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Prepare your home for a cat

25 de April 2023 ·
Bringing a new cat home is an exciting experience. We can help you know more about cat-proofing your house and garden to create a safe space for your pet.



Cats, and especially kittens, are curious by nature and investigate objects by touching them, smelling them and tasting them. When you bring a new cat home it will be curious about everything and, unlike us, it won’t be able to tell the difference between what is dangerous and what is not. If you are unsure how to make your house cat-proof, follow our list of suggestions to keep your pet out of harm's way!


  • When you bring your new cat or kitten home for the first time, keep all windows and doors closed until it has fully adapted, you have made sure that it has all its vaccines and that it’s sterilized.
  • Check that all the drawers in the kitchen and bathroom have claw-proof doors, and never leave garbage bags where they can be attacked!
  • Put fragile ornaments away, as they won’t last long with a curious kitten on the scene.
  • Always remember to close the oven, refrigerator, microwave, dryer and washing machine doors. Put notes on doors to remind others to check inside these appliances before using them. Small kittens find a hot dryer or bright washing machine irresistible!
  • Keep toilets lids down to prevent your kitten from falling inside or drinking from them (or even trying to use them for themselves!) You may have to leave a note to remind visitors or forgetful roommates.
  • Hide any hanging electric cables behind the furniture. You can buy a thick cable cover at most hardware stores: they are placed around the cables to protect them from bites.
  • Keep your plastic bags in a safe place, as they can pose a real danger if your kitten chews, swallows, or hides inside them.
  • Lit candles, burning incense, or oil burners only mean trouble — flames and hairy cats do not get along very well. If you light a fire, make sure someone has their eye on it.
  • Shorten blind and curtain strings, and keep them out of reach of their claws.
  • Keep your kitchen countertop clean and discard food debris quickly. Cats find chicken bones tempting, but they can be very dangerous, as they can splinter while chewed. String used to bind meat is also an irresistible snack or toy, but can cause serious health problems if swallowed.
  • Cats love to climb, so if you want to protect your furniture, scratching poles will become your new best friend, especially those that contain a raised platform where they can sleep or hide without being bothered.
  • Check the following list of dangerous substances and make sure to store them safely so that they cause no harm. Install child-locks on ground level kitchen cabinets, since curious kittens are very skilled at opening doors.

Unfortunately, many common household items are highly toxic to cats, even in small quantities. To keep your cat safe, avoid using the following:

  • Cleaning and hygiene products, such as chlorine or products containing phenols (e.g., disinfectants that turn the water cloudy).
  • Medicines for humans (such as aspirin, paracetamol or ibuprofen).
  • Car products, such as antifreeze.
  • Beauty or decoration products such as hair dyes, turpentine and nail polish remover.
  • Poison for rats or mice: these products in particular should never be used, since your cat could get very sick if it eats the poisoned animal. If you must use them, store them where your cat can’t reach them.
  • Anti-slugs pellets (there are versions compatible with pets).
  • Camphor balls (naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene).
  • Flower essences, fabric softeners, dishwashing detergents (all detergents contain cationics that cause corrosive injuries).
  • Batteries (contain acids or alkalis that cause corrosive injuries).
  • Homemade play dough (due to high salt levels).
  • Foot or hand warmers (as they contain high levels of iron).
  • Cigarettes, coffee grounds, alcohol.
  • Chocolate (although it is more problematic for dogs, cats also find chocolate toxic).
  • Any part of the lily (leaves, flowers, etc.), either in a bouquet or as an indoor plant (see other toxic plants below).
  • Some anti-flea products for dogs contain permethrin, which is very toxic to cats, so make sure you keep them out of reach and that dogs are separated from cats when they are being treated.

Although cats are considered carnivores, don’t be surprised if you see your cat chewing on grass or other plants. Some cats like to chew grass when outdoors or nibble the leaves of indoor potted plants. Take a look at what exactly your cat chews on, since some plants have toxic parts. The most common plants you should avoid are:

Toxic garden plants for cats

Dieffenbachia (silent cane), lilies (all parts of the plant are very toxic), philodendron, mistletoe, poinsettia

Toxic indoor plants for cats

Dieffenbachia (silent cane), lilies (all parts of the plant are very toxic), philodendron, mistletoe, poinsettia

Your vet can provide you with a complete list of plants that can be harmful to your cat.


