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Kitten-proofing your home
Kitten-proofing is not unlike child-proofing. Ensure all doors and windows are shut, then take a visual inventory of each room, looking for potential kitten-dangers like electrical and telephone cords, which should be concealed, plastic bags, or pins, rubber bands and other small objects. A kitten can entangle itself on a venetian blind cord, so make sure these are safely tied up.
Kittens have incredibly inquisitive natures, which is part of the reason why we love them, but it can get them into trouble. They like warm places to snuggle, and may regard the toilet as a watering hole – so keep the toilet seat down, and the lids of the washing machine, drier and garbage bin secured. Also make sure your kitten can’t get into any ducts or drains.
Because kittens and cats like curling up in cozy spots, even a reclining chair can be a hazard. So be careful before you stretch or retract those comfy chairs. Felines also like to explore high places – such as wardrobes and bookshelves – so make sure there’s nothing on these areas that’s breakable or could hurt your pet.
As you would with toddlers around the home, keep any chemicals, household cleaners, medications or other possible cat-toxins out of harm’s way (this includes onions and chocolate; antifreeze is particularly dangerous to cats, as are aspirin and paracetamol). Cats like to chew on leafy greens to assist digestion, so beware that certain plants, such African Violets and Aloe Vera, which are poisonous to felines. Potted catnip and catmint are safe and ideal ‘snacks’ for your new friend.

Cats and kids: what do I need to know?
Growing up with a pet in the family enriches a person’s childhood. And many children form their first sentences around words like “I want a kitten”. But toddlers, despite their innocent intentions, love to poke, prod and investigate things, and this can be quite rough from a cat's point of view. A cat that’s being prodded may get defensive, and this is one of the main reasons why felines and children always need to be supervised by a teenager or adult.
Cats and kittens are not as tolerant of children’s unintended misdemeanors as puppies, and unlike dogs, they don’t necessarily like being chased. A cat needs space. Teaching young children to be gentle with kittens and cats is not always easy but it is rewarding, and one way to teach is by example.
Letting your child give the cat treats will help the feline to associate little humans with good things, and getting the pair to play with a ball can distract not only the child, but the cat too!

Articles by Annette Basile

More cat friendly articles to come. Check back soon!

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