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  1. #1
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    How do you "kitten-proof" your apartment?

    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?

    Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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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".
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

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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.)

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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 ).

    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.
    "I miss footwork that has any kind of a discernible pattern. The goal of a step sequence should not be for a skater to show the same ice coverage as a Zamboni and take about as much time as an ice resurface. " ~ Zemgirl, reflecting on a pre-IJS straight line sequence

  5. #5
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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.

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    Brooms need to be stored with the bristles up and out of reach. Oh, and toilet paper may need to be moved out of paw's reach. And there's always the risk of the water billing going through the roof.

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    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

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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

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capella View Post
    Brooms need to be stored with the bristles up and out of reach. Oh, and toilet paper may need to be moved out of paw's reach. And there's always the risk of the water billing going through the roof.
    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.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

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

  11. #11

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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.
    -Brian
    "Michelle would never be caught with sausage grease staining her Vera Wang." - rfisher

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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.

  13. #13
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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 I'm almost convinced my friend will manage to kill the kittens within 24 hours, but hopefully they will manage

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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. #15
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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.

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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.

  17. #17

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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.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  18. #18

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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. #19

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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.
    Give me one more quiet night, before this loud morning gets it right, and does me in.
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  20. #20

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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.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

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