Pet proofing a house for a new cat – What to do

21 Jun, 2021

Pet proofing a house for a new cat – What to do

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If you are planning to get a new cat, as a pet owner and a homeowner consider the following tips. Pet proofing a house for a new cat means taking some preparatory steps ahead of the pet’s arrival. And even once the cat arrives you need to action a training programme to ensure a harmonious relationship with the pet. Read on to learn more about what to do.

What you need to know about pet-proofing a house for your new cat

pet proofing a house
Cats need early training to learn where they can or cannot go

Getting a new cat is an exciting time for any household. Whether you’re a seasoned cat owner or making a first time addition to your family, there are things to keep in mind in order to make sure that both you and your new cat have the most comfortable adjustment period possible.  To learn more about every cat’s needs you can visit

Just as any pet owner needs to adjust to the new needs of their new housemates, your cat will also need some time to adjust to their new living conditions. Here are a few things you can do to make this transition period as smooth as possible and foster a welcoming environment for your new furry friend. 

Start training as soon as possible

While it might be tempting- especially if you’re adopting young- to give your new cat a period of luxury where anything goes, this might actually be to both of your detriments. While your cat will need plenty of affection to get comfortable acquainted with the new environment, now is the time to also establish firm ground rules. Affection and responsibility can- and should- go hand in hand when it comes to taking care of a new life.

If there are certain behaviours you don’t want your cat to engage in, it’s easiest to discourage them right from the start. Even if your cat is still very young at this point take steps to train your cat. If you permit certain activities for the length of your cat’s infancy, it will be harder (if not impossible) to help them unlearn those patterns as they mature. It might be harmless for your kitten to nip at your fingers as you play with it, but once that cat has matured, it might start to cause some serious damage without even realising it. Normalising certain behaviours can be a slippery slope towards building unshakable patterns. It can be hard to resist coddling new pets, but if you can pull it off, it will ultimately be for the best.

Reconsider the placement of your breakable objects

Cats are notoriously free in their definition of what is a suitable walking or lounging surface. If there’s even the smallest bit of free surface area, you can guarantee your cat will try and climb their way up there sooner or later. This inevitability is one that is best to prepare for sooner rather than later. Usually, this doesn’t pose a huge risk as cats are relatively adept at treading lightly. However, that doesn’t mean that accidents aren’t extremely prone to happening. 

Pet proofing a house for a new cat means protection your valuable items that might be damaged. Items such as plant pots, Knick knacks, or even picture frames might be put in danger if they’re within the reach of a cat. And, from experience, there is very little in a room that can be out of reach of a cat. Cats are excellent climbers and this agility helps them scale almost any height. In order to protect such belongings, it’s a good idea to do a little bit of thinking outside of the box.

House plants can be transferred to standing planters or securely packed into pots too sturdy for a cat to topple single-handedly. Instead of picture frames, consider using wall-mounted frames to display those cherished moments around your living area. Knick-knacks can be dangerous items to keep exposed. However, if mindful about the risks you’ll be able to find placements that work for your home.

Be careful around flowers and essential oils

Pet proofing a house is important from all kinds of angles. For example, there are a large number of flowers and oils that are largely toxic to animals- and cats in particular. If you’re prone to leaving out diffusers or bouquets of flowers think again. You may want to freshen up your living spaces, but research cat-safe alternatives before buying anything. There are more common cat-toxic plants out there than you might realise. 

When it comes to the safety of your new animal, it’s best not to take any chances. Part of that is staying completely informed on what your cat needs and what it needs to avoid entirely. Completely remove harmful plants such as hyacinths, tulips and lilies from your catalogue of shopping options and stick to options which aren’t going to pose a threat.

If the visual touch of some fresh indoor tulips isn’t something you’re ready to let go of, you can always replace these toxic versions with nonorganic replicas. Not only will it keep all members of your household safe, but it will also save you time. It will create zero maintenance to keep them looking fresh.

cat owners
Some training is essential for cats

Be safe with your electrical appliances

Take an inventory of all the open sockets and loose cables you may have lying around. They create hazards in the open areas of your house, and might benefit from a reconsideration. Cables and sockets can pose a considerable danger to animals- particularly cats- if not properly secured and dealt with. Cats can easily bite through most commercial electricity cables, or even become injured due to the tripping hazard they pose. As a cat owner, it is your responsibility to make sure your pet is safe by preparing.

Organise all of your cables methodically and neatly, keeping them as far out of sight and reach as possible. The less contact your cat has with any form of electrical appliance will always be for the better. As always, better safe than sorry.

Make sure that your cat has all the enrichment it needs

Cats are incredibly smart animals and need ample stimulation in order to truly flourish. If your cat becomes too bored without enrichment, their mental and physical health may eventually suffer. In order to keep your pet healthy and happy, stock up on a decent supply of toys. Cats are great at finding amusement in the smallest and most mundane items. So don’t get too caught up in the details of your purchases. A used cardboard box could be the most stimulating toy they find in your home. 

Great options include feathers on a string, boxes, and items such as laser pointers. Every animal is different. Make sure to trial a lot of play methods and see what resonates with your cat in particular. By playing with your cat often, you’ll help them grow up in a stimulating environment. They will also engage in a healthy amount of physical exercise. By thoroughly exercising your cat, you’ll also be helping them develop a healthy sleep schedule, as well as regular eating patterns. A healthy cat is a happy cat, and vice versa.

Keep your trash securely closed

Skipping this step can have some potentially disastrous consequences and result in a lot of unnecessary clean-up on your part. Keep your trash covered in a secure container at all times. This will make sure that your cat doesn’t make their way into the contents. Not only will this save you from needing to tidy away the garbage that might be spilled all over your house, it will also help to keep your cat safe. 

Our household waste contains a number of dangers to curious cats they may feel compelled to investigate the contents. For instance, some waste may be toxic to them if ingested (which is always a risk). Meanwhile other items might pose choking hazards even if not overtly toxic. This is doubly true if your cat will be unsupervised for extended periods in the vicinity of such containers.

Planning catsitters for when you are away?

Petsitters will appreciate you pet proofing your house

Many pet owners have live in pet sitters to care for their pets when they go away. And whatever petsitting services you have prepare your home and your pets.  If you take time to pet proof your home before inviting pet sitters in it will really help. Not only will it preserve items you consider precious in the home, but you make the pet sitters job easier. They feel more confident in your home if they can see you have taken care with your rubbish bins, electrical wires and delicate objects.

Keep them safe and house and pet sitters will be very grateful. Cats in particular have a knack of reaching the oddest corners in the house. So be careful where you store delicate objects. Your pet sitter cat sitting for any period of time will be grateful.

A final note on pet proofing a house for a new cat

By investing in a high-quality trash bin (and the same goes for any additional recycling containers you may have for cans, plastics and the such) you’ll keep your house clean and your cat happy- and what more could you want?


How to pet proof a home

Prepare your home for the petsitters

What to look for in an ideal petsitter

Shedding pets – Top tips for cleaning up at home


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Founder and Director of HouseSitMatch - I'm a hands-on Admin on the site. Please ask any questions and as soon as I can I'll happily answer and assist where I can.

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