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Kitten Proofing Your Home
Bringing a kitten into your home involves a large responsibility. Kittens are active, playful, curious and mischievous. That curiosity can lead them quickly into trouble. To prevent heartache (and heartburn) you can prepare your home ahead of time.
Each room holds hidden dangers. One of the best ways to locate these trouble spots is to lie down on your stomach in the middle of the room and look around. What do you see?
Here’s a guide from a Kitty Veteran:
Bathroom: (a common room to isolate a kitten in)
Place a blanket or towel on the floor behind the commode. Kittens want to hide back behind the commode so padding is helpful.
Childproof lock all cabinets. Little kitties find toilet rolls, feminine hygiene products and toilet brushes so much fun to play with!
Put a bathroom mat over the edge of the tub. Secure the mat down with double-stick tape. This provides a secure climbing area.
If you don’t want the kitten in the bathtub, put a tiny bit of water in the tub just enough to get the kitten’s footpads wet.
Clip the shower curtain up away from the kitten’s reach. They love to climb. Shower curtains are fun. They are noisy when shredded by busy claws.
Most bathroom mats have a rubber-back. You need to find one that doesn’t. The strong chemical smell of the rubber entices many kittens and cats to use it for a litter pan.
Keep the toilet lid down except when in use.
Clear off the top of the toilet tank.
Any shelves should be cleared of breakables.
Move clothes hampers to another location.
Hang towels high enough, so even when jumping kitty claws can’t snag them.
Move any cleaning products off the floor and store them away. Tuck away the toilet brush and cleaning brushes.
Once the kitten hears the toilet paper roll spinning, its fair game. Extra toilet paper hanging down invites claws to reach up and snatch the new toy. To avoid a pile of shredded toilet paper, put the roll of toilet paper into a covered container; a tightly covered container.
Keep the following items out of kitty’s reach: dental floss, hair ties, rubber bands, toothpaste, toothbrushes, razors and bar soap.
Plug up all visible holes:
Kittens love to climb so tuck away all electrical cords.
Keep the counters clear.
Secure all cleaning products in a safe place.
Remove scrubbing pads and put them in a covered container.
Block under the bed with slats of boards, or you will soon be feeling a kitten inside the bedsprings.
Remove all breakable items on the shelves
Take the cords from blinds and curtains and tuck them out of the way Kitties can easily strangle on drapery cords and blind cords. . The best way I have found to deal with all the cords is this:
Take a small piece of PVC pipe. Cut a small notch in each opened end of the pipe. Mount the pipe on the wall (vertically) with double-back tape. Mount it near the curtain rod or blind cord. Take the extra cord and drop it down into the pipe, bring the cord up and over the top notch of the pipe, keep wrapping it until it is short enough to tuck out of sight.
Keep closet doors tightly shut.
Block all holes you see- under the furnace, behind the entertainment center.
Screen off the fireplace.
Watch the recliners, kittens love to hide up under the footstools.
Wherever you decide to put your kitten, tuck all electrical cords up and out of the way. I am convinced that kittens think that cords are mouse tails!
You can go to Radio Shack and buy some flex tubing to wrap the cords in.
StopShock.com is another option for electrical cords.
Your kitten should have litter pans (two at least). You can use disposable foil pans (found in any grocery store) as “starter pans.”
Use clay litter, not clumping litter.
Steer clear of heavily deodorized litter.
Supply toys, a climbing platform, scratching post, fresh water and quality kitten food (both wet and dry).
Be sure you have a place for the kitten to hide.
USE YOUR CAT CARRIER. Make it a kitten-friendly environment, so the kitten grows up not fearing the carrier.
Make a vet appointment for your kitten.
Don’t put a collar on your kitten. Collars are chocking hazards.
If you are using baby gates, be sure the slats or mesh in the gates are not large enough for the kitten to get stuck in.
Kittens are a joy to have in your home. They are exploring their world. Their game is playing and preying. You may find yourself praying as well. For them to grow up and out of the mischievous stage of life. But until they do, sit back, keep them safe and enjoy the ride!
Mary Anne Miller is a freelance writer, website content provider and member of The Cat Writers’ Association. Her expertise lies in feral cat socialization, bottle babies and animal abuse issues.