Injuries from falls and poisoning are common among domesticated cats, two animal welfare advocates said, urging cat owners to pay attention to the safety of their pets.
“Placing netting over metal window grates is a common and important measure to protect cats from falling,” said one of the advocates, who used the alias “Cuddy.”
Some owners let their cats roam outdoors, but doing so could be dangerous for the animals, said the other advocate, who used the alias “Mark.”
Photo: Pan Tzu-chiang, Taipei Times
As cats love high places and have hunting instincts, they can easily endanger themselves when trying to pounce on birds or bats from a high place, he said.
“It is a common misconception that cats cannot injure themselves by falling, as they generally have a good sense of balance,” he said.
A cat must fall from a height of at least 90cm to right itself and land safely.
However, cats can sustain broken limbs or jawbones if they fall from a height greater than 7m — a phenomenon identified as “high-rise syndrome” in a 1987 study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Owners should not rely solely on window and door screens to keep cats indoors, as the animals can cut through them with their claws, Mark said, adding that in some cases cats have been known to ram screens and break through them.
Owners who keep cats in apartments accessed through a balcony should install robust netting to prevent falls, he added.
They should also use retractable metal rods in the bases of window frames to prevent their cats sliding the windows open, Cuddy said.
While cats are at higher risk of falling when outdoors, they could also sustain a fall indoors, she said.
“My cat loves to dart about, and once it slipped on the floor and fell down the stairs, breaking some of its teeth. I later installed garden netting made of durable material so that my cat can recover and stand up if it slides into it,” Cuddy said.
Tainan veterinarian Hsu Chia-chan (許嘉展) said that owners should also prevent their cats from eating plants or food found outside, which could cause poisoning.
“Most pet owners are aware that things like chocolate, onions or garlic can make a cat sick, but they must also prevent their cats from eating plants, some of which can be poisonous even in small quantities,” he said.
For example, Rohdea japonica, poinsettias and Indian azaleas can be toxic to cats, he added.
Owners must also be careful to avoid leaving residue from cleaning solutions on surfaces, as cats might be attracted to the smell and lick the surface, he said, adding that farming families must be cautious with cats near fertilizer and pesticides.
PILLAGING PENGHU: A 7,539-tonne Chinese ship found mining sand in the Formosa Banks area was escorted by several CGA ships to a Kaohsiung harbor The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) yesterday announced that it had dispatched ships to intercept Chinese dredging vessels operating in the nation’s territorial waters near Penghu and detained 10 crew members, who were transported to Kaohsiung. A coast guard patrol discovered more than 20 dredging vessels in an area known as the Formosa Banks, 46 nautical miles (85km) southwest of Penghu County’s Cimei islet (七美) at about 5am on Wednesday. The agency responded by dispatching two patrol boats, the 3,000-tonne Kaohsiung and the 500-tonne Penghu, along with two frigates, to intercept the Chinese vessels, while an airborne observation unit was used to monitor
‘HONEYMOON’ IS OVER: A political science professor said that the Tsai administration’s popularity peaked after it successfully contained COVID-19, but is waning President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) and Premier Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) approval ratings fell significantly this month in the wake of the government’s handling of the distribution of relief funds and stimulus coupons to people and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a poll released yesterday by the New Power Party (NPP) showed. The poll showed that 68 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Tsai’s performance, down 8.9 percentage points from last month, while 21 percent said they disapproved of her performance. Her approval among respondents aged 20 to 29 fell 14.7 percentage points, the largest decrease when compared with other age
CAUTION: The CECC would first observe how the nation fares after easing domestic restrictions and wait for the pandemic to further subside before making its next move The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that relaxing domestic restrictions and border controls simultaneously might complicate efforts to reopen the nation, amid discussions about Taiwan’s exclusion by other countries in their first lists of tourists. The center hopes for there to be a period of observation following the easing of domestic restrictions, before it decides what to do next, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told a daily news briefing in Taipei. Chen was responding to a question about the reasoning behind the central government’s decision not to allow foreign students into the
Taiwan respects other countries’ decisions not to include it in their first lists of tourists allowed entry when they reopen their borders, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. The Yomiuri Shimbun on Sunday reported that the Japanese government was considering reopening the country to tourists from Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand first. Greece on Friday announced that from June 15, it would allow visitors from 29 countries, including Australia, China, the Czech Republic, Japan, Israel, New Zealand, South Korea and Germany. Japan has not yet finalized its visitor list, but the ministry has conveyed its hope that Tokyo would