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Kittenproofing Tips
February 15, 2023

Have you recently adopted a kitten? Bringing little Fluffy home is basically welcoming a tiny, furry bundle of chaos into your home. One thing that is very important is kittenproofing. It only takes a moment for a baby cat to seriously injure herself or swallow something unsafe! A Bellaire, TX vet offers some tips on kittenproofing in this article.

Small Items

Anything small and/or sharp is a serious choking risk, and also presents a hazard of gastrointestinal obstructions if swallowed. (Of course, it doesn’t help that kittens are often drawn to exactly the things that are most dangerous to them.) Keep things like craft kit pieces, jewelry, beads, buttons, coins, paperclips, tacks, sewing kits, and other potential hazards in spots your tiny ball of mischief can’t get to.


You may be surprised to realize how many things in the average household are toxic to our feline pals. That list includes chemicals, medication, pesticides, fungicides, drain cloggers … basically, anything that isn’t safe for us to eat or ingest. Your furry friend doesn’t need to eat or drink these toxins to ingest them. She can get some on her paws simply by walking through a spill, and may then swallow it while cleaning herself.  


Kitties love to bat at things with ropes, strings, or cords. Unfortunately, these things present serious choking and strangulation risks. Some things to be careful of include drape cords, threads, ribbons, electrical wires, and string lights. Around the holidays, tinsel and fake grasses, such as those in Easter baskets, are also problems. 


Many of our feline buddies love the taste and texture of plastic, which is definitely not something you want your little buddy eating. Plastic wrappers, bags, and ties should be kept out of reach of those little paws.


Kittens can fit into some really tiny spaces. Block off openings behind and beneath your furniture and cabinets. We also recommend keeping major appliances, such as toilets, closed.


Our feline friends get sleepier and sleepier every year, likely as they are resting up after all of those kitten shenanigans. A full grown cat will make a sizable lump under a blanket, but a baby one may be hard to spot. Always check beneath blankets, cushions, and recliners before sitting down. 

Our Advice on Kittenproofing Tips in 2024

Why is it essential to kittenproof your home?

Kittenproofing your home is essential to prevent injuries and ensure the safety of your new furry family member. Kittens are naturally curious and playful, leading them to explore and potentially ingest small, sharp objects or toxins, which can cause choking gastrointestinal obstructions, or poisoning. Additionally, kittens can easily entangle themselves in ropes or cords, posing strangulation risks, and they might ingest harmful plastics. Securing dangerous items and creating a safe environment minimizes these risks, allowing your kitten to grow and explore safely within your home.

How can you deter your kitten from scratching furniture or climbing curtains?

To deter your kitten from scratching furniture or climbing curtains, provide appealing alternatives like scratching posts or pads and cat trees positioned near their favorite spots. Encourage their use by sprinkling catnip or using toys. Double-sided tape or specific pet deterrent sprays on furniture can make these areas less attractive. Consistently redirect your kitten’s attention to appropriate items when they target furniture. Positive reinforcement, through treats and praise when they use their scratching post or cat tree, reinforces good behavior. Training kittens early helps develop healthy habits for a harmonious home environment.

What common household toxins are poisonous to cats?

Common household toxins poisonous to cats include certain chemicals (cleaning agents, antifreeze), medications (both human and pet), plants (lilies, poinsettias), foods (chocolate, grapes, onions, garlic), and pest control substances (rodenticides, insecticides). Cats can also be poisoned by ingesting or coming into contact with toxic substances on their fur and then grooming themselves. Always store these materials out of reach, and be mindful of what plants and foods are accessible to your cat. If you suspect your cat has ingested a toxin, seek veterinary care immediately. Maintain your kitten’s health with regular check-ups and vaccinations, and learn more about our ‘Veterinary Wellness & Pet Vaccinations’ services to keep your new companion safe and healthy.

What are some safe and engaging toys you can provide to redirect my kitten’s chewing and playing away from dangerous objects?

To redirect your kitten’s chewing and playing from dangerous objects, offer a variety of safe and engaging toys such as soft plush toys, teething rings made for kittens, interactive toys that mimic prey movements (like wand toys with feathers or strings), and balls that roll unpredictably. Puzzle feeders can also stimulate their mind and satisfy their hunting instincts. Rotating these toys regularly keeps your kitten interested and prevents boredom. Always ensure the toys are size-appropriate and made from non-toxic materials, without small parts that could be swallowed. While kittenproofing your home to manage your little one’s curiosity, you might also find it helpful to learn about managing their playful and sometimes chaotic behavior; read more in ‘Tips For Herding Cats‘.

What steps should you take if you suspect your kitten has swallowed something harmful?

If you suspect your kitten has swallowed something harmful, act quickly. First, remove any remaining dangerous objects from their reach. Do not attempt to induce vomiting unless instructed by a professional. Contact your veterinarian or a local emergency vet clinic immediately for advice. Be prepared to describe the object swallowed, the quantity, and any symptoms your kitten is displaying. Prompt veterinary intervention can make a significant difference in the outcome, as ingestion of harmful substances can lead to serious health complications. Keep emergency contact information readily available for such situations.

As your Bellaire, TX animal hospital, we are dedicated to offering top-notch veterinary care. Please contact us anytime!