Monday, January 12, 2015

Kitten-Proofing Your Home

I love kittens! They are so much fun because they have all that energy and just want to play! I have been getting new clients with kittens and some of our long time clients have recently adopted new kittens.

I have noticed over the years that some kitten/cat parents are not aware of the household dangers for cats. (As well as some dog parents/dog dangers.) It doesn't matter whether they are young kittens, seniors or in between. Cat-proofing your home is very important. It can mean avoiding an emergency trip to the vet. It can mean the difference between life and death. In the same way that you would child-proof your home for a new baby, you need to kitten/cat-proof, puppy/dog-proof, bird-proof or whatever-it-may-be-proof your home.

When you take on the responsibility of sharing your home with a living, breathing being -- no matter what kind of animal it is, it's important to do your part in learning about the care of them -- part of which includes learning what is dangerous or toxic to them and how to keep them safe.

Many people get pets on impulse and then do not bother to learn anything about them. Or they rely only on something they've heard before or maybe check out one source of information, that may or may not be reliable.

When you buy a new appliance, you read how to set it up, use it properly, take care of it so it lasts. You probably even did some research before buying it.....deciding which kind would fit properly and be the best one for you. Did you do any research before you adopted your new furry or feathered family member (or other animal)? Did you prepare for them? Have you read some books or talked to others that are knowledgeable about the care of them? 

Even if you have had pets your whole life, what we learn and discover about these beautiful creatures changes daily. Some books and things you may have heard or read about in regards to the care of pets in the past have been replaced with new knowledge and understandings. We are always learning. Things are always changing. Nothing stays the same. It's something you have to keep up with  -- always keeping your mind open for
what we'll discover next.

As this topic of pet-proofing your home has been on my mind lately, wouldn't you know that I just received an article from one of my favorite holistic veterinarians, Dr. Karen Becker, on the subject of kitten-proofing your home. Please check out her 10 tips here.

One thing she doesn't mention that is fresh on my mind because we just went through the holidays, is the dangers of Christmas trees. This is worth mentioning again. Read about one example that I experienced a couple years ago here.

If you have cats in particular, and are going to go out of town for Christmas, please plan ahead. Plan so you can do whatever needs to be done so that you can take down your tree before you leave. Or put it in another room if possible and close the door! There is no sense in leaving a Christmas tree up when you're not even going to be there but yet your cat will have plenty of unsupervised time with it. It's not worth the risk. Sure, people leave their trees up, go out of town and they have cats and nothing has happened. That's great. You think it won't happen to you. It can. Are you willing to take that risk? Cats are animals and they love to climb. If you put a tree in their environment, which is not only something new but enticing, expect that they may decide to climb it! Even if they are a senior. Error on the side of caution. Play it safe. They are counting on us to keep them safe.