If there’s trouble to be found in your home, you can bet that kittens -- curious, speedy, and small -- are certain to find it. Just as you would for a baby, it’s a good idea to take some simple steps to kitten-proof your home, so that their explorations can happen safely, without any accidents. Take these six steps to make your home safe for kitty.
1. Close Up Cabinets, Dryers, and More
Cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom that contain cleaning solutions and medications should be kept securely closed so that curious paws can’t explore. Get in the habit of keeping the toilet seat down, so that kittens can’t fall in, and similarly, keep the potentially nap-friendly dryer closed at all times. You’ll also want to keep trash cans closed -- not just because kittens have a tendency to explore that could result in your garbage getting scattered throughout your house, but because there can easily be items that are toxic to cats within the garbage. Even an everyday item like dental floss can be dangerous when ingested, as can over-the-counter medications for people.
2. Remove Toxic Plants
Many plants are poisonous to cats, so it’s a wise idea to check if your house plants are toxic for cats before bringing home a cat. Be careful with cut flowers as well. Even for plants that are not toxic to cats, if your kitten eats them, they are likely to suffer a mild tummy upset and vomit, so it’s best to place all plants out of reach of cats.
3. Put Away Craft Supplies
Do you sew or quilt as a hobby? Needles left out can be dangerous to cats. Think about your hobbies and everyday activities that call for things like string, rubber bands, extra wires, or other potentially dangerous items for cats. Keep the supplies for your hobbies put away, and use a junk drawer for the bits and pieces of clutter, like rubber bands, that could pose a threat for kittens.
4. Tack Down Cords & Wires
To prevent cats from chewing on cords, and getting a nasty shock, try to keep them secure and hidden behind large furniture. You can also use duct tape or wire covers to make sure cords are securely fastened -- just be certain that your covers are not potential causes of an electrical fire. As well as chewing on cords, which would give them electric shock, kittens also like to paw at wires, which can bring down small appliances. Avoid broken lamps by making sure those wires are tacked down. Cords on blinds and tie-backs on drapes should be secured in a way that kittens can’t reach them, since the cords pose a strangulation risk.
5. Be Careful With the Garage
For kittens, the safest garage may be one that they’re not allowed into. Many items in particular are sharp and can be painful or injurious to cats -- in particular, antifreeze, which is commonly found in the garage, is very toxic to cats.
Garages in general are repositories for all sorts of items that can’t fit in the home -- cleaners, precarious, easily-knocked-down stacks of furnitures and files. All of these can easily become risky for cats.
As well, the garage door opener can be a danger. Since it generally operates automatically, it could cause injury to a cat while opening or closing.
6. Prevent Access to the Tank
The fish tank is a natural temptation to kittens: clever cats may learn to open up the top of the tank, could knock over small goldfish bowls, or outright dip paws into the tank with terrible results for the fish.
But the most common accident you’ll want to avoid is a cat knocking over the tank.
- Start early in training your kitten not to jump on top of the tank.
- Get a cover that securely fastens on the tank and requires opposable thumbs to open.
- Make sure that the cat can’t knock over the tank -- either because it’s too heavy, or because it’s out of their reach.
With the proper setup, a fish tank can provide endless, and safe, entertainment for a kitty.
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