Authored by: Dr. Lindsey, DVM
Kitten proofing a home is just as important as puppy proofing. Kittens get into just as much trouble as puppies do. When I was a kid, I brought home a new kitten and the day after I brought her home, she broke her leg getting it tangled in the cords of our home’s vertical blinds. She was in a cast for 6 weeks and it wasn’t the start I anticipated for her new home.
Here are some tips to keeping your new kitten safe in your home:
- Move out of reach or remove poisonous household plants. Plants like lilies or azaleas can be toxic to cats. Check out the ASPCA Poison Control or the PetPoison Helpline for information.
- Direct supervision or not allowing a kitten in a room with a fireplace, space heater, or even candles burning. Cats and kittens like warm spots for napping but kittens are curious and can get burned.
- Keep small toys, hair ties, rubber bands, strings/ribbons, cords/cables, sewing items, plastic bags, or anything else that might look like something a kitten could chew on or ingest. Kittens are very playful and love to paw and play with small items.
- Take care to keep cleaning supplies and medications out of reach. Some cats are quite crafty and can open cabinet doors so childproof locks may be necessary.
- Invest in several scratching posts. Kittens love to scratch and will scratch furniture if not provided appropriate places to scratch. The kitten will need to be taught which items are ok for scratching on.
- Block off small spaces. When one of my cats was a kitten, I heard her crying one day because she had gotten stuck behind the washer/dryer. I promptly put up a cardboard barricade so that wouldn’t happen again. Also, I have personally had more than one kitten come into the clinic in tough shape because they went under a recliner chair when the recliner was up and when the owner closed the recliner, the kittens have gotten seriously injured.
- Secure window screens. Cats and kitten like to perch and look out windows or sun themselves. By making sure screens are secure will help make sure kittens don’t fall out or escape if they get too curious.
This is by no means a comprehensive list. As your kitten explores their new home, keep a watchful eye on them as they will likely discover things that you might not have even realized were potential hazards. Congratulations on your new kitten!
Dr. Lindsey graduated from Colorado State University in 2009 and works in general practice, shelter medicine, and more recently as a civilian contractor veterinarian for the Army. She is also certified in acupuncture and resides in Palm Springs, CA.