Thinking of adopting a kitten or a pair of friends? Kitten season is in full swing and there are many precious little babies waiting for a loving and safe home. These little innocent lambs are cute, but also very curious and eager to explore their surroundings. Their job is to explore their world, learn and grow. It is your job to make your home safe for them by protecting the kittens before they enter your home. Here are a few tips to help you keep rambunctious kittens safe and out of trouble:
Adorable kitten. Photo by Shutterstock
Secure dressers and bath tubs
Kittens are true masters of balancing – and sometimes choose precarious places like toilet bowls and the edges of bathtubs for their gymnastic exercises. The little acrobats can lose their balance, fall and no longer jump out of open comforters. You can help them stay safe (and dry) by gently folding down the toilet seat covers.
Bathing tubs can also be a challenge. Because they are slippery, it’s difficult, and depending on the kitty, even impossible for them to climb in or out. An object to climb on in the tub can help, but it needs to be something that can’t tip over and pin a small kitten under it. Also, open the drain of the tub in case a previously small kitten falls into the water. The best way to keep the bath safe from cats is to keep the doors closed until the kittens are older, bigger and more coordinated.
Help keep kittens safe — always put the toilet seat cover down. Photo by Shutterstock
Safety nets for windows and doors.
It doesn’t take much for precious kitties to sneak through broken and unsecured window and door screens. Make them impassable! Check all the screens in your home, repair the cracks and secure them firmly to the frames so that little paws and heads can’t slip through them.
Kittens can’t resist playing with ropes, especially those attached to curtains, blinds and shutters. They are dangerous – kittens can get tangled in them and seriously injure themselves. Secure them out of reach and make sure they don’t swing and hang invitingly. Many products designed for child safety are also suitable for securing kittens.
Electrical and computer cords can be irresistible and tempting to chew and wrestle. Connect them and place them in cable channels or cover them with cable protectors. A quick and easy solution is to run them through PVC pipes.
Help keep kittens safe. Secure curtain cords and pulls. Photo by Shutterstock
Be vigilant with adjustable furniture.
Unfortunately, furniture like rocking chairs, adjustable sofas, recliners and exercise equipment that have moving parts are dangerous. Vulnerable kitties will get under them or climb into the mechanical parts. Always be alert – know where the little ones are before rocking or adjusting furniture. Play it safe and temporarily replace potentially dangerous furniture with safer pieces that have no moving parts.
Review drying rooms and other enclosed spaces.
Young children are known to explore and sleep in hidden, enclosed spaces. Some of these, such as hot dryers and places behind drawers, are not safe. Always check dryers and drawers before closing them, and be especially careful – they are very tempting for kitties.
Keep kittens safe. Check drawers, dryers and other areas before closing them. Photo by Shutterstock
Storage cleaning products in places free of cat contact.
Cleaning products are toxic! Close containers so they can’t spill, and store them in places that are safe for little paws. Put childproof locks on cupboards and drawers so that recent kittens can’t reach them.
Store ropes, yarn, and jewelry in kitten-safe areas.
Kittens can’t resist playing with string, yarn and ribbons. Although these items seem harmless, kittens can become dangerously entangled in them and swallow the ends. These are not toys for cats – never leave them in places where kittens can reach them. Jewelry, including necklaces, bracelets and earrings, also annoy small players and should be secured in places where curious paws can’t find them.
Keep kittens safe. Don’t let them play with jewelry. Photo by Shutterstock
Keep inaccessible items out of reach.
In many ways, kittens are like small children. Small objects often end up in their mouths. Plastic clasps, hair ties, cotton buds and pipe cleaners are not toys – they can be easily chewed and swallowed. Do not encourage little ones to play with them and chase them. Watch out for other items that fall indiscriminately, such as pills and batteries. These can also be swallowed.
Choose the toy carefully
Many cat toys are designed to appeal to the buyers, not the end users – the kitties. They may be pretty and cute, but some contain parts that can be chewed and swallowed by sharp little teeth. Others will not withstand being torn apart by the little ones. Check toys carefully before taking them home. Choose ones that are durable and have no ears, tails, eyes or other parts that can be chewed and swallowed.
Kitten toys should be safe — without pieces that can be chewed off and swallowed. Photo by Shutterstock
Nothing is off limits. Anything within reach of active kittens, including plants, has a high probability of being knocked over, hit and chewed. Unfortunately, most pet plants are poisonous. This includes plants in pots or dried plants, as well as beautiful cut flowers and the water they are placed in. Although not all plants are poisonous, you should be careful and remove plants and flowers from your home.
Remove plants — many are toxic to cats. Photo by Shutterstock
Can you think of other ways to make your home cat-friendly? Please post them in the comments section below. They’ll help Catster readers protect their precious kitties.
Please like Marilyn’s Facebook page!
Do you have a question about cats’ behavior toward Marilyn? Ask our behavior therapist in the comments below and you may be featured in a future column. If you suspect a behavioral problem, always rule out possible medical issues that could be causing the behavior by having your cat examined by a veterinarian first.
Marilyn, a Certified Cat Behavior Consultant and owner of The Cat Coach, LLC, solves cat behavior problems nationally and internationally through on-site and Skype consultations. She uses positive reinforcement including environmental changes, clicker training and other behavior modification techniques.
She is also an award winning author. Her book “Naughty No More!” focuses on solving cats’ behavior problems through clicker training and other positive reinforcement methods. Marilyn puts a lot of emphasis on training – she believes it’s important for cat parents to know the causes of their cats’ behavior.
Marilyn is a frequent guest on television and radio where she answers questions about cat behavior and helps people understand their cats.