Cats are known for doing some wacky things like pushing items off counters, playing in the toilet, or getting stuck in some strange places–but what about cats starting fires? Apparently, their antics have been brought to the attention of the Seoul Metropolitan Fire and Disaster Department. Fire officials give tips to avoid ‘feline firestarters' after 107 housefires are credited to cats.
With three cats that follow me around the homestead, the struggle is real–to keep them off the counters. I've had more than my fair share of keeping these feline family members from being pyromaniacs near open flames like candles, the fireplace, or their favorite choice of causing anxiety–the stove.
My three cats are countertop hopper extraordinaires. They've gone through a ‘cat life' or two after they leaped over the top of an open flame on the stove and I may have tossed all my candles after a few whiskers (and tails) have caught on fire.
Officials state that cats in the U.S. cause about 1,000 fires a year. So how do you keep your curious cat from being a feline firestarter? Here are a few tips.
Tips To Curb Cats Starting Fires
Keep in mind, it's a natural instinct to climb and be up high. This allows these curious felines to feel safe and have a bird's eye view of their environment. So it's important to provide alternatives so they aren't as likely to be on the counter. Consider getting a cat tree. A large sturdy cat tree with a wide stable base that has plush platforms allows cats to be at window level. Cat trees are a great place to perch, play, scratch, and sleep.
Next, to help keep cats from starting fires, consider minimizing all open flames, from stoves to candles, to fireplaces. Fireplaces should have a metal grate attached to the wall to prevent cats climbing inside or batting at the flames and officials advise using the automatic lock function on stoves or investing in child safety knobs too.
Keep Cats Off The Counters
Once you've cat-proofed your house, it's time to train for your feline hairballs that countertops are off-limits. Keep countertops clean and clear of clutter. Use cleaners that have a citrus scent.
When they do hop up on the counters, you can clap your hands loudly and startle your cat into getting down or you can use foil to train your cat to stay down. Cats hate the sound and feel of foil. And if that doesn't work, a ‘zap mat' set on the counter is another great, safe, and very entertaining alternative. They are battery-operated electronic repellent mats that you can place on the counters, in front of fireplaces, in front of curtains, or even around the Christmas tree to train your cat that these areas are a "No feline territory."
We hope these tips help you keep your sanity while allowing your cats to keep all nine lives. We love our furry family members and hope these tips prevent you from becoming a feline firestarter statistic.
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Featured Image Credit: Getty Images/Svetlana Sultanaeva