Your cat or kitten has a natural instinct to play outdoors, mark its territory, climb trees and lie down for a little nap in the sun. Although this sounds fun, there are some things that you will have to watch out for.

When they are outside, cats are exposed to more diseases and parasites, they run the risk of getting lost, being stolen, or being injured by a car. So your cat can be outdoors and while staying safe, you can create a cat-proof garden.

Some cats are very happy staying at home, although this will depend on whether you know how to make your house cat-proof and its environment exciting enough to make up for the lack of outdoor stimulation. Some cats prefer to roam outdoors: you will have to decide which option is best for your cat by studying it carefully. If you let your cat outdoors, ask your breeder or vet for advice and make sure your outdoor space is as safe as possible.


We recommend keeping your cat at home until its microchip has been implanted and it has received all its vaccinations. Vaccination and anti-flee and worm treatments will have to be taken daily, so talk to your vet to schedule everything properly in order to keep your cat protected.

Give your cat time to become completely familiar with its environment before letting it out. If it’s a new addition to the family or you have just moved, encourage it to stay indoors until fully adapted and used to its new surroundings. Normally, this takes about two weeks.

Remember: if you have moved, you will have to update your cat’s microchip registration and its ID tag.

You have to take small steps in order to let your cat out into the outside world. For example, let it explore its new surroundings while watching it from indoors, and after a few minutes make an “it’s lunchtime” noise with its food bowl to encourage it to come back in. Gradually increase the amount of time you let it stay out until you both feel comfortable.

Sterilizing your cat will reduce its desire to wander off and it will keep it close to home. This means that it will be less likely to bump into other cats and get into fights.

  • Check your garden for potential risks such as poisonous plants (see above), unsafe sheds (if they contain chemical substances) and accessible ponds. It’s a good idea to walk around your garden in your mischievous cat’s shoes. You will quickly find things you can fix to make your garden cat-proof!
  • Use chemical herbicides with care. Restrict access to your garden after the application of any chemical substances and keep your cat away from the lawn or garden when you treat it with fertilizers, herbicides or insecticides, until the area has dried completely.
  • Check that no one in the area is using poison to get rid of rats or mice, as it can be deadly if your cat ingests poison directly or through a poisoned rodent.
  • If you think that the place is not safe enough for your cat to roam around freely (when living near a busy road, for example), this doesn’t mean that you can’t provide your cat with fresh air and outdoor exercise.
  • You can: Build for your cat a wide tunnel in the garden that connects with the house. It should have warm and waterproof areas, and be located so that it is partly in the sun and partly in the shadow. Add a tree trunk or climbing structure, ropes and perches, some grass, catnip, a sand box and a bowl of water.
  • Fence your garden to prevent your cat from escaping.



Installing a cat flap will let your cat go out in the garden throughout the day. Those that can be locked are very useful, as well as those that only allow your cat to enter using a tag that recognizes its microchip.

With a little luck, your cat will relax outside and stay close to home, but keep in mind that it can find different places to rest or hide. Always make sure that your cat is not behind your car when backing out.

If you can, try to keep your cat at indoors at night. Most traffic accidents and fights with other cats happen at night.

Make sure your cat is wearing a quick release collar (in case it is run over), with an ID tag with your contact information. A reflective band on its collar will help moving vehicles to detect your cat in the dark.

The fact that your cat likes to roam outdoors does not mean that it feels comfortable in your car. If you need to travel with your cat, always use a metal mesh box (not a cardboard box) with a blanket inside to keep it comfortable and secure. Spray the inside of the box with a soothing pheromones spray before putting it inside.

Letting your cat outside can be a difficult decision, but if it is enthusiastic and adventurous, and you have taken all the possible precautions, it will keep it mentally stimulated and improve its physical condition.

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