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How to Kitten-Proof Your Home

- Provided by VetStreet.com
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This time of year, we veterinarians are just starting to enjoy one of the most delightful parts of our work: seeing newly adopted kittens come in for their first veterinary visits. Kitten season is starting, and we love to get these adorable youngsters off to the best possible start.

At that first vet visit, we cover a lot of medical advice: what to feed, when to vaccinate (and for what), when to spay or neuter and how to keep teeth and gums healthy.

Preventive care is the cornerstone for building good health for life, but there’s also something these new kitten owners need to do at home, and that is to create an environment that will prevent accidents. Even the most experienced cat owners can find it difficult to kitten-proof a home. Arm yourself with this list, and a kitten’s-eye view of the world, and chances are you won’t be seeing the inside of a veterinary emergency clinic anytime soon.

1. String

Kittens love string, thread, yarn, ribbons and dental floss — in other words, anything that they can chase and pull. Strings of all sorts are fun to play with but hazardous when swallowed, which happens all too often. Anything stringlike that goes down a cat’s gullet and into the intestinal tract can cause a partial or complete obstruction. It can even saw through the wall of the intestinal tract and cause peritonitis, an inflammation of the membrane that lines the abdominal cavity and the abdominal organs.

Put all that stuff way up high, inside a container that can’t be opened by a determined kitten. Stow your sewing basket behind closed doors when you’re not using it, put used dental floss and string in a trash container with a secure lid and don’t use yarn or ribbons to decorate packages. Take care to hide rubber bands and toys with tails or streamers, and put fishing-pole toys inside a closet with a closed door when you can’t be around to supervise playtime.

2. Cords and Curtains

While it might seem obvious to tie up the cords on your blinds, be sure to tuck electrical cords out of Kitty's reach as well. While kittens aren’t usually the chewers that puppies are, it takes only one electrical cord mishap to kill a kitten. For the cords you can’t hide, look for cord organizers that enclose them in chew-proof tubes.

Kittens are light and love to climb, so it never hurts to flip your curtains up over their rods for a couple of months. That way, your kitten can’t get in on the ground floor of destructive behavior. She can’t get tangled in the drapery cords, either.

3. Medication

Medications of all kinds are always at the top of the list of things that kill pets. Never give a kitten any medication without checking with your veterinarian first, and be extra careful to pick up any pills you drop around your new feline friend.

If you’re in the habit of leaving medicines on the countertop, start putting them in closed drawers or cabinets. Kittens might not be as good as puppies when it comes to breaking into childproof containers, but they are awfully dexterous and determined when they want something.

4. Plants

Kittens love to nibble on greenery, and they don’t know what’s poisonous and what’s not. Lilies, sago palms, oleanders, rhododendrons and castor beans are just a few of the harmful house and garden plants that don’t have a place in a cat lover’s home. If you aren’t sure what plants are in your kitten’s range, take clippings to a garden center and ask for help in identifying them.

Put away or throw away anything that might tempt a kitten to eat it. That includes potpourri scented with aromatic oils. It may smell wonderful, but those scented oils can be deadly if your cat eats them.

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Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

Find a VCA Specialty Care Animal Hospital near you:

 

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, contact Central Wisconsin Animal Emergency Center at 715-693-6934.  They are located at 1420 Kronenwetter Dr  Mosinee, WI 54455.

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