So you’re bringing home a new kitten? Congratulations! Kittens are notorious, adorable little trouble-makers, with a knack for getting into things they shouldn’t. Their natural curiosity can get them into serious trouble if you don’t take a few preventative measures to ensure their safety before they arrive in their new home. Here are a few suggestions for kitten proofing the different areas of your home:
Kitten-Proofing your Living Room:
Potted Plants – A number of household plants can be toxic to cats. Make sure the plants you have in your home are cat safe, as kittens love to nibble on greenery. Check out this list of plants that are dangerous to have around cats. Also, be aware that, while you’re litter training your new baby, he may feel inclined to use the dirt in your plant as a litter box!
Curtains & Blinds – It’s no secret that cats love to play with strings, and the cords from blinds are just too enticing. Secure or tie up your cords. They are a serious strangulation hazard!
Electric Cords – Cords and cables look like cat toys to curious kitties, but pose a shock hazard! Keep exposed cords as short as possible or tack or tape them against your baseboards so the kitten can’t chew on them. Use cord covers or try a deterrent spray to dissuade a kitten who is determined to chew your cords and cables.
Kitten-Proofing your Kitchen:
Cupboards – Secure your cupboards containing food and dangerous chemicals and household cleaners. Be sure to keep them closed at all times. In fact, some cats are notoriously good at opening cabinets, and you may need to use child locks to keep them safe from curious paws.
Counters – Cats and kittens are notorious counter-surfers! Never leave a full sink or a hot stove unattended until you are absolutely positive that your cat has been properly trained to avoid them.
Trash Can – Keep a lid on your trash can or keep it safely tucked away inside a cupboard. Kittens are scavengers!
Kitten-Proofing your Bathroom:
Toiletries – Keep hazardous toiletries (like toothpaste, that is toxic – yet tasty – to cats) locked away in a high cabinet or drawer.
Medications – Pills and medications can be fatal to cats if ingested. Obviously, never give human medications to your kitten unless instructed by your veterinarian and keep them safely locked away.
Toilet – Keep the toilet lid closed. Curious kittens might fall in and drown. Also, toilet bowl cleaners are harmful if swallowed.
Hair Accessories – Please don’t allow your kitten to play with hair ribbons and hair ties. These can cause serious injury and death if swallowed – so stick with cat toys.
Kitten-Proofing your Bedroom:
Dresser – Kittens love to explore and sleep in tight, dark spaces. Be sure to keep your dresser drawers closed, so your kitten doesn’t accidentally get shut inside!
Closets – Just like your dresser, keep that closet door closed, or your kitten just may accidentally get closed inside.
Kitten-Proofing the Rest of your House:
Windows – Make sure all window screens are secure to prevent escapes and falls.
Balconies and Decks – Keep your kitten off of high balconies, patios and decks to prevent dangerous falls.
Washer & Dryer – Always keep your dryer door closed and double-check your dryer before turning it on. Cats love to find warm dark places to sleep. You’d be shocked at how often they have been killed by sleeping in a clothes dryer.
Floors – Keep your floors free of small debris, like rubber bands, hair ties, rope, or anything that your kitten might be tempted to swallow.
Pest Control – Use only pest control that is safe for animals.
Garage – Most often, this is where toxic chemicals are stored; cars and backed in and out; and gasoline, oil and antifreeze are present. Antifreeze has a taste that pets enjoy, but even a small amount, if ingested, can cause kidney failure and death. It’s best to keep kittens out of the garage altogether.
With a little bit of preparation, you can ensure your new furball’s safety and focus on all the fun that comes with being a new cat parent! Do you have any other tips for kitten-proofing your home? Share them with us!