When my husband and I made the decision to adopt a kitten that was rescued from being stuck in a prison fence somewhere in our state four years ago, we had no idea we wouldn’t have him long. Our cat, Twitter, was already named and was as sweet as could be with our two little girls (and later with our twins) when we first decided to bring him home. He wasn’t the cat we went into the shelter to get, but he was the one our kids fell in love with and that’s not something you can pass up. We brought him home, and we had him for four years before he was (we assume) killed by a coyote recently.
When I look back at his life with us and what I now know that I did not know back then, I’m amazed he lived as long as he did. Now that I know that half of what we did, fed the cat and exposed him to on a daily basis might have killed him, I’m just shocked he lived as long as he did. No, I take that back; I am not shocked. That cat had 9 lives and he lived every single one of them with us. He was attacked by the dog we adopted last year, two days before Christmas. Less than 30 minutes and more than $600 later, the vet told us that night he’d be better off coming home with us to die that night since he was never going to live with failing kidneys, collapsed lungs, in shock and several bites, bruises and other injuries on his body.
The vet actually suggested putting him to sleep, but I could never. I’d rather him die over the night from low body temperature or failing internal organs. I didn’t want to make the decision to kill him when I already brought home the dog that tried to kill him right in front of our kids. Somehow, that cat lived. He made it; we thought for weeks he might die at any moment and then he never did.
He overshot the jump from the stairs to the top of the railing where he liked to lie down on more than one occasion, falling down from the second story. He always lived. It was about two – maybe three – months ago when we heard the unmistakable sounds of a coyote grabbing him from our porch at 3 am and him being dragged off as we raced to save him that finally took his life (we were unable to find him even in the daylight, so, well, you know). He wanted to be an outside cat and would sneak off when the kids walked out doors and would hide from us. It was sad. Either way, though, I can’t believe that one of these things didn’t kill him. I’m going to share with you five things you do regularly that might actually kill your cat; stop now so you can save the life of your feline friend.
Letting him Clean the Floor
We have twins, and they are 18 months. That means we let our cat clean the floor under their high chairs more often than once. And by that, I mean we never cared that he was down there fighting for their discarded food before we cleaned it up in a sanitary manner. However, it turns out that eating their two favorite foods could have killed him – I’m shocked it didn’t. Our babies love grapes and raisins, and both are toxic to cats even in small doses. Even a small bite of grapes and/or raisins can cause your cat’s kidneys to fail and kill him. There’s some food for thought (pun intended).
Decorating with Lillies
I love lilies. They’re not my favorite, but I do enjoy them. I also enjoy having fresh flowers in my home at all times. We have a vase of fresh flowers on our kitchen island, the front entry table and my office desk and dining room table at all times. Usually we have tulips, roses or gerbera daisies, but occasionally lilies. Turns out, though, that lilies are a terrible idea for anyone with a cat. They’re toxic to cats and can kill them by ending them into kidney failure. Turns out that your décor is killer. Literally.
Feeding Him Tuna
We never gave our cat tuna because, honestly, I cannot stand the smell of any kind of meat in a small metal container. But I’m glad we did not. It turns out that eating too much canned tuna is a bad idea for cats since it can cause them to develop mercury poisoning. Don’t worry; you can still give your cat a little at a time on an infrequent basis, but too much of a good thing is a real thing in this situation.
Feeding the Cat Chocolate
Okay, let’s be honest here; how many people are sharing their chocolate? It’s people like you that make me have trust issues. I mean, I don’t even share chocolate with my kids. I will hide it, hoard it and sneak it so that I don’t have to, yet people give it to their cats? It turns out that feeding a cat chocolate can actually kill it. There is something called Thebromine in chocolate that can be lethal to felines, and that means it can kill your cat. So, be selfish – eat the chocolate for yourself and don’t worry about your cat’s begging. He might not understand, but you know he does not have a death wish.
Sharing Alcohol with Cats
All right; I can’t even go here. I was shocked enough at the thought that someone might share their chocolate with a cat, but their booze? Honestly? I don’t even put my wine down long enough for the cat to sneak a sip, let alone share. That would be alcohol abuse. However, if your cat gets into your drink if you leave it sitting around, it can kill him. Cats get drunk off a lot less than humans – and for some of you that might come as a shock considering how little it takes you – and it will kill them.
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