Pet-Proofing Your Home

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Dog and cats (especially kittens) can be very curious. Here's how to keep your companion animal safe in your home.

Kitchens/bathrooms

  • Use childproof latches to keep little paws from prying open cabinets
  • Place medications, cleaners, chemicals, and laundry supplies on high shelves
  • Keep trash cans covered or inside a latched cabinet
  • Check for and block any small spaces, nooks, or holes inside cabinets or behind washer/dryer units
  • Make sure your kitten hasn't jumped into the dryer before you turn it on
  • Keep foods out of reach (even if the food isn't harmful, the wrapper could be)
  • Keep the toilet lid closed to prevent drowning or drinking of harmful cleaning chemicals

Living/family room

  • Place dangling wires from lamps, VCRs, televisions, stereos, and telephones out of reach
  • Put away children's toys and games
  • Put away knick-knacks until your kitten has the coordination not to knock them over
  • Check all those places where your vacuum cleaner doesn't fit, but your puppy or kitten does, for dangerous items, like string
  • Move common house plants that may be poisonous out of reach. Don't forget hanging plants that can be jumped onto from nearby surfaces
  • Make sure all heating/air vents have covers
  • Put away all sewing and craft notions, especially thread

Garage

  • Move all chemicals to high shelves or behind secure doors
  • Clean all antifreeze from the floor and driveway, as one taste can be lethal to animals
  • Bang on your car hood to ensure that your kitten (or any neighborhood cat) has not hidden in the engine for warmth
  • Keep all sharp objects and tools out of reach

Bedrooms

  • Keep laundry and shoes behind closed doors (drawstrings and buttons can cause major problems if swallowed)
  • Keep any medications, lotions, or cosmetics off accessible surfaces (like the bedside table)
  • Move electrical and phone wires out of reach of chewing
  • Be careful that you don't close your kitten in closets or dresser drawers

And look out for paws, noses, and tails when you shut doors behind you or scoot chairs.

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