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  1. kittens

Kitten-Proofing the Home

Posted by Dr. Roth on March 17, 2022

Lifestyle
Training & Behavior
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Kittens bring their pet parents an immense amount of joy. They are very inquisitive and full of energy. Unfortunately, their curious nature often leads them towards things that could be hazardous. Therefore, proper kitten care requires pet parents to kitten-proof their house before bringing their new kitten home.

Kitten-Proofing the Home

When pet parents begin kitten-proofing their home, they will need to keep in mind kittens are excellent jumpers, climbers, and problem solvers. Therefore, placing hazardous objects up high isn’t an effective method to keep a kitten away from the items. 

Kittens can also open cabinets. So, pet parents should invest in childproof safety latches to secure any cabinets containing hazardous items — such as cleaning products. Additional kitten hazards include:

  • Electrical cords: Kittens love to chew on cords — especially charging cords. Cords should be put away when not in use. Cords that cannot be put up can be sprayed with a chewing deterrent. 

  • Furniture: Furniture cushions make excellent places for kittens to hide. Also, rocking chairs and pullout sofas can crush a kitten. Pet parents should know where their kitten is before sitting down.

  • Foreign objects: Kittens will play with anything. Small objects — such as hair ties — can accidentally be ingested by the kitten. Ingesting small foreign objects can cause a kitten to choke or cause a blockage in their gastrointestinal system.

  • Plush toys: Many kittens enjoy playing with a stuffed toy. However, kittens can easily tear plush toys open, and the stuffing is a hazard. Only plush toys designed specifically for kittens should be given to the kitten. 

Houseplants

Houseplants pose one of the biggest threats to kittens and cats. Unfortunately, many pet parents are unaware that several types of houseplants are toxic and deadly to kittens and cats. For example, true lilies and daylilies are highly toxic to kittens and can cause kidney failure if the kitten ingests any part of the plant. Even the pollen is toxic and can cause health problems if the kitten breathes in the pollen spores. 

Other house plants that are toxic to kittens include:

  • Chrysanthemums

  • Aloe

  • Tulips

  • Azaleas

  • Marijuana

  • Jade Plant

This list is not comprehensive; there are many plants toxic to kittens. Before bringing any plant into the home, pet parents should check the ASPCA’s list of plants toxic to pets

Essential Oils and Aromatherapy

Essential oils have become very popular in recent years. Many pet parents have started using essential oil diffusers and buying essential oil candles. However, many essential oils cause respiratory issues in cats. 

The following are a few essential oils pet parents should avoid:

  • Cinnamon

  • Citrus

  • Clove

  • Eucalyptus

  • Peppermint

  • Pine

  • Tea Tree

  • Ylang Ylang

Interactive Kitten Toys

Pet parents can provide their kittens with many safe toys to keep them entertained. Safe kitten toys include:

  • Laser pointer

  • Cat scratchers and towers

  • Feather wand

  • Balls

  • Durable plush toys

If the kitten has plenty of safe kitten items to play with, they’ll be less likely to try and play with things that could harm them. 

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