If you’ve decided to bring a kitty into your life, there are a few preparations you’ll need to consider in order to cat-proof your house to make sure you welcome her with comfort and safety.
Whether you decide to get a kitten or instead choose to adopt an older cat, knowing how to make your home both inviting and safe should result in you and your feline friend having many years of happiness together.
While you have probably read tons of articles, asked the advice of friends who have cats, and made countless trips to local pet stores and animal shelters seeking the perfect kitty, there is still plenty you need to take into consideration.
If you’re ready to make those final preparations, here’s some advice on how to cat-proof your house.
How To Cat-Proof Your House
Beware of Poisonous Plants
If you have house plants sitting around, it’s a good idea to put them in a room where your kitty will not have access to them. Certain plants are poisonous to cats, and can cause vomiting, lethargy, and, in some cases, death.
Therefore, if you have plants such as lilies, foxglove, philodendron, azalea, rhododendron, among others, keep them away from your cat, since cats love to chew on grass and plants.
Put Away Your Valuables
If you have fine china on a dining room table, or lots of other breakable treasures around your house, put them in a display cabinet that can be locked or in a part of your house that kitty won’t have access to every day.
Since kittens as well as older cats love to jump around and explore every inch of their surroundings, chances are that if you don’t follow this advice, you’ll soon hear the sound of something you treasure falling to the floor and breaking into many pieces!
And don’t forget that something that falls and breaks could be a health risk to your cat if she steps on or ingests a small piece of broken glass.
Secure Electrical Cords
Since most homes have numerous electrical cords on the floor, securing these is an absolute must to keep your cat from getting a major shock to her system.
To protect your kitty, unplug any cords to items that aren’t used very often, and also invest in some cord protectors, which can prevent a needless tragedy from occurring.
Check Your Windows and Screens
When you bring your new kitty home, one of the first things she may do is sit by a window and take in her new environment.
Before letting her do so, make sure your windows are secure and screens are latched tightly. If you don’t, you may turn your back for a minute, only to discover your new arrival has slipped out the window and disappeared.
Essential Supplies for Your Kitty
Along with taking steps to cat-proof your house, it’s also important to have plenty of essentials on hand when you bring your kitty home.
When it comes to buying cat food, include both wet and dry varieties. Also make sure to purchase some food and water bowls that are durable and will stand the test of time. For many people who work during the day, using automatic food and water dispensers that can hold large amounts at once can be beneficial.
And, of course, a litter box is also necessary. While you may choose a simple plastic litter pan, more and more kitty parents are choosing automatic self-cleaning litter boxes, such as the Litter-Robot with Connect.
Do you really want the first memories of your time together to be clouded by having to sift through the stinky litter box, trying to scoop out cat poop? It’s possibly the most annoying part of having a cat around the house.
Automatic litter boxes are ultra-convenient and easy to use, since they sift waste from clean litter, ensuring you’ll never have to spend time with the ol’ pooper scooper in hand. Plus, the Litter-Robot will help you use less litter, so the investment will be well worth it over the life of the product.
Special Needs of Kittens
While it's important to cat-proof your house for your new kitten, there are some additional considerations you’ll need to keep in mind.
For starters, kittens have tremendous amounts of energy, so provide her with an area where she has plenty of room to play. Get a variety of toys for her to enjoy, but be sure the toys have no small parts that could be swallowed. For best results, try larger crinkle and rubber balls that she can chase around, wand toys, or simply a cardboard box or paper shopping bag, both of which are always fun to explore.
And since kittens require a special diet (they need a LOT more calories than an adult cat), make sure you have both wet and dry food that is specifically designed for kittens.
Finally, don’t forget to pay a visit to your vet for a check-up, just to make sure your new frisky feline is healthy. He or she will also need to be neutered or spayed when at the right weight!
Final Tips For Getting Settled In a New Home
Just like humans in a new environment, your cat will probably be a bit nervous when you first bring her home. To help her get settled in and start to relax, there are several things you can do.
For starters, keep her indoor-only for at least the first several months. Otherwise, your cat will go outside and probably head off for parts unknown, since she won’t be familiar with her surroundings. If you’re going to allow your cat to be outdoors occasionally, make sure to get her microchipped and properly vaccinated.
If possible, give her her own room, where she can eat, play, and sleep all she wants, which will allow her to get used to the sounds and smells of the new home. You can slowly introduce her to the rest of the house as she starts to settle in.
Try not to give her too many places to hide, and be sure to spend as much time as possible with her, where you can play and talk to her.
Last but not least, have plenty of patience and understanding. By doing so, your new cat will eventually warm up to you and hopefully realize she has hit the jackpot for a great kitty home!
Guest post by Emily Parker, a proud cat parent of two black cats, Gus and Louis. Gus only has one eye, but that’s why Emily couldn’t pass over him at the shelter! When she’s not out and about exploring her neighbourhood looking for the newest (cat) cafes, Emily researches and writes for Catological.com.