Safe and secure outdoors
Cats are famous for their free spirit, but, believe it or not, they often quite like having a collar. Buy her a nice one and attach a tag with your telephone number on it, just in case she ends up over-exerting herself on one of her adventures. Her extremely strong sense of smell will usually help her find her way home, but she could become disorientated around scary things like fireworks or thunderstorms. The best way to avoid this is to keep her in the house if there's anything like this going on outside.
If she does go missing, first check with your neighbours, then your local vets, animal welfare organisations and animal shelters. Try nearby areas, too. You’ll be surprised how far a lost kitten can travel.
If your little one turns out to be a real explorer (and most kittens do), an option you should consider is to get her permanently tagged with a microchip, inserted under her skin. It might sound extreme, but you'll feel much more comfortable once it's done, and she'll be much easier to find if she ever gets lost. It is best to speak to your vet about microchipping.
Safe as houses?
There are two things you really need to know about your kitten. Like a child, she loves exploring and she’s liable to get herself into trouble the moment your back is turned. So here are a few suggestions for keeping your home kitten-safe.
A few home truths and the dangerous kitchen
Houses are designed for people. Simple, everyday objects, such as a kitchen hob or an electric cable, can pose a real risk to any kitten bent on exploring her new habitat.
A kitten’s curiosity knows no bounds. However hard you try to hide something, she'll always be able to find it. Before you bring her home, make a detailed sweep through the house and lock away anything that looks dangerous. And remember, she can reach even the highest shelves.
Cover fires and make sure you move all house plants out of her way, as some won't agree with her tummy. It goes without saying that any sharp tools, such as scissors and knives, should be safely kept out of her reach.
The kitchen is probably the most dangerous place of all. Kittens love to curl up somewhere warm, so keep ovens, washing machines and tumble dryers closed and always check them before you switch them on. Keep plastic bags, clothes lines and pans of boiling water well out of the way, and if she starts to make a beeline for the dishwater or detergent, pick her up and put her somewhere far away.
Shutting the door on diseases
For her own protection, keep your kitten at home for two weeks after she’s been vaccinated. So keep the doors closed.
And don’t forget the windows
Open windows, especially upstairs ones, can be a risk. One excited leap or a shaky landing on a windowsill could end up as a nasty fall for a young kitten. So keep your windows closed until she’s got her balance.
Clumsy kids and unfriendly pets
Kids love kittens, but they can be clumsy and that can be dangerous for fragile little bones. So stay watchful. Dogs and cats can be jealous of new arrivals, and may even harm them if left alone together. Introduce her gradually to the rest of the household, and keep her away from other pets when you’re not around. It won’t take long for them to get used to each other.