From The Vet: If You Have These Items, You Need To Throw Them Away ASAP!

| Published on January 25, 2016


When you have cats, you often keep things that you get for and because of your cats. How do you know which things are more trouble than they are worth? Read on.

1. Scratched up litter boxes

When cats regularly use a plastic litter box, it is easy for the bottom to become scratched. The tiny scratches can harbor odors that are very plain to your cat. These messages may discourage your cat from appropriately eliminating in the box. Litter boxes are affordable and easily to obtain, so it is not worth your cat developing an elimination problem. Discard the scratched box and buy a new one. While you are at it, make sure you pick up enough boxes that each of your cats can have his own and there are a variety of options to choose from. Some cats like boxes with tall sides and some cats like low sided boxes. Cats can prefer covered boxes over open ones or vice versa. Providing your cat with exactly what he likes, helps ensure that he will keep good habits.

Related: The 11 Best Cat Litter Boxes for the Purrfect Potty Experience

2. Plastic bowls

There are many reasons to eliminate plastic bowls from your cat’s environment. The greasy feel of plastic has been implicated in causing feline acne. Plastic can be difficult to clean and is lightweight and easy to tip over. Cats prefer substantial feeding dishes and they’d like to be able to see all around them while they are eating, so plastic cereal bowls are not your cat’s first choice. Instead choose ceramic, clear glass, or stainless steel. Flatter saucers and dishes may make your cat feel more secure that she is not vulnerable as she eats.

3. Toys in disrepair or covered in real fur

Toys that have seen better days are best eliminated from your cat’s environment. Toy fragments or pieces of cloth that are dangling can fascinate a cat, but are apt to become a foreign body if swallowed by your cat. Play mice that are covered with real mouse or rabbit fur can trick your cat into actually eating the toy. These items require surgical removal and are certainly life-threatening if swallowed.

4. Dull nail trimmers

Trimming your cat’s claws is essential to a healthy, happy cat and owner. There are tools specifically designed to make this task easier, but if the blades on the tools or the tools themselves become dull, they are more likely to crush and fragment the nail tip. Not only can this hurt your cat, but can make the nail more likely to snag and be rough. The nail trimming experience must be pleasant for the cat and effective for you or it will get skipped. Make sure your tool is in good working order.  It isn’t worth the risk of doing a poor job.

5. Expired medications

It is a hassle to take your cat to a veterinarian every time something small is wrong or you think you know what is wrong, but go ahead and go! Using medications you have left over from other illnesses or other pets is a terrible idea. Medications change over time and some become outright toxic. Others just lose some of their potency which allows the propagation of infections that are resistant and puts everyone at risk. Many believe the use of expired medications and the inappropriate use of prescription medications is what allowed the development of MRSA (resistant staph bacteria) that has become a worldwide problem. Throw out the old meds, see your veterinarian, and get safe and appropriate treatment for the problem at hand.

Considering who your cat is and taking into account his preferences are important ways to be sure everyone is happy. Throw out your scratched up litter boxes, ditch the greasy plastic bowls and sift through the toys to eliminate dangers. Make sure your nail trimmers are sharp and in good repair. Most importantly, sort through all of your medications and discard any that are out of date or incomplete. It is our responsibility to keep our cats happy, healthy, and safe.

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