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Home > Pet News and Articles > Home Preparation: A Must for Curious Kittens

Home Preparation: A Must for Curious Kittens
Article By: Glenn Redmond

Lou was no more than eight weeks old when she came running into our lives. The spirited but skinny bundle of fur came running down the street obviously looking for a place to call home. We were in the middle of renovations with more holes in our walls than a colander, certainly not the setup for a very curious kitten.

Even the best of finished houses pose many dangers to kittens who lack good judgment and life experience. They are physically small and their inquisitive nature encourages them to investigate many situations adult cats would not. Therefore, it is imperative to detect dangerous areas and make your home as safe as possible before the arrival of the baby feline.

Kitchens

Newfoundlanders love their kitchens, or at least a good party in them. However, most household cleaners are kept in the kitchen area, making it a potentially dangerous area for kittens. Secure your cupboards with child safety locks, ensuring they stay shut when paws are prying. Make sure you wipe up promptly any excess cleaner on floors or any spills that may occur. Kittens that run through chemicals will quickly lick their soiled feet, ingesting toxins in an effort to remain clean.

Trash cans should have covers or be kept behind fastened doors. It is a pain to clean up ransacked garbage, but beyond that much of our kitchen waste is very harmful. Cooked chicken bones can be deadly if ingested, and onions, garlic, grapes, chocolate and raisins are poisonous foods for cats.

A hot stove is no deterrent for a curious kitten, so be careful when cooking. It is a good idea to keep kittens in a crate or another room during meal preparation, as the analogy "quick as a cat" is well deserved. Also, the space behind your fridge and stove is ripe with temptation and many kittens have gotten themselves trapped in these appliances. Block access to these areas using baby gates or pieces of plywood.

Living Areas

As fall settles in and temperatures drop, woodstoves and fireplaces awaken from their sleep. Kittens, unaware of the dangers of fire will often seek comfort in its warmth and remain unaware of singing fur. Flames flicker and flutter, enticing kittens to play and many have jumped into the fire in a mad dash of excitement. Ensure your fire is covered by a screen or door and supervise your kitten around fire at all times.

Electrical cords are always a favorite to investigate. Until your kitten will leave them alone, try covering them with PVC pipe. This will protect the fragile wire from razor sharp kitten teeth, preventing electrocution.

Also, secure window screens especially on the top floors. Kittens can become very focused upon birds and squirrels viewed through a window and may place considerable pressure on outside screens. We may think or hope that cats always land on their feet. However, a fall from a second story window could considerably injure a kitten.

Many houseplants are poisonous to cats and kittens. Check with your veterinarian to ensure that yours pose no threat.

Laundry Room

Laundry detergent, bleaches and fabric softeners all pose a great threat to our kittens. Keep these items in secure cabinets and clean any spillage immediately. Kittens will find an opened washer or dryer door a tempting place to investigate or have a little catnap. Keep these doors closed at all times.

Often sewing kits and knitting supplies are kept in the laundry area. Be careful of sewing needles, buttons and safety pins. Their shininess will attract your kitten's attention, but their removal will most likely require surgery. Balls of yarn seem like great play toys, but because of the shape of a cats tongue, the yarn becomes difficult for a kitten to get out, leading to possible choking.

Other Rooms

Bathrooms tend to be safer rooms for kittens, but do beware of used razors in the garbage that your kitten may have access to, or any dangerous chemicals in the vanity cupboards.

A set dining table may add to the décor of your home, but dangling table cloths often pose too much temptation for playful kittens. As well, airborne knives and pieces of sharp glass that were once plates can become lethal weapons.

Garages are toxic wastelands. Antifreeze, windshield wash, paint, gasoline, oil, grease, fertilizers and a host of hazardous tools should be enough reason to keep this room off limits.

Kittens turn into cats seemingly with the blink of an eye. As they mature and become comfortable in their environments, the dangerous areas become less of a concern. Two years later, and still under renovations, Lou will still investigate a new hole in the wall. The difference is, she does not feel the need to squeeze her body through it.

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