How do you "kitten-proof" your apartment?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by JerseySlore, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. JerseySlore

    JerseySlore Active Member

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    My friend is thinking about adopting two boy kittens. Let me start off by saying that she is an awesome person, but she is the biggest klutz on the earth, and I fear for the very life of any living organism that falls under her care.

    I offered to kitten-proof her apartment so the kittens wouldn't get stuck behind the refrigerator or worse, flush themselves down the toilet. But I have no experience with cats and don't know where to begin. Where else to turn to for help than the pillar of wisdom that is FSU in times like this?:kickass:

    Any advice would be appreciated. ;)
     
  2. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

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    Is there such a thing as kitten-proofing other than keeping the toilet lids down? Kittens can always find ways to get in trouble.

    This is coming from someone who didn't baby-proof her house. What's the point when you have to constantly watch the kid anyway, unless they are in the "baby jail".
     
  3. RubyLaRhumba

    RubyLaRhumba New Member

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    I agree. There is really not much point. The best thing she can do is watch them when home. They grow quickly and turn into lazy cats! (I have 2 males that sleep curled up together all day, every day.)
     
  4. BittyBug

    BittyBug Kiteless

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    I think there actually are some things that you can do to help promote their safety. Like:

    Don't leave string or rubber bands lying around that they could get tangled up in or would cause intestinal trouble if swallowed. I include used dental floss in that category (put it in a covered garbage pail or wrap it in a tissue - you do not want to hear my story about one of my cats eating a piece of dental floss :yikes: ).

    Don't leave plastic bags lying around (suffocation risk).

    Don't leave breakable things on the edge of shelves or bureaus.

    And don't leave burning candles unattended.

    And I agree about not leaving the toilet seats up.

    I hope your friend enjoys her new little friends. :)
     
  5. Erica Lee

    Erica Lee New Member

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    I'll second the recommendation to not leave string-like objects laying around. Especially hair elastics. And electrical cords- bundle them up as neatly as possible and hide them behind objects where possible.

    I also put away flimsy breakables at first as my kitty liked jumping up onto tables, counters, shelves, anything at all! He's since been taught not to jump up (or is just to lazy now.. who knows).

    One cat I had loved hiding behind the washer and dryer... went back there when she was scared (pretty much any time a stranger was in the house). She'd come out again when she was hungry... no big deal.
     
  6. Capella

    Capella Guest

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  7. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

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    :lol:
     
  8. JerseySlore

    JerseySlore Active Member

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    Thank you all! Looks like there is not much I can do for my friend. I'll just make sure she maintains her place neat and hazard-free as possible.

    Dental floss :scream:
     
  9. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    That cat looks like mine!!!! But he can't flush the toilet.

    I don't think there is much you can do. Cats will do whatever they want whenever they want. The only thing you friend can do is learn to become their slave and be at their beckon call.
     
  10. skipaway

    skipaway Well-Known Member

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    I painted my electrical cords with hot sauce so they wouldn't chew on them.
     
  11. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    My biggest advice is to tie up the blind strings if you have those on the blinds to pull them up. They can get caught around the cats neck if they are swatting at the strings from the back of a couch. Also, keep their collar (if they wear one) loose enough to come off if it ever gets stuck on something. I am so glad I did this because one day I came home to find my cat's collar hung on the blind string. So this is where I get both pieces of advice from.
     
  12. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    Don't leave any sort of strings or rubber bands, etc., or small items that they can swallow lying around. My roommate tended to leave hair in the shower drain and my kitten swallowed the hair (along with a bandaid and other random things)r last summer and nearly died. The stuff bunch up in his stomach and the hair accordioned his intestine.

    We eventually found out that he figured out how to open the bathroom cabinet under the sink and was sleeping with all the cleaning chemicals too while we were in classes. We had to duct tape it shut to keep him out.

    Like others said, they will get into trouble no matter what. It's good to get two at once, so I applaud her for that decision. Just try to think of where they can cause themselves real harm ahead of time and try to work against that. Mischief is a certainty.
     
