KITTEN PROOFING YOUR HOME
One thing that gets the kitten into trouble more than anything else is its ability to climb Mt. Everest; or at least think it can! Kittens enjoy climbing any object in the home. Kitten proofing your home will prevent many injuries to the animal. Curtains in the home are a true specialty! A true disaster is at Christmas time. Many a kitten has tried to climb a Christmas tree and have the entire thing fall down on them. I usually told parents with young toddlers and a kitten to hang their Christmas tree from the ceiling…..
The main goal of kitten proofing your home is protecting the animal from self inflicted wounds or injury to itself. Use the same logic when toddler proofing a wandering young child. That means keep all chemicals, paints and solvents away from kittens. Cats do have a distinct advantage in this department. (This characteristic will also make it impossible to hide the pink amoxicillin in its favorite food!). They will not automatically walk up to any liquid and just drink it. Cats will stare at it, paw at it, sniff at it, do handstands at it…..everything but drink it!! Cats have this uncanny ability to tell when a liquid is poisonous or adulterated! Kittens will even stick their nose up at cold drinking water. It has to be room temperature! This is why veterinarians rarely see self induced poisonings in cats, in general.
One of the biggest hazards for kittens is leaving needles, thread, yarn or anything linear on the floor. Kitten proofing your home will prevent small objects from being swallowed. Ditto for ear plugs that protect human ears from excessive noise. Linear objects are found all over the place on Christmas trees including tinsel and other objects that are shiny and new!! Kittens love shiny objects. The kitten will swallow these objects and in short order the intestinal tract bunches up like an accordion. This produces an obstruction and requires emergency surgery.
KITTENS AND OUTDOORS
It is a known fact that cats live much longer when kept indoors. Kitten proofing your home from an outdoors perspective is just as important as that of the indoors. Outdoor cats rarely live to be 10 while it is not unusual to see an indoor cat make it close to 20. On questioning clients, I would get responses like: “Oh…my cat is always indoors but I let it out once a week”. That cat is an OUTDOOR cat! All it takes is one second to get into trouble. Such as the photo illustration to the right, kittens love climbing things like trees but have no clue on how to get down!
Kitten proofing your home outdoors is difficult because kittens can jump all over the place. In colder climates, kittens learn to get under the hood of a car by the fan belt to stay warm. I have seen countless versions of injuries caused by car fan belts when the ignition is turned on. Good tip for people with outdoor cats is to knock on the hood before getting in the car.
MY CAT THINKS HE IS HOUDINI!
Kittens and adult cats are contortionists. They can suck it in and get through any opening, any crevice. A famous trouble spot is getting lost up in the rafters under the floor board of the attic. Redoing your bathroom? Hide the cat. The animal will snake its way throughout the entire structure of the house and not know how to find its way out. In general, kittens have an ability to get hung up or caught on the most innate object in the house. When kittens mess up, they mess up big time!
Kittens seem to have less home injuries than puppies do. One of the characteristics of kittens and cat in general, is that they think before they act. Dogs get into a lot of trouble by thinking after they act! That is just the nature of the beast!