Have you ever heard that saying, ‘you don’t own a cat, a cat owns you’? While I’d like to think that’s not entirely the case, my cats wake me up each morning, scream for attention, demand to be petted in certain ways at certain times, control who can sit on which pieces of furniture and of course, require a lot of cleaning, tidying and household management, all for the pursuit of their own comfort and pleasure. And if things aren’t ‘just so’, well…we find out about it.
National Cat Day is on October 29th, and to honor this, Malee and Paislee, have clearly communicated to me