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Advice on kitten-proofing my home

(29 Posts)
Falcon1 Tue 02-Apr-19 13:37:50

We are currently renovating our home. Once it's finished, we have promised the kids that we can get two kittens. I love cats and had them for many years, but it's been a long time since I had kittens and I can't remember what they're like. Everything I'm reading online suggests that they are likely to destroy my lovely new house! How can I keep scratching the (new) furniture, peeing on (new) carpets etc to a minimum? Any tips?

Thank you!

OP’s posts: |
rosydreams Tue 02-Apr-19 14:18:49

well kittens are like toddlers they are into everything and although fun can be a handful.My naughty tortie swung onto curtains till two but i wouldn't change her for the world.

Keep toilet lid down they get curious
get wire tidys they like to chew cables
spray cat trees and cat scratches with catnip to spark a interest
spray beds with feliway to attract them
wood litter i find smells better but try to use same litter they are used to ,to avoid accidents .
keep to their original diet any changes need to be done slowly by adding small amounts of new food to old taking away old over several weeks.
talk to them a cheery voice makes them feel more at home and pet them regularly to get them used to you.

theres a group on facebook if you want more advice its handy , Crazy about Cats

Falcon1 Tue 02-Apr-19 17:11:42

Thanks Rosydreams, that's really useful. Is there anything I can do to stop them scratching my leather sofa??!

OP’s posts: |
MintyCedric Tue 02-Apr-19 17:32:30

Kitten proofing...hahahaha!

Our kittens turn 1 on Friday...this is my experience:

Get the biggest, most elaborate cat tree you can afford/have room for and plenty of toys - they don't have to expensive, if they roll, dangle or make noise it's all good.

Don't forget to take out insurance immediately. Even tiny kittens can go wrong...a £300 bill for an enema due to a tiny bowel being blocked a few weeks in is not something you'll forget in hurry!

If you have open shelves anywhere make sure you remove anything breakable from them like funky teapots and expensive cafetieres, for example

Bear in mind windows...being able to open them if they have to be indoors until vaccinated/neutered, and curtains, net curtains, blinds etc...all make great climbing opportunities.

As PP said...some kind of wire protector, don't forget chargers that might not be out all the time don't leave headphones or ear buds lying around either

Be aware of them being able to reach anything wall mounted that they could potentially climb/jump on

Remember you'll probably never be able to have fresh flowers in the house again

Invest in a bloody good hoover and a lifetime's supply of lint roller refills

I have been really lucky wrt them attacking the furniture and using their litter trays...bought them home at 8 weeks, put them each in their trays and scraped their paws in the litter and they have never had an accident since.

Remember that in spite of all the above you will be their slave for the next 15-20 years...and you will love every second of it grin

Chocolateisfab Tue 02-Apr-19 17:34:50

Ime getting 2 halves not doubles the damage.
The only way to kitten proof your home is to not get one at all!!

viccat Tue 02-Apr-19 17:44:37

The only thing mine have damaged is the curtains, by climbing on them. So they have lots of 'claw marks' and pulls now... I don't mind though.

And yes as a pp says, you need to think about window safety until they are neutered, and upstairs always to prevent falls.

Kittens fit into any small gaps - between/under kitchen units if anything is free standing, open chimneys in your fireplaces etc.

Make sure all plants and flowers are safe for cats. Never, ever bring lilies to the house again, they are fatally toxic.

AnnaMagnani Tue 02-Apr-19 17:55:17

We didn't really kitten proof at all. 2 reduces the damage massively.

Be careful about fresh flowers - we have frequently thanked people for flowers and then binned them as soon as they have left. Lilies are highly toxic to cats and one of ours really likes to chew flowers.

Teach the rules about cables from day 1 and you will be on to a winner.

Scratching post is a must as is somewhere for them to sleep but they will probably pick your favourite jumper.

Fingers crossed you won't have any wee incidents, mostly they are v clean animals and I've only had outside of litter box issues from the cat that clearly has constipation issues.

Clear shelves at least one shelf higher up than you think they can go.

Love them for as long as you have them - we had 2 kittens 18 months ago, loves of our lives. And one decided to go on the road for the first time last week and was hit by a car and died straight away. You don't own cats, they own you and do as they please for as long as they choose to stay.

And then it will have been so amazing you will be out contemplating your next cat within a fortnight.

rosydreams Tue 02-Apr-19 17:59:22

Falcon1 Tue 02-Apr-19 17:11:42
Thanks Rosydreams, that's really useful. Is there anything I can do to stop them scratching my leather sofa??!

i am really sorry to say this but cats are super attracted to leather they love it.This is why i will never get a leather sofa .

There are some options not sure what you would think of them though .First up is a sofa cover and next up is this if you can find a way of attaching them to the corners of the sofa.

