How to Cat Proof Your Home

Kittens and cats are cute and cuddly creatures, but they can wreak havoc in a home. They are naturally curious and may cause damage to furniture and drapery.

Here are some simple steps that can be taken to protect the home:

1. Put Away Valuables
Because cats are curious, they will want to examine all the items in the home. They might accidentally cause a valuable antique vase to slip off a counter or cabinet and fall into pieces. Put away anything of value and fragile things into a locked cabinet where the cats can't reach them.

2. Protect Draperies
Cats like to climb, and their sharp claws can rip draperies such as roman blinds into shreds. Keep furniture away from draperies so the cats cannot use it to reach the drapes. Consider closing off a room that has window coverings such as roman blinds.

3. Put Away Poisons
There are many things in a home that are poisonous to a cat. Cleaning supplies, especially pine-based, should not be used in areas a cat frequents, particularly food bowls and the litter box. Antifreeze containing ethylene glycol tastes pleasant sweet taste to cats, but is deadly. Be sure to wipe up spills immediately. Nontoxic antifreeze containing propylene glycol can be purchased as a substitute. Ant and roach traps should be kept out of reach of cats. Certain plants are also poisonous to cats. For example, dieffenbachia is a common houseplant that can actually paralyze your cat's mouth when eaten, making it impossible for him to eat and drink. A phone number for the poison control hotline should be kept handy in case of emergency.

4. Protect Furniture
Cats will climb on furniture and scratch it. Cover the couch with a blanket or bedspread. Since cats also shed, this will also protect the furniture from the accumulation of fur.

5. Protect Cords
Many cats enjoy playing with dangling cords. Cats can get tangled in a cord or may chew up a cord, with disastrous consequences, Eating cords and string may also cause digestion problems. Fasten electrical and phone cords under carpets or on walls to keep them out of reach.

6. Choking Hazards
Cats may choke on small items in the home. Keep tinsel, paper clips, beads, paper clips, rubber bands, pins and needles contained and out of reach.

7. Protect from falls
A cat climbing on a window sill may fall down through a high window. Every window that can be opened should contain a heavy-duty screen that is not easy to tear with claws or teeth. The screen and the frame should fit in the window securely and be able to bear the weight of the cat. Do not let cats play on a high rise balcony.

8. Kitchen Hazards
A cat climbing on kitchen counters may encounter hazards such as knives. Spills may be slippery and cause falls. In addition, they may encounter a hot stove and burn themselves. Cats should be trained not to jump on counters. If they persist, entry to the kitchen should be barred. Keep the dryer door closed at all times to avoid accidentally tumbling the cat.

These simple steps of proofing your home will help avoid hazards and let you enjoy having a cat in your home.