How to Pet-Proof Your Home Before Adopting a Kitten

Home Builder

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), about 2.1 million shelter cats get adopted every year.

Of course, while adopting a kitten is exciting, preparing for your new family member to come home requires much more than setting up a litter box and stocking up on gourmet cat food. Kittens and fully grown cats are curious creatures, and even the most basic objects could potentially pose a risk to their health and safety.

For that reason, you'll want to ensure you kitten-proof every room in your house. Here are seven tips to get ready for your furry friend.

Clear Surfaces

Look at your countertops, dressers, nightstands, and coffee tables for things that might be hazardous to a kitten.

For example, you should put away sewing essentials like needles and thread. Rubber bands, potpourri, prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, natural supplements, and candies also carry potential safety risks.

You won't want to miss anything, so go through every room, perhaps twice, to check you've cleared off every surface.

Lock Your Pantry and Cabinet Doors

Kittens are pretty agile and can get into unlikely places and situations – but the last thing you want is for them to trap themselves inside a cupboard or start gnawing on cleaning solutions.

Investing in child-proof locks works well for keeping your kitten out of cabinets and the kitchen pantry.

Hide household cleaners, detergents, food – for pets and humans – and sharp objects stashed behind closed doors. In addition to your kitchen, all cabinet doors and drawers in your bathroom, laundry room, and garage should also have child-proof locks.

Safeguard Your Stovetop

Your cat jumping atop a hot stove is one painful scenario you'll want to avoid at all costs. As your kitten gets older, it is especially vital to prevent them from jumping up on your counters and stovetop. Consider using burner covers when your stove is hot as an extra precaution.

A recent report from the Metropolitan Fire & Disaster Headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, estimated that cats started 107 house fires in the last three years.

In the United States, the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) suggests 790 pet-started fires occur annually – however, that number comprises all animals, not solely cats. Regardless, you'll want to protect your kitten from burns and your home from a fire.

Tie or Cut Blind Cords

Cats are excellent climbers and enjoy looking outside and sunning themselves on windowsills. However, blind cords can lead to injury or strangling.

A preferred option may be cordless or wooden window treatments, which may be more durable than plastic shades. If you can't purchase new blinds or shutters, you could simply tie the cords in a loop or cut them.

Another way to pet-proof window treatments is by spraying citrus, a smell cats detest, or setting one window aside for your cat to lay in.

Get Rid of Toxic Plants

Plants add natural beauty to a home's interiors, but certain flowers and plants are toxic for cats. Before bringing your kitten home, consider the types of plants you have throughout each room and your yard.

Tulips, snake plants, and various herbs are just some of the several toxic plants for cats you'll want to steer clear of. Lilies, however, pose the greatest danger to your cat's health.

Ingesting lilies will likely cause your cat to vomit or grow lethargic within hours. However, kidney failure occurs within 36 to 72 hours if you don't bring your cat to the vet for treatment.

Keep Your Trash Covered

Your trash cans may hold abundant treasures for your little kitten, but many items aren't safe. Plastic bags can suffocate them while rotting foods can make them sick.

Consider what you throw away in your office and bathroom waste bins. Dental floss and other stringy items may be fun for cats to play with but might cause serious digestive problems or blockages.

Get into the habit of taking out the trash more regularly and throwing away tempting items in less-accessible garbage cans. Also, consider buying waste bins with lids or special latches to prevent your cat from opening them.

Hide Electronic Cords and Outlets

Kittens will chew on chargers and other cords if they're lying around – and if cables are plugged into an outlet, cats risk getting electrocuted and seriously injured. To prevent your kitten from chewing on cords, try the following tips:

  • Cover the cables with plastic or velcro wire wraps.
  • Unplug whatever devices you can and store them until you have to use them.
  • Tuck wires behind dressers or string them inside the backs of closed cabinets.
  • Keep larger items, such as a desk or refrigerator, as close to plug points as possible.
  • Keep toys and other stimulating activities available for your cat to play with all the time.

It may also be wise to add outlet plate coverings, so your kitten doesn't stick its paws anywhere near electricity.

Pet-Proof Room by Room Before Adopting Your Kitten

A responsible cat owner will pet-proof every corner of their house before adopting a kitten. Even if some measures seem like you're being overly cautious, it's best to create the safest environment for your kitten to grow up healthy and injury-free.

Comments (2)

Dave Halpern
Dave Halpern Real Estate Agent, Inc., Louisville, KY (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

I love cats but I have found that the best way to avoid having a cat damage a house is not to have a cat.

Jun 28, 2022 08:10 AM
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Platinum - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great information.   Thanks for sharing and enjoy your day!

Jul 25, 2022 07:09 AM