by Emi Calvo, ATC

There are many benefits to having a feline friend in your life. Studies have shown that those with feline or canine companions have lower heart rate and blood pressure than those who don’t have pets. Cats often fill our need for companionship, aid in mental health, and even help us find significant others! There is so much that cats provide for us, so it’s important to extend our ability to stay PREPARED to them to ensure our homes are an equally safe place to avoid injuries!

There are many hidden risks lurking at home for those four-legged friends of ours. Let’s (R) Review Your Hazards and see where injury risk may be hiding.


Indoor and outdoor plants can pose a risk to felines. If a small piece is ingested it can make a cat sick, larger pieces could be fatal. Plants that are toxic to cats include but not limited to:

poinsettias, holly, mistletoe, lilies, tulips, hydrangeas, amaryllises, foxglove, baby’s breath.


Always consult your veterinarian before giving your cat any medication. Human medications and canine flea medications can be toxic to cats. We often find our feline friends in odd places up on counters, under beds or hiding in cabinets. Be cautious of pills lying on tables and counters. Common medications that can cause poisoning include:

aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), some vitamins/supplements, flea medication for dogs.


While it’s tempting to share food off your plate, it’s important to know what foods can make your cat ill if ingested:

grapes, raisins, avocados, onions, chocolate, artificial sweeteners.

Household items

Almost every cat owner has moved their sofa or dresser to find a cat’s hidden stash of ‘toys.’ These everyday items have the potential to cause serious injury, choking hazards, and respiratory issues.

Loose thread, string, dental floss, plastic bags with handles, batteries, paper clips, coins, buttons, hair bands/clips, rubber bands, electrical cords/charging cables.


Curious cats have been known to explore areas like front-loading washers/dryers or dishwashers while owners are looking the other way. It’s important to double-check your surroundings when closing cabinets or drawers as cats will sneak in but won’t be able to get back out.

Owning a cat is an extremely rewarding experience, cats are independent creatures who love to explore on their own and very affectionate with those they trust. Build that trust by providing your kitty a safe space to explore, play, and curl up on the sofa with you.

Be sure to check out our other blogs for further injury prevention education and tips from Work Right NW!

About Emi Calvo, ATC ||
Emi is a Reno, NV-based Injury Prevention Specialist with Work Right NW. Originally from Sacramento, she received her Athletic Training degree for Sacramento State University and has 7 years experience in the fields of athletics. Her cat, Cali is a 10-year old Calico who loves demanding scratches from anyone who sits  still  for  more than two  minutes. Emi and Cali are two little old ladies completely content to listen to jazz music and judge the medical errors on TV shows or buyers on House Hunters.