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  13. JerseySlore

    JerseySlore Active Member

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    Thank you! I had dogs all my life, and none of them got into trouble. Kitties sound like a piece of work! Some of the horror stories are so :yikes: I'm almost convinced my friend will manage to kill the kittens within 24 hours, but hopefully they will manage :)
     
  14. Skate Talker

    Skate Talker Replaced the display under my name

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    Hey my friend's cat does the toilet flush thing too.

    My cat loves to try to chew cords and crunch hard objects, which scares the heck out of me. I can't watch her every moment. I have to make sure she cannot access any of the buttons on clothing. One morning while I was starting to wake up for work she camped on my chest and started chomping on my pj buttons. I wasn't wide awake enough to realize what she was doing until I heard a sharp crack. Half of the button was gone. Fortunately I finally found the missing piece halfway under the bed. Glass is also a favourite munching option. And last Christmas she got into the bowl of nuts (in the shell) and took off with a hazelnut.

    So far she has been way to smart to try to swallow anything hard like this - thank heavens, but you just never know what she might decide to sample, and you can't keep everything out of reach. I think we are saved by 1 thing - she only seems to like to try this when she has human company around (showing off?) I have never come home, or woken up in the morning to find anything taste tested in all the years we have had her.

    When I went on vacation once, my aunt took care of the cat and although I did warn her I don't think she believed me. She has a plethora of those bone china flower thingies around and sure enough, the cat broke off some leaves and petals.

    Oh that is another point - make sure that - just like with children, all candies and pills are secure. Anything they can swallow and choke on or be poisoned by - including certain plants.

    When we first brought her home from the shelter she was quite small still so I worried about her in the unfinished basement area full of everything under the sun so we picked her up when I would have a couple of days off work. At night we confined her to a small room and during the day I followed her around as she explored the house just to see what she might try to get into. That is about all you can do to try and predict what might be a problem.
     
  15. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I agree about the cords. My kitten chewed through several of mine when I first got him. I would keep those well out of reach, especially thin soft ones like headphone cords that can be easily chewed through.
     
  16. meierfan

    meierfan New Member

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    Our kitten ate the surround system cords, and chewed through my husband's computer cord, he came home and found it sparking on the carpeted floor, it was a miracle that it didn't electrocute her!

    I would be careful with the lining of furniture, our kitten managed to get into the lining of our couch and caused havoc, and it was so hard to get her out, the poor thing was so scared and confused.

    Kitchen sponges! I don't know how many Mr. Magic's I found all over the floor, and I do not want to know how much of it ended up in her stomach.
     
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  17. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    Remove fragile things from high places that a kitten can climb upon. Lest you end up with broken things on the floor.
     
  18. JasperBoy

    JasperBoy Heading for Helsinki

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    Kittens and cats love to crawl into dark spaces. Ducts, under beds, behind walls, etc.
    Be sure all access points are safely covered or your friend might have to do some emergency renovating!

    Speaking of which, I know someone whose kitten crawled into a bag of wet paintbrushes. She was covered in paint and had to spend a couple of days at the vet having it removed from her fur and gut. Dangerous and expensive.
     
  19. Kruss

    Kruss Not Auto-Tuned

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    Anyone have any ideas on protecting doors from kitty scratching? We have two cats that we must keep separated. My cat is fine (she's the one inside the large master suite), but the other cat tries to get into the room and has scratched up the bottom of the doorjam - literally scratched the wood apart. We are moving soon and do not want damage at our next home.

    I'm thinking there must be something we can attach to the doorjam and bottom of the door to protect it from her scratching. But I'm stumped as to what we can use. Any ideas are welcome. :)
     
  20. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    Cats won't stop scratching but you can try and prevent the damage they do by trimming their claws. Just use a normal pair of nail clippers to remove the tips of the nails so they are squared off and no longer sharp. Be careful you don't trim down too far to the pink part of the nail. My cat is quite used to it because I have been doing it to him since he was a kitten.
     
  21. Kruss

    Kruss Not Auto-Tuned

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    Thanks! Actually, my sister regularly trims the cat's claws, but she's still pulling apart the wood. I am looking for ideas to cover the wood and protect it.
     
