Kitten-Proofing Your Home for the Canberra Holidays
24/11/2015 4:03 PM
Image courtesy of m_bartosch at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The holidays can also be a dangerous time for kittens — not to mention for your holiday decor. Kittens can get into trouble when their curiosity leads them to steal food not meant for them, bat at candle flames, tug on twinkly tinsel or climb the Christmas tree. I’m here to share some tips to help ensure that you and your kitten have a safe and breakage-free holiday season.
It’s normal for inquisitive kittens to be attracted by dancing flames and dangling electrical cords. But, they can easily singe their whiskers and tails, suffer burns if they get too close to an open flame, or sink those little teeth into an electrical cord.
To protect your kitten, consider replacing tapers and tea lights with flameless candles, at least until he’s a mature cat who has left his rambunctious ways behind him. Place tough plastic covers over electrical cords so he can’t chew them. If that’s not an option, wrap cords tightly and position them so they don’t dangle enticingly.
Foil Food Theft
No self-respecting kitten is going to pass up a chance to help you eat your roast. It’s OK to give him a bite or two of chicken or beef (remember, his stomach is a lot smaller than yours), but to protect your prize poultry from kitten predation, keep it, and all other fixings, well out of your kitten's reach until you’re ready to serve dinner. And while a nibble of meat won't hurt your feline, overindulgence in rich, fatty foods such as dressing and gravy can lead to a life-threatening case of pancreatitis.
That string you used to wrap the roast or ham? Your kitten will love chewing on and swallowing it, but it’s the kind of thing that can become what we veterinarians call a "linear foreign body," and it’s bad news. If your cat swallows it, he can suffer a partial or complete intestinal obstruction. Trust me, you don’t want your holidays disrupted by emergency kitten surgery, so don’t leave that string hanging around.
Decor Damage Control
Tinsel and ribbon are also potential linear foreign bodies that kittens find attractive. Skip them when you’re decorating your tree and packages.
Speaking of trees, it’s a good idea to anchor it to the ceiling with fishing line. If your kitten decides to try climbing the Christmas tree, the line will keep your furry marauder from knocking it over. You may also want to decorate it with soft or plastic ornaments that won’t break — at least until your kitten outgrows the crazy stage. Even better, place the tree inside a playpen or exercise pen to help keep your kitten away from it.
With a little forethought, it’s easy to keep your kitten out of trouble during the holidays.