ScienceShot: Household Pets—Unsafe at Any Speed

Your cat is trying to kill you. Or at least injure you. An analysis of hospital emergency department data found that falls associated with cats and dogs caused over 86,000 injuries in the United States in 2006—and that's only the falls that sent people to the hospital. Most patients fell by tripping over a cat or dog, although dogs also like to push or pull people over, and an estimated 18 people a year go to the ER after falling while breaking up a cat fight. So, how to avoid falling over a pet, breaking a major bone, and dying? One suggestion: Train your dog so that he doesn't push or pull on walks, the authors write in the current issue of the Journal of Safety Research. Good luck getting a cat to stay away from your feet on the stairs, though.