If you’re considering adopting a new kitten, your focus will likely be on choosing a good name, getting all the supplies you need, and choosing the right vet for your new pet’s medical needs. However, one more important step you shouldn’t overlook is kitten-proofing your home. According to the ASPCA, there are five things you must do to make your home a safe and friendly place for your new kitten to thrive.
Get Down on the Floor
Kitten-proofing your home should begin with getting down to the level of a tiny kitten. Check for any small items that may be on the floor that have been missed by the vacuum cleaner or broom. You don’t want to leave anything behind that your new kitten can swallow or choke on. Also, remember small pets grow, and as little kittens grow into cats, they will be able to reach things at a higher level, including countertops and tables. You need to keep anything that could be harmful to your pet out of the reach of little paws.
Ensure Cords Are Out of Reach
Although electrical cords can harm your kitten if he or she chews through them, other cords are also dangerous. Cords from blinds, tie-backs for curtains, or even long strings can present a risk. Make sure you keep all cords out of your pet’s reach.
Be Aware of Your House Plants
If you have a knack for keeping house plants thriving, it’s essential to ensure they cannot harm your new kitten. Unfortunately, many house plants are toxic to cats, and since kittens are known explorers, they may try to eat the plants. Make sure you know whether any of your house plants are toxic and put them out of reach. You also want to remember kittens can climb, so it may take some ingenuity to hide the plants.
Always Close Cabinet Doors
Kittens are known to find unexpected places to sleep and hide, and that not only includes cabinets, but also dryers, laundry baskets, and dresser drawers. Cabinets often hold items that are dangerous for animals, such as medications, cleaning supplies, or pesticides. In addition, it can be startling to be unable to find your kitten, only to find that they’ve taken up residence under the kitchen sink!
Some especially wily kittens learn to open cabinets even when they’re closed. If necessary, install child-proof locks so you know that they won’t go exploring in places they shouldn’t.
Have Everything You Need
Have all the supplies you need before you bring your new kitten home. Having all of the necessary supplies ahead of time will minimize your stress and maximize your pet’s comfort. In addition, it will lessen the risk of your pet learning inappropriate habits, such as scratching the furniture in the absence of a scratch post.
For the basics, you’ll need:
- Litter box
- Bowls for food and water
- Scratching post
You should have a cat bed or designated sleeping place ready. Your kitten may choose any number of places for napping, but having a bed just for them will make them feel comfortable and welcome. You may also want a baby gate to keep your pet out of places they may get into trouble. Just keep in mind that this may not work for very long since kittens learn to climb quickly.
Early Preparation is Key
It’s never a good idea to bring home a new pet unless you are ready to undertake the steps involved in caring for him or her. Any pet is a lot of work, and the same is true of a kitten. While they tend to be able to entertain themselves to a surprising degree, you have to ensure their environment is safe and enriching. Following these steps will help you avoid mishaps so you can spend less time worrying for your new kitty and more time enjoying the fun and companionship they bring.