How can you secure your home for a new kitten?

You are getting ready to bring home your new kitten! How can you make your home safe for the kitten so that your new family member will not come to any harm?

  1. Never leave a household appliance with an electric cord unattended. Appliances with cords are an invitation for a curious kitten to play, which could result in a burn or crush injury or cat could chew the cord and get electrocuted.
    • Solution: Put the appliance away immediately after you are done using it, coil cords up and consider wrapping them in a rubber cover in case the cat just wants to chew it when you are not looking.
  2. Any open flame could get knocked over, resulting in burn injury to cat or to your home!
    • Solution: Keep lit candles in an enclosed lantern, preferably not on a ledge that is easily knocked over. Never leave a flame unattended.
  3. House plants can be poisonous if munched on by a curious cat, or could be knocked off a window sill/piece of furniture (which could cause damage to little paws from the broken flower pot or just make a big mess).
    • Solution: Check ASPCA’s list for poisonous house plants for cats and make sure to give away any restricted plants before the cat joins your house. Keep potted plants on the floor or a planter table that has raised edges to minimize risk of falling potted plants.
  4. Dangling strings from window blinds could cause choking or strangling injury.
    • Solution: Coil and tie up the strings.
  5. Unlatched windows are a way for the kitten escape, get lost, stolen, injured, killed when exploring around outside while unsupervised.
    • Solution: Make sure all windows (and doors to the outside) are closed and securely locked.
  6. Litter box in the kitchen (yuck for you) and right next to the cats food and water (yuck for the cat)?
    • Solution: Move the litter box to a quieter area so the cat has privacy when it uses the bathroom, and get it out of the kitchen, which is more sanitary for you and your family. Like you, cats do not like their food and water close to their toilet! Make sure to keep their food and water should be at least 10 meters away from their litter box, preferably in a separate room.
  7. Cats are very sensitive to strong smells!
    • Solution: Consider switching to scent-free detergents, soaps, shampoos and other personal items.
  8. Keeping the food and water dish right next to each other could contaminate the water.
    • Solution: Cats need fresh clean water every day. Keeping the food dish a short distance from the water dish will help ensure the water stays clean.
  9. Open cabinets are an invitation for curious kitten, who could get trapped in there, or could hurt themselves on something dangerous (something sharp or something poisonous) in there.
    • Solution: Close all cabinets and drawers – consider getting child locks on them – cat proof your home as you would baby proof it!
  10. Cleaning supplies and glasses/cups out on the counter unattended– could lead to poisoning or broken glass (which could lead to lacerations/cuts on small tender paw pads).
    • Solution: Put all the cleaning supplies away and in a locked (or at least closed) cabinet. Don’t leave fragile object (like glass and ceramics) left unattended on the countertops.
  11. Bags of trash lying around the house are not a good idea. Your curious cat could run across something poisonous or otherwise dangerous inside the trash – to eat or choke on, or just make a big mess in your home.
    • Solution: Keep your trash in a trashcan with a lid, or under a cabinet, and when it is time to take the trash out, do it immediately!
  12. Pots or other hot items left on the stove unattended, could cause serious crush or burn injury or death.
    • Solution: Don’t leave anything on the stove unattended. Put pots and pans away after use.
  13. Leaving a hot (red) surface of the stove unattended is another way to cause severe injury.
    • Always place a pot of cold water on the eye of the stove until it has cooled until room temperature (and don’t leave it unattended).

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