Riding in the Car
Years ago, a client came in who had obviously been injured -- she had bandages on her hands and she was limping. She mentioned that she was driving along and "everything just went black". I felt terrible for her. I had assumed that she meant that she blacked out and lost consciousness, but instead she meant that her large black dog had jumped across her lap to bark at something outside of the driver side window! She lost control of the car and had an accident. Keeping pets "secured" in cars protects not only the pet, but as in this case, the driver, too.
Open Windows and High Ledges
Another hazard are open windows or other open places such as fire escapes and roofs that are elevated. Most people assume that cats will land on their feet and that animals will automatically sense danger and be able to "grab on" and not fall from high ledges. However, in what is commonly called "High Rise Syndrome", pets, most often cats, have fallen out of windows and been severely injured and or died from the fall. Contrary to the name, the cat doesn't need to live in a high rise apartment building; a 2 or 3 story suburban home is tall enough to have a pet experience "High Rise Syndrome".
Cats are known for their ability to land on their feet, a phenomenon called the "cat righting reflex", but this does not mean that they are safe from falls out of windows! A simple, well-secured screen across your window is a worthwhile investment in safety. It is important to note that cats (and other small indoor pets!) can slip through amazingly small openings, so be sure to get a strong, complete screen.
Pet Safety Products
Pets are unpredictable, and there are several products on the market to help keep your pet safe in moving vehicles and open windows. Here are a few ideas.
Compare prices on these products
- Pet Crates
- Pet Barriers for the Car
- Pet Seat Restraints
- Pet Car Seats
- Pet Life Jackets
For those times on moving aquatic vehicles!
- Habits to Practice for a Cat-Safe Home
From the About.com Cats site
- High-Rise, High-Risk
From The Pet Connection
Photo: Cat on AC unit - credit: blhphotography on Flickr