15 Steps to Kitten Proof Your Home
Have you recently adopted a kitten? Your new fluffy ball of endless energy is guaranteed to bring you many smiles for years to come.
Like their toddler counterparts, kittens are inquisitive and love to explore the world. Unlike toddlers, they can jump, pounce, and wiggle into tiny spaces, often without making a sound. When they get to your home, there’s so much to explore! To make sure their explorations are safe, here’s 15 ways you can get your home ready for your new feline friend.
- Kittens love to explore new items with their mouths. Some will pick up anything they can find, including small toy parts, beads, rubber bands/hair ties, paperclips, and more. These can be dangerous, especially if swallowed. Get down on the floor and make sure these items are all picked up and put away before the kitty arrives.
- Kittens can also be tempted by electrical cords and will chew charger cables, headphone cords, and other similar items. Not only could your kitten get a shock or ruin expensive electronics, but frayed wires can lead to a fire. Secure all wires, either by using cord covers, wrapping up longer wires and fastening with clips or zip ties, or preventing access entirely by removing the items from kitty’s reach.
- If something moves, your kitten will have to figure out what it is – right away! This can include dangling window blind cords, tablecloths, and plants. Also high on the list – the always tempting holiday tree! Tie cords up out of reach. Ensure that tablecloths (and items on the table) can’t be pulled down by a determined cat, or put them away for now. If your kitten arrives near the holidays, skip the tinsel on the tree and ribbons on the gifts, and put breakable ornaments up out of reach, or away for next year.
These are only examples, and you might find it helpful to take a look at your home to see if there are other items that have dangling or fluttery parts that move. Either ensure they cannot be pulled down, tie them up out of the way, or take them down for a few months.
- Cats, no matter their age, love to push things with their paws. Look at your shelves, TV stand, side table, etc., and remove any item that might break if pushed off the edge, or that your kitten might be hurt by if they accidentally pull it down onto themselves.
- To prevent your kitten from taking an unexpected dunk, keep the lid to your toilet closed or keep them out of the bathroom altogether. Kittens can also accidentally fall into open garbage cans, clothing hampers, and top-loading washing machines. Make checking for kittens before closing lids a habit.
- Like most cats, kittens love a warm place to curl up in after their explorations. Always check for kittens before closing and/or running the dryer!
- Tidy up your craft supplies, but especially yarn, needles, and thread. All three items pose a risk to your cat if they play with them.
- Cover any food you leave out, and rinse leftover food out of dishes if they are left in the sink. Kittens don’t know that food left on the counter isn’t meant for them. It’s also a good idea to invest in a sturdy garbage can with a lid, or to keep your garbage in the cupboard under your sink. A curious kitten doesn’t know that some things might make them sick!
- Ensure that any houseplants you have are safe for cats, and never bring in flower arrangements or plants with lilies in them. Double check that plants are in planters that are sturdy enough to be jumped on.
- Put away cleaning supplies, medications, foods, and other items that are toxic to cats. Things that are safe for humans may not be for cats!
- Check your window screens to ensure they are securely installed and/or don’t open your windows wide enough for your kitten to squeeze through (cats can fit through any space that they can fit their head through, in general).
- Having visitors? Kittens can be escape artists. Make sure your kitten isn’t lurking near exterior doors when you open them. Pick them up or secure them behind a closed door if the door will be open for an extended period of time.
- Ensure your kitten is microchipped or tattooed, just in case they do manage to slip out a window or door. You should also make sure your address and telephone number are registered with the microchip or tattoo company. If your area requires it, purchase a licence for your cat as well, to avoid cat-at-large fines.
- Supervise kittens anytime you have the stove on, a space heater running, or a candle burning. They don’t know they can be hurt by these hot items and they can also cause a fire, by knocking over a candle or space heater, or pushing a towel on to a hot burner.
- Supervise your kitten with other cats, dogs, and kids. They all have to learn how best to get along, and it will take time!
If you’re adopting an older cat, or you aren’t sure what products you need to get your home ready, check out our article on getting your home ready for your new cat.