Kittens are curious creatures capable of jumping or climbing onto high surfaces or squeezing into the smallest of spaces. To protect your kitten in his new environment, and to safeguard your belongings, kittenproof your house.
- Use childproof latches to keep little paws from opening cabinet doors.
- Keep medications, cleaners, chemicals and laundry supplies on high shelves or locked away.
- Keep trash cans covered or inside a latched cabinet.
- Make sure they haven’t jumped in the dryer before you turn it on.
- Keep food and food wrappers out of reach.
- Gather and tie up dangling wires from TVs, stereos, computers and phones. Kittens love to play with then as well as chew on them as they are teething.
- Move house plants, which can be poisonous or used inappropriately as litter boxes, out of reach. This includes hanging plants that can be jumped onto from other nearby surfaces.
- Make sure all heating and air conditioner vents have covers.
- Put away all craft and sewing notions, especially thread and pincushions.
- Keep laundry and shoes behind closed doors. Kittens can ingest bits of shoestrings and small buttons which can cause serious health problems.
- Always keep the toilet lid down. Kittens often leap before they look and can get into real trouble by landing in a toilet bowl where they may not be able to get out and can drown.
Here are a few hints on helping your kitten adjust to her new home
- For the first week, give the kitten a room of her own. Set her up with a litter box, water bowl, bed, a dish for her dry food and a scratching post. Don’t introduce her to other pets yet. Visit her often, play and cuddle with her there, and let her get used to the sounds, smells and rhythms of your household from a secure place of her own. This initial confinement makes it easy for you to be sure she’s eating enough and using the litter box.
- Free-feed a kitten a high quality brand of kitten-formula dry food and offer canned food twice a day.
- Always supervise carefully when young children are with the kitten. Teach them how to handle the kitten and to play with him using toys rather than clothing, hands or feet. Never leave a young kitten alone with children.
- Gently clip the tips of the kitten’s toenails to keep them blunt and avoid scratches.