Tips on How to Cat-Proof Your House

Tips on How to Cat-Proof Your House

Small Projects and Repairs
DIY
By Dikran Seferian December 09, 2021

Nothing can lift your mood higher than having a feline family member. Simply watching as your cat pounces and zooms around the place can be quite a treat. And if you think it doesn’t get any cuter than that, just wait until the little furball curls up on a blanket and falls asleep. As adorable as they may be, cats can be quite inquisitive. And this natural trait of theirs is what often gets them into all sorts of trouble. Besides their occasionally problematic curiosity, your furry little friend may exhibit a few unwanted habits such as clawing the furniture or knocking items down off shelves. Cat-proofing your home will create a safe environment for your kitten and brace your interior for its chaotic energy.

Avoid Poisonous Houseplants

Houseplants provide a splash of greenery to your living spaces. But when there’s a cat living in your home, these indoor plants may potentially be hazardous. Several types of flora commonly found in homes are known to be toxic to pets. House cats are known to nibble on foliage for several reasons — often due to boredom. If you plan on bringing a cat to your house, consider avoiding plants such as philodendron, lilies, azaleas, mistletoes, and foxgloves. Instead, opt for safer varieties like spider plants, Boston fern, rosemary, daisies, snapdragons, and bromeliads.

Cat-Friendly Plants to Spruce Up Your Interior

Cat-Friendly Plants to Spruce Up Your Interior

Choose Cat-Friendly Upholstery

One of the favorite hobbies of a cat is to add its own artistic touch to your upholstery — whether you like it or not. It is not uncommon at all for a cat to scratch the life out of sofas, carpets, and anything else they can dig their claws into. They often do this to express excitement or stress, to mark territory, or to trim off dead nail tissue — all at the expense of your furniture. To prevent your sofas from becoming a blank canvas for your cat’s superb artistry, consider going for scratch-resistant upholstery. Fabrics such as microfiber, acrylic, and velvet are all feline-friendly options. An alternative solution involves covering the existing upholstery with scratch-proof material. You could also try diverting your cat's attention from the furnishings by introducing it to a scratching post.

Common Cat-Related Issues and Their Solutions

Common Cat-Related Issues and Their Solutions

Secure Electrical Wiring

Cats are like human babies; they tend to explore the world around them with their eyes, paws, and mouths. Anything that’s lying around on the ground is fair game to them and electrical cords are no exception. Since the concept of danger often tends to elude the little troublemakers, you may have to secure any electrical wiring that may be in plain sight. Consider tucking exposed circuitry into cable hiders and storing away phone chargers and other cables when not in use. Also, make sure to unplug appliances such as microwaves, electric kettles, and irons after using them.

Important Measures to Consider When Getting a Cat

Important Measures to Consider When Getting a Cat

Keep Lids Shut

There aren’t many places where our furry friends won’t stick their heads, especially if something in there may interest them — sources of water being one example. One fairly accessible spot for your cat to drink from is the toilet. One slip of the paw and can fall into the bowl, most likely making a huge mess. This can be especially dangerous for kittens as they can potentially drown. Therefore, you might want to keep the lid closed at all times. Besides the toilet, cats may also find themselves in washing machines, garbage cans, and laundry baskets. Make sure to block their access to these places and if possible, use safety clips as an extra measure.

The shenanigans don't end there. Your sneaky little furball would most likely love to snuggle up in tight spaces such as dressers and closet baskets. Make sure to double-check if they’re in there before closing the wardrobe door.

What You Need to Know Before Adopting a Feline Friend

What You Need to Know Before Adopting a Feline Friend

Hide Harmful Substances

Those pills that make you feel better can potentially make your cat very sick. Make sure to keep all prescription drugs in your medicine cabinet and secure it using child-proof locks. Moreover, cleaning supplies such as bleach and detergents are toxic substances. Although you’d normally keep the lid on, a persistent cat may either gnaw on the bottle or possibly open it by knocking it over. You can restrict access to these products by keeping them all in a designated cabinet and using one of those child-proof locks again. Mothballs are also dangerous to cats; make sure not to leave any of them around because your furbaby will think of it as a toy and bite it.

Keeping Your Kitten Away From Harmful Products

Keeping Your Kitten Away From Harmful Products

Mind the Windows

Sunshine is a cat’s best friend. There’s nothing your feline companion will enjoy more than snuggling up on the windowpane to soak up all that vitamin D. However, you’ll want to keep an eye out for the screens otherwise your cat may end up in an unsafe situation. Consider investing in kitty-proof window screens and blinds. Besides being much safer for your cat, these window accessories are also more durable due to their scratch-resistant qualities.

Once the windows are safe, you may also want to cat-proof the balcony. A guaranteed solution involves netting the entire open section. If that does not seem practical on your balcony, the only other protective measure would be to keep the balcony door closed; only allow your cat outside if it’s accompanied by you or a family member. During the warmer months when fresh air is precious, a mesh screen door can keep the circulation going.

How to Cat-Proof Your Window

How to Cat-Proof Your Window

Beware of Choking Hazards

Being the inquisitive creatures that they are, cats naturally love to paw around and chew on anything they find on the floor. Small items such as hair ties, board game pieces, rubber bands, and other accessories may fall victim to your kitty. Many of these items, however, can be choking hazards. Before bringing a cat home — or if you already have one — make sure the floor is clear of objects that it may choke on or injure itself with. It is a good idea to crouch down on your hands and knees to get a cat’s view of the surroundings. You may be surprised at what you’ll find under the sofa, the bed, and on other hidden surfaces.

Precautions to Account for When Sharing Your Home With a Cat

Precautions to Account for When Sharing Your Home With a Cat

Protect Your Valuables

One of the daily tasks on a cat's to-do list is to knock items off the counter, the table, or the shelf. Why do they do it? Nobody knows. To avoid having to sweep pieces of your favorite china from the floor, you may want to keep them inside an enclosed display cabinet. Bear in mind that sharp pieces of broken glass can possibly injure your kitty.

Also, take into consideration that no surface is too high for the little acrobat. This means that vases and other ornaments placed on high shelves aren't safe from your cat's path of destruction. The only way you can train your feline not to jump on these places is by removing anything that may arouse its interest. Cats are driven by curiosity. For instance, if there's nothing on the table that it can eat, drink, or play with, chances are it won't go there. You could also stick double-sided tape on the edges of shelves and other places that are off-limits. Cats are known to get disgusted by sticky surfaces. Consider offering an alternative place to climb on such as a cat treehouse.

Protecting Your Valuable Decor from Your Cat’s Wrath

Protecting Your Valuable Decor from Your Cat’s Wrath

Watch Out for Sources of Heat

It is no surprise that cats are drawn to sources of heat, especially during the colder months. Anywhere from wood stoves to fireplaces and radiators are attractive places for our purring machines to catch some Zs. As comfortable as it may be for your sleepy feline, you need to make sure that the warm spot is safe enough for napping. If you have a fireplace, consider covering it with a glass screen to prevent a catastrophe. Cat furniture with a heating pad underneath it can be an ideal alternative napping spot for your kitty. Also, make sure to unplug electrical heaters when you’re not around. When you do have the heater turned on, make sure to keep an eye out so that your cat doesn’t get too close. As for the stovetop, make sure to cover it after you’re done cooking a meal.

What to Do With Heat Sources When You Have a Cat

What to Do With Heat Sources When You Have a Cat

Written by
Dikran Seferian

Written by Dikran Seferian