So, you’re bringing home a new kitten. Congrats! Your cute little furball will bring you lots of joy in the coming years. For now, though, it’s up to you to keep them safe as they acclimate to their new home. In this article, we’ll share the importance of kitten-proofing your home and our top recommendations on how to do this.
There are several crucial reasons you should kitten-proof your home before bringing that furball home, but here are the top three.
First and foremost, you need to kitten-proof your home is to keep your new kitten safe. Kittens are small and curious, and can easily get into harm’s way if you aren’t careful. Kitten-proofing your home means removing anything that might accidentally harm them from their reach, from choking hazards to harmful chemicals.
Coming to a new home can be very stressful for your new kitten. They aren’t used to the sights, smells, and sounds of your home the way you are. The less stimulation available to overwhelm your kitten, the more relaxed they will be as they explore their new home. They may be less inclined to damage furniture or act aggressively. Plus, relieving their stress can help lessen the risk of health related issues down the line.
It can definitely help to teach your kitten to avoid certain things or places when they’re young as they may be less inclined to mess with them as adults. Focus on positive reinforcement as this will be a much more effective technique than scolding or punishing your sweet kitty.
The biggest part about kitten-proofing your home is making sure it is physically safe for your cat. Here are the main things you need to look for to kitten-proof your home efficiently.
The first thing you need to do is take in your surroundings. Because you live at your home, it can be really easy to overlook things that mean little to you, but could be a big deal for your cat.
You’ll want to get on the ground and look under furniture for any objects you can’t see. Perhaps you have a stray bottle cap under the sofa, or a fork left under the table. Your kitten will be exploring these areas, so make sure every inch of the home they can access is free from any debris.
You should look up high as well. Though many cat owners try to prevent their cats from climbing everything in the house, your kittens will definitely still try. Until they’re trained on where they can explore, you’ll want to make sure every space they could land on is safe for them. If they can access tall shelves at all, make sure you remove any heavy or fragile objects up high to prevent falls or breakage.
As we mentioned, kittens are very curious. After all, the phrase “curiosity killed the cat” came from somewhere! You need to ensure that anything your kitten perceives as a “toy” is removed from their reach. In particular, kittens love to play with:
Ribbon, yarn, and other string
Hair ties and rubber bands
Pens and pencils
They also like to just swat around any lightweight item they find on the ground, from magnets to bouncy balls.
Kittens will often try to chew on these toys, especially if they are teething or losing their baby teeth. This can lead to accidental choking or ingestion, which can cause major issues in their stomach and intestines.
Make sure you put any spare items away. Lock away plastic grocery bags and remove any lined trash bins from their reach. Pick up small items from the ground that they can access. To make it easier, you may want to limit access to areas with lots of these types of items, such as the bathroom, if at all possible.
In addition to the above items, your kitties may be interested in playing with cords. The biggest danger to this is from chewing, as many kittens love to chew on plastic-coated wires. This can cause electrocution, choking, or injury to their teeth and gums.
Put away any cords your kitten can access, from phone chargers to extension cords. For items that need to remain plugged in, wrap the wire as closely as you can to the object, or try to wrap it up higher where your kitten can’t reach it.
You can also try to put little gates around these items (lamps, televisions, etc.) to block them from accessing them.
One of the easiest ways to kitten-proof your home is just by closing some doors. In fact, it’s recommended that you keep new kittens in a smaller area of your home starting out. If you don’t, they could get overwhelmed quickly.
Try to confine them into a smaller space by closing doors to unnecessary rooms. Try to keep them away from spare rooms with lots of potential choking hazards or rooms with other pets. However, you will want to make sure they retain access to their litter box, food, and water, wherever that may be in your home.
You’ll also want to close all the windows in the room they’re staying in. The most important part about this is your window screens.
Some cats love to sit in open windows with a screen across to keep them from falling out or escaping. However, your kittens may be tempted to push or claw at the screen. Either make sure the screen is cat-proof or simply leave the windows closed while your kitten adjusts.
Make sure your kitten can’t get into any cabinets as well. It’s very easy for kittens to accidentally trap themselves inside cabinets or drawers when you’re not paying attention. This could also give them access to dangerous items such as cleaning agents or glass. Use kitten-proof or child-proof locks on your cabinets to keep them shut.
If you have any cleaning supplies out in your home, put them away in a cabinet out of reach. This could mean a higher cabinet your kitten can’t reach, or inside a lower cabinet secured with a child safety lock.
You’ll need to consider that just because a chemical is safe for you doesn’t mean it is for your cat. Kittens may try to chew on shampoo bottles or other substances. Make sure they can’t access anything that could harm them from chewing, licking, or eating.
This also means only cleaning with cleaners that are safe for cats. Because cats lick themselves clean, you want to be certain any cleaning products used on floors or anywhere around your home is safe if they happen to ingest it.
If you have houseplants, you may want to do a review of your inventory. Many houseplants are actually toxic to cats if they’re ingested. And if there’s one thing cats love, it’s to chew on plants.
If you already have any houseplants that are toxic to cats, put them in a room or on a shelf entirely out of reach. Make sure your cats can’t climb to access them.
Another alternative is to give your toxic plants away to a friend and stock up on some new cat-safe houseplants. Some common cat-friendly house plants include:
Bird’s nest ferns
Venus fly traps
There are some beautiful cat-friendly house plants out there, so find the ones you really love. If you opt for cat grass or catnip, your kittens will probably love you forever.
This is both to keep your cat and your furniture safe. Kittens love to explore and scratch, and that can sometimes include your furniture.
Covering your furniture with sheets, bumpers, or other normal furniture covers will help reduce the chances of scratching. This can also keep your kitties safe, as they could get their nails caught in fabric or treated wood which could result in minor injuries.
If you have any furniture in particular you don’t want to risk, you would be wise to put it in a part of your home your kitten can’t access.
Kittens love to explore your home, but keeping them busy with playing and training will also prevent them from getting into anything they shouldn’t be.
Make sure they have plenty of toys to play with to keep them entertained. By providing several scratching posts or possibly a cat tree, they will be less likely to climb or destroy your beautiful furniture. This will give them safe ways to act on their instincts without putting themselves or your belongings in danger.
Kitten-proofing your house can take some effort, but it’s easy once you know what to avoid. Make sure you put your kitten’s safety first by removing any objects that could hurt them and giving them a safe place to explore as grow. Before you know it, you’ll have a fully-grown cat on your hands!
Thanks to Lex Leigh for This Article!
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Hello and welcome! I’m a genuine cat lover and devoted parent of two adorable kitties. As you can see, cat adoption is meaningful for me. I believe it’s a humane and loving option. I have a great deal of respect and admiration for the people who operate rescue shelters. To show my gratitude for their selfless dedication, I’ve designed this website to help enlighten potential feline owners and raise awareness for cat adoption. Please join me and other cat lovers in our efforts to ensure every kitty has a happy, healthy life!
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