Cats are lively and exciting pets, full of energy and athleticism. Young kittens are also naturally inquisitive, and not always aware of their own strength. If you’re planning on adopting a furry little friend, then it’s essential you kitten proof your house before they did a way to damage themselves or your property.
Assess your plants (and plan around them)
You might not know, but many common household plants and flowers are toxic to cats. The list of flora you need to look out for includes:
This doesn’t just apply to plants and flowers around the home and backyard. You’ll also need to keep an eye on any cut flowers and bouquets brought into the house as gifts. With their innate curiosity, a kitten might be tempted to take a whiff and a bite of a noxious plant, so plan around them and only use cat-safe greenery in your home.
Cats are inquisitive and not particularly taste sensitive, which is why it’s common to catch your feline friend drinking from the toilet. While you might consider this as nothing more than a gross habit, it’s worth considering that cats can fall into the toilet, risking injury and drowning if they do. Keep the toilet seat down to prevent your cat from taking a nosedive into the porcelain throne.
Similarly, you’ll want to keep the lids closed on bins, laundry baskets, the washing machine, dryer and dishwasher. When it comes to curtailing your cat’s curious instincts, prevention is the best form of medicine.
Secure special rooms
If your house has a formal dining area, baby room, study or other area you don’t want them to access, then your best bet is to keep doors and windows shut. Child and dog gates aren’t going to be enough. Cats are much more agile, and can jump up to five times higher than a dog.
Remove hazardous playthings
Thanks to their endlessly inquisitive nature, cats will try to play with everything, from bits of string and rubber bands to electrical wires and plastic bags.
While most cats are expert survivalists, their instincts can’t prepare them for what could potentially happen if they start playing with power outlets or chewing on a power cord. You can avoid this risk by securing power cords to the floor or furniture. If they can’t be moved or played with, a cat is much less likely to show interest.
When using temporary power cords like your iron, you’ll want to avoid leaving the cord dangling, as it can be a real temptation for a curious kitten. One that can lead to disaster.
Prevent falls with security screens
Cats are great acrobats, but young kittens haven’t quite learned their limits. If you live in a multi-story residence or apartment, then it’s imperative that you secure windows with screens to prevent your kitten from getting out on a ledge. Similarly, take measures to prevent your cat from getting out onto high balconies, decks and porches.
Never leave hotplates unattended
Cooking areas are always interesting to kittens, particularly if the food smells match something they might be interested in eating themselves.
Hotplates and open flames are dangerous, and kitchen counters aren’t really out of reach for most cats, particularly if they can find some leverage on a chair or other point of purchase. For these reasons, never leave an open flame unattended. Keep one eye on your cooking and the other on your car.
Consider a safety collar
Safety collars are specially designed to break if the cat becomes caught by the collar, allowing it to break free rather than risk injury. There are nifty kittens that like to get themselves in trouble, and if your cat is microchipped, there’s no need to worry about it getting lost without a collar.
Hide the sewing kit
An open sewing kit is basically a treasure trove for kittens. All those coloured ribbons and interesting trinkets to swat at and play with! But sewing kits also have needles, scissors and other sharp objects, not to mention choking hazards, so only use your kit when you need to, and never leave it out for your kitten to investigate.
Make your indoor world fun
Kittens are safer in a world you control, which is why they make excellent indoor pets. Your cat can also represent a threat to local fauna as well, so there are double the reasons for making your cats indoor life as fun and interesting as possible.
Keeping your cat (and home) safe
Ensure there’s plenty for your cat to do in the house. Toys, scratch posts and comfy places to rest. Kittens have tons of energy, which is what makes them so much fun, so try to play with them as much as you can so they are supervised while active. It’s the best way to bond with your cat and guarantee they don’t get into too much trouble.