Just like a young child, kittens seem to get into absolutely everything. It is important that you investigate both the high and low points of your home and make sure that it is ready for your new, curious kitty.
1. The first step in kitten proofing is to look around your house and identify things that will attract your kitten's attention. High shelves, low cupboards, dark corners- so eliminate breakables and poisonous plants. Sometimes it helps to get down near kitten level and think like your little fur ball. If you were a kitten, what in your home would attract your curiosity?
2. Keep all needlework or craft supplies locked away in closed containers that your kitten cannot get into. Do not leave them alone with yarn as they can get stuck in it and strangle.
3. Keep window blind cords tied up high where the kitten can't get to and play with them. Dangly toys are one of kittens' favorite play things, and not only can your blinds be ruined but your kitten can get stuck and strangled.
4. Don't be surprised to occasionally find little bits of paper or sparkly wrappers scattered around if you don't keep your trash cans covered and closed. Kittens are adorable little pack rats and will grab anything they think is exciting and hide it to play with and investigate later.
5. Always, always, always keep the door to your clothes dryer closed and be sure that you check it before using it. Kittens love to curl up in warm, dark places and if you do not check before using it you can suffer a horrible tragedy.
6. Go through your house two or three times a day and check for rubber bands, loose strings, ribbon, or any other small and eat-able items. These can lodge in your kitten's stomach and require surgery to remove.
7. Child-proof cupboard doors. Be sure that they don't open more than an inch as a small kitten can squeeze through a tight space. Consider leaving one cupboard empty for your kitten and use that as a distraction.
8. Tie curtains and drapes up off the floor and out of leaping range. Kittens are notorious for climbing high, so keep these out of reach until you've invested in other climbing options such as a cat tree.
9. Keep toilet lids down and consider making the bathroom completely off limits to your kitty.
10. The garage is one of the least safe places for both adult cats and kittens. Antifreeze is very tasty and very deadly, not to mention the habit some cats get into of climbing into the motor to stay warm in the winter. Keep your kitties out of the garage.
11. Cover all electrical cords so that your kitten can't chew them. Teething will drive kittens to chew anything and everything and electrical cords are a dangerous option.
12. Look up what houseplants are poisonous to pets and either move them up out of reach or eliminate them from your household.
13. Remember, kittens love to climb so keep breakables locked away and safe. As kitties get older you may be able to bring them back out. Some breeds, however, never grow out of their kitten-like curiosity. Be sure you know your cat.
14. Only use animal-safe insect repellents both inside and outside the home. Keep yards clear of hazardous materials if your cat is to be an outdoor kitty.
15. Consider investing in bitter apple or lemon spray to keep them away from furniture and areas of the house that you do not want them exploring.
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