Cat proofing: 5 ways to welcome a new cat to your household
Once you’ve decided you want a cat or kitten, you should make your home as welcoming as possible for them.
If you’re buying a kitten or cat there are many ways in which you can make your house friendly to ensure they feel welcome.
1. Get the essentials
The first thing you need to do when cat proofing your home is ensure they have everything they need to feel comfortable. Cats need to scratch so instead of shouting at the new arrival when it starts to maul the sofa or table legs invest in some cat proofing and scratch posts.
You should also place the litter tray in a discreet area away from other family pets or children and give your cat its own food and water bowls.
2. Make it safe
Cats of any age can be poisoned by domestic cleaning solutions. If you feed your cat in the kitchen, put all cleaning agents out of reach and clean your kitchen floor with a cat-friendly detergent.
In general, cats are very neat eaters but they are constantly washing themselves so you don’t want to expose your pet to any dangerous chemicals.
You should also check your house plants as some are poisonous. Keep ornaments and breakables in safe areas too, especially when your cat is young, as inquisitive kittens may accidentally cause damage when exploring their new surroundings.
3. Invest in toys
Cats love to play and this activity provides your new arrival with exercise and helps them to acclimatise to their new environment. Investing in a few toys is therefore an easy way to help them settle in.
You don’t have to spend a fortune – a simple piece of string with a rubber toy attached to the end will keep your cat occupied for hours. All cats and kittens adore catnip filled toys too and you can always have a go at making your own toys if you’re feeling creative.
4. Let them hide
Your new cat or kitten may take a while to settle into your home and while this adjustment period passes you may find them hide in an area where they feel safe. Don’t force them to leave but allow them to relax in this area and give them their own basket or bed filled with their toys and a soft blanket so they have somewhere soft to lay their heads.
When you first use appliances such as the vacuum cleaner, you may find your cat retreats to its safe place because of fear. Introduce them to these sounds early and show them they have nothing to fear and they’ll soon get used to it.
5. Eat regularly
Cats may enjoy hunting in the garden but they depend on you for food. By setting a regular meal time you will get your new pet into a routine early on and this will be beneficial for all involved.
And because your cat won’t be worrying about where their next meal will come from, they will feel more relaxed and begin to see you as their owner or pack leader.