If there was a pet Olympics, cats would undoubtedly be gold-medal contenders in a number of disciplines.
Gymnastics. High jump. Pole vault. Wrestling.
Our sporty little felines are athletic, agile, and highly adventurous.
That’s why if you’re looking to welcome one into your home, you need to start thinking about how ‘cat-proof’ it is.
Cat-proofing a property helps keep curious new housemates safe – it also adds a much-needed layer of protection to your belongings.
One of the most popular practices involves keeping breakable objects out of reach, but as this blog will go on to cover, there’s far more to cat-proofing than just avoiding potential breakages.
7 effective ways to cat-proof a room in your home
- Keep breakable objects out of reach. Cats love to climb, so even when you think you’ve found a safe spot to place that priceless ornament you love so much – think again. Keep all fragile objects in cabinets, or in rooms you don’t allow your felines into. That way, you won’t come in from work one evening to find you have a new jigsaw puzzle to play with.
- Check your plants. Cats may be obligate carnivores, but they’ll still nibble away at the green stuff if given half a chance. Unfortunately, a lot of plants are toxic to cats; a list that includes lilies, tulips, daffodils, and irises. You can still create a beautiful indoor jungle, but only go for cat-friendly ones like orchids, sunflowers, snapdragons, and violets.
- Buy a scratching post. Scratching is a normal, instinctive behaviour for cats. They need to scratch; it’s how they express emotions, relieve stress, and expend energy. It’s how they maintain their claws. A scratching post won’t cost you much, but it could save your walls, floors and furniture from regular claw attacks.
- Are your cleaning products cat-friendly? A large number of household cleaners contain chemicals that can be extremely toxic to our felines. Hiding them away in a cupboard might sound like the sensible solution, but as we’ve already established, cats can get everywhere. Thankfully, there are a whole host of cat-friendly products available that will keep your home nice and clean, and your feline nice and safe.
- Hide away electrical cords and wires. Just like with curtains and furniture, electrical cords and wires are rarely safe from the prowling, predatory instincts of cats. The difference here being, one misplaced bite or scratch could lead to serious injury. Cable covers and ties are a good way of ensuring they stay out of your feline’s way.
- Keep appliance doors closed. When we told you cats get everywhere, we meant it. An open freezer, washing machine, dryer, or dishwasher is an open invitation to a curious cat. Keep doors firmly locked, and check the machines before each use.
- Secure your bin. No pet parent wants to see their feline rummaging through the rubbish. Hygiene aside though, a lot of the food we eat is toxic to cats. A bin with a swing lid means there is nothing to stop a hungry feline from helping themselves to your discarded leftovers when no-one is around.
Do I need to cat-proof all the rooms in the home?
Potential dangers lurk around every corner in every room where our cats and homes are concerned.
The kitchen bin, cleaning products in the bathroom, television cables, breakable objects in the bedroom – start writing a list now, and it won’t be long before you’re wondering if the only place your cat is safe is an empty porch.
At Encore, we believe in letting our cats roam free. Giving them access to several rooms means they are able to spend their days exploring the great indoors, encouraging physical exercise, and benefiting mental well-being.
Besides, even if you decide to close off a certain area to your feline, what happens if someone in the house forgets the golden rule and leaves the door ajar?
We’d recommend taking a room-by-room approach to cat-proofing. Each room will present unique issues, so to begin, write down all the possible hazards present in the kitchen.
Once you have come up with a workable solution to make this a cat-safe space, move on to the living room, and so on.
How can I make my new cat feel at home?
There’s one thing you need above all else when helping a cat settle into a new home – patience.
If possible, try and give them space. Their own room to begin with would be ideal; somewhere they can eat, play, relax and sleep as they familiarise themselves with their surroundings. You can slowly introduce them to different parts of the house as they start to grow more comfortable. This will also give you plenty of time to get your cat-proofing up to scratch.
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