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15 Ways to Cat-Proof Your House

They may be cute, furry, and sometimes affectionate, but cats (especially kittens) can be destructive, damaging, and seemingly accident-prone. When you introduce a new cat to your home, it can feel like they go out of their way to destroy everything. And what they don’t destroy, they try eating, causing potential injury and illness to themselves. The following steps will help you protect your home, provide your new feline friend with a safe haven, and alleviate some of the potential headaches that are associated with the early days of cat ownership.

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The 15 Ways to Cat-Proof Your House

1. Check Plants

a cat sitting near lavender flowers
Image Credit: Agnieszka Lizak, Shutterstock

Lilies are well-known for being poisonous to cats but are just one of many plants and flowers that can be harmful to your feline friend. Tulips, rhododendrons, and oleander are just a smal number of other potentially deadly house plants. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and you should check before adding anything new to your home.

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2. Put Valuables in a Display Case

cats on shelves
Image Credit: Monaxia, Shutterstock

We’ve all seen videos of cats pushing everyday items off surfaces, but this isn’t the only threat they pose. As dainty and deft as cats can seem, they are quite accident-prone. Their legs, tails, and even their bellies can bang against items, knocking them from their perch and causing you to lose your prized family heirloom. Put your valuables in display cases or shut them away where the cats won’t be able to reach them.

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3. Secure Wires

cat chewing wires
Image Credit: e-leet, Shutterstock

Cats use their mouths to investigate, and one thing they frequently want to investigate in this way is electrical cords and wires. Even if they don’t injure themselves, they can leave you needing a new charger wire or electric cable.

You may also like: How to cat proof your apartment

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4. Shut Windows Securely

Cat by the window
Image Credit By: CC0 Public Domain, pxhere

Whether your cat is an indoor or outdoor cat, she will want to investigate her outdoor surroundings. Windowsills and ledges are also tempting perches. Ensure windows are securely closed, or that you have some kind of cover if you intend to leave them open and allow air in.

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5. Move Candles Out of Reach

cat grabbing candle

Candles and cats do not make a good combination. Even if your cat doesn’t directly approach a candle, there is still a fire risk. Either make sure that cats are always supervised when candles are lit, or use flameless candles and other alternatives.

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6. Restrict Your Essential Oil Use

essential oil in beautiful bottles
Image Credit: Nikolaeva Galina, Shutterstock

Some essential oils are dangerous for cats. Research which are safe and which are not, and remember that it isn’t just the flavor or scent that could cause illness, but the type of diffuser or delivery method can also impact the health of your cat.

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7. Remove Medications

Red kitten and orange pills_saviskaya irryna_shutterstock
Credit: savitskaya iryna, Shutterstock

Cats should never be given human medications, intentionally or otherwise. Put over the counter and prescription meds in the bathroom cabinet. And remember that supplements can be just as damaging to your cat, too.

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8. Secure the Cleaning Cupboard

Make a repellent spray
Image credit: Making a repellent spray at home by Michael-T, Pixabay

Similarly, cleaning products like bleaches and cream cleaners can be very dangerous because they contain toxins and strong chemicals. Ensure that they are safely placed in closed cupboards when not in use.

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9. Invest in Garbage Can Lids

Anything that goes in a waste bin is of intrigue to your cat. Used dental floss, tissues, and leftover food are especially tempting. Ensure that your garbage cans have lids and that they aren’t overflowing. This will prevent your cat from rooting around for tempting morsels.

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10. Close the Toilet Lid

mackerel tabby cat playing with roll of toilet paper
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

The toilet also poses certain risks. As well as ensuring that the toilet lid is down, avoid leaving toilet cleaners and chemicals in the bowl, and do not use automatic cleaners.

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11. Close the Washer and Dryer

cat inside dryer
Image Credit: JOFRAM GALLIPOLI, Shutterstock

Washing machines and dryers can be tempting little hidey holes for cats. The dryer is especially tempting because it is warm after use and isn’t damp. Close the door and always check before turning either of these appliances on.

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12. Secure Chemicals

cat sniffing chemicals
Image Credit: Lipskiy, Shutterstock

Whether they are in the garage, the bathroom, the kitchen, workshop, or any other space in the home, chemicals are potentially very dangerous for your cats. Even a small lick of an antifreeze bottle could kill your kitten. Put chemicals away, clean up spills, and try to limit your cat’s access to rooms that contain them.

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13. Invest in Scratch Posts

A Russian Blue cat sitting on a scratcher
Image Credit: Khairil Azhar Junos, Shutterstock

Securing your home isn’t just about protecting your cat, but your sanity and your bank balance, too. The sofa is an expensive scratch post. Buy an actual scratch post and this could prevent your kittens from using household furniture to sharpen their claws and vent their anger.

The Hepper Hi-Lo Modern Cat Scratcher is a functional and stylish design that makes it the ultimate scratching spot for your cat – and a superhero in the battle against furniture destruction. Unlike most cat toys that end up being ignored, this one's a crowd-pleaser for both cats and their hoomans.

grey cat upside down on hepper hi-lo cat scratcher

With its 3 configurations, thick textured cardboard, and solid birch plywood frame, it encourages your cat's natural scratching instincts, so they stay away from your precious furniture, rugs, and curtains, among all other things they shouldn't scratch. The Hi-Lo is like your home's mini guardian, keeping it safe while looking super sleek and trendy.

At Excited Cats, we’ve admired Hepper for many years, and decided to take a controlling ownership interest, so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!

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14. Hide Hair Bobbles, Rubber Bands, Strings…

cat playing with ribbon
Image Credit: Carsten Reisinger, Shutterstock

If you’ve lost your favorite scrunchy, you can be assured that your new kitten will find it within hours. If you don’t want to lose your best hair bobbles and you want to protect your kitten from potentially life-threatening situations involving lengths of string, ensure that items like these are put safely in drawers and other containers.

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15. Monitor Hotspots

cat on radiator
Image Credit: Xseon, Shutterstock

Cats love heat and warmth. They will try and get this from the sun but will make do with a hot radiator, a spot in front of the fire, or even sit under a lamp if it gives off heat. Try to prevent your cats from sitting in these areas and supervise time around open fires and flames.

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Cat-Proof Your Home

Cat proofing your house not only protects your cat from danger but it can protect your home from your cats, too. Cats are inquisitive, capable of getting into and tight spaces and onto surprising ledges, and they seem to really enjoy knocking things off.  Considering that they are famed for having nine lives, they also seem to have very little sense of self-preservation.

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Featured Image Credit: EkaterinaSid, Shutterstock