Cave Creek, AZ 85331
Compassionate Care for All Pets
How to Kitten Proof Your House
If you are planning on bringing a kitten into your home, then kitten-proofing your home should be one of your first priorities. These little balls of fluff may be adorable when they are enjoying cuddling up with you or playing nicely, but as they grow their natural curiosity will mean that they develop some behaviors that are much less desirable, particularly when they affect your furniture and valuable in your home! You also need to consider the best way to keep your kitty safe from potential dangers in your property.
Scratching and clawing are perfectly normal and natural behaviors for a feline. The actions are instinctive, and occur for several reasons including:
- to keep their claws sharp
- to manage boredom or curiosity
- to communicate with other felines
- Because it feels nice to them
- Because it helps them feel secure (as it is an alternative to scent marking)
Your new kitten will also be very curious and clawing and chewing things that she comes across are how she will learn about the world around her.
Keeping your kitten safe from hazards
Keeping your home hazard-free is essential to keeping your kitty safe from harm. While you may be used to scanning for more obvious problems, there are little things that may lurk where your kitten can reach that you may not realize could cause her harm. Some of the most common household choking hazards include:
- Elastic/rubber bands
- Hair ties
- Plastic twist ties
- Plastic bags
- Pins, clips and keyrings
- Small toys and toy accessories
Other potential dangers that you should also consider include:
- Electrical cords within reach (even if unplugged)
- Anything she can knock over that may fall on her
- Purses or bags with food products, medication, or other potential hazards inside
- Cords on blinds which could become caught around her neck
- Electrical sockets
- Toilet lids and any other open water (for example, be careful she doesn’t come into the bathroom while you are running a bath as she could fall in and drown)
- Food items that are toxic to cats
- Cleaning and other household products that may be toxic to your pet
- Human medications should be well out of reach
- Some plants are also toxic to animals, including cats
- Using a fireguard to keep your kitty away from heaters and open fires
- Close off any potential escape routes
Kitty-proofing your furniture
There is little more frustrating than coming home to find that your furniture or soft furnishings have been scratched or chewed. While these are normal behaviors, they are not ones that you want to see in your home. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to protect your stuff from the wrath of your kitten’s teeth and claws.
Buy a scratching post
This is a great outlet for your cat as she can quickly learn that this is one part of the house where she can scratch to her heart’s content. Place the post somewhere visible and run your kitty’s paws down it a few times so that some of her scent is transferred. This will encourage her to use it. You could also sprinkle a little catnip on to the post or place her favorite toy there.
Disinfect areas where she has scratched
Felines are very driven by scent. If your kitten has scratched up your furniture so as to scent-mark them, she will inevitably return to do it again as the scent wears off. However, if you remove the smell as much as possible by cleaning and disinfecting the area, this will help break the habit and possibly deter your cat from repeating the behavior.
If you catch your kitten scratching or chewing where she shouldn’t, calmly pick her up and move her to the scratching post you have provided and encourage her to use it. If she does, reward her with lots of praise, love and attention.
Set up a litter tray
Another priority will be sorting where your feline friend does her business. Choose a shallow litter tray in the early weeks so that your cat can access it easily and place it in a peaceful location away from her feeding bowls and bed. Litter-tray training takes some time, so be sure to ask our veterinarian for tips!
If you are getting a kitten for the very first time, we highly recommend that you make an appointment for an initial visit with our veterinarian. This will allow us to establish a base line for your kitty’s health, and check that all necessary preventative treatment programs are in place. This visit will also provide an ideal opportunity for you to ask the many questions that you probably have about your kitten and her care.