Is there anything cuter than a kitten? We don’t think so. But there aren’t many things that can cause quite so much chaos, either. Furry bundles of fun they may be, but if you’re not properly prepared, you may put your belongings and, worse, your adorable new pet, at risk.
Cats are good climbers and famously ‘always land on their feet’. But while there’s some truth in this – they have what’s called a righting reflex from as young as three weeks – the height of a fall will determine how much damage they do to themselves. So, it’s important that doors and windows are kept shut or on latches with no room for a tiny kitten to wriggle out. Especially if you live somewhere with anything higher than a ground floor window.
As well as helping them wriggle out of windows, the size and flexibility of young cats makes them quite brilliant hiders. This can be fun and for the most part is totally harmless, but there are a few places you should make sure they never have the chance to conceal themselves – washing machines, tumble dryers, dishwashers and toilets. Keep the doors closed, the seat down and double check before you use any of them.
Two other hazards you should be aware of are electricity and plants. Dangling cords look like great fun to kittens, but the last thing you want is your new pet chewing through cables and jumping six feet in the air (best case scenario). You should also check whether any plants you have are potentially poisonous, because new born cats are curious enough to try eating just about anything.
Which leads us on to chemicals and medicines. You’ll obviously want to keep these well out of reach of your little feline and childproofing latches on cupboards and cabinets can be a great way of doing that.
Whilst everything above makes intuitive sense, there’s also potential danger from items you’d, understandably, consider harmless. Balls of yarn, string or even ribbon are fine for your kitten to play with while you’re watching them, but can be choking hazards if you’re not there to keep a close eye.
As well as protecting your new pet from your home, you may also want to take steps to protect your home from your new pet. So, be aware that ornaments, plants, drawstrings, curtains, cushions and more, all make crazy fun playthings for little cats – and they may not all survive the attention.