by Franny Syufy, About.com guide
Kittens are curious little tykes and love to explore nooks and crannies. Here are tips for making sure they don’t find ‘toys’ that can harm them.
Time Required: 1 – 3 hours
- Look around your house first, at high shelves and low cupboards and hidden nooks. Do you see things that kitty might break, or harmful substances she might ingest?
- If you’re into needlework, keep your supplies in a closed container. Needles and thread might appear to be fine playthings, but can be fatal if your kitten swallows them. Kittens playing with balls of yarn may make delightful pictures, but put the yarn away right after the photo session.
- Fold and secure your window blinds cord with a rubber band, out of kitty’s reach. If she gets tangled up in it, she could strangle.
- Kittens are wonderful little packrats. If you don’t want to find your floors littered with garbage, invest in covered wastebaskets and kitchen garbage containers.
- Always keep the door to your clothes dryer closed, and double-check inside before using it. Cats like to find dark, warm places to sleep, and the results could be tragic.
- Keep the floor clean of stray rubber bands, ribbon and twine. All are hazardous when ingested by a kitten.
- Keep cupboard doors and dresser drawers securely closed. Cats can find all kinds of mischief inside, and can be injured if you close a drawer and the kitten is behind it. Use child-safe fasteners for kitchen cabinets.
- Cloth drapes are better left out of reach of your furry ‘curtain-climber’. Tie them up securely until your kitten is trained to a scratching post.
- Keep your toilet lid down at all times, lest kitty fall in or drink from it. Better yet, keep your bathroom off-limits to your kitten unless you absolutely have to keep her litterbox there.
- Do not keep your kitten in the garage, and always keep the doors closed. Anti-freeze is very tasty to animals, and is just one of the common poisonous substances found in garages.
- Cover electric cords, such as the tangle from your computer, with covers sold for that purpose. Caution: wrapping electic cords could be a fire hazard.
- There are a number of household plants poisonous to cats. A link to a list is at the bottom of this article.
- Remove all breakable valuables from high shelves and store them in a cabinet with a door.
- Use animal-safe insect repellant. Commercial roach and ant poison will kill cats if ingested.
- The real secret to kitten-proofing is to look at your home through the eyes of a cat. Find everything that looks like a swell toy, and if it’s something harmful, get rid of it or make it safe.
- Bitter Apple or lemon-scented sprays are both great for marking areas you want to be off-limits. Cats hate the taste and/or scent of them.
- If your kitten will be indoors-outdoors, make sure your yard is clear of snail poison, rodent traps, and other hazardous material. Better yet: fill your house with attractive toys and make him an inside-only cat.
What You Need:
- child-safe cabinet locks
- cord covers
The original article may be found at About.com, with links to more wonderful suggestions about how to get off to a successful start with your new little bundle of fluff.