Curious Cat Rescued After Getting Stuck in Garbage Disposal Drain

PetMD Editorial
Published: February 27, 2018
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As any cat owner knows, oh-so-curious felines like to get into things and places that they shouldn't, particularly in the case of one family pet in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

According to a Facebook post from the Tredyffrin Township Police, authorities were called when a household kitty named Sam got stuck in the drain of a garbage disposal.

"[Sgt.] Brian Hughes wasted no time springing into action,” the post read. “After grabbing a few tools, and a bit of coconut oil, [he] worked for an hour to safely disassemble the disposal and successfully free the trapped feline!" 

Sam's owner, Lynn Allendorf Naimoli, wrote on the Facebook thread that Hughes was "fabulous" and that he worked "carefully and calmly" to get the unharmed kitty out of the drain. She also noted that Sam "has always been drawn to drains and likes to see where the water goes."

She said that the disposal was empty at the time, but "it may have had a lingering scent" that caught the cat's nose (in addition to keeping disposals free and clear of food and smells, it's best to frequently clean and empty it like you would a trash can). 

Sam's trip down the drain doesn't come as a surprise, considering cats are natural explorers of places and things in the kitchen like the sink (and, in Sam's case, the garbage disposal).

When it comes to cats and kitchen safety, Dr. Aimee Simpson, Medical Director of the VCA Cat Hospital of Philadelphia, says to be mindful of faucets. "Some cats are attracted to running water from faucets," she says. "Be aware of any excessive urge for your cat to get to water." 

Other measures to take in home safety with cats, include securing tight spots and putting child safety locks on cabinets

Blair DeJong, the feline behavior counselor for the ASPCA, reiterates the importance that pet owners should always keep an eye on their pets "in the kitchen and around food products, many of which can be harmful to animals." 

"Pet owners with very small creatures, including kittens, should consider buying a cover to put over the sink drain," DeJong says. 

"Pet-proofing your home can take different forms and is often case by case and based on common sense. A cat fascinated with the garbage disposal is unusual but can happen if they're attracted to the food scents in the sink," says Dr. Kwane Stewart, chief veterinary officer for American Humane. In addition to putting a cover on the sink, Stewart suggests that you "Disinfect as often as possible to remove any lingering food odors."

Image via Tredyffrin Township Police 

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