Kitty Don'ts

It's scary outside

There are a lot of dangers for cats who are allowed to roam outside. They can be hurt by cars, dogs, wild animals or mean people. They can also get into poison or injure themselves on broken glass or rusty nails. Cats can also harm wild animals when they are outside. It is always best to keep your cats indoors.

Tummy aches

Cats like fish, but too much canned tuna or other fish can actually cause problems. Other foods that can be harmful are:

  • Chocolate, cocoa, candy and coffee
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Bones
  • Milk
  • Avocado, garlic, onions
  • Moldy or spoiled foods
  • Dog food

It's too hot

Never leave your cat in a car on a hot day. A car heats up very quickly on a sunny day. Your cat can suffer dehydration or heat stroke and get very sick or even die.

Nails are necessary

Declawing, or removing the nails from your cat can cause a lot of problems. A declawed cat often feels a lot of stress because she is not able to defend herself. A cat may feel pain in her paws and refuse to use her litter box. She also can't stretch properly like normal cats with claws can, and over time may her muscles in her legs and back may become weaker. Instead of declawing, learn other positive ways to deal with cats and scratching.

Keep out of reach

Some common items may seem harmless to people, but can be dangerous to cats. For example, cleaners you use to clean your house, slug bait and antifreeze are all poisonous to cats. Cats can choke or get upset stomachs from chewing on things like decorations, string, electric cords, plastic, rocks and sticks. Candle flames can burn their fur and whiskers.

Punishment no-no

Spanking or yelling at a cat is not a good way to train. A cat does not understand why someone is yelling or spanking him, and may become afraid of that person. The best way to prevent problems is to pay attention to your cat and find ways to occupy his time in a positive way, like providing a scratching post or toys and playtime. If you have a specific problem, PAWS has a lot of great information about cat behavior  and how to help, or have your parents ask for tips from PAWS' behavior helpline.


Keep you cat happy and healthy by checking out the Kitty Do's!

You can also check out lots of other cat-related fact sheets in PAWS' online resource library.