It is very important to make your home safe for your new pet, especially if adopting a kitten. They can get into things that you would never think possible! Check out this article to help you cat-proof your home: Cat/Kitten Proofing Tips.
- Poisonous plants
- Electrical and phone cords left dangling
- Keep toilet lids closed (cats will drink the water, which has chemicals and fecal matter)
- Make certain they cannot get in the fireplace
- Open stairways - cats & kittens are in great danger in a home with a 'half wall' or even open rails in an upstairs room. They can easily fall through or jump over a half wall, plunging down to the floor below! Take precautions!
- Accessible garbage (especially any kind of bones - bones can either splinter and perforate the stomach or intestines or form an intestinal blockage)
- Needles and/or thread; knitting and/or crocheting materials
- Rubber bands (which can wrap around the intestines)
- Plastic wrap or bags (the cat can eat, or strangle, or suffocate on)
- Styrofoam (especially packing "peanuts") which the cat may eat
- Cigarettes (cats may eat)
- Yarn or string toys (can wrap around the intestines or block them); toys with easily removed and swallowed parts
- Cellophane (turns glassy in the stomach and can cause internal lacerations)
- Christmas tree needles, tinsel and decorations
- Large appliances - always check for cats before shutting or turning on any appliance!
- Put away feathers and toys attached to string (such as kitty teasers) after use (cats eat feathers and swallow string)
- Keep your workshop off-limits (cats will jump at moving objects such as drills and power saws - may also swallow screws, nails, wire, and other small parts)
- Cleaning products and other chemicals (anything with phenyl is deadly to cats - this includes products such as Pinesol and many other disinfectants)
- Floor and counter surfaces (best solution is to use is one part bleach to 30 parts water)
- Anti-freeze (cats love certain scents, and one of their favorites is antifreeze which will kill a cat quickly)
- Never use Lysol products around cats (over a period of time Lysol can sicken or kill a cat)
Emergency Numbers: Keep the phone numbers of your vet, an emergency 'after hours' clinic, and a local poison control center posted by your phone. The number for the National Animal Poison Control Center is (888) 426-4435.
Indoors / Outdoors: Keep your cats inside! Consider the fact that cats face many dangers when outside such as cat fights, dog attacks, hit by cars, poisoned or killed by people that do not like cats and there are many contagious diseases they can get when outside. Facts clearly show that on average indoor cats live twice as long as cats allowed to go outdoors. Besides the basics of food and water, give them cat toys, a carpeted kitty condo, a nice window to look out of, some attention and affection and they will be content, as well as safe, indoors. Most animals, not all, usually benefit from having an animal companion of their own species. Provide your cat with a window to look out as most cats enjoy sitting in a window. Many Petsmart or Petco Stores sell window seats. Or place a tall cat-climbing carpeted house by the window. Also, many areas have leash laws pertaining to cats and dogs, making free-roaming outdoor cats illegal.
Confinement to the house will prevent:
- exposure to diseases such as feline leukemia (FeLV), feline AIDS (FIV), and feline infectious peritonitis (FIP)
- exposure to distemper and respiratory illnesses
- exposure to parasites such as fleas, ticks, ear mites, and worms
- exposure to poisons such as anti-freeze, lawn chemicals, and bait for rodents
- fights with other cats and dogs that could harm them
- torture from cruel people that dislike cats and want to keep them off their property
- being caught in a trap
- being hit and killed by a car
- being crushed by a closing garage door
- them from getting lost
- them from dying from heatstroke or freezing
- being harmed in a car engine