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free reign of the house

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
When did you let your kitten have free reign of the house while you were out? What did you do so you didn't worry all day? How did you get in to your house with out the cat darting out? Stoli is currently confined to his 'safe room' for his own safety. We don't want him to get hurt while we are out. My hubby and I will be going back to work soon and would like to hear what your experiences are. Stoli is 6 months old on wednesday.
post #2 of 14
My kitten is 18 weeks old and has free reign of our 2500 SF home. Because we have a very open fllor plan, I really didn't have anywhere for him to have a "safe room." Plus I wanted him to get used to going through the "kitty hole" to get to the litterbox on the landing of the basement. I did not want to be moving litterboxes throughout the house.

Since I am a stay at home mom, I am home most of the day. We have had the kitty for about 3 weeks so I pretty much know what he can get into. I have been clipping his nails every week but my biggest fear when I leave the house or go to bed at night is that he will choose my husband's $1,800 leather recliner to scratch. Me and cat would be looking for a place to live if that happens!

We have had to close our bedroom door at night to get any sleep (severe toe attacking would occur otherwise).

As far as the cat darting out, he is usually no where to be seen when we come in the door. After a few minutes when he hears our voices he will come out from whereever he happened to be.

What exactly are your fears about leaving him alone in the house?
post #3 of 14
Kitten proof your house- crawl around at kitten level and look for cords or other temptations and do something about them. I have major areas blocked off using cardboard and duct tape.

I only confined my kittens to a safe room for their first week here. I let them out under strict supervision for a few days so I would see what the problem areas were so I could remedy them. But mine had total free reign by 10 weeks.

I'd advise a bit of training to keep them away from the door- I used regular doggie choke chains as they are noisy when tossed. I kept one hanging on both the inside and outside doorknobs so they were always handy, and just tossed one onto the floor before opening the door. They rattled like heck whether tossed or left hanging, and the cats sure didn't care for that noise at all. It only took a matter of a couple of weeks, and now my cats are habituated to staying away from the door.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
well, i guess i'll get some choke chains. My fear is that he'll climb on something and it will fall, on him, and kill him. I'm also afraid that he may pull on the drapes and have the pole come crashing down on him. We have no knick-knacks out but he still doesn't make the best decisions.
post #5 of 14
My kitten is 4-5 months and we've had her for a little over 2 weeks. She has had free reign since we got her. We just kept the doors shut of any rooms that we didn't want her in and kept anything we didnt want her getting into out of reach. We kept a good eye on her at first to see what she was prone to do when she had her way with things, but shes been a very good cat and mostly sleeps when we are gone. She also doesn't seem to have much desire to sneak outside, so we don't have to worry about coming and going, as long as we don't keep the door open very long.
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renovia
well, i guess i'll get some choke chains. My fear is that he'll climb on something and it will fall, on him, and kill him. I'm also afraid that he may pull on the drapes and have the pole come crashing down on him. We have no knick-knacks out but he still doesn't make the best decisions.
Get him a cat tree with sisal for scratching. Cats are going to climb, and they are going to scratch- that's what cats do. So providing something higher than anything else that is his to use freely will go a long way towards keeping him off other things. He's just following his natural instinct to climb and be the highest thing in the room- if he doesn't have a tree then the bookcase or the fridge is next in line. That's not his fault- it's yours for not providing him something suitable IMO

And FWIW in a couple of spots I have flipped the hem of draperies up over the rod to keep them out of kitties way during their most accident prone kitten months.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
I guess I should have explained this, He already has a 7 foot tree with Sisal. He just explores.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renovia
I guess I should have explained this, He already has a 7 foot tree with Sisal. He just explores.
In that case I'd give him whole house access now
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
well, I'm still a little hesitant. I'm glad for everyone's opinions though. And I have some things to think about. I'd like to give him access but (maybe I'm still paranoid) I'm still afraid that he'll tear around the house like a kid who was excited about being left home alone for the first time. There really isn't much that he can get into but what if he climbs the screens? What if he falls behind the refridgerator? What if he eats all the cat grass in the house and vomits? And then there is still the entertainment center. Even if I cardboard up the back sides and top so he can't get behind the thing, he still jumps on the shelves and works his way down. . . .hmmm it's like a puzzle.
post #10 of 14
How old is Stoli now? You've had him how long?
He can't live in the safe room forever- he needs to move around and be stimulated by new sights and situations.

Don't let over protectiveness turn into obsessive worry!
It's like your childs first day at school- you've just gotta do it for the well being of the child.
We all love our animals and would like to keep them in our pockets 24/7 for absolute safety and to shield them from all possible harm, but it's not practical or good for the animal.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
so does anyone else have any other suggestions?
post #12 of 14
mine were kept in the bathroom for the first day so they knew where the litter box was but they been free since. They can get into the same stuff if your there or not. They need a chance to explore they will only get stuck once and they will learn not to do it again.
post #13 of 14
We've let Davidson have free reign of the house ever since we've gotten him. Our house is completely cat proof, since we've had Harley for a year now - he pretty much keeps Davidson in line .

We have a 1 bedroom apartment - and they are allowed in the living room, kitchen and bedroom - the bedroom is where their litter boxes are. I keep them out of the bathroom, well, ever since we've gotten Davidson. Only because we've realized that he'll climb in the bathtub, and then he can't get out So for now, the bathroom is off limits while we're out.
post #14 of 14
If it makes you feel any better, I still get a little paranoid when I leave Vodka alone. Like today, I had sprayed something with Oxy Clean and left it in the bathtub and didn't shut the door when I left. So of course, while I was out, I kept thinking, "what if Vodka gets in the tub and licks the Oxy Clean??" But sure enough, when I got home, she was sitting in her little bed that she picked out for herself ( a shoebox with a towel in it!) just like when I left her.

I agree that you might just have to do it. Or maybe you can try leaving her for a shorter period of time at first and see how she does. Then you can extend the time until you feel comfortable leaving all day.
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