When Tatianna was a kitten, she crawled into the clothes dryer without me noticing. I thought she was upstairs. When I turned on the dryer filled with lingerie, a noise, which sounded like tennis shoes hitting the inside of the dryer, startled me. I immediately opened the door. To my astonishment, there was Tatianna! She was stunned and shaken up. But since only a couple of revolutions had been completed, we escaped a near-catastrophic accident.

Unfortunately, hundreds of cats a year are unlucky with clothes dryer accidents. Cats are quiet and quick as you are focused on transferring clothes from the washer. They jump into the open dryer without being noticed. They may even be sleeping in this cozy dark spot. These simple actions can avert tragedy.

1. Close the laundry room door the instant you enter
2. Double check the cat did not follow you
3. Check the clothes dryer before you turn it on
4. Keep the dryer door closed when not in use so the cat will not sleep there
5. Focus on task and avoid distractions (like a phone call) that might allow cat to slip into dryer
6. If the laundry area is an open floor plan, be extra cautious
7. Educate family members
8. Advise house guests
9. Put a reminder cat photo or poster on the dryer door
10. Be mindful that front loading washers are also dangerous for curious cats

Years later, I still turn on the dryer for a few seconds, listen, stop it, and open the door to make sure no felines are inside.

Bountiful Blessings!

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