Kitten Proofing Your House
Before bringing your new kitten home, take a good look around your house. Potential hazards are lurking everywhere. Kittens are naturally curious and will investigate every inch of their new living space. They will jump, scratch, climb, chew, and eat while adventurously exploring. Much like baby or toddler proofing, you will want to identify possible dangers to keep your kitten safe and healthy. Below, you’ll find expert tips to keep your new kitten safe.
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Secure Doors and Windows
If there is an escape possible through an open window, damaged screen, or door left ajar, a kitten will take it. Even a seemingly small opening could present the opportunity for exploration that he won't be able to resist. He also likely won't know how to get back, as he is new to the environment he now calls home.
Many Plants are Unsafe for Cats
Cats and kittens love plants and greens. They crave these as a natural aid to digestion, but many houseplants and floral arrangements are toxic to cats. Lilies, poinsettias, tulips, and aloe are common ones that can present problems, but the list of poisonous plants is extensive.
Be sure to research any plants you have in the house and do not keep any that are toxic. Also, bouquets and gifted arrangements may have flowers that are poisonous as well, so be vigilant about what you bring into the house.
Dangerous Foods for Kittens
Food left on a plate or sitting out on a counter or table is fair game to a cat. They will follow their nose and investigate. They can easily jump onto a table or countertop to check things out.
Some food can cause an upset stomach, while other foods are toxic to our feline friends. Also, things like a plastic bag around a loaf of bread could be ingested and cause life-threatening complications. Play it safe and keep things secured and out of sight.
Potential Toys from a Kitten's Perspective
Dangling cords from blinds, electrical cords, string, ribbon, rubber bands, hair ties, needles, thread... these are all potential sources of play for a kitten. That dangling cord is irresistible but could cause strangulation. Small objects like rubber bands or strings could get swallowed and cause intestinal obstruction. Electrical cords could cause electrocution when bitten into.
Keep things neat and tidy around the house, with sewing supplies safely stored and stray rubber bands and other small items put away. Secure cords out of the way or use a cord protector.
Climbing and Scratching
Kittens love to climb and can do some interesting acrobatics. Secure shelves to the wall and remove breakables. Get a cat tree or perch and provide a scratching post. A cat will naturally want to scratch to both sharpen its nails and mark its territory, as well as for use in climbing. Evaluate curtains and secure them if needed.
Common Household Dangers
Cleaning solutions, insect repellents, and household cleaners all pose a threat if a kitten comes into contact with and/or ingests them. Always keep these items securely stored. Toilet lids should be kept closed, along with washing machine and dryer lids. Get in the habit of always checking inside before starting a load of clothes in either the washer or dryer – kittens love to check out small spaces. Keep a lid on the trash can to prevent a curious kitten from not only making a mess but potentially getting exposed to dangerous items in the trash.
The natural curiosity of a kitten, while fun to watch, can pose significant safety risks if your house has not been properly kitten-proofed. Take a thorough look around your house and identify and address any potential sources of danger. Also, monitor your kitten's activities – he may find something that you didn't realize needs to be corrected.
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