Cats and kittens have a lot of energy to spend and the curiosity to go with it. They climb into high places and crawl into small spaces. They run, leap and pounce on anything that moves. Nothing is spared. It’s their job. Your job is to keep them safe.

If your cat isn’t a picky eater, and some aren’t, he may want to try a taste of everything that looks or smells even a bit good to eat. Even the pickiest of eaters have been known to occasionally try of taste of something that they shouldn’t have.

Keep food off the counters and in secure containers. Many human foods are harmful to cats. Coffee, tea and chocolate can cause nervous or urinary system damage and heart muscle stimulation. Chocolate can also cause diarrhea, seizures or death. Grapes and raisins contain a toxin which can damage a cat’s kidneys. Give your cat only cooked meat. Uncooked meat can have disease causing bacteria.

Cats can be attracted to meat juices left on plastic or aluminum foil on counter tops. If your cat eats them, he can choke or develop an intestinal obstruction. Meat-soaked strings from roasts are irresistible to a cat, but can be harmful if they are eaten. Put food away immediately when you are done eating and secure your garbage can lid.

Child proof latches in the bathroom will prevent your cat from opening cabinets. Place all medications safely out of his reach. Keep the toilet lid closed, especially if you have a kitten or small cat. He might fall in and drown.

Never leave a filled bathtub or sink unattended when there is a cat around. Toilet bowl cleaners leave a poisonous residue. When you are done cleaning the bathroom, put the supplies away in a cupboard or closet with a secure door. Rinse drains well. Some cats like to lick freshly cleaned sinks and drains.

Cats are usually fascinated by large appliances, possibly because they are warm, dark and quiet and make a great place for a cat to sleep. Keep your washer and dryer closed and always check inside before you turn them on. Close your refrigerator and freezer as soon as you take your food out. Hot stove tops can be hazardous to a curious cat and many cats are very curious indeed.

If your cat chews on electrical cords, he could get a bad shock. If it is possible, unplug any cords when they are not in use. You can also cover them with cord protectors or spray them with a non-toxic spray. Cat repellants are available. Check your pet store for ideas.

A cat can strangle himself with drapery or blind cords if he gets them wrapped around his neck or he can choke on the plastic knob if he chews it.

Some house plants are poisonous to cats. You can look on line to find out which ones. Be sure your window screens are tightly fastened. A cat can easily fall out of an unsecured window.

If your cat has access to your garage, put all chemicals behind secure doors. Clean all antifreeze from the floor. Just one taste can be fatal to a cat. Bang on the hood of your car to be sure he hasn’t gotten on the engine to keep warm. Keep sharp tools, fishing line and hooks out of his reach. Being cautious will keep your cat safe and sound and reduce emergency trips to the vet.

The Pittsburg County Animal Shelter is located at 1206 N. West Street in McAlester. The hours are 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday. The phone number is 918-423-7803. The adoption fee is $20 for dogs and $15 for cats. All have been spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped.

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