Plastic Containers Can Be Deadly For Cats!

Cats are vulnerable to pet suffocation, too! We have lost several felines to chip bags and other food bags, but another danger for cats is getting trapped in containers or enclosed places, which is what happened to this beautiful kitten, Smoky, last fall when she suffocated in a pet litter container.

Lindsey Hodge writes, "Our beautiful seven-month-old kitten Smoky died when she climbed into a mostly full container of Purina Tidy Cat cat litter. This was a 35 pound yellow bucket with a hinged lid design. We are assuming our other cat jumped on it and it latched the lid and she suffocated to death. When I woke up in the morning I didn’t see Smoky, but I was rushing to get my son off to school and then go to volunteer at my quilting group. After my quilting group, I went looking for Smoky. I brought out some treats, but she didn’t come. I searched the house and called my neighbor who came over and helped me look for her. We opened every closet door, every drawer, turned the house upside down and still we did not find her. My husband was taking a large box of donations to Goodwill in the morning before work and we assumed she got out of the house when he moved the box outside to his truck. My neighbor and I begin driving around the neighborhood and alleys looking for Smoky. When we got back to my house I called my husband at work. He is a nurse manager of an ER at a local hospital. I told him to check the cameras to see if Smoky may have gotten out when he moved the box outside. He checked the camera footage, but didn’t see anything so he decided to leave work to come and help find her. It was he who opened the bucket of Purina Tidy Cat cat litter. He found her curled up like she was sleeping, but as soon as he touched her he knew she was dead. I just started screaming. My neighbor and I had walked by that bucket multiple times when we were searching the house for her, never once thinking to open the lid and check in there. It didn’t cross our minds that something like that could even happen or has happened before. This all happened when my elementary school child was getting out of school so when he came home to find his cat, his beautiful kitten dead and the house in shambles he was completely traumatized and horrified. That was his baby and her death left a huge hole in his heart. He struggled with grief and depression, as well as anxiety for months after this happened. 

Our family of animal lovers, animal rescuers, animal shelter and sanctuary volunteers is not the same happy family we once were. We are working through the grief and hurt and loss. We had never heard of or known the dangers of the hinged lid design bucket of cat litter or else we would not have bought the product. We went on CBS News to share our story. We have since found out there is no regulatory agency in the United States that keeps track of product designs that kill or harm pets. It’s impossible to know how often cats are killed in cat litter buckets, because there is no agency keeping track of this data. We are sharing our story to educate others."

Prevent Pet Suffocation has documented several felines that have suffocated in a plastic bin or container. Cats are quick on their feet and their agility allows them to easily jump on countertops, tables, refrigerators, and other appliances where they have easier access to food bags and containers. ⁣Cats are also prone to hiding in enclosed and small places like bins, plastic containers, and washers and dryers. ⁣Please be aware!

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