There are some definite “do’s” and “don’ts” when it comes to the safe preparation of your home for a kitten.
Where’s my kitty?
Kittens, by virtue of being small and curious, can find hiding places you wouldn’t have thought of in your wildest imagination. One of my own most frightening experiences happened when I couldn’t find my new kitten for an entire afternoon. I called and called, spent hours getting up and down off my hands and knees peering under every piece of furniture that was more than 3 inches off the floor – because they can also flatten their little bodies and army crawl with the best of them. Exhausted and nearly in tears, I sat down in my recliner, raised the footrest, and voila…there she was. She had crawled into the sling formed by that piece of fabric between the chair seat and footrest when it’s in the down position.
In the picture shown here another of my kittens had gone to sleep in the basket where the dog toys were kept. Once again calling and calling didn’t bring her running. Only once she awoke and made her little mew was I able to pick her out from the rest of the plush toys in the basket.
So remember, there is nearly no place too small for kitty to claim as her own for those all-important cat naps!
Spit that out!
There are several common human foods that if dropped on the floor you may think make a cute temporary plaything but could, in fact, result in a very sick kitty. Luckily most kittens won’t actually find these appealing. They may sniff, lick and bat it about but hopefully won’t ingest enough to warrant a trip to the emergency vet. Some of these items include grapes, raisins, onions and garlic cloves.
Multiple varieties of common houseplants or flower arrangements can also be the cause of serious illness, organ failure and even death in some kittens. Some of the most common houseplants include Diffenbachia, Sago Palm, Philodendron, Dracaena, Peace Lily often used around the Easter Holiday, and Poinsettia which are commonly seen in homes around the Christmas Holiday.
Some of the common flowers used in arrangements you’ll need to watch out for include Crocus, Lilies, Tulips, and Daffodils.
The varieties are too numerous to list here but it’s a good idea to know what kind of plants you have in your home and do your homework to learn if there are any dangerous side effects to your kitten from contact or ingestion of the plant stems, leaves, flowers or fruit.
A good resource to have handy is the ASPCA poison control phone number which is answered 24/7: 888-426-4435
None of these items should ever be used as a toy to tease or play with your kitten.
Cords, cords everywhere cords
Another item your kitten may be attracted to as a plaything are electrical cords, phone and charging cords, teething cords, cable cords…you get the idea.
Our lives today are ruled by our devices, but as we all know electricity and babies of any type don’t mix well. Kittens love to chew especially while they’re teething, and if the cord is dangling from the lamp, the computer on your desk, or the cable from the back of the teething it may remind kitty of one of her toys on a string. There are pre-made cord wraps that can bundle the multiple cords together in a wrap that is larger in diameter and stiffer to make them less attractive to a kitty.
Another alternative is to wrap them in black electrical tape to accomplish the same end. For some undetermined reason the light colored cords seem to be more attractive than darker colored ones, and larger diameter more rigid is less attractive than the small diameter and more flexible.
Safe play is happy play
In the end what’s most important is to ensure a safe home environment for your kitty, and a happy place for her to play with her human family and to be able to entertain herself when you aren’t around to play with her.