My cats meet me at the door every day when I arrive at home. It is one of the highlights of my evening and helps me to let go of daily stress. Last night, when I got home, I placed my purse on the floor and Harry’s head was in my purse immediately. You see, his new obsession is hair ties. He loves to carry them in his mouth and bat them about like a toy (despite having tons of real toys.) This obsession began about a week ago and I have since become even more careful to hide away all hair bands. I wouldn’t really care about him playing with them if I didn’t think he might swallow one.
Harry knows that my purse contains hair ties and since I’ve hidden all others, he was apparently desperate to get into my purse when I got home!
There are a lot of items within a handbag or backpack that can be hazardous to pets. All bags should be placed where pets can’t ‘investigate.’ Here is a list of some common handbag items that can be harmful to pets:
Hair ties (can be swallowed or stuck around neck or limbs)
Xylitol (toxic to dogs – sweetener used in candies, gum, mints, and more)
Nail files or scissors (risk being stabbed or cut)
Prescription drugs (may cause serious illness or death)
Over the counter drugs (such as Tylenol or cold medicine, which can cause serious illness or death)
Mouth wash (contains alcohol, which can cause illness or death)
Lighters (contains toxic lighter fluid and also poses a fire risk if your pet manages to strike the igniter)
Cigarettes or nicotine gum (nicotine is toxic to cats and dogs, leading to serious illness or death)
Asthma Inhalers (the medication is taken by humans in small doses, but if your pet chews through the inhaler, they will be getting a large dose of medication which can cause serious illness or death)
Hand Sanitizer (contains alcohol and other chemicals that can cause illness or death)
I used to think of my purse as a safe spot to hide things because the cats wouldn’t bother with it. But that’s not true anymore. Pets are very cunning and determined when they want to investigate. To solve my problem I put my purse on a sideboard where my cats aren’t allowed to go (and so far Harry follows that rule, although he will probably stop now that I’ve written it down!)
Keep in mind that places you think your pet might not get into can be just as vulnerable to a curious nose as something left in the middle of the floor.
Jennifer Kean is a writer and pet-lover who owns two rescue kittens (lifetime cat owner too!) and has a 40 gallon fish tank!