Bringing home a lovable feline from the shelter is so exciting. Congratulations on your decision to rescue a kitty! There is nothing that beats giving your new cat a second chance and welcoming her into your home.
However, first-time cat parents should prepare their homes for the arrival of their new kitty. Cats tend to be curious about everything, and some homes may have objects that seem common to us, but can be dangerous to them.
Thankfully, preparing your home isn’t too difficult – plus, the anticipation of bringing your kitty home will make cleaning up and re-arranging the most fun it’s ever been!
Here are some ways you can prepare your home:
1. Get a scratching post
Cats need to sharpen their claws, and unless your cat was already declawed when you adopted it, you should not even think about declawing her! To avoid your furniture and your walls becoming a scratching post, buy a scratching post designed for a cat. Some posts are infused with catnip, so your cat won’t be able to resist!
2. Keep household cleaners and medicine away
This may be common sense, but some overlook the fact that having your medicine cabinet open or the cabinet that contains your detergent and household cleaners isn’t good for the cat. If your kitty somehow manages to get ahold of a bottle of medicine and opens it, it won’t be pretty. You wouldn’t let your child access these cabinets, so don’t let your cat either.
3. Got plants? Make sure they’re not poisonous
A beautiful flower growing in your garden, or by your window, can improve the appearance of your home quite a bit, but some plants are poisonous to your cat. If you have plants by your window, you should be especially weary, because windows are like television for your kitty, and they’ll be there often.
Here is a list of plants that are poisonous to cats. Move all plants to a place where your cat can’t access them, or replace them with a cat-friendly alternative, such as catnip!
4. Separate your dog, if you have one
Yes, cats and dogs can get along! If you’re an owner of a proud pup, it can probably get along with your new cat. But you need to introduce your pets slowly. Put your dog in one area of the house, and your cat in the other. Switch them out every day so the two can get accustomed to each other’s scent. After a few days, introduce them in a very controlled way that will keep them both safe.
5. Keep doors closed
Don’t want your cat to go in a certain room? Keep the door shut, and make sure it’s shut all the way. Some cats can push a door open if it’s cracked open. Never underestimate a cat’s determination.
6. Put your collectables away
Do you collect figures? Cats may gnaw on them or knock them over. To avoid your precious figure collection getting ruined, invest in a glass display case, which will allow you to show off your collection without your cat bothering it. Second hand shops may sell them for cheap if you’re on a budget, but we know an even more convenient place for you to look – click here to search our classifieds!
7. Keep your dryer lid closed
Have a dryer? Because it’s warm in there, your cat may jump in and use the dryer as its resting place. Always keep it closed, and make sure the dryer is empty before you load it.
8. Keep your food tucked away
9. Watch out for cords
Some cats might not give your cords the time of day. Others, however, like to gnaw on cords, especially kittens. Keep your cords covered in duct tape, or put them in a place where your cat won’t be able to access them.
10. Get them toys to keep them occupied
Cats love to play, and if they haven’t let out their energy, they may become frustrated. Sometimes, they’ll run around your house, possibly breaking something.
To avoid this, devote some time to play with your cat. Getting your feline a cat tree can make them have fun for days. Try out different cat toys and see if there’s something your kitty enjoys. Alternatively, you can use bottle caps and balls of yarn to keep your kitty occupied (just don’t give them anything small enough to swallow).
11. Put away any non-cat toys
Have a child? Make sure their toys are not left lying around. These toys can contain parts that may be a choking hazard for your cat. Always make sure to have your kid put away the toys when they’re done playing, or prevent your cat from entering your child’s room.
12. Get a secure rubbish bin
Putting all your trash in just a bag? You may want to get a rubbish bin; preferably one with a lid. Some cats love to investigate your garbage, and not only can it be gross if they send your trash flying everywhere, but they can potentially get sick. You should easily be able to find a garbage can that will make sure your cat doesn’t invade.
13. Be weary for the holidays
Without sound like too much of a buzzkill, the holidays are approaching, and you need to beware. Some decorations may contain plants that are dangerous for your cat. Others may contain glass or cords. If your cat is known for causing mischief, you may want to think about where you want to put your Christmas tree this year.
14. It’s a learning process!
These are just some basic tips to get you started. The truth is that there isn’t really a 100 percent, foolproof way to catproof your home. All cats are different. Some will gnaw on every cord they can find, others couldn’t care less. It also depends on the cat’s age. A grown-up cat will be less likely to get into something it isn’t supposed to than a kitten.
It’s all about trial and error. Start by replacing anything that can be dangerous for your cat, and then correct things as you go. Slowly but surely, you’ll have a cat-friendly home. Just don’t forget to make it you-friendly, too!
You can find Emily over at Catological, where she writes about, well, cats!