Keep your house spooky and safe this Halloween with this ultimate cat-proofing guide
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Cats are cuddly, agile and ferocious, so it’s no surprise that we domesticated them long ago to be one of our favorite companions. They make great emotional support animals and aren’t bad at catching pests either. While they’re undeniably adorable, cats can sometimes be difficult to keep in line. They don’t take well to commands as dogs do, so the key to trying to train them is to control their environment instead.
Cat-proofing the house is a great place to start. Not only will you keep your valuables safe, but you’ll also create a space where your kitty can be happy and develop good habits. Scolding a cat is a bit like scolding a wall, and often the only result is a strained relationship between you and your precious pet. Leave the tricks to the Halloween festivities and give your home the treat of being completely cat-friendly. By keeping these tips in mind, you can create a space where your kitty can enjoy the holiday season without getting into mischief.
1. Be mindful of delicate and hazardous items
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Few things are more frightening than finding your cat chewing on an electric wire. They can pretty much get to any corner of the house, squeeze into tight spaces and easily jump to the top of the fridge, so they’re bound to eventually mess around with something they shouldn’t. Even if you think something delicate is in a safe space, it’s best to make sure it’s completely cat-proof.
Your cat probably loves chewing on everything from plants to cables and may feel like knocking over a few picture frames as well. That means it’s best to buy non-toxic house plants and always keep wires and cables secure with durable cable sleeves. Cord-protecting cubes can deter the chewing and clawing cats often enjoy. It may also be a good idea to secure any fragile items since kitties seem to get a kick out of knocking things off of shelves.
2. Cats need places to scratch
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If you own a cat, you’ll absolutely need scratching posts in the house — it’s that simple. Our feline friends love to sharpen their claws and get a good stretch in because it helps them relieve stress and feel at home. Declawing a cat’s paws isn’t recommended because the process is extremely painful and essentially cripples them for life. Instead of letting your home evoke worn, haunted-house vibes, take precautions to protect your furniture and dissuade your cat from even wanting to tear it up.
Clear plastic furniture protectors are an easy way to keep your upholstered furniture safe from clawing kitties. The smooth plastic won’t feel as good to your cat’s claws and they’ll eventually stop trying to scratch the plastic-covered areas. Another great way to keep your cat from scratching furniture is to give them plenty of scratching posts. This will provide them with an appropriate place to sharpen their claws at all times.
3. Block off tight hiding places
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Stressed-out kitties often look for a place to hide for extra security. When answering the door to dozens of strange-looking trick-or-treaters, your cat is likely to feel a bit uneasy. It can be a nightmare trying to pull them out of a tight spot or coerce them from under the furniture. Using toy blockers that keep things from rolling under furniture can also help keep your cat out of tight places around the house.
The last thing you want is a stressful situation where you become the bad guy while you try to force your cat out from under the sofa. By blocking off small gaps, you can prevent the problem before it happens. Some cats still like to feel secure from time to time, so investing in a tower with a cubby or two is a good solution for giving them those cozy moments.
4. Make your windows cat-proof
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Watching the outside world is like watching TV for your furry friend, especially with all the spooky street activities that happen this time of year. While we can’t recommend having an outdoor cat because of the danger that poses, it’s undeniable that they’re endlessly intrigued by the outdoors. Cats are generally happy enough to gaze out at the yard through a glass screen. However, if you want them to feel closer to nature, they can smell the fresh air and hear chirping birds more clearly from an open window.
Replace the window screen in your cat’s favorite window with a durable pet screen so you can let them take in the scenery without worrying about the screen tearing or falling out. Leaving a window open is a great way to keep your cat calm and entertained while you’re busy.
5. Remove stinky smells after accidents
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Unfortunately, our feline pals sometimes have a stinky accident or two. Instead of letting foul odors give your family a scare, you can use this odor eliminator that makes it easy to remove stenches from the carpet, tile, furniture or even the grass. To use this super-concentrated cleaner, just mix around 4 tablespoons of it in a 32-ounce spray bottle of water. Once you shake it around, you’re free to spray it on most of your surfaces (minus leather).
Everything you need to enjoy a kitty-friendly Halloween
Caring for a cat is a constant learning experience. They can often be misunderstood, and it’s usually because they’re living in a house that’s full of ways for them to get into trouble. By following these tips, you can make things more comfortable for everyone this season while training your cat to develop good habits.
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