MintyCedric Tue 02-Apr-19 20:30:02

Kittens fit into any small gaps

Yup...make sure your bath panel is on securely if they'll have access to the bathroom.

I think having two does help as they have someone else to keep them occupied, although I've cancelled out that benefit by having indoor cats!

Wolfiefan Tue 02-Apr-19 20:32:28

Hahahahahahahahaha at kitten proof. grin
Ours got into the sofa and tried to murder each other. We had to block up the chimney and they frequently hurt us and the kids.
If you don’t want curtains climbed then go for an adult rescue. Kittens are bastards.

Yogagirl123 Tue 02-Apr-19 20:35:33

So jealous OP! Enjoy your little bundles of fun!

Falcon1 Wed 03-Apr-19 10:04:56

MintyCedric - thanks for the reminder about phone chargers - I now remember my old cat eating a few when he was a kitten! Yes, will definitely get insurance. Any idea how much it costs for kittens?

AnnaMagnani - that's good to hear about two kittens reducing damage. This was what I had heard before. Fingers crossed it works out that way. And yep, I knew about lillies. What other flowers are toxic though?

So, looks like my leather sofa is at risk! I think what we'll do is move that sofa into the living room and make it a no-kitten room. Or at least, not let them in there unsupervised. They'll have free run of the rest of the downstairs, and I'm not too bothered about the sofa they'll have access to.

Rosydreams - that scratching post looks good. It seems like it's out of stock but will try to get something similar.

Wolfiefan - I hadn't considered the chimney. Hhmm. what did you block it with?

OP’s posts: |
MintyCedric Wed 03-Apr-19 12:45:18

I'm with Animal Friends which my SIL recommended having had cats for years (and a few medical hiccups in that department so they are tried and tested!).

I pay £7.87 each for my policy taken out after the bowel blockage episode 'cos I'm an idiot with a brain like a sieve

MintyCedric Wed 03-Apr-19 12:46:41

I've also discovered just in the last couple of days that rattling a tub of hundreds and thousands makes an excellent cat deterrent if they're getting into mischief.

Falcon1 Wed 03-Apr-19 14:23:46

Thanks MintyCedric, that's less than I thought for insurance. Phew.

OP’s posts: |
rosydreams Wed 03-Apr-19 14:30:49

o yeah pet insurance make sure it covers dental a lot dont

Wolfiefan Wed 03-Apr-19 14:33:03

Avoid animal friends. Check who your vets will claim from directly.

MintyCedric Wed 03-Apr-19 15:44:43

Wolfie have you had issues with them then?

SIL really rated them and another friend who's a senior vet nurse hadn't heard anything untoward.

rosydreams Wed 03-Apr-19 15:47:25

yeah i have heard things about animal friends to but not experienced myself

viccat Wed 03-Apr-19 15:50:37

There are lots of comprehensive lists available online about toxic plants.

Chimney breasts can be blocked with an old pillow in a bin liner.

My kittens were about £15 per month each to insure, we are with Petplan Covered for Life with a £7k annual limit. When you compare quotes make sure you're comparing like for like - in particular make sure you are getting lifetime cover (so that if your cats get diabetes or hyperthyroidism etc., the insurance will continue paying year after yeear - some policies only pay for the first year of a condition).

Wolfiefan Wed 03-Apr-19 16:16:28

Our breeder insured over 10 tiny puppies then they said they wouldn’t insure breeders and so none of the pups were covered. They wriggle out of paying.
Also ensure lifetime cover.

Chocolateisfab Wed 03-Apr-19 17:20:56

The hardest bit of having dkittens is all the photo requests you will be getting on here!!

AnnaMagnani Wed 03-Apr-19 18:37:44

Kittens in small spaces is fine when they are really really little - they easily get out again.

It's when they grow a bit and try to get in the same space and you have a kitten stuck behind the fridge that you are in trouble grin

Ours all know the sound of the Snackie tube from miles, turned their noses up at Dreamies from the outset but Snackies (cheaper version of Thrive from Zooplus) they will sell their soul for.

Get a Zooplus account from the outset, it's far cheaper to buy their European brands like Bozita and Animonda than Whiskas or Felix, and they are equivalent in quality to the more expensive brands like Lily's Kitchen and Thrive. Plus you don't have to carry it home.

rosydreams Wed 03-Apr-19 19:00:14

i love zooplus much higher quality food delivered to your door.Only problem is its bulk buy so i have to fill a cereal container and gaffa tape the big bag.But apart from that they have good quality food with named meat products.Look for food with plenty of meat not animal derivatives or digest ,good diet good health

Aquamarine1029 Wed 03-Apr-19 19:05:23

My #1 piece of advise is to start trimming their front nails right away. They may fuss a bit but they will get used to it when done regularly. I have 5 cats and trim their nails every 1 - 2 weeks. All of them are very accommodating about it and I have never had ANY damage to my home or furniture from scratching.

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