If you’re thinking of bringing a kitten or an adult cat to your family, that’s great! But before you bring her home, make sure your house is “cat-proof.” That is, your house is 100% safe for your new feline friend whenever she goes to explorer mode anytime.
And since cats are always driven by their curiosity, securing your home is a top priority. You wouldn’t want to meet the all-time “curiosity killed the cat” cliché!
In order to keep your home cat-proof, you have to think like a cat.
You have to pique your nosy instincts to the highest level and think, Which things, area or people should I lay upon my curiosity? And to help you think like a cat, here are 7 cat-proofing tips you can implement in your home!
1. Keep the valuables away
Do you have plenty of fragile treasures on display around your home? If you have, you might have to keep them in the attic, the storage or invest in a lockable display cabinet.
Cats love to jump and explore every time their energy feels up to it, and chances are, they’ll take some interest in your fine china and other fragile displays. Not only will see your valuable treasure in pieces, but you’re also putting your cat at risk with all the broken glasses/pieces she could step on or ingest.
Kittens that are 8-weeks old and beyond start to explore the world around them. So if you’re adopting a kitten in this age range, or if she’s nearly reaching this stage, store your valuables away!
2. Secure any lying electrical records
You don’t want to turn your back one time, then come back and see your cat all fried up with a bitten cord by the side. Keep your cords away from your cat by tucking or tying them with an elastic band or cord protectors.
Always plug appliances and other electronic devices when not in use to prevent your cat (and your electricity bill) from having an electric shock!
3. Make scratching posts easily accessible for your cat
Cats love to scratch. If you don’t have a scratching post available, or if it’s inaccessible for your cat, she’ll find a substitute for her scratching needs. And your sofa is the number one candidate!
So if you’re not in favor of your cat’s remodeling technique on your sofa or any other furniture, make sure she can jump to her scratching post easily.
Check for any possible obstacles – awkwardly-placed shelves, displays blocking the way, etc. You might also want to keep a cat toy nearby to divert your cat’s attention away from the sofa.
4. Always check your large appliances before using them
Cats love to hang out on large appliances that emit heat, like kitchen stoves, dryers, and washing machines. Be sure to check your dryers and washing machines first before using them, or you might accidentally wash your cat who’s taking a nap inside!
You might also want to place some foil or double-sided tape on your stove if your cat loves to stick her paws there.
5. Put poisonous plants out of your cat’s reach
Plants are not safe when it comes to a cat’s curiosity, and many cat parents have been stressed enough when they see their feline pets gnawing on some leaves. The thing is, there are plenty of household plants reported to be poisonous for cats. Yikes!
For all the gardeners out there, it’s best to use those hanging pots instead of those normal pots you use to keep it out of reach and sight of your cat. You might also want to check this list of plants poisonous for cats to know which plants to avoid keeping at your garden.
6. Store chemicals and other potentially dangerous liquids in locked storages
Household cleaners, dishwashing liquids, and antifreeze, we’re looking at you! If you have bottles of these chemicals and other potentially-dangerous liquids at home, always store them in a secured area after using them. Keep them tightly closed at all times so they won’t spill and have your cat accidentally lick or drink them.
And whatever happens, don’t use those cleaning agents when cleaning your cat’s food bowl and other miscellaneous items!
7. Keep the decors as minimal as possible.
Cats are known for destroying the holiday mood in the house with their decor-slashing routines. You might have heard or seen too many incidents of cats destroying the Christmas tree! So whenever the holiday decor routines come, hold back on having too many garlands, Christmas balls or any hanging decors.
Sounds like a bummer, but it can save your cat from eating and barfing garlands on the floor, or save you from all the disappointment when you see what a big mess your cat made.
Final Thoughts: 7 Ways to Cat-Proof Your Home
Cat-proofing your home is one of the important duties of a cat parent.
Cats are born with different personalities, but every cat parent can agree that all cats are masters of chaos! Of course, training them is a must, but sometimes, cats can’t help but get carried away with their curiosity.
Aside from these cat-proofing tips, here’s a piece of bonus advice for you: store a lot of patience. Your new feline friend might not act the way you expect them to be at first, but with a dose of patience and understanding, she’ll learn to abide by the rules too.
It sounds like a full-time responsibility having a cat at home, but that’s nothing compared to the love and companionship they can bring to your life!
Catherine Sullivan is an avid cat lover and owns a lovely ragdoll named Mimi. She shares her experiences as a cat owner on her personal blog, Cats.How.