When preparing for the arrival of a new pet, it's often easy to get carried away with the excitement of splashing out on loads of toys and treats. And while that's completely acceptable and actively encouraged, it's equally as important to prioritise cat-proofing your home. There are two reasons for making these adjustments, the first one being that cats can be a nightmare to live with! If you don't want scratched furniture, threadbare carpets and broken ornaments, this is something you need to consider. And of course the main reason is for the safety of your pet. In this blog post, we'll be going over some of the precautions you can take to make sure your house is purrfectly cat-friendly!
1. Start with your garden
With the increase in traffic and cats going missing over recent years, it's become more and more popular to install cat-proof fencing in your garden. This is a type of wire fencing that runs across the top of your existing fence, making it impossible for your feline friend to climb over and escape. By doing this, you can allow your cat to get the best of both worlds - exploring the outdoors whilst staying safe! Pair it with a cat-flap leading to your back garden so your kitty can come and go as they please. If you're adamant that yours is an indoor cat, make sure you keep all doors and windows firmly shut.
2. Remove any long, dangling cords
A slightly less obvious hazard is anything long and draping that can easily get tangled. Curtain/blind cords, light pulls and electrical wires can all potentially cause strangulation and suffocation in cats. Electrical wires can also cause electrocution if your cat chews on them. To avoid these risks, simply place any long cords out of reach by tying them up. Balls of yarn and cotton can also be choking hazards as they can become wrapped around a cat's tongue.
3. Always check appliances
Cats are renowned for hiding in washing machines and tumble dryers! We're sure we don't need to tell you why this is dangerous. To be on the safe side, keep these shut when not in use and always check that the coast is clear before you do your next load of laundry!
4. Invest in a scratcher
It's in a cat's instincts to scratch surfaces, whether it be carpets, sofas or doors. This is how they keep their claws sharp and it is almost impossible to prevent. (We do NOT condone declawing) You can limit the damage to household objects by buying your kitty a designated scratcher. There are a range of items from scratching posts to mats, novelty toys and even boards that can attach to furniture if you're limited for space. Of course, we'd recommend our very own Cat Climber, which satisfies all your cat's climbing and scratching needs in one handy piece of equipment.
5. Avoid over-decorating
We all love to make our house a home by filling it with the things we love, but when we add a cat to the equation, this becomes a little trickier! Cats love to jump and climb everywhere, even in places they know they shouldn't. This unfortunately means excessive knick-knacks or expensive ornaments aren't the best idea, as they can easily get knocked over and broken. Not only would this be upsetting for you but it could also cause further injury for your kitty if they get shards in their paws or even swallow them. Salt lamps can also be incredibly harmful as the salty taste is addictive and can cause sodium toxicity.
6. Know your plants
In modern interior design, houseplants and flowers are all the rage. Make sure to do your research before filling your house with these as some can be toxic to cats. It's also a good idea to make sure anyone who might send you flowers is also aware of which ones are safe for cats. And if all else fails, stick to artificial plants and flowers!
7. Keep the kitchen cupboards closed
Many of the foods we enjoy as humans aren't suitable for cats, as they can either be toxic and cause serious harm or lack the nutrients they need. To avoid your kitty eating anything they shouldn't, keep food items sealed and cupboards shut. It's also a good idea to keep your cat out of the room when you're cooking or eating. Below is a list of the items you should be wary of.
8. Keep open flames to a minimum
As with small children, you should also be cautious of fire hazards around cats. If you have a real fireplace, it may be worth investing in a fire guard to make it extra safe. Smaller flames (i.e. candles) can be equally dangerous if knocked over, so try not to leave these lying around. Wax and oil burners are also hazardous.
9. Be careful with chemicals
A general rule of thumb would be that anything that isn't edible to humans, is also not edible for cats. Any chemicals that could be eaten, licked, sniffed or otherwise ingested should be kept well away. This includes cleaning products, aerosols, cosmetics, paints and varnishes and anti-freeze. After cleaning, ensure that excess product is removed from surfaces before you allow your cat into the room.
10. Anchor heavy furniture
As we've already established, cats have a habit of jumping up onto furniture and causing chaos. If larger items such as cabinets are not stable, these can fall on top of your cat. One way to minimise the risk of any accidents like this occurring, is to ensure that heavy furniture (cabinets, shelving, bookcases etc.) are anchored to the wall and will not topple.
If there's one thing to take away from this post, it's that you can never be too careful when looking out for your fur-babies. If you have any other tips on how to make your home extra safe for pets... let us know in the comments down below!
See you next week for an update from Kitty Café as well as a run-down of all our favourite picks from our online shop for spring. In the meantime, follow us on our social media pages to get your fix of fluff and cuteness!