There is a lot to like about living with a cat – they’re low-maintenance, they provide quiet companionship, and they’re happy to play with us from time to time. If you want your feline friend to stay happy and healthy, you need to take some simple cat proofing measures in your home. Here’s our guide on how to cat proof a house:
Creating a kitten proof home
Bringing home a kitten is an exciting moment, but they’re persistent little creatures that are always looking to get into trouble. Fortunately, it’s fairly simple to kitten proof your home – you just need to take some time to do some research and anticipate the most likely hazards.
- Remove vulnerable or dangerous items from ground level: Kittens are most likely to attempt to bite, scratch or eat things at ground level, since they haven’t developed the perfect agility and sense of balance that adult cats are known for.
- Start the kitten out in a single safe room: When introducing a kitten to your home, it’s best to limit them to a single room until they’re settled in. This limits the number of potential dangers they have access to and ensures that you can always keep an eye on them.
A common question for new kitten owners is “how long should I keep my kitten in one room?” While every cat is unique, you should generally keep a kitten in one room for about two weeks. This provides them plenty of time to get familiar with you and the other humans – and pets – in your house without feeling overwhelmed. After two weeks, you can gradually introduce the cat into new parts of your house once you’re sure that your cat proofing project is complete.
- Carefully introduce your kitten to stairs: Kitten proofing stairs is one of the most important steps you can take. Cats love to climb and jump from a young age, but large drops are a danger to unsuspecting kittens.
Block off the stairs until your cat is at least six weeks old. Then, the first time your kitten encounters the stairs, be there to block off any potentially hazardous drops - your kitten will quickly learn to navigate with confidence.
- Take away things you don’t want to get scratched: Kittens naturally want to try out their claws and teeth as they grow – it’s just important that they don’t test them on your nice furniture! Kitten proofing means making sure that your kitten has plenty of chew and scratch toys, and keep the doors closed if there are rooms with furniture you want to protect.
- Remove wires or spray them with deterrent spray: Wires may look like a tempting chewing opportunity to young feline eyes, so you should keep them out of reach wherever possible. In cases where you can’t remove the wires from ground level, consider spraying them with a cat deterrent spray. This specially formulated spray smells and tastes bad to cats, ensuring that they know the cable isn’t for chewing on.
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Cat proofing your furniture
One of the most common questions that cat owners ask is “how do I cat proof my couch?” Every type of furniture is at risk from scratching, and while the behaviour usually gets better as a cat ages, it never goes away entirely. The answer is a combination of limiting access, providing alternatives and protecting your furniture.
- Limit access to scratchable furniture: If your cat can’t get at your chairs, it can’t scratch them. If there’s a room full of furniture that you’re eager to keep in good condition, consider keeping the door closed. Make sure that your cat’s room within your home – the one where its bed is – is different to one where you store your delicate furniture to ensure you don’t wake up to damage.
- Provide alternatives for safe scratching: If your cat is getting all of its scratching impulses out on a scratching post, your table’s legs may look less appealing. Good quality cat scratching posts are available for as little as £10, and they last for years.
- Invest in cat proofing for your furniture: There are a range of measures you can use to discourage your feline friend from sharpening their claws on your furniture. Cat proofing covers are commonly available, including thin, nearly transparent covers for wooden furniture legs. Deterrent spray is another option for hard surfaces. Plastic covers are also available for soft surfaces, like the upholstered side of a sofa or 2armchair.
Are you moving house with your feline companion any time soon? Take a look at our top tips for moving a cat to a new home.
Keeping your cat safe from toxic foods and plants
Preventing your cat from accidentally eating something poisonous is a key part of cat proofing your home. Cats are sensitive to a few common foods and plants that many people already have in their home, so when it comes to how to cat proof your home, getting rid of these is a must.
- Check whether your plants are poisonous: Many common garden and household plants can be deadly if consumed by a cat. Lilies are the most dangerous, but other potentially harmful plants include cheese plants, aloe vera, daffodils, tulips and hyacinth. Cats.org hosts a helpful list of poisonous plants. If you have poisonous plants, consider giving them to a friend or loved one – there are few places in the house that a cat can’t eventually find a way into, so getting rid of the plant is the best cat proofing option.
- Know the list of foods that are poisonous to cats: Cats are generally vulnerable to the same poisons as humans, but there are a few things that we can safely eat which are poisonous to cats. Onions, garlic, raw eggs and meat, alcohol, grapes, and raisins can all be toxic to cats at any age.
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Creating a cat proof balcony
If you’re lucky enough to have a balcony, there are a few extra measures you need to take to ensure that your cat stays safe. A cat proof balcony is one that is either inaccessible to your cat or which your cat can’t escape.
To make your balcony inaccessible to your cat, consider preventing your cat from entering the room that contains your balcony door. This ensures that there’s no chance that they will make a run for the door when you open it to get some fresh air.
Alternatively, consider locking the balcony door and keeping something on the keychain – such as a picture of the cat or a tag – to remind you to make sure the coast is clear before you open the balcony door.
The second way to create a cat proof balcony is to ensure that your cat can’t jump or fall from it. For this, the best option is to invest in balcony covers for cats - netting designed for precisely this purpose.
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If you’re looking to store your cat’s toys – or anything else – consider using self storage. At Access Self Storage, we have cheap, modern facilities all over the country. Get a personalised quote for storage rental near you by using our easy quote tool now.