Dangers and Solutions

Identify and protect your kitten from these common household dangers.

By Ron Bast

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Danger: Water hazards. Cats can swim, but most would rather not. And they can't tread water forever. Kittens have drowned in bathtubs and sinks.

Solution: Don't leave your kitten alone with a full bathtub or sink full of soapy water. Keep the kitten out of the bathroom and laundry room. Teach the males in your family to put the toilet lid down (good luck).

Danger: Falling objects. Prowling requires squeezing into small spaces among interesting objects. Danger lurks when those objects are heavy and unstable.

Solution: If the knickknack shelf contains tall, heavy items capable of crushing a kitty, its time to go for a more Spartan look. Pack it all away until the kitten grows up enough to know a bud vase from a cat tree.

Danger: Things that go ZAP! Electrical cords are chewing gum and playtime for a kitten. But if you think those sharp little teeth and claws can't get through the insulated cord to the raw electricity inside, think again.

Solution: This is a tough one. You probably can't disconnect every electrical appliance in the house for the next six months. The answer lies in paying close attention to the movements of your kitten when she's roaming near electrical outlets. Or try spraying particularly interesting cords with bitter apple solution so the chewing becomes less fun.

Danger: Plastic. We live in a plastic world, and your kitten loves it. She loves to chew it, fight with it and sleep in it. But plastic can harm her insides, and thin plastic bags can suffocate her.

Solution: Keep plastic bags and wrap out of reach. Don't let your kitten play with plastic. If she has a real plastic fetish, she may need a chew toy to work on.

Danger: Open trash cans. Almost all the nasty things listed above end up, sooner or later, in the trash, another very interesting place for a kitten to play.

Solution: Put a lid on it.

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Reader Comments

dani    lancaster, PA

2/17/2010 11:31:31 PM

washing machines and dryers- you made no mention of this and you should list this. please list this. it could save a life. i wish i had read about this.

Ruth    Quezon City, NY

10/7/2009 2:01:58 AM

Thank you for this helpful article. It really helped me. My mom's definitely getting me a kitten now after securing the danger (I think). What's sad that the house is still being fixed b/c of Typhoon Ondoy. First time flooded ever.

Heather    Frisco, TX

7/10/2009 9:38:20 AM

I was hoping for a more detailed list - itemized, so I could kitten-proof our home. One thing I didn't see listed was electrical outlets. My husband noticed our fostered kittens' interest in the outlets and phone jacks- anything that stands out. We went out and got outlet covers for outlets not being used. That's a good one too.

Dani    North Reading, MA

2/20/2009 7:22:27 AM

Also, at Christmas time watch out for Tinsel. It can get wrapped up in the cats intestines.

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