Can your kitten or cat get into trouble in the bathroom? You bet! From unrolling the toilet paper (fun!) to licking surfaces that may have been cleaned with harmful substances (not so great), bathrooms can be hazardous areas for felines. To lessen the risks, consider making some changes for your cat’s safety and your peace of mind.
What could be out on a bathroom counter that could cause serious problems for your cat? Dental floss, for one. A cat could easily swallow a small or large length of floss, leading to potentially dangerous internal issues. Keep unused floss where your cat can’t get to it. Dispose of used floss right away, in a trash can your cat cannot open. We have a small uncovered trash can in the bathroom, but I put used floss in the covered kitchen trash can that has a locking lid.
What else is on the counter that might be a danger to a curious cat? If your cat loves to put things in her mouth, anything is suspect. If someone in your household uses medicated skin powder, and it drifts onto the floor or the counter, your cat can step on this and ingest it when she licks her fur. Look at your bathroom as if you are seeing it for the first time. What could potentially harm your cat? Prescription medications and over-the-counter pain relievers can cause illness or death if cats swallow them.
Choose Cleaning Products Carefully
Speaking of counters, or any surfaces in the bathroom (floors, tub, toilet), there’s a lot of powerful stuff marketed for the cleaning of bathrooms – some of it not so great for your kitty. Our cats are very small compared to the size of a human, and products that may be harmful for us can really overpower your cat’s respiratory system. Your cat could ingest cleaning products that leave a residue on surfaces. Research safer ways to clean the bathroom with products that are less harmful to your cat. Your veterinarian may have information regarding safe, or less hazardous, products for bathroom cleaning.
Close Toilet Lids
I don’t want my cat drinking out of the toilet, especially if toxic cleaning products were ever used in the toilet bowl. Additionally, a very small cat, or a kitten, could potentially drown in a toilet. To eliminate this danger, get in the habit of closing the toilet lid all the time. For these same reasons (the risk of accident or drowning), keep tubs and sinks empty, and do not leave a cat unsupervised in a bathroom with a full tub or sink for any period of time.
Shut The Door
There are a lot of hazards for kitties in the bathroom. A simple solution is to completely deny your cat access to the bathroom. If you live in a cold climate, make sure that keeping the door closed won’t make the bathroom too cold and possibly lead to frozen pipes.
Making the bathroom a safer place for your cat is an enlightening and eye-opening experience. And who knows – it may change the way you clean and store things throughout your entire living space.
This article was reviewed/edited by board-certified veterinary behaviorist Dr. Kenneth Martin and/or veterinary technician specialist in behavior Debbie Martin, LVT.