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Home > Cats > How To Cat-Proof Your House: 10 Simple Ways

How To Cat-Proof Your House: 10 Simple Ways

tabby cat sitting beside smart speaker

Cats make great companions, and some might say they help turn a house into a home. They can be loving, playful, and cuddly. But they can also be mischievous and seemingly get themselves into endless trouble and countless sticky situations. As a doting cat parent, it is your responsibility to ensure that your cats are free to play and enjoy a good life while protecting them from danger.

Below are 10 tips to help cat-proof your home and ensure that they have a safe environment in which to thrive.

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The 10 Ways to Cat-Proof Your House

1. Get a Scratching Post

It is a cat’s instinct to scratch. They do it to sharpen and maintain claws, leave their scent on their territory, and also to relieve stress and anxiety. If you don’t provide them with something that they are allowed to scratch, they will make their own scratching post. They will scratch furniture, wooden legs, and even walls, so spending a few dollars on a scratch post is not only good for your cat’s physical and emotional well-being, but also the well-being of your furniture and your purse.

If you have the room, you may consider getting multiple scratch posts for different areas of the home, especially if yours is an indoor cat.


2. Get Cat Toys

As well as having an instinct to scratch, cats are also natural predators and domestic cats retain a high prey drive. They love to chase and hunt. As well as pandering to their natural behaviour and satiating their desire to hunt, toys are another good way to protect the items in your house, although we can’t guarantee that yours still won’t run off with pens and other items.

Get a good selection of toys but be prepared for a picky cat to turn its nose up at anything that doesn’t take its fancy. Try rotating toys in and out of circulation. After a few weeks out of sight, your feline friend will treat an old toy as something new and exciting.


3. Hide Away Cleaners and Toxins

Cleaning supplies stored in shelf
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

There are toxins all around us in the house. Items like household cleaners, bleach, and even some soaps can be potentially very dangerous to your furry friend if he decides to eat or drink the lot. Some may cause considerable damage if they get on the skin or in your cat’s eyes. Ensure that medicine cabinets are closed and that cleaners and other dangerous liquids are kept shut away in appropriate cupboards.


4. Avoid Poisonous Plants

Some popular house plants, like lilies and even aloe vera, are potentially harmful if ingested by cats. Remove any toxic plants and replace them with cat-friendly alternatives like catnip, although there is no guarantee that the catnip will be allowed to grow before it is chewed and eaten.


5. Move Breakables

Multicolored jars on a table
Image Credit: Sharon McCutcheon, Pexels

Cats love to investigate. They will climb on windowsills to watch the world go by and they will precariously balance and walk along fireplaces and shelves. If you have ornaments, pictures, or collectibles on these ledges, there is a good chance that your cat will knock them over, either by accident or just out of curiosity.

Try to make sure that your fragile ornaments are behind a glass door or put them away, and that anything that is put on display is not easily smashed. As well as meaning that you have to buy replacements, a broken vase could potentially be dangerous if your cat walks on the pieces.


6. Close the Washer and Dryer

In some cases, curiosity really can be the downfall of your cat. This is especially true with washers and dryers.

The washing machine will carry your smell, and cats love the smell of dirty laundry. Close the door after you fill the washer and always check inside before you turn it on.

The tumble dryer is not only the type of confined space that cats love, but it is warm and inviting. Again, ensure that the door is properly closed and always have a quick look inside before using it.


7. Hide Cords and Wires

Cat sitting near power outlet with cord plugged in
Image Credit: OKcamera, Shutterstock

Your feline friend will enjoy chasing anything that moves (or they can make move): wand toys, dressing gown cords, untied shoelaces, and of course, wires and cords. There is the potential that your cat will get caught in them or, worse still, that they will cut or bite into an electrical wire. Prevent this by using cable covers or by tidying wires out of the way.


8. Put Food in Cupboards

Some human food is dangerous for cats. This is especially true of food that contains chocolate, onions, and garlic, as well as alcohol. Put food away when not in use, and clear half-empty dinner plates so that your cat doesn’t investigate and try your cooking abilities out for themselves.

Some foods are not necessarily toxic for your cat but can still cause problems. Most cats are lactose intolerant and giving them cheese or cow’s milk can wreak havoc on their digestive system. Sweet foods and those that are high in sugar may also lead to health problems for your cat, so it is best to put these in the treat tin with a secure lid.


9. Make Sure Your Bin Is Secure

Another source of tidbits for an alert cat is the trash. If you go to the trouble of clearing away food as soon as you’ve finished but do not securely close the bin lid, it can lead to the same problem of your cat eating food it shouldn’t. And it isn’t just food that is a concern. We throw away wet wipes and other household items that could be toxic to your kitty.

Try to use bins that have a secure, fastening lid, and make sure you use the lid once you’ve scraped the leftovers away. Even if there is nothing dangerous in there, you may find yourself having to pick up a bin load of rubbish from the floor after your cat has knocked it over.


10. Stay on Top Of It

Houses are constantly changing. We add new plants, put up new decorations, and there is always new food and other items added. Stay on top of your cat-proofing and always be mindful that you have cats around. This is especially true during the different holiday seasons. The Halloween or Christmas decorations that you put up can be as much of a hazard as any ornaments, especially those that are made of glass or that contain edible chocolate treats. Also, make sure that others know the rules and why they need to follow them.

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Conclusion

Cats can make a house feel like a home, but most cat owners will attest to the fact that there are regular occasions when their cat puts itself in some kind of potential peril. Whether they are chewing electrical cables or eyeing up the household cleaner, there are threats everywhere. In the same way that you would child-proof a house when you have a toddler, you need to take similar precautions when you have a kitten or even an adult cat. Follow the tips above and, above all else, remain mindful and watch your cat’s activities to help highlight any other possible causes of injury or illness, so that you and your cat can enjoy a happy life together.

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Featured Image Credit: Lightspruch, Shutterstock

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