Hey everyone! Catsby here.
Bringing one of my friends home is very fun and a great bonding experience for the whole family, but remember, in order for things to stay fun and healthy, you must provide us with a safe environment for all the fun to happen!
Here's something I've heard about, called "Cat-Proofing"; it's the process of rearranging some things around your home to ensure the safety of your cat or kitten friend! Amazing!
Now, this process was new to me a while ago to, so don't fret. I'll teach you everything you should know so you are more than prepared to bring a friend of mine home!
First thing's first, let's talk about your floor! You want the floor where your cat/kitten is allowed to go to be clean, but having a well cat-proofed home also means the floor is safe and nothing that can be hazardous for your new family member is hidden anywhere behind furniture or in corners. That being said, try getting down real low, with your nose to the floor and look around the spacious area. Look especially for anything stringy, like loose strings, rubber bands, hair ties, etc. As well, scout for anything that could be potentially very dangerous, for example, small toys or accessories, plastic bags, any pens or erasers, etc.
If you're bringing home a kitten especially, it is very important you scavenge around before letting the little fella roam on his/her own. If this is a cat you're bringing home, I would still go through the cat-proofing process the same way, however you can focus on slightly different things as that older cat will have less interest in what your kitten might get into. Like I said, Catsby says it's better to ALWAYS go a step ahead, regardless if it's a cat or kitty friend you're bringing home.
Another important thing you must focus on when bringing a cat or kitten home. See, me and my pal at home, we love to ruin things. Really, we don't mean it, but when we want to know about something, we're going to start examining it, and...well..possibly destroying it. Now, this sucks for everyone because if it was an electrical wire, cord, or cable, not just did we just ruin something important, we could be put in a tremendously dangerous spot! So watch those cords and cables. Make sure nothing is open-ended or loose. Tape up or get a layer of protection on your electrical wires, because if they're out and about, and we're out and about too, chances are, your wires and your cats & kittens are going to meet.
I just had some delicious meat my family left out for me...at least, I think it was for me? It wasn't too much! Just a little piece. We get curious, and HUNGRY! If we see something that smells, looks, and tastes like food, believe me, we won't stop till we've had a fair share. Do not leave food out if you don't want us in it. Now remember, there are a bunch of food regulations for cats and kittens. Not a lot of things you humans enjoy, we can enjoy safely. Our food should be separate and known to us. Please make sure to keep track of what food is out in the open and accessible to us. This is how many of my friends get sick. If it's your food, it shouldn't be available to us at all. Watch it when it's out, put it away when you're done with it.
That being said about food, also goes for most liquids. It's unlikely, however to secure the safety of your kitten, keep the toilet lid closed once you're done with it. If you don't, she could either drink from it when she's thirsty, or worse. If my kitten friend falls in, she may not be able to get out...and well, I don't want to say goodbye to any of my kitten friends just yet. They've got a long life ahead of them, please keep it that way.
If you have plants in your home, be sure to do your research! Some greens are actually very harmful for us and your kitten or even your cat will most likely try to "examine" who this impostor is with their mouth. 'Cause that's how we do everything. Our mouth is our best friend when it comes to finding answers. Be sure that if you don't want your plant mangled, you either remove it, or if you're going to test the waters and see if your feline friend likes it, BE SURE it is not going to be harmful for him/her. This also includes plants in your yard! Take time to explore what he or she will be exposed to out there. If you know you can't do this adequately, keep my friends inside! Do not let them out without your CONSTANT supervision.
You'd be surprised how many common plants can harm or even kill us, here's a list of common plants dangerous to us cats:
-Amaryllis (Amaryllis sp.)
-Autumn Crocus (Colchicum autumnale)
-Azaleas and Rhododendrons (Rhododendron sp.)
-Castor Bean (Ricinus communis)
-Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum sp.)
-Cyclamen (Cyclamen sp.)
-English Ivy (Hedera helix)
-Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe sp.)
-Lilies (Lilium sp.)
-Marijuana (Cannabis sativa)
-Oleander (Nerium oleander)
-Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum sp.)
-Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
-Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)
-Spanish thyme (Coleus ampoinicus)
-Tulip and Narcissus bulbs (Tulipa and Narcissus sp.)
-Yew (Taxus sp.)
Let's talk about furniture! My favourite! I took a nice nap on my human friend's bed earlier! We LOVE furniture. Some of us also love...destroying it. Worry not though, this can be easily avoided! Buy us a scratching post please! Invest in some things for your kitten/cat's claws and she/he will learn to stay away from scratching the furniture and just start napping on it like me. If that is something you're not going to be okay with though, invest in comfy cat beds or little cat hangout areas in your home so we know where to go when we need our rest!
Another important thing. We like hiding, finding new places to nap, and resting virtually anywhere in your home. Watch the fridge before you close it, look in your laundry machine, your dryer, dish washer, cabinets, closets, drawers, and any quiet place that your cat could have sneaked into. This will make sure we're in kitten dreamland in a healthy and visible area.
Here's something my pal likes to do. She's my little kitten friend and she'll always have the heart of a kitten. When it's sunny out, I love absorbing that and bathing in the natural light by your windows. However, she will fiercely climb all over the screen. She also likes to use the curtains as if she was Spiderman climbing a web. Make sure your window screens are always secure, locked, and not torn. This could bring a lot of harm to your cat/kitten. What I recommend you do is purchase some "cat-prof window screens". They are much more durable, last longer, and ensure your cat/kitten's safety more than regular window screens.
Always make sure what we cannot have isn't remotely available to us. We will try to get in it. It's in our nature to be curious and playful. I want to be myself around my human companions without worrying about being killed. Curiosity doesn't have to kill the cat! Our curiosity is what makes us unique. Make sure we have lots of things to keep us busy and never bored. Spend time with us, watch us grow, buy us many toys, teach us with treats, and feed us the correct things.
Cat-proofing is not for someone who is not serious about taking us home, however you MUST go through it if you are bringing one of us home. It's not optional, and we will always be grateful for our human companions who ensure our happiness and safety. A healthy cat is a happy cat! You need patience, tolerance, and effort when you're preparing your home for one of us, but I promise, we'll make your efforts worthwhile.
Thanks again for listening to Catsby today! I hope your new kitten or cat friend brings you many joys! My blessing goes out to you and your new fur-end's life together! I hope they stay as happy as me! I know you'll be a fantastic human companion!
Good luck!! Stay pawsome!