Having a new kitten can be a challenging and stressful experience at times. They are great at getting themselves into tight spots, places you would never have thought of, and all kinds of mischief.
Kittens are bundles of fun and energy. Like looking after any young animal, they can give you a good run around. They are also exceptionally inquisitive by nature, and learning every day.
Cats are not like children. Their learning curve and the rate in which they grow up is vastly accelerated. With kittens becoming cats at around one years of age.
If you are currently experiencing your first kitten, you have probably already had some scares. Watching them climb trees, make seemingly impossible jumps, and cause some damage around your home.
The good news is, there is a lot you can do to make their environment a lot safer. I can’t promise your kitty will not still damage some of your furniture, but you can keep them a lot safer.
I always recommend people get their kittens insured, in case something bad does happen. Vet bills can escalate very quickly, and a small monthly payment is a nice peace of mind in my opinion.
Keeping Kittens Safe inside and Outside
Tip One – Keep Cupboard Doors Closed
Combine their inquisitive nature, their need to explore new places, and no fear and you get a kitty that will jump at the opportunity to get into a cupboard.
This can prove dangerous, or even fatal if they get into a cupboard with hazardous cleaning materials in. Because they will lick and taste new things.
They are also clumsy at an early age. They can knock bottles or boxes over. SO not only could you have spillage, you could hear a smash as they break something.
One idea is to childproof your cupboards, as you would for a child. You can get child locks, so if you forget to close a cupboard or think your kitten can prise it open, you’re covered.
Tip Two – Keep Appliance Doors Closed and Check Inside
I’m talking mostly about dishwashers, washing machines, fridges, freezers etc. Always keep these doors closed, as kittens are well known for jumping into these types of appliance.
If you have had the door open for a while, always look inside before closing the door. Take a good look too, little kittens can be quite elusive when curling up into a ball.
Unfortunately every year kittens are killed in washing machines due to careless behaviour. They curl up in some warm clothes in there, and then the machine is switched on without noticing.
Tip Three – Tie Back Curtains and Window Blinds
I will never forget the first time I couldn’t find one of my kittens. I looked everywhere, only to find she was at the top of one of my curtains.
They have very sharp claws and are light. So climbing vertically up something with a bit of grip is a breeze. It’s getting down that is the problem.
You should find a way to tie curtains back and not have any ledgers near that encourage them to jump up. Blinds should be able to roll up, or pull to the sides too. Just until the kitty is out of the climbing phase.
Tip Four – Make Sure Nothing Heavy Can Tip Over
As a rule of thumb, if something is able to be tipped over – a kitten will tip it over. So go round and check what is on uneven ground, or a tipping hazard.
Don’t just look at furniture that is on your level. Remember, kitten can jump and climb a lot better than you can. They develop more strength and skills each day too.
If something is able to fall, it’s either going to break, which will probably annoy you. Or worse, fall on the kitten eventually.
Tip Five – Kitten Proofing the Garden
If you have an enclosed garden space, great. Kittens love to explore outdoors, and they can take in all the wonderful scents, sounds and sights the great outdoors has to offer.
It’s a hazardous world out there for small kittens however. So you need to make sure it’s well proofed.
If you use pesticides like slug pellets or weed killers, you will have to stop. You can’t have your little kitten ingesting any of these poisons.
Put tools and other sharp items away safely in the shed. And, just like indoors do a run round to see if there are any unstable items they may be tipped.
Try walking your cat on a lead the first time they go outside. This way you can keep a safe eye on them.
As they get older and respond to coming home better, you can let them run free a little more. Eventually they will escape the garden and broaden their horizons.
A cat flap or door is a great way to let them go for a while and not stress about them being locked out. They can just pass in and out as they please.
Kittens can be a handful, no one should ever tell you otherwise. But the trade-off for the loving, fun, and rewarding experience of owning a cat is more than worth it.
Cats do have a great natural sense of safety. But they need a little help to develop it, which is where you come in as owner.
There will be a few minor accidents, they may be a few broken items of furniture, and even the odd scratch on your kitty. But don’t fret, I know you will do a great job of watching over them as they grow up.
Good luck, and enjoy the experience.