But kittens are also little bundles of energy and agility that can quickly drive you crazy if you’re not on top of things.
If you’ve had puppies and are considering a kitten, be warned: they are not the same. While puppies can get into plenty of trouble and also keep your hands full, they don’t have the feline abilities of kittens to scale drapes and bookcases, or the same desire to finagle themselves into the tight space behind the refrigerator.
In other words, if your house has been puppy-proofed, that might not be enough for a kitten. Here are 10 ways to kitten-proof your home.
If you’ve had a puppy, you probably already have the electrical wire protectors and know to keep phone and laptop chargers and other wiring out of reach. For a kitten, you’ll also want to get outlet plug covers. Felines really are as curious as the saying implies and may find it interesting to claw at an unprotected outlet.
Make sure that somewhere in your house there is a danger-free zone where your kitten can play and not hurt himself or tear your house apart. This may be a hallway that allows you to close all the doors, a crate, or an area you section off with the help of a pet gate. Just be sure to not leave him alone for long periods, because kittens need socialization.
Some cardboard and duct tape will be your best friend while your kitten is growing up. Find all those small spaces he wants to explore (around the fridge and behind the TV, for example) and cover them up the best you can.
Consider purchasing covered garbage cans to keep your curious kitty away from hazardous trash and to help avoid a real mess.
If your kitten has access to your bathroom, hide the toilet paper or you’ll be sure to find toilet paper confetti strewn all over the room. Also, remember to shut your toilets and avoid using toilet bowl cleaners in case someone forgets to shut the toilet.
Some kittens have a knack for getting into things like cabinets. For these unstoppable kittens, get some cabinet locks.
You will probably have to replace your drapes at some point in your kitty’s kittenhood. The long, flowing nature of drapes is hard for kittens to resist. Don’t wait to find your kitten dangling three-quarters up your drapes before getting blinds. But if you can’t afford a complete overhaul of your drapes, make sure to keep objects like cat condos away from drapes to help prevent your kitten from flinging himself from one high spot to another.
Keep an assortment of scratch pads around to encourage appropriate scratching behavior. However, he may still insist on scratching your furniture. For this, you can try covering up enticing items like sofas and/or using double-sided cat tape to protect furniture. Many cats don’t like the sticky sensation of these kinds of tape.
Food and Water
Don’t leave food or water glasses out for your kitten to become curious about. You don’t want to encourage food theft, especially if something in what you’re eating or drinking can make him sick.
Washer and Dryer
When you do laundry, make sure your kitten is somewhere safe. Some kittens may get curious enough to hop in the washer or dryer. Always make sure you know where your kitten is before doing a load of laundry.
Kittens are a ton of fun, but they can also get into a ton of trouble. With some kitten-proofing, the months will flow much smoother, keeping your kitten safe and you sane.
Jessica Peralta has been a journalist for more than 15 years and an animal lover all her life. She has had dogs, cats, birds, turtles, fish, frogs, and rabbits. Her current children are a German shepherd named Guinness and a black kitten named Riot (and he lives up to that name). It’s because of her love for animals that she focused her journalistic career to the world of holistic animal care and pet nutrition. In between keeping Riot and Guinness out of mischief, she’s constantly learning about all the ways she can make them healthier and happier.