I haven't cat-proofed my house at all. Heck, I have thread and string from sewing just layin' around in the living room.
Even when I fostered kittens, I never really changed anything.
In 10 years nobody's ever gotten sick or hurt from a household item (well, Paizly broke her leg, and I think it's because she got caught up in a pile of junk that she tried to wrench through...partly the reason I divorced, my ex was SUCH a slob! Perfect candidate for Hoarders show!)
I didn't! I'm still adapting now- one of the joys of having cats! I've always made sure sharp things are out of the way. Since bringing Evie home, I have discovered that every single edible morsel needs to be put away in a cupboard that she can't open. Yesterday she pinched and ate two pieces of courgette!
I've had to move things out of the way so the girls don't knock them off, and I need to hide my make up! Following an unfortunate incident with a candle, we now how to be extra careful.
I dry knives and forks upside down so they don't stick out where the cats could injure a paw. Apart from that, I don't think I've done anything either... Oh, I don't leave wand toys lying around, because of the string or wire.
I went to babies R us and went on a crazy shopping spree.
- put cord protectors over as many wires as possible
- covered my electrical outlets with those plastic baby plugs
- bought something to cover my extension cords
- bought baby gates to keep the kittens in the kitchen when they were babies (now I just keep it in front of the door so they don't excape outside)
- bought storage bins for the food in the kitchen so that they don't accidentally eat anything harmful
- removed anything sharp or anything that could fall on a curious little kitten
i cleaned up, and made sure little things werent lyring around on the floor like paper clips, rubber bands, etc. i put away all chemical cleaners in a plastic storage bin. we got into the habit of leaving the toilet seat down regularly.
If I cat-proofed, they'd just find something I'd missed....
After having dismantled my fitted kitchen units to rescue a wandering kitten (the norwegians had been in here an hour), we boarded up any openings. That it. Unboarded now, as they're too big to fit in there.
I have a water spray pistol that I use to deter them from causing too much trouble, but that's it.
I didn't...oops! Actually, my husband and I have been programmed for child-proofing for so long now that it's pretty much automatic. I figure if our house is safe enough for a baby to visit, it's safe enough for a kitty.
Trial and error. The first time I brought Layla into the kitchen at my old apartment to investigate she was particularly interested in a corner cabinet. I let her sniff it and before I know it, all I see are her back legs and tiny kitten tail dangling out of the opening she had just crawled into. The opening I had no idea existed and was serving as a black hole for curious kittens to disappear into. The opening that no human arm could wedge itself into in order to extract even just 2 pounds of kitteh.
I panicked and tried every other means of approach- dismantling drawers, breaking cupboard walls, parting the Red Sea- but it was obvious that there was no way for me to drag her out by any available appendage, erm, I mean rescue her, that would not result in a very, very angry landlord.
My boyfriend happened to walk through the front door right as I was about to abandon any rational thought and proceed right to destruction. He was clueless to the fact that I had just gotten a kitten (we didn't live together at the time) so the first thing I said was: "Before you tell me how work went . . . Umm, something got where it wasn't supposed to. I can't reach that something".
His reply: "You got a cat".
Eventually she came out on her own accord, but not until flashlights and various tools that I do not know how to use in their intended sense were implemented. Then duct tape, lots of duct tape.
LOL! Ok, so a little off topic but this thread reminded me of that story and how my boyfriend was first introduced to Layla/Punkin Pie. Somewhere in there is a point about how even if you think you've kitten-proofed the whole house, they will find SOMETHING. Reminds me of when we moved to the new apartment and she wedged herself behind the stove . . . :wink
Layla, too funny! I love the "black hole" reference.
I'm a paper crafter (Yes, I'm one of the twelve male crafters who make cards, etc) so I'm talking to my mom (fellow crafter) and she said, "A cat, hmm? What about all our ribbon just hanging there on the wall?"
I may have to move my craft area into a room with an actual DOOR! :wink
Ritz is the first pet I've ever had; I knew nothing about cats before I adopted her (long story). IFormerly feral/stray, I adopted her when she was around six months old. A friend who has had cats all her life came over and helped me cat proof my condo. Basically, move all dried flower wreaths and knick knack printers box higher up on the wall so Ritz couldn't get to them. Remove all sharp objects. Don't leave anything on the counter tops you don't want sniffed/chewed. Block off access to all the electrical cords behind the tv/DVD.
Make sure all window and door screens are tight, without holes. Hide all plastic bags, especially those with handles. (I learned these two the hard way.)
Hide cleaning supplies (and observe if your cat can open any doors and take appropriate action).
After I had Ritz for about a month, I could tell what interested her (the laptop, strings, certain dried flowers in vases) and what didn't (electrical cords, thank goodness)
I let Ritz sniff, investigate what ever she wanted, with me monitoring her closely. She got the "terrible twos" out of her system that way. If she chewed something I didn't want her to chew like a lamp shade or a bandage on my knee, I said "not for kitties", with increasing firmness. Worked pretty well.
And finally ENJOY. Cats have survival instincts and aren't as dumb as people think.