Cat Proofing Your Home – What You Need to Do!
27 December, 2011
Congratulations! You have decided to bring a kitten into your new home and you are both excited and nervous. You have already stocked up on essentials such as a litter box, food, water and food bowls, toys, and scratching posts. There’s only one step left before you bring your kitten home: Cat-proofing your home.
The first thing you should do is get on the floor so you can see tempting hazards from your (and then your kitten’s) viewpoint. Look around and make a list of what could be potentially hazardous.
Put away any breakable treasures that are remotely accessible to your cat. Remember that adult cats can jump onto shelves and counters so put yourself into the mind of the cat, and look around and remove anything you value.
Furniture and Drapes
Kittens will climb on your furniture and attack your drapes. Consider covering cloth furniture with a purchased cover, or even with a blanket or bedspread. Drapes should be confined to off-limit rooms.
Kittens will love to bat around cords from hanging blinds, but can also get tangled up in them with disastrous consequences. Either anchor the cords firmly or, better yet, tie them up out of reach.
Electrical and phone cords
Kittens’ insatiable curiosity often leads them to one of the most dangerously tempting objects in the house: electrical cords. Computers are a particular hazard with their numerous cords dangling temptingly. Invest in a cord management system or tape the cords together and fasten them out of reach. Do the same with long phone cords. You can also try some non-toxic sprays at pet stores that are a deterrent to biting.
Remove any ant or roach traps from accessible areas. If your cat will be an indoor-outdoor pet, also scour your yard and remove any leftover ant stakes or snail bait. If you have a pesticide service, make sure they use only animal-safe products, and keep your cat indoors on “spray day.”
Rubber bands, paper clips, thumb tacks, broken balloons, Christmas tree tinsel and other small articles are irresistible play objects for kittens, but pose a choking hazard to cats. Put them away in containers, and leave the tinsel off the tree this year. A good rule of thumb is to put anything away that you would not want a toddler to get his hands on–the same reasoning goes for your kitten or cat.
The Safe “other” Room
Set aside a safe or a separate room for your kitten. Put his food dish, litter box, toys, scratching post and bed in it. This will provide him with a place that does not seem overwhelming from the start. Once your new kitten or adult cat has had a chance to acclimate to your house and the other room, it will be time to let him explore the rest of your happily cat-proofed home.