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Cat Proof Your Home

By Wendy Rose Gould
December 6, 2018 • 3 min. read
cat proof your home

Taking the proper steps to cat-proof your home isn’t just about protecting your belongings — it also ensures that your cat is able to prowl around in a safe space. Maybe you’ve had your feline friend for a while, or perhaps you’ve just adopted a kitten (or two!). Either way, we recommend walking through your home today and taking all the proper measures that are outlined below for your meowing bestie.

Secure Any Potential Electrical Hazards

Though cats are unlikely to lick electrical outlets, it’s a good idea to buy plastic insert protectors. We also recommend concealing any cords they may be tempted to play with or chew on. You can do this by tucking them behind furniture, wrapping them up so they don’t swing or sway, and by applying chew-proof cord protectors, like this product from Amazon.

Tuck Strings Away

On that note, dangling strings — including cords, those attached to your blinds and curtains, and anything hanging from an object — are irresistible to a cat. Though seemingly harmless, they can quickly become choking hazards or even wrap around your cat’s body, tail, or neck. Tuck these away or remove them altogether if possible.

Get Rid of Poisonous Plants

There’s no doubt your plants are beautiful, but it’s very important to make sure that none are potentially toxic to your feline. This means all lilies, Azalea, Sago Palm, Caladium, Daffodils, and more. In mild cases, a toxic plant can result in an upset tummy or irritation, but severe cases can actually cause death. PetMD created an abbreviated list of common household plants that are poisonous to cats, and you can also search for specific plants via the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).  Don’t forget to peek at our Top 5 Toxic House Plants either!

Be Mindful of Toxic Foods

There are a handful of foods that your cat should never consume. It’s OK to have these in your house, but always be mindful when you’re eating them and make sure to prevent access. Some of the more notable food items include xylitol, grapes and raisins, chocolate, chicken bones, coffee, alcohol, fat trimmings, onion, and garlic.

how to cat proof your homeInvest in a Scratch Pad

Not only will a scratch pad or tower absolutely delight your feline, it’ll save your furniture, too. Cats love digging their claws into couches, carpets, and other soft surfaces, but having a designated scratcher will curb this habit. There are also non-toxic sprays you can mist onto trouble spots that can keep your cat from wanting to scratch.

Secure Screens, Windows, and Doors

Kitties love sitting in windows or sprawling out in front of sun-drenched doors. Make sure any potential escape points are locked up and fully secure. This is doubly important if you live in a high-rise building.

Check for Small, Ingestible Pieces

Any item that’s small enough for your cat to accidentally inhale should be picked up right away. Example items include stray pieces of string (a particular favorite), rubber bands, erasers, hair ties, and very small toy pieces. Cats love to bat these around, but they’re not suited for play. Instead, make sure your kitty has safe toys to play with, such as stuffed mice, crinkle balls, and laser pointers.

Prevent Access to Danger Zones

In the same way you make sure a child doesn’t have access to certain areas of the home and hazardous products, you should do the same for your (very curious) cat. First, keep cleaning supplies, medicine, and batteries behind inaccessible cabinet doors or drawers. Second, since cats love confined, warm spaces; be sure to always close (and double-check) your dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer. It’s also a good habit to shut toilet lids since the water inside can be a dangerous draw.

Also, don’t forget the garage! Make sure all auto fluids, like antifreeze, gasoline, and oil are put safely out of paws’ reach. Antifreeze poisoning is a serious issue, so always clean up any spilled fluids. It’s a good idea to make the garage and all outside areas kitten-free zones to prevent accidents. Always check your pet is securely inside the house or car before backing out.

Almost every cat you meet will be curious and playful about their surroundings — especially kittens — so taking the above measures is very important for their health and safety. Be patient with them as they explore, and do your best to curb bad behaviors, like scratching and chewing, right away. Happy pet parenting!

Unexpected accident or illness? That’s what we’re here for! Many pet parents rely on pet health insurance to pay up to 90% of their vet bills, so they can focus on what really matters: getting great health care for their pet. Find out more by getting a free quote.

wendy gould
By Wendy Rose Gould

Wendy Rose Gould is a freelance lifestyle reporter based in Phoenix, Arizona. She has been in journalism for over a decade, and has been freelancing almost that entire time. In addition to lifestyle reporting, she also works with brands to create marketing content for their websites and blogs.

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