How to make your home cat proof

A tabby cat is halfway inside a blue-and-white paper bag.
If you make your home cat-proof, it makes play time even more fun for your cat. © istock

Do you have a furry flatmate who likes finding new places to hide? Is it a playful ball of energy that sweeps through your flat without giving that vase from your mother-in-law or your plants a second thought? A carefree soul who couldn't care less about whether your balcony and windows are cat-proof? Welcome to the world of being a cat owner! Take a look at the following tips for avoiding chewed-up cables and overturned furniture.

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Make your balcony cat-proof

Make your balcony cat-proof: a cat sits in amongst plant pots on a balcony and looks attentively and curiously at its surroundings.
Cats enjoy the view from a cat-proof balcony. © istock

Cats are hunters by nature. They don't care how big or small your balcony or terrace is: if they spot a bird, a squirrel or even just some leaves blowing in the wind, they'll be off chasing them before you know it. You can make your balcony cat-proof by putting a net around it. Our tip: go for a black net as it won't obscure your view so much. You can make your terrace cat-proof using the same technique – these days you can even get pens for your cats. They look like aviaries but keep the birds out instead of in!

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Cat-proof your windows

Making your windows cat-proof is a good idea. A tabby cat sitting on a window sill looks outside.
Open windows are a dangerous temptation for cats. © istock

As a cat owner, you know that letting some air into your home can be tricky. Once you open your window, your cat might decide to go exploring. And if you have tilt-and-turn windows, there's a risk that your cat – or any other pet – might get stuck in them. It's best to designate one window per room for letting air in and putting up cat safety nets over them. Then you can open your windows without any problems. Another option is to open the window and put the blinds down. This lets air in, but stops your cat from jumping out of the window. If you want to open a tilt-and-turn window, you should lock your cat out of the room while it's open or stay in the room.

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How to keep your doors closed – even if your cat knows how to open them

A tabby cat saunters through a white wooden door.
If your cat can open doors, a simple trick can help. © istock

Can your cat open doors? What a clever cat you have! But it's not very practical, especially if you want to have a cat-proof room in your flat. We have two solutions for you: install a door knob instead of a handle, or turn the handle 90 degrees upwards – there are very few pets who can open the door when you've done that. Here's a tip to stop your cat from opening doors: clicker train it to wait in front of the door until you walk through.

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Make your furniture cat-proof

A cat sits with its claws dug into a shelf.
Cats like to climb on things - including furniture. This is why you should make sure the're fully secure. © istock

Does you cat love sneaking into small gaps? Like behind the bookshelf, for example? Place your cupboards, shelves and drawers as close to the wall as possible to stop your furry friends from hiding behind them. As well as hiding, cats also enjoy climbing and jumping on shelving units and cupboards. So it's best to use screws and wall plugs to securely mount your furniture onto the wall.

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Hidden temptations for your pets

A cat plays inside a paper bag.
You should put away "toys" such as paper bags in a cupboard. Better safe than sorry. © istock

If your cat likes nibbling on things that aren't good for it, there's only one solution: tidying them away. Bins without lids, delicate ornaments, inedible plants and similar things belong in a room that the cat has no access to. Cleaning products, medicines and similar items should be stowed away in locked cupboards.

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Make your cables cat-proof: three tips

A loose cable is laid down.
You can keep your cat away from the cables in your flat by hiding them away creatively. © istock

Cats love chewing cables. You have three options for making your cables cat-friendly:

1. Use cable protectors

You can hide your cables using cable protectors that you can get from the hardware store. For a DIY alternative, you can mount thin wooden panels along the wall to house your cables.

2. Use a scented spray to keep curious cats away from cables

You can keep cats and other pets away from your cables using scented sprays that contain essential oils. You can put your pets off nibbling the cables using lavender or lemon-scented fragrance – and at the same time, you'll get a pleasant air freshener for your flat.

3. Give your cat other items to chew on

If your cat is chewing your cables, this can often mean that it's bored. Give it other things to chew on instead. Cat grass will keep your cat occupied as much as a special cat toy will.

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Offer your cat alternatives

A cat sharpens its claws on a cat tree.
Keep your cat entertained. © istock

Does your cat regularly end up scratching your walls or furniture? This can be a sign that it needs more attention and variety. One solution is to spend more quality time with your cat. Get its attention using a DIY cat toy, for example. You should also give your cat lots of things to sharpen its claws on, such as a cat tree or scratch mat. It's best to place these items near the objects that your cat likes to scratch. The following trick might work if your cat likes scratching your sofa: build a sofa table for one of the armrests, and use a tacker to cover it with a sisal rug. Your cat is guaranteed to love it!