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The Trials of a Kitten

So you're getting a kitten? Congratulations, I think! Please be prepared! Remember that adopting a kitten is like adopting a two year old human being. They will require constant supervision and lots of interaction!

Some hints for a successful and safe kitten experience:
  1. Test bookcases, shelves, curtain rods, tv stands etc. to make sure they can withstand the weight of a flying three pound Meezer.
  2. Remove any and all breakables unless it was something mother-in-law gave you and you don't mind hitting the floor.
  3. Secure bookcases to the walls with brackets.
  4. Check sofa bed and recliner CAREFULLY before closing - we have had more than one story where the kitten was caught under the recliner and no one knew.
  5. Same thing goes for rocking chairs - be wary of kitten tails!
  6. Watch out for ladder back, Windsor, or any chairs with slots - heads can get caught!
  7. Screen off your fireplace so that there is no access. Warm ashes are tempting, and soot can look just like litter.
  8. Cover all wastebaskets as kittens will inevitably turn them over and dig through them. Be aware of what you put in them.
  9. Keep toilet seats closed, washer and dryer and dishwasher lids closed.
  10. Check the fridge every time you shut it, it only takes a minute for a kitten to hop inside.
  11. Be aware that toilet bowl disinfectants can be poisonous to your cat.
  12. Don't allow the kitten near the bathtub unless the tub is empty. Hot water can easily overwhelm the cat, and once in it is close to impossible for them to hop out.
  13. If you use electric heaters, don't leave any kind of flammable objects nearby (towels, toilet paper, clothes, etc) as kittens can easily drag them too close and inadvertently cause a fire.
  14. If you have a balcony or deck, be aware that kittens' sense of distance and safety may not be completely molded yet, and a bird, or butterfly or bug may cause your kitten to leap beyond safe boundaries.
  15. Windows with screens in can be dangerous as many cats will leap onto the screen and the screen may not hold the weight of the cat. Make sure there are no holes in the screens, even a tiny hole can be incentive for the kitten to reach through, creating an even bigger hole.
  16. Shade cords and blind strings can easily become entangled around a kitten's neck and cause strangulation. Be sure to tie all cords up high away from temptation.
  17. Wire cords and electrical outlets can also result in fatalities, best to put outlet covers on your elecrical outlets. Dangling cords and wires from any electrical appliance can become a plaything, but can result in heavy objects falling from above.
  18. Kittens are teething, just like young children, and may chew on cords which can result in electrocution if the cord is plugged in.
  19. Stoves (water boiling, tea kettles, etc) may pose threats as kittens haven't learned that they shouldn't jump on top of this appliance.
  20. Watch for sharp knives on the countertop which can fall and injure a cat, or can cause a serious cut if the cat were to lick it. An open hot oven door can be tempting to a kitten who has no knowledge this may be dangerous.
  21. Hot foods and beverages on countertops likewise can cause serious burns if they are knocked over.
  22. If you use tablecloths, be aware that any cloth hanging down (from tables or curtain rods) is fair game, and leaping to that cloth may result in everything connected following the cloth to the floor.
  23. Human medications, as well as cleaning products of all sorts, can be toxic to cats. Keep them behind closed cabinets as you would for a toddler.
  24. Likewise, rat poison, mothballs, antifreeze, nicotine, chocolate, snow salt, and batteries can be toxic - all common household items, but very dangerous to cats.
  25. Know which of your indoor plants are poisonous - cats are notorious for liking greenery.
  26. Don't leave plastic bags lying around as they look and sound like great toys, but can be deadly.
  27. Pieces of yarn, thread, string, and tinsel can all cause intestinal blockage that can be fatal.

We wish you every happiness with your new kitten - but please be aware you are adopting a young, inexperienced being that is very vulnerable to the environment. Just as you would never leave a two year old human being unsupervised, please take the same safety precautions with your new kitten.

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