Household Dangers for Cats and How To Keep Them Safe

DrPaul -

Household Dangers for Cats and How To Keep Them Safe

We want our homes to be safe, happy places but welcome a curious cat to the household and suddenly we need to take extra care. In this post, I will highlight common household dangers for your cat.




We all keep food at home, so it’s worth knowing that human foods toxic to cats include: 


  • Grapes and raisins
  • Chocolate
  • Avocados
  • Onions
  • Leftovers - including fat trimmings
  • Raw fish and liver
  • All foods containing artificial sweetener


Keep cats safe by: clearing plates as soon as a meal is finished; storing leftovers away and pick up any dropped food immediately.




If you’re a pet parent, some house and outdoor plants can be extremely dangerous. Species to avoid include: 


  • Lily - many species of lily are toxic to cats.
  • Eucalyptus leaves - often found in floral arrangements but are poisonous to most animals.
  • Succulents - some succulents are harmless or mildly irritant to our feline friends, but species including Jade, Euphorbia, Sansevieria and even popular Aloe Vera can be extremely toxic and cause real gastric distress if eaten.
  • Hyacinths, poinsettias and tulips. 
  • Species with berries and seeds - not all are toxic, but many can cause intestinal blockages.


Being a careful pet parent also means understanding which plant species may not be fatal but could cause allergic and harmful skin, eye and respiratory reactions in cats. Especially since home grown veg has become popular, it’s worth knowing that common vegetable plants such as parsnips, carrot, tomato, onions, celery and cucumbers can affect cats in this way.


Step up safety by: removing all plants which could be toxic and checking bouquets or bunches of flowers before bringing them indoors. Cat-proof your vegetable garden where possible. 




Human medications, including household regulars such as aspirin, pain relievers, vitamins and prescription medications, can poison your cat. Paracetamol is especially dangerous for our feline friends so you should take very special care when taking this commonly used medication. Yes, it can be a pain to hunt around to find that tiny dropped pill, but it could end more painfully to leave it there. 

Maximise medication safety by storing medications out of reach.


Household cleansers and chemicals


Most rooms in our home have household cleansers and chemicals in them. Examples which could cause your cat extreme harm include (but are not limited to):


  • Polishes and cleaning products.
  • Pesticides, fertilisers and weed killers.
  • Decorating supplies, eg: paints, pastes, thinners and removers.
  • Beauty products, eg: lotions, nail varnish remover.


Protect kitty by: storing household solvents and solutions in cat-proof cupboards and cleaning up spills immediately - just a tiny drop can have terrible consequences for a curious cat.

Cupboard caution


From discarded dental floss to elastic bands and paper clips, household things that are toxic to cats are generally chewable items which can be swallowed, causing both pain and internal damage. 


Keep your cat safe by: following the same rules as you would for a small child - keep small items out of the way, and never assume that something is too big to be chewed or swallowed. And remember, cats aren’t just curious, they’re also very clever at ‘fishing’ items out of rubbish bins and storage baskets so, if it’s being thrown away or put away, make sure your cat can’t reach it. 

Paul Manktelow

Veterinary Surgeon

Dr Paul Manktelow is a vet who's worked for almost 20 years on the front line in some of the UK's busiest veterinary hospitals. Paul also appears regularly in the media as a TV and radio presenter, writer, public speaker and podcast producer.