  22. dbell1

    dbell1 Well-Known Member

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    Giggling here - as soon as I opened this thread, Ember the wonder kitten jumped on my arm and stared at the computer screen. She knows!! :yikes:
     
  23. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    We got the younger cat as a tiny kitten and she got into EVERYTHING. Luckily she was smart enough not to chew cords, since I had a ton of cords lying around. :lol: Mostly we just made sure we didn't have a lot of things teetering on shelves and I have to add to the advice to hide anything stringlike. Or heck, anything that hangs down and can be batted. Clothing sleeves in your closet count!

    The kitten was also a nice kitten by not eating anything that's not edible, even if it's small. Which is good because my roommate sometimes leaves around buttons and twisty ties and I found her chewing one of my stitch markers once. :eek: She DOES have a habit of drinking water out of any container though, even if it's dirty water for rinsing brushes. :eek: That happened just last week and I heard her take a few slurps before I was like, "NO!" and got her off my table and changed out the water. Yeesh, cat!

    My friend had cats she got as kittens and her roommate drove her nuts by leaving knives lying around exposed on the kitchen counter. If your friend is apt to do that, tell her not to do that. :eek: But I never do that due to my own klutziness so it wasn't an issue for me. I also always keep the toilet lid down so that wasn't an issue for me either.

    The fact that she's getting two kittens might help, because they'll play with each other instead of trying to get your attention by getting into things. Or maybe it'll be worse, probably depends on the cats. :lol:

    Otherwise, you'd be really surprised at how resilient those tiny creatures are. A few times our kitten would launch herself off the back of the couch directly into the wall, fall the 4 feet to the floor, and came out none the worse for wear. :rofl:
     
  24. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

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    You can get plexiglass strips at the hardware store. Have them cut to the dimensions you need and attach them with wood screws.
     
  25. Kruss

    Kruss Not Auto-Tuned

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    Thank you! That will be great for the door. :) I'll need to figure out something for the doorway too. She picks apart the bottom of that more than the door itself. If only she'd play nice, I could leave the two together.

     
  26. BaileyCatts

    BaileyCatts Well-Known Member

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    :cat:'s ALWAYS know!! :rofl:
     
  27. Skate Talker

    Skate Talker Replaced the display under my name

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    You can get the plexiglass cut to fit that too perhaps? I'm sure it could be relatively thin. Another thing you can find for a door is of course the brass kick-plate. Though those are usually mounted on exterior doors they should work and might come in the right size and with mounting gear.

    I had forgotten about my cat getting inside the sofas. So far she has only managed this with our old and replacement sofa beds. Every once in a long while she will disappear for hours and that is one place she might be. I always get worried in case she snuck outside somehow. Because we live on a mega-busy highway and she has no car sense we don't let her out. Besides she has a perfectly good full-window sun room for all the fresh air she needs.

    I forgot to mention on the chewing front that picture frames are another favourite target. I defy anyone to predict that kind of munching - just to show you cannot possibly be pre-prepared for everything.
     
  28. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

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    And unplug what you don't need plugged in. My friend's kitten is a cord freak - he has chewed through several phone chargers, her laptop charger, and her laptop cooler cord. Fortunately, not plugged in.

    And it is not just kittens. My cat is 12 years old, and she has just discovered electric cords. She never paid a lick of attention to them before and now she is circling all the lamps trying to get at the cord. This started when my husband started leaving his phone plugged in on his bedside table (instead of on the dresser), and she discovered it was a neat toy. Now she knows about electric cords.

    Also, tie up the cords on your window blinds and clip them high up on the blind. It is a drag to have to replace or re-cord your blinds.
     
  29. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

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    Oh my. People have some really naughty kitties. My parent's cat, one of them, found a piece of string lying around after my mom was sewing on a button or something. That cat would sell her soul for string.

    Unfortunately, the string still had the sewing needle attached to it. All of which she swallowed. So one kitty endoscopy and about $1,600 later the needle was out and the cat was fine. She was lucky they were able to get it out via endoscope, otherwise it would have been abdominal surgery. :yikes:
     
  30. SmallFairy

    SmallFairy Well-Known Member

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    great advices in this thread!

    be glad you are not bunny proofing your house, they chew on absolutely everything. (they're the most adorable animals though, love my bunny to death) (and our old, lazy cat as well!)

    Best of luck to you and your friend with the kitties:)