If you have decided to adopt a new kitten or adult cat, then you have probably already begun your preparations.
You've purchased food supplies, toys, and a litter box.
Now, it's time to go through your home and make it safe for your kitty.
Locate chewable items
Cats like to chew on things, and they usually resort to chewing just out of plain boredom.
1. Electrical cords can pose a danger. If your cat chews through a cord, she could be shocked or create a fire hazard in your home. You can buy plastic tubing at a home improvement store that fits around electrical cords. Plastic tubing will protect the cords, but your cat may continue to chew. For this reason, you should check the conditions of your cords often. Other options include simply hiding the cords or spraying them with a cat repellent. Cat repellents make the cords taste bad, and they can be found at many pet stores.
2. The cords hanging from your blinds can be a choking hazard to your kitty. If the cords are within reach of your fully-extended cat, then tie them up out of her reach.
Take care of plants
Cats will eat and dig into your plants. Many household plants are toxic to animals.
1. Identify the toxic plants in your home. Common poisonous plants include aloe, ferns, and peace lilies.
2. Either remove the poisonous plants or place them out of reach of your cat. Don't forget that cat's love to climb, so "out of reach" often requires a hanging basket.
3. If you don't want your cat eating or playing in the non-toxic house plants, then place them out of reach. You can also buy cat repellent for the leaves, black pepper for the soil, or place sticky tape around the base of the plant.
4. Bring in some plants that your cat will love, and that are okay for her to play in. You can plant catnip, Cat Thyme, or Valerian. These plants can double as something to chew and something to do!
Secure potentially poisonous items
You probably have chemicals and cleaning supplies all over your house that could endanger your kitty.
1. Never leave detergents (laundry, dish, etc.) out in the open.
2. Keep cleaning supplies and other chemicals in a cabinet or area that is inaccessible to your cat.
3. Certain foods can be poisonous to your kitty. Until you know what can be deadly, make sure she does not have access to any human food.
4. Keep waste stored in containers that cannot be easily knocked over.
Protect your valuables
Cats like to jump on top of things, run through the house wide open, and try their hardest to knock something off a table.
1. Any valuable item that can be broken easily should be moved to an area that is inaccessible to the cat.
2. Items that can be destroyed by your pet's claws (such as Grandma's homemade quilt) should not be readily available to your cat.
Proofing your bathroom
You spend time in the bathroom and so will your cat.
1. Always place toothpaste and mouthwash in a drawer or cabinet.
2. Don't allow your cat access to the bathroom when a curling iron or flat iron is still hot.
3. Close the toilet seat! Your cat will try to drink the water. Small kittens can fall in the toilet and not be able to pull themselves out.
Perform a "kitty level" search
You've got the basics down, so now it's time to figure out what you are missing.
1. The best way to find hazardous or precious items is to get down on your hands and knees.
2. Search your house thoroughly from your kitty's eye level.
3. Look for items that pose choking hazards like rubber bands, paper clips, or anything that can easily be swallowed.
Not only have your prepared a place for your cat to eat, sleep, and do her business, but now you have cat-proofed your home! It's always a good idea to perform a "kitty level" search every so often to locate potentially hazardous items. Cat-proofing your home is important for both new kittens and new adult cats.