Who knew something so small could get into so much trouble? As the tired old saying goes, “Curiosity killed the cat.” Unfortunately, however, that saying can ring true.
When you’re bringing home a kitty, there’s a lot of prep work that goes into making a home safe from your cat’s own curious nature. Here are some tips for battening down the hatches.
1. House Plants
Kittens are notoriously curious, and as kittens explore they may be tempted to knock over the potted plants, spread around the dirt, and chew on the leaves. As it stands, many house plants are poisonous to pets, but even plants that aren’t inherently poisonous may cause stomach upset or vomiting.
To play it safe, keep your plants out of reach of your kitty by using hanging baskets. Also, ask your vet to provide you with a complete list of plants that should be avoided, and then get rid of any that meet the “deadly” criteria to be totally safe. Here is a list of plants that are common in homes and can be harmful to pets.
If you don’t want your cat to lick or chew it, then get it out of sight, preferably in a cabinet fastened by a child-proof lock. Some things that should be put away or locked up:
- Cleaning supplies
- Medications for people and pets (make sure there are no stray pills on the floors)
- Laundry detergent and bleach
- Paint and paint thinner
- Weed killer and plant fertilizer
- Snail pellets or slug bait
- Ant traps, insect poison and repellent, rodent poison, mothballs, and silverfish packs
Hide your valuables! Cats love to jump, climb, and explore high surfaces. If you have tchotchkes sitting on bookshelves or tables that would break if knocked to the floor, then put them away. If you would like to keep your fragile belongings intact, here are great tips for cat-proofing your breakables.
Kittens are known to climb tablecloths and, in the process, pull centerpieces, glasses, or dishware to the floor. Even if the dishware is too heavy for the kitten to pull to the floor, it’s not sanitary to have a kitten’s paws touch the litter box and then walk across a surface on which people eat. In general, it’s best to go without the tablecloth when you’ve got a kitten on your hands.
5. Utility Switches
Kittens love to jump up on counters and explore, and wall switches are often an object of fascination. Unfortunately, the garbage disposal switch can be a deadly diversion for a kitten if it were to fall or jump in the wrong direction in response to all the noise and vibration of the garbage disposal. You also don’t want your kitten playing with other utility switches, such as one for a gas fireplace. You can buy a light switch guard on Amazon.com or at the hardware store, but placing aluminum foil anyplace you don’t want your cat to walk should work as a deterrent.
6. Electrical Cords
Kittens may try to play with, or chew on, electrical cords, which can create a highly dangerous situation. Aside from potentially electrocuting them, an exposed wire could also start a house fire. Cover any electrical cords with covers you can buy at the hardware store. Here’s a pet fire safety checklist to help you maintain a safe household.
7. People Food
Some people food is toxic to pets. If you don’t want your cat to eat it, then put it away where Fluffy can’t get to it. Here’s an infographic of what people foods are safe for cats, and which ones are off limits.
While they say cats have 9 lives, you should still try to help them hang onto each life as long as possible. Hopefully these tips will help keep your precious kitten safe in their new home.
More on Kittens
Getting The Right Kitten Vaccinations
Kitten Behavior From Week To Week: What To Expect
Kitten Health: Six Common Problems And What To Do