Making Your Home Safe
Do not let curiosity kill your cat!
Kittens are naturally inquisitive and will set about exploring every corner of its new home. To ensure a safe environment, go through your home looking at everything from your kitten's perspective.
Listed below are a number of things you can do to make your home safe for your new kitten (or adult cat):
- Put away breakable ornaments and sharp objects.
- Keep all medicines, cleaning chemicals and laundry detergents in a secure cupboard. If you have used a cleaning chemical in your bath, sink, toilet, or on the floor, keep your cat out of that room.
- Keep doors to the oven, fridge, microwave, dishwasher, tumble-dryer and washing machine closed.
- Keep the toilet lid down. Kittens can not only drown if they fall in, but can be poisoned if they drink water that contains cleaning chemicals.
- Keep all external doors and windows shut when your cat first arrives home, to discourage it from escaping, unless you have its containment yard set up.
- Kittens/cats should not be around naked flames. Put a guard around any open fireplaces and place candles and oil burners out of reach.
- Do not spray aerosols near your kitten's/cat’s food and water bowls.
- Keep plastic bags safely out of reach.
- Many cats are attracted to firelighters, which are toxic, so keep them in a secure cupboard.
- Clear scraps promptly and do not leave food lying around. Cooked chicken bones can be very dangerous, as they splinter when chewed, and the string around some joints of meat is potentially deadly. Chocolate and onion are also toxic to cats.
- Place all houseplants out of the way, and dispose of any that are toxic to cats. Prevent access to any toxic plants in the garden. Provide safe alternatives, such as cat mint or catnip, in case your kitten wants to nibble on some greenery.
- Ensure that all cords (electrical, phone etc.) are hidden securely under carpets, or tape them to the floor or wall. Cords can be painted with a deterrent such as bitter apple, or encased in a cable protector (available from hardware stores), to stop your cat from chewing on them.
- Remove or shorten overhanging tablecloths. Many kittens are experts at clearing a fully-laid table!
- Be mindful of food wraps, such as cling film and aluminium foil, which can be swallowed.
- Cover hotplates when not in use.
- Secure heavy gardening equipment and tools stored in your garage. Clean any hazardous substances, such as oil that has leaked from your car, off the floor.
- Do not use snail pellets, slug bait, or mouse/rat poisons in areas your cat can access. These can be fatal. Avoid using weed killers or insect sprays where your cat wanders or sleeps.