Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Kitten Safety: How to Kitten-Proof Your Home

If you have recently adopted a kitten or cat, or you are considering adopting one, kitten safety is very important. You need to learn how to "kitten-proof" your home to keep your new family member safe. The best way to approach this is to consider your new pet as a toddler or a child who will get into anything they can. Kittens and cats are very curious animals and will seek out new and interesting things and places in your home and if your not careful, this could pose a health hazard to your pet.

One of the first things to do to ensure kitten safety is to make sure all cleaning products, chemicals, or any other harmful substances are locked away in a place that the kitten cannot get to. Do not assume that a small space is well hidden because kittens love to investigate and love small spaces. They will climb into whatever they can fit into which includes small or tight spaces. The best thing to do is to get child proof latches that you install on your cabinet doors that prevent the kitten from opening the cabinet. Then, keep all hazardous materials in the child proof cabinets where they cannot be accessed by the kitten. Do not assume the cat cannot open the cabinet door, they are very resourceful and determined animals and they will figure out a way to open the door. These latches are very easy to install and inexpensive and will help keep your kitten out of harms way.

You also need to search your home for any inanimate objects that the kitten could choke on. This includes rubber bands, hair ties, bag ties, marbles, or anything small enough to fit into the cats mouth. Keep these kinds of objects safely put away in a drawer and do not leave them on counters or anywhere the kitten can find it. Make sure your kitten does not have access to any electrical cords. Kittens having growing teeth and will go through teething just like a child will. They will chew on anything they can get at so make sure you either unplug electrical cords or arrange the cords in a way that the kitten cannot get at them. Provide the kitten with its own toys and praise the cat for playing with them. Positive reinforcement goes a long way when training a cat. Kitten safety and learning how to kitten proof your home may seem tedious, but your cute furry friend is well worth the effort to keep them safe.

Check all the toys you have bought for the kitten, and closely examine all toys before you buy them to make sure they do not parts that can be removed. If you can pull off a little bell that is attached to the toy, your kitten will be able to as well and once it is pulled off, it represents a choking danger. I will either not buy the toy, or pull the small object off myself before I give it to my cat. Remember that you probably will not be available all the time to supervise your cat with its belongings so make sure they are safe before you give them to your kitten. Never give your kitten or cat any kind of string, rope, or yarn as cats do tend to swallow things and something of this nature is not only a choking risk but can also cause an obstruction which is a true medical emergency requiring immediate medical attention.

Take a close look at your counters, tables, and anything that the kitten or cat can jump to get onto. Remember that cats have remarkable jumping ability and can get almost anywhere. Make sure there are no harmful object on your counters or tables that your cat can get into. As a rule of thumb, if you question if something is safe, just assume it is not and move or remove it. This includes houseplants. Cats have a tendency to chew on plants and most houseplants are poisonous to cats. You will either need to keep your plants in a location of your home that your cats do not have access to or move them where your cats cannot get at them. Your cats health is certainly more important than a houseplant, so be responsible and remove any that your kitten or cat has access to.

If you have any kind of bug or rodent problems, you will need to keep kitten and cat safety in mind when planning to treat the areas. Most bug killer and rodent killer products are harmful to animals so make sure you read the label on the product and take the necessary precautions to keep your animals safe. If you have a rodent problem, stay away from poison that the rodent ingests to kill it because if your pet finds the rodent before you do, it can ingest poison from the rodent. You are better off to use other methods of eliminating the problem. And if you need to "flea bomb" or use any kind of sprays in your home, consult your vet prior to use to ask if it is safe for use with your kitten. Remember, flea bombs and other types of sprays will settle on the floors surfaces, and your kitten will lick their feet and could possibly ingest poisonous material.

Try and keep your kitten or cat out of areas where harmful things can be found, such as a basement or a garage. People often provide child proofing for the living areas of their home but do not address places in the garage or basement, which the cat often can get access to. You either need to make sure the animal has no access to the area, or you need to child proof these areas as well, and it is better to assume the cat could get to these areas and kitten proof these areas as a precautionary measure. Anti-freeze is fatal to animals and is often found in the garage. Even if you put the container somewhere safe, you must make sure your vehicle does not leak it onto the garage floor where your cat could find it. Even a small amount can kill a pet.

Kitten safety is vital to the well being of your new pet. They rely on you to keep their environment safe and free from hazards. Take the time and "kitten-proof" your home. It will help keep your kitten happy and healthy and keep your home safe and "kitten-proof" even when your kitten grows into an adult cat. Cats are just as curious as kittens and will remain that way throughout their lives. Learning about kitten safety and how to kitten-proof your home will keep your pets safe and healthy and help avoid illness, injury or death from something that could have been prevented

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