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Pet-Proofing Your Home: Laundry

The final stop in my pet-proofing series is the laundry room. The greatest potential danger in a laundry room is the clothes dryer. Kitties may be tempted to jump and nap on warm, fresh clothes either near or in the dryer. Some cats will even choose the empty dryer for a sleeping spot. This can quite obviously result in serious injuries if you turn the dryer on. To protect your cat's health and well-being, don't leave the dryer door open.

To hear more laundry room dangers,

Another risk in the laundry room is the fabric softener sheets. These dryer sheets contain synthetic chemical compounds that can irritate and burn your pet's skin as well as cause diarrhea and ulcers if ingested. Some detergents can produce a similar reaction, and cats can be particularly sensitive to certain ingredients such as phenols. Remember, if your animal comes into contact with a chemical on his paws or fur, he can then ingest it while grooming.

Just like with the other rooms in the pet-proofing series, ingestion of cleaning products is a serious risk. Also, products containing bleach can cause stomach upset and respiratory tract irritation when swallowed or inhaled in a high enough concentration. The laundry room also has other hidden dangers, such as spilled liquid detergents or stain removers that a pet may lick up.

I've just offered some basic safety tips for you. If you fear your pet has ingested something harmful, immediately check with the vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. The ASPCA Poison Control Hotline is available 24 hours a day at (888) 426-4435 – there is a $55 consultation fee for this service.


Join The Conversation
backfat backfat 9 years
My Boxer has pooped out quite a few dryer sheets to our great upset. I'm glad she's okay. :(
mabess mabess 9 years
my cat pooped in our dryer once. yuck. i'm very diligent about closing the door now.
platinumblonde platinumblonde 9 years
My dog always tries to steal the used dryer sheets and tear them up, I am always worried those are bad for her, so I try to be quick to keep them out of her mouth. Other than that she is not interested in the laundry room.
ElleJay ElleJay 9 years
I know this is off topic- but does anyone know how i edit my pet's page?
davisdavis davisdavis 9 years
This may sound cruel, but the first time my cat investigated the dryer, I beat on the top of it really loudly... she hasn't been near it since.
acemonkey acemonkey 9 years
Please, please be careful with the dryer. My mom's cat once went for a ride in the dryer. It was horrible. The cat was okay though, lived to be 19 years old. Scared my poor mom to death.
leahlarocco leahlarocco 9 years
My cat is obsessed with my laundry basket.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Mine's in the basement, faaaaaaaaaaaar away from my kitties.
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