All About Cats

Kitten-Proofing Your Home

To make your new cat comfortable and safe, a few preparations should be made.

Before bringing your new baby home, set aside one room to make a home base for your newcomer. This is the first area you should cat-proof. This can be done even if your new cat is already home.  It should be a small room with a floor that is easy to clean and a door that closes completely. Make the room comfortable for a cat by furnishing a litter box, food and water, bedding (towels or blankets if you don’t have a pet bed), safe toys (small mice and balls), and a scratching post. Please place the litter box as far away from the cat's food as possible - you certainly wouldn't want to eat next to the toilet!

Below is a list of hazardous items you should “cat-proof” around the home. Keep in mind that once your cat is comfortable in her home-base room and with being around you, she will be ready to explore the rest of your home. So, take advantage of the time that your cat is acclimating in his/her home base to prepare the rest of your house.

Hazardous Items (a more detailed list is available here):
- Poisonous Plants - consult this list
- Plastic Bags
- Small Items
- Household Cleaners and Other Poisonous Substances
- Hanging Blind and Curtain Cords
- String
- Electrical and Phone Cords

Your Valuables - Breakables and items with sentimental value should be placed out of reach or behind a closed door. If you have particularly beloved furniture or precious fabrics, try to keep them out of your new cat's reach if possible. If not, double-sided tape applied to the items you want protected should do the trick!

Off-Limits Rooms -  Never let your cat into the garage - there are far too many hazardous materials housed there. You may also consider keeping your baby's room restricted. It's certainly not necessary, but many parents feel better keeping their new baby's door closed.

A Final Pass - Once you have done your best to kitten-proof according to the suggestions above, take a moment to look at your home from the kitten's perspective. Get on your hands and knees and look around. You may notice things like an M&M (toxic!) or a sewing needle that you didn't see while standing. And even if you think everything has been secured, monitor your kitten as he explores so that you can tend to issues as they arise.