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How to Cat-Proof Your Home

May 23, 2012

If you’ve decided you’re bringing home your first cat, congratulations! It can be one of the most wonderful and rewarding experiences.

Photo courtesy TimOve

No matter if you’re a forever home or a foster home, you’ll need to take some precautions to make sure that your home is safe for your pet. Cats and kittens can be very curious, and, depending on their abilities, can jump to, climb on, and squeeze into some of the strangest places.

While foster cats may be contained to one room, it may still be a good idea to pet-proof your entire home, just in case.

Think like a cat

Take a moment and crouch down to a cat’s level. Look around for things that may be in reach, or may intrigue the cat or kitten such as:

  • Small and dangerous objects like paper clips, nails, staples, thread, pins/needles, rubber bands, tacks — basically anything that has fallen on the floor that shouldn’t be there.
  • Intriguing things like plants, electrical cords, drapes, the pulls/cords on blinds, other cords.
  • Also consider if there are any objects (furniture/decorations) that could fall over if knocked-into, or if something could fall of the furniture.
  • Don’t forget to check your window screens — they should fit securely and should not give way in case your cat leans against them.
Here’s some more advice specified by room:

Bedrooms

  • Close closet doors and make sure you keep your room tidy. That means keeping laundry and shoes (consider shoelaces and loose buttons) in your closet or behind other closed doors.
  • Remove plants, if necessary.
  • Move all wires so they’re out of your pet’s reach.
  • Take a look at what you have on night stands, dressers, etc. If necessary, move the items into a drawer or cabinet.
  • Close all drawers entirely. You never know when a cat will crawl in.
  • Check your bed’s box spring. Cats and kittens are known to find their ways into them.
  • Be mindful of closed doors — make sure your cat isn’t in your closet or bathroom before closing the door.

Photo courtesy dmansouri

Kitchens, Bathrooms, Utility Rooms

  • Purchase trash cans that your pets can’t get in to (like those with lids), or hide your trash can in a cabinet. Don’t forget about small wastebaskets in the bathroom — cats can easily turn them over and rummage through the contents.
  • Use childproof latches to keep cabinet doors from being pulled open. (This is usually the case with cabinets that don’t have latches to keep them shut in the first place.)
  • Place all medications, cleaners, and chemicals on high shelves or in childproofed cabinets. Similarly, keep insecticides, rodent poisons and dryer sheets out of reach.
  • Look for small spaces your pets can squeeze into — behind appliances, between an appliance and the wall, etc. — and find ways to seal them.
  • Always keep the doors to your washer and dryer closed. Before doing each load of laundry get a visual on every furry member of your household.
  • Always put down the toilet seat lid. Cats can easily fall in and drown.

Living Room

  • Again, look for small spaces your pets can squeeze into — under your couch, holes in furniture, etc. — and find ways to seal them.
  • Move wires and cords from lamps, entertainment systems and phones so your cat can’t access them. Petfinder.com suggests running the cords through PVC pipes to prevent pets from chewing on them. You can also purchase sprays that give the wires a bad taste, or run them under heavy rugs and carpets.
  • Watch your cat carefully when opening a front or back door.
Do you have other tips? Please share in the comments!
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4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 23, 2012 4:11 pm

    You have been bestowed The Sunshine Award! http://catpurrology.com/2012/05/23/catpurrology-has-been-bestowed/

  2. May 24, 2012 11:31 am

    At Christmas, we always had to take precautions to keep the cats out of the decorations. Of course, they thought the decorations, being something new, were put there just for their entertainment!The first year, we didn’t know what to expect, so they quickly climbed the Christmas tree, chewed on light cords, and broke a few glass balls (very dangerous!) before we even knew. With some thought we found a solution (other than not putting up a tree at all): put a *small* tree on a tall cabinet that is difficult to reach, then decorate it with safe items, just in case they do manage to climb or jump up there. Also, we attached the tree to the wall with ribbon, so that they couldn’t pull it over. Other decorations were also placed out of reach.

    • May 25, 2012 7:59 am

      Great ideas, Anita! Those remind me of some posts I wrote up around the holidays — for holiday safety 🙂 I love the idea to have a small tree. It helps cut back on many of the issues overall.

  3. May 24, 2012 9:21 pm

    They are sneaky little guys…. unlike us dogs, who would NEVER steal any food off the counter. *looks around innocently*

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