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Home remodel safety tips for cats

[From Tufts January 2010 Issue]

Cats crave consistency in the household routine. Nicholas Dodman, BVMS, veterinarian and director of the Animal Behavior Clinic at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, provides six tips aimed at keeping your cat safe and reducing the risk of unwanted behavior issues during a home remodeling project:

- Place your cats in a familiar room as far away from the construction zone as possible. Be sure they have all the necessities like food, water, litter boxes, bedding, toys and a radio to mask outside noises.

- Post a sign on the door that reads: CATS INSIDE — PLEASE DO NOT OPEN!

- Every evening, secure your home after workers leave by making sure there aren’t any hazardous materials lying around or any escape routes such as holes in the walls or open windows or doors.

- Pick up small objects such as nails, tacks and staples, which can be easily swallowed.

- Be aware of any poisonous materials a worker may leave around (such as paint, paint thinner or used brushes). Remember, cats are fastidious groomers and will lick the toxic substances from their fur, which can cause serious illness or even prove fatal.

- When you’re at home, spend extra time petting or playing with your cats, which will help you feel calmer and ease your cats’ tension.

By Karen Lee Stevens

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