Photo by Mike Lawson
Responsible parents usually do everything to make sure the household is safe for their kids. The same should be done when a new cat joins your family because cats, as well as kids, have a great deal of curiosity and may get into things that can hurt them.
  • Make sure the indoor plants you have are safe for cats. Have a look at this list of plants poisonous for cats if you are not sure which are safe. Keep any poisonous plants out of your cat's reach.
  • Many cats and kittens (especially when they are teething) find electrical cords, computer cables and phone lines to be particularly good for chewing. Unplug cords when they are not being used. If this is not possible, make sure they are well-protected or unreachable for your cat. Provide your cat with chewing toys to reduce its interest to cords.
  • Don't allow your cat to play with ribbons, yarn and strings when you cannot supervise the game. Store these items out of your cat's reach.
  • Keep small objects that can be swallowed such as needles, pins, push pins, thumb tacks, staples, paper clips, rubber band and the like in places your cat can't access. Never allow your cat to play with them. A good rule to follow is to put away anything that you would not want a toddler to get his hands on.
  • Most cats go crazy about holiday decorations, Christmas tree tinsel, plastic bags and wrappings. These "toys" can pose a chocking hazard, so do not allow furry companion to play with them.
  • Cats love to bat around cords from hanging blinds. Unfortunately, they can get tangled up in them with disastrous consequences. Either anchor the cords firmly, or tie them up so your cat can't get its paws on them.
  • Make sure your cat has no access to human food. Many types of human food can be dangerous to cats.
  • Keep medications and house chemicals out of your cat's reach. Do not clean floors with cleaners containing pine oils or phenol. Keep antifreeze away from cats.
  • If you live in a city apartment, open windows and balconies can be particularly dangerous. Keep them closed, or use mosquito nets to prevent your cat from falling down and getting serious injuries. Unfortunately, such falls often result in death in spite of the common conception that cats can fall down from height and be just fine.
  • We don't know why but many cats love to stay or sit in doorways. Make sure interior doors in your house cannot accidentally get shut by draught. Use door blockers to prevent this.
  • Make sure ant and roach traps as well as other pest control poisons are out of your cat's reach.

Last but not least, it's usually a good idea to get down on the floor at a cat's level and see if there are any hazards you've missed from your human point of view.