Kitten-proofing your home
Bringing home a kitten for the first time is very exciting and as your new friend starts to settle in you’ll need to be ready to keep them safe and happy. To help with this we have brought together some essential tips on how to kitten-proof your home so that you can ease any worries when your mischievous kitten goes exploring. Read on for in-depth tips.
Keep hazardous products locked away
Kittens by their very nature are extremely inquisitive animals and they will sniff or lick anything that takes their interest. To avoid any chance of your kitten ingesting anything harmful, make sure that you keep items such as cleaning products and medicines/pills locked safe away and out of reach of your kitten. Simply popping them in a high-up cupboard is not enough, so it can also be a wise idea to install child-proof latches on your cupboards or cabinets, just to make sure that they can’t get in and rummage.
Beware of wires and electric devices
Another thing to be mindful of is that some kittens will like to chew or claw at wires. This can be extremely dangerous if the plug is left turned on at the socket as your cat could receive an electric shock that could do serious damage and even prove fatal. There are a few things you can do to make sure this doesn’t happen; whenever you’re not using an electrical device make sure that you turn off the socket and unplug the cord. You can also place all of your electronic leads in cord protectors to reduce the risk of an electronic shock.
Clear shelves, tables and windowsills
Unless you’re using the dinner table try to keep it clear by removing any china, crockery or cutlery. Kittens will be drawn to clawing at table cloths and they could very well cause themselves an injury if they pull at a table cloth that has a lot of heavy items on it. In addition, if you have items on display that are both fragile and precious to you – such as ornaments or china plates – then you’ll need to stow these away. Otherwise your new furry kitten could accidentally knock them off of the shelf or window ledge, not only destroying a valued object of yours but also creating a hazard in the form of shattered material all over the floor.
Plants and flowers
Kittens can be attracted to the smells of plants/flowers and they often like to lick them. Unfortunately there are hundreds of plants that are toxic to cats and if these are ingested they can cause serious health issues; one of the most common flowers dangerous to cats is the lily. You can find a comprehensive list of plants and flowers that are safe to have around cats using this link:
Whilst an adult cat may be able to explore a toilet, fall in the bowl and then climb back out again, a kitten will most likely not be able to climb out of the bowl if it falls in, with a potential of drowning if they start to panic. To avoid any chance of this happening, make sure that your toilet lid is kept down at all times when you’re not using it.
Keep blind cords secure
If you have blinds around the house that use cords or string, then keep them out of reach of wandering kittens by coiling or winding them up around a peg-type fixture. If you simply leave the cord loose and dangling then you’ll be running the risk that your kitten could become tangled up in it and strangle themselves.
Check your appliances
Kittens love to hide in the most random of spaces and this most certainly includes washing machines and tumble dryers. Once you have introduced a kitten to your new home you’ll need to be extra aware and always check these appliances before filling them with clothes and turning them on; otherwise, the consequences could be disastrous.
Be mindful of doors and windows
Generally kittens will not be allowed outside until at least a week after finishing the first set of vaccinations, usually around 13 to 14 weeks old. Up until this point you’ll need to be extra vigilant with doors and windows. If you do need to leave the windows open, or need to leave any door open for any amount of time, then make sure that your kitten is with someone in another room where they cannot escape.
Kittens are marvelously curious creatures and they will undoubtedly find ways to worry or test you with their antics around the house. Following these steps to kitten-proof your home can at least provide some peace of mind that you’ve put measures in place to allow them to have fun and stay safe at the same time.
While, as responsible owners, we are aways looking out for our pets to ensure their safety, unfortunately we cannot protect them against every eventuality. See our "Kitten insurance" page to discover how cat insurance can help you to cover the cost of veterinary treatment if your kitten gets injured or falls ill, helping you to provide protection for your young friend when they need it most.