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How do I cat-proof my house?

Cat-proofing both your house and garden is essential to keep your new arrival safe and also minimise any damage that an inquisitive kitten may cause to your home and property. Here are just a few things to cat-proof in your home:

  • Create an area where the kitten will be able to roam freely without interference from people or animals, especially during his first few months with you. Make sure it's as warm and cosy as possible. 
  • Locate as many 'escape routes' as possible. It might be worth taking a fresh look at your house from your cat's perspective. Get down to their eye level and explore, see what spaces under furniture and appliances look like appealing hiding spots.
  • Remove or adequately cover exposed cabling, especially mains electricity leads as these will be very appealing as a chewable treat or toy.
  • Make sure items that are breakable or heavy are not able to be knocked over, especially where they could fall and cause injury.  Protect exposed furniture/wooden floors/fabrics that are at risk of being scratched easily.
  • Move hazardous and toxic household products, such as bleach and cleaning products, to a secure storage area.
  • You may want to consider an outdoor enclosure or modifications to your garden fencing that will keep your cat in and other neighbourhood cats out. This is especially useful if your cat is timid as it will help him feel secure in the garden. 
  • Be aware that there are a wide number of plants, flowers and household products that can be dangerous to your cat. If you suspect that your cat has ingested something that he shouldn't have, take him to the vet immediately. It's also a good idea to take any evidence of what may have been consumed to speed up the diagnosis. Signs to look out for include vomiting, an almost drunk appearance and irritated skin.