START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

Cat-Proof Your Home

  • December 14, 2010
  • 6:01 am
Cat-Proof Your Home

Since you’re not going to stick your new kitten in a cage or tank, you may need to do some serious cat-proofing to keep your valuables—and your pet—out of harm’s way. First things first: set up a “home base” where your kitten will be comfortable and happy and where you can limit mobility for a while. During the kitten training stage, you’ll be getting to know each other, and it’s safer to do so in a controlled environment. Here’s how to prepare your home for a new feline family member.

Bringing Home Cat? Stow Your Valuables

Before bringing home a new kitten, get anything precious out of harm’s way. Cats claw and scratch, and may have the occasional “accident” of one kind or another. If you have a valuable antique rug, a piece of fine furniture, or an heirloom vase, move the items to a pet-free room or store them before bringing home a cat. Prevent anger and resentment by removing the possibility of serious damage so you can focus on giving your pet the love and affection she deserves.

Note to Self: Secure Screens before Adopting Kitten

If you’re adopting a cat, she’ll be free to move around your house. Check to see that all your windows have secure screens. Curious cats especially love to perch at windows and can fall out accidentally.

Don’t let your new pet indulge in power plays. Grab a staple gun and get all electrical wires under control.

Avoid Highly Charged Situations

Electrical wires pose a hazard to frisky kittens that might chew or play with them. Get wires under control by tacking them to the floor or baseboard. (Never insert a tack directly into a wire!) If you can’t eliminate access to a particular electrical cord, use Bitter Apple spray (available at pet stores), which has an unpleasant taste designed to repel pets.

Cats That Go Bump in the Night

Before you bring home a cat, and certainly before you bring home a pair, be sure to set up your house so that they can wander around and make noise at night without bothering you. Cats are nocturnal. They often nap the day away—especially if they spend the day alone—only to get up in search of adventure just as you are going to sleep. They aren’t destructive at night, just noisy. You will want to be able to shut your bedroom door so that you can sleep through the rattle toys, the bottle top hockey, and even the mouse hunting that cats enjoy at night.

Make a Nest for Catnaps

You should have a bed ready for your new kitten, but it need not be fancy or expensive. Instead, improvise a resting place from a cardboard box or old dresser drawer. Keep it in a quiet spot, away from drafts. Line it with something soft (without feathers) that can be washed periodically, along with a piece of clothing or a towel that carries your scent. Cats like a feeling of shelter, so if you offer your pet a spot that feels safe, she’ll be less tempted to crawl into closets, cabinets, and other dangerous spots.

Read more: Everyday Pet Care, Pets, , , , , , , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Rodale is a new original source for daily news, information, and advice on personal and environmental health. focuses on “Where Health Meets Green” topics, providing daily news stories and breaking news along with easy-to-follow, high-impact tips and advice.


+ add your own
3:50AM PDT on Jul 17, 2012

Thank you!

8:36PM PST on Jan 23, 2011

I like sleeping with my cat, but he keeps me up anyway :)

3:45PM PST on Jan 9, 2011

Mine loooooovvve the curtains!

10:15AM PST on Jan 9, 2011

great advice

7:34PM PST on Dec 31, 2010

Good advice for anyone bringing home a kitten, they can be so playful and they don't know the difference between your valuables and the toys.

7:39AM PST on Dec 30, 2010

Thanks for the tips!

2:12AM PST on Dec 26, 2010

This is great article

2:11AM PST on Dec 26, 2010

This is great article

10:45PM PST on Dec 17, 2010

great ideas, and many work well for little puppies too...

9:59PM PST on Dec 16, 2010

My old cat used to get a lot of enjoyment out of knocking over my knickknacks in the middle of the night.

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Thanks for sharing. Wish I was happier.

Omg, so cute! :)

Most intriguing

This is a disaster waiting to happen. :( Very bad decision.


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

site feedback


Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn't working for you and we'll try to make it right!