Cats are curious creatures. When curiosity takes over, they might even have difficulty differentiating between hazardous and safe materials. Sitting by the fire, the colorful flying embers and the bright sun-like flames can entice them to have a share of the forbidden items. Eventually, they might end up hurting themselves, sometimes fatally, which no kitty owner can even think of.
So, how to keep cats out of the fireplace in that case?
Let us see what smart moves you can make to help your kitty with the issue.
How to Keep Cats Out of the Fireplace?
1. Use Cat Repellents
Cat repellents are devices and materials used to deter kitties from stepping into a certain area. Usually, they are used for keeping cats off the furniture, but they can also be used for the said purpose. Though we humans may enjoy their scent, cats will avoid it. Cat repellents are completely safe and non-toxic for pets and children.
PetSafe SSSCAT Deterrent safely and effectively limits the incursion of pets in the targeted area. It is odorless and covers an area of up to three feet.
2. Make It the Least Attractive Item
Putting tinsels, photos, candles, plates, or anything else near no-pet-zones is a bad idea. They are a big attraction. You must have been familiar with cats having a thing for knocking things down that are placed on heightened surfaces – it is just in their blood! That is why never put any item on or around the frame of your fireplace.
Since Christmas falls in winter, you might set up your tree or your cat’s toy gift near the fireplace. Wrong! Never let any decoration, particularly the tinsels, be placed near the burning zone or within your kitty’s reach. Even if she is not attracted to it, there could be a high chance of her ingesting the item.
3. Install Fireplace Doors
Fireplace doors act as a barrier between your living room and fireplaces. Besides, it can also prevent the fire’s smell and ashes from spreading into the room, which may impact your cat. It is a great option as the fire will not stop burning, yet the doors can be closed to bring the chances of your pet touching it to zero.
Though various fireplace doors are available in stores, it is better to get yours customized to fit your fireplace perfectly.
4. Erect Fireplace Guards
Fireplace guards are simply big screens made of plastic or any relevant material erected in front of the fireplace. Unlike in the case of doors, guards do not completely seal off the fireplace – they just hide it.
Obviously, your cat can still jump above it or go for the sides to eventually reach the fireplace, but the probability of her doing so will decrease considerably. Furthermore, these giant barriers will not put off the fire, and the sparks and embers will also not reach your cat and surrounding places.
5. Distract Your Cat
If you happen to sit near the fireplace while your cat is around, you can use various distractions to keep her away. Though various methods exist to do so, the most effective one is using a laser beam. Just point it on the wall opposite the fireplace, and your cat will (literally) forget that the fireplace even exists. Besides, it can also act as an effective tool to exercise her.
Whisker Rechargeable Laser Pointer uses an LED flashlight to do the job. Moreover, it also includes a UV backlight and also supports USB charging.
6. Modify the Floor
Cats do not like sticky floors. They hate having their paws drenched in any type of adhesive. It would be difficult to remove the adhesive once applied, so put it on the floor around the fireplace, and your cat would not come near it anyway.
Likewise, cats also hate aluminum files coming under their feet – perhaps they do not like the clipping and crackling sounds it makes. Putting aluminum foil patches near the floor can help, especially if you do not want to use adhesives. A plus point: you can also know that your kitty is nearby the fireplace when you hear the aluminum foil sound!
7. Give Training
You must go for obedience training for your cat. Upon calling her to back off or simply saying ‘no’ loudly should stop her from marching towards the fireplace. Do not forget to use rewards every time she does it successfully. This would be the most effective and cost and time-saving method, but you cannot always be there to stop your cat. But over time, your cat can learn that fireplace is a prohibited place and stop going near it.
Do Cats Know Fire Is Dangerous?
Yes, our feline friends know that fire can be hazardous for them. Usually, cats tend to stay away from fire, but intermittent sparks and embers emitting from the fire often become too enticing for felines. Moreover, cats also learn from their previous experiences: “once harmed, avoid it forever” is the general way of life. Therefore, if they happen to be burnt by fire, they will avoid it in the future.
Despite this, cats tend to get closer to the fire when there is a need. For instance, in cold weather when getting warmth is an utmost priority. Kitties mostly maintain a safe distance from the fire in such cases.
Hazard of Fireplace for Cats
The danger of fire for cats is obvious: they will burn themselves, which could be deadly. Besides that, cats could also set the house on fire, which could lead to tragic outcomes.
Did You Know?As per the American Veterinary Medical Association, almost 40,000 pets die every year due to home fires. Out of these, 1,000 fires are caused by pets.
It is an odorless and tasteless gas that wreaks havoc on the people and animals who inhale it. Carbon monoxide displaces oxygen in the body, diminishing the oxygen supply to all the body organs, including the heart. The affected person or pet soon becomes unconscious and starts suffocating to death.
Carbon monoxide can easily spread in a room having a fireplace that is not clean and maintained. A cat that has inhaled this gas may soon start giving off symptoms such as lethargy, dizziness, uncoordinated movement, and seizures. If you suspect this to be true, you must immediately call an emergency.
Smoke can fill up a fireplace room for several reasons, such as clogged exhaust. If inhaled in significant quantity, it can cause serious trouble for cats, such as pneumonia, neurological dysfunction, and impeded supply of oxygen to the blood.
A pet that has inhaled a lot of smoke might start coughing, and gagging, have difficulty breathing, enhanced respiration rate, and may extend its neck (struggling to get air). If your cat has been exhibiting these signs of sickness, you should immediately call your vet or take her to an emergency. She will receive supplemental oxygen for about six hours. Depending on her situation, the vet might decide to hospitalize your kitty for a few days to about a week or two.
Conclusion: How to Keep Cats Out of the Fireplace?
Cats can be kept out of the fireplace by restricting their entry to it. Different methods, such as using cat repellents or sealing off the fireplace altogether, can help. You can also ‘play with your cat’s mind’ by distracting her or making the fireplace least enticing to keep her away.