of them in the comments :)