Kittens are just like toddlers — exploring their big, new world, getting into everything. Their paws will bat at loose objects. They will attempt to eat or carry things in their mouths. Their coordination is not perfect so they may jump, miss things and knock things over. They will attempt to pull themselves up onto things by using whatever may be hanging within reach.

For your kitten’s safety, your peace of mind, and to preserve your treasured belongings, here are some TIPS for making the addition of this little creature a pleasant one for your household!

Walk through Your Home

Walk through your home just as you would when a child begins to crawl or walk. Put yourself into your kitten’s paws. Get down on your hands and knees and see things as your kitten would.

  • Store medications, cleaning products and chemicals out of your kitten’s reach. Kitten paws will attempt to open cupboards, so make sure they are secure. Pick up any medications dropped on the floor immediately before your kitten can eat it. Clean up spills of cleaning products and other chemicals because your kitten may walk through it and then ingest it when grooming. DO NOT mix any type of litter box deodorizing product into litter. When inhaled or ingested, we suspect these products can cause severe neurological problems. Read more about products that are poisonous to pets.
  • Keep string, thread, and yarn out of your kitten’s reach. Kittens cannot spit things out. Once a piece of thread is the kitten’s mouth, it will be drawn back into the throat and swallowed. In the kitten’s digestive tract, it may become entangled in the intestines. Surgery may be needed to remove it to prevent death. Stow sewing supplies— buttons, needles, pins— in a secure place.
  • Make sure all open windows have sturdy, securely-fitted screens. Most window screens are not meant to support the weight of children or animals. They are meant to keep out insects. Push your screens to test their ability to withstand a kitten’s eager attempts to jump at a fly or bird outside.
  • Block access to small spaces. Look for holes in walls where pipes stick out, crawlspaces, and loose ceiling tiles. Close off spaces behind appliances and cabinets. Kittens love close quarters, but that doesn’t mean they can get themselves out again.
  • Locate your kitten before you sit down on a sofa or use a recliner. Kittens can be killed when caught in the reclining mechanism of “La-Z-Boy” type chairs.
  • Close the lids and doors of toilets, washing machines, clothes dryers, dishwashers, and ovens. Supervise your kitten when your stove is in use or burners are hot.
  • Tie up or cut window shade pulls so your kitten will not become entangled. Remove draping items which may cause objects to fall on and injure your kitten when pulled.
  • Wrap up loose cords. Some kittens like to chew on cords. Putting bitter apple on the cord discourage this. Some kittens will pull on the cord, pulling the lamp or phone down on top of it.