When expecting a baby, new parents often are encouraged to take certain precautions in order to prepare the home for their new offspring and make sure that they can prevent as much injury and damage/destruction as possible. The same should be done if one is considering bringing a fuzzy feline friend into their life. In fact, cat-proofing one's home may be of greater urgency than baby-proofing as infants will not exactly be able to scale shelves and curtains; especially before they reach their first birthday. But kittens are rambunctious and active almost immediately after they reach an adoptable age and certain precautions need to be made in order to make sure one's home is as cat-friendly as possible.
10 Find An Aesthetically Pleasing Scratching Post
It is important to have a designated area for a new cat to scratch the itch... to scratch. Without one, they will be inclined to turn to possessions and furniture- which is not ideal. Though traditional scratching posts can be bulky and ruin the established aesthetic in a home, they are not the only option available.
Many modern scratching posts come in cute, quirky, and aesthetically pleasing designs like the one above. These scratching posts allow cats to address their needs without turning to the furniture. Note: never declaw a cat. It is a disabling and painful procedure and if you cannot handle the occasional scratch, consider a different pet.
9 Research Plants And Oil Diffusers
Many people love a home so filled with plants that it resembles a greenhouse. Also, diffusers can be a great way to relax and fill the home with a relatively chemical free and pleasing aroma. However, if adopting a cat it is important to be sure to do the appropriate research before purchasing additional plants or essential oils. Certain essential oils can actually be harmful to pets and cause them to fall quite ill if continually exposed to them. And, as cats simply love to eat plants (for reasons unknown,) ensure that the plants purchased for the home are also cat-friendly as certain flowers and leaves can leave cats feeling under the weather or worse.
8 Avoid Zen Gardens
Miniature desk zen gardens can be a lovely decor accent to any home and/or office but if adopting a cat in the near future, it is better to either place one in a room or area in which a cat cannot access or just avoid the item altogether. Cats love to push things off desks, and that is not fun with a sand-filled tray.
The sand is a nuisance to clean and the small objects could present a minor choking hazard. Not to mention the risk of a cat thinking it's just another litter box! Consider placing an existing zen garden in a display case or simply leaving them at the office to prevent accidents of any kind.
7 Consider A Cabinet For Breakables
If one lives in a home filled with collectibles and/or breakables such as film memorabilia or antiques and are considering adopting a cat, consider investing in a china cabinet or glass encased shelving unit in order to continue to display such things in a safe and accessible way. This may sound overly cautious, however, cats love to climb and bookshelves are one of their favorite things to scale (next to the drapes and the fridge.) So ensuring that possessions are safe from playful and wandering feline friends is a top priority for the people for whom such things are important.
6 Invest In A Leather Couch
Really, any couch fabric is fine when adopting a cat but certain fabrics present certain pros/cons that should be considered. For example, leather couches are easy to clean in the event of accidents (and there will probably be accidents), as well as being one of the simplest fabrics to remove cat hair from.
Traditional fabric couches can act like cat hair magnets as well as being difficult to remove the stains that result from a cat choosing the cushions instead of the litter box. And, if the scent remains, they will continue to misuse the couch until it exudes a toxic ammonia cloud at all times. No matter what the fabric, though, most cats will need to be trained not to scratch!
5 Secure Hanging Lanterns Or Lights
Fairy lights, string lights, and bohemian-inspired hanging lanterns can be wonderful and aesthetically pleasing additions to any quirky home. But it's important to ensure that they are hung in an unreachable place as well as secured tightly to whatever surface they are hung on/across. Cats are not adorable accessories, they are living breathing animals that must be cared for and given a safe environment in which to thrive. And since they are animals, their hunting instincts are still very strong. Swirling and dangling decor will excite them and they will scale whatever furniture needed to leap and attack the lights. Securing the decor and placing it utterly out of reach can prevent them from tearing it down or injuring themselves in the process.
4 Avoid Furniture With Exposed Wood
Cats love to scratch. They were born and bred to scratch. It is in their nature. And wood is one of their favorite things to scratch. Hardwood floors, wooden coffee tables and/or chairs, or even the legs of the couch can be the perfect candidates for their claws if left unprotected.
Rugs, deterrent sprays, and alternative materials (such as metals, plastics, or fabrics) may be preferred if one is considering bringing a cat into their homes and lives. If exposed wood is unavoidable, anti-scratching methods such as training techniques may be an important thing to consider.
3 Consider Shelves That Can Be Bolted To The Wall
As mentioned throughout this article, cats love to climb. And while it is important to protect possessions (as replacing damaged or broken items may not always be a possibility), protecting the actual cat from harm is also something to be considered. Bookshelves tend to be a rather stable piece of furniture; however, when shaken, they have the ability to fall over. And doing so could damage the items on the shelf, the shelf itself, surrounding furniture, or even the floor in which the shelf falls upon. And this chaos could seriously injure or scare a cat who was simply looking for an object to scale. Finding a shelving unit that could be bolted to either the floor or the wall behind it could be an excellent way to prevent such incidents from occurring.
2 Keep Electronic Cords Covered
Protecting cords and cables from feline friends is important for two reasons. The first is that cats who like to chew on cords are going to drive their owners crazy, but the second is that chewing on cords could actually injure the cat itself.
Also, cleaning up cords and tidying them away is actually pretty satisfying - Marie Kondo style. Certain entertainment stands have covert holes that can be used to gather chords to prevent "cable spaghetti." Duct taping chords together in a neat bundle can also prevent the temptation and damage from occurring.
1 Avoid Long Drapes Or Curtains
Cats love scaling drapes so much that it is practically a cliche. And nothing throws off the design of a room more than shredded and torn curtains. Finding cat-friendly alternatives such as cord-free blinds or shutters can be ideal to prevent the risk of torn drapes.
Though the precautions listed in this article can seem as though they are veering on the side of neurotic, it is important to ensure that a pet has a safe environment, and to limit the damage that it might do... while still keeping a stylish apartment! Better safe than sorry, especially where a new furry friend is involved.