How to Cat Proof Your Home

Cat getting ready to pounce

If you are a first time cat owner, or just bringing a cat into a new home for the first time, the experience can be a little bit trying at times. Between cats’ fascination with clawing on or chewing on everything they can find, it can be quite difficult, and expensive, to let your cat roam about your house with no rules or regulations. If you want to find out how to “cat proof” your home check out the article below to find a few simple steps you can take to make your experience as a cat owner that much more simplistic.

Step One: Wrangle Your Wires 

Exposed Cords and Strings Look Like A Toy to Your Cat 

If you are planning on bringing a new cat home it's a good idea to scout out the apartment first before bringing the cat inside the first time. The first thing you’ll want to look for are things like exposed cords and strings like on a set of blinds. Cats are naturally attracted to long thin tail-like looking things. So anything around your house that looks even possibly vaguely like a tail is something your cat will inevitably want to play with. Cords in particular can be a problem because if your cat decides to chew through them they can lead to costly repairs or replacements. 

I’ve been lucky and the worst thing my cat chewed through when I brought him home was an old Wii sensor bar cord that I left exposed behind the TV where he could hop up and get at it.

Sometimes it's just impossible to get all your cords arranged somewhere the cat can’t go to them. In those scenarios you’ll want to use a cat repellant spray. 

variety of cables a cat might chew on
Cats love to chew through long thin objects like chargers, cables, and cords. 

Step Two: Use Spray to Keep Your Cat Away 

Cat Repellant Can Keep Your Cat Away From Prized Possessions 

Which brings us to the second key component of cat proofing your home. Cat repellent spray really becomes an essential with a new cat. Spraying down the objects you don’t want the cat to scratch or bite at can be a really effective way of convincing them not to. Besides cords and strings you’ll also want to take a look around your house and make sure you don’t have anything expensive that can easily be knocked over laying out on a table or open shelves somewhere that your cat can climb up on. Because they will try to especially when they are in a new home.

Cat repellent spray uses a mist to coat the objects in a harmless liquid that smells bad to the cat and keeps them away from it. However, it doesn’t work for every scenario so one useful tip to keep your cat away from valuables that I learned this past Christmas is the use of tinfoil. Cats hate the sound tinfoil makes when they walk on it. So if there is somewhere your cat likes to jump up on and you want to teach them to stay away from it you can tape some tinfoil down. After they try walking on the tinfoil a few times they’ll eventually learn they don’t want to hop up there anymore and they’ll learn to leave it alone, 

cat chewing on grass
Cats will chew on just about anything if you leave it at their level.

Step Three: Give Your Cat Space(s)

Scratching Posts, Water Bowls, and Litter Boxes.

At the end of the day, your cat is going to want something to scratch on. And while cat scratch repellent sprays can do a good job of convincing them where not to scratch. They don’t prevent them from scratching at all. Cats love to bite and chew on wires and strings, but they love to scratch at anything that will feel good on their nails. If you  don’t want to constantly superglue little nail covers on their claws, you will want to find them a toy or tower that has a scratching post built into it. It’s possible to teach a cat that they aren’t allowed to scratch somewhere, but it is entirely impossible to teach them that they aren’t allowed to scratch anywhere.

As such you’ll want to set up an approved area of your house or apartment that they are allowed to scratch in. This should include some toys and hopefully some scratching posts and climbing towers. You want them to have a place to let out their natural instinct to scratch because it lets them take care of their nails so it's impossible to entirely stop them from doing it.

On top of a scratching corner you’ll also want a few other basic necessities like a food dish, water bowel, and litter box and scoop. You can’t hope to cat proof your home if you don’t provide for the absolute necessities your cat has. It’s even worth taking the time to look into what litter will work best for you. Cats do their business inside and you’ll want to find the best box and litter to help cat proof your home from the smell.  

Similarly, you’ll want to have some toys to play with your cat and put some time aside each day to play with them. Wearing them out and burning off all their excess energy can do wonders when it comes to keeping them well behaved and out of trouble. Setting up a scheduled play time with them each day can do even more as it teaches them to be rambunctious at the same time when you are expecting it. 

kitten playing with a flower
Cats and kittens are curious and will play with anything you leave out that they can get to.

Overall bringing a new cat into your home should be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. If you follow the steps in this article, you should be able to prevent any major cat-tastrophes from happening. And don’t forget that you can teach a cat to do things at a certain place or time, but it's impossible to teach a cat to stop being a cat entirely. So taking proactive steps to keep things put away and out of your cat's reach is a great way to protect them and save yourself a lot of effort and money in replacing the things you love that your cat also loves to chew on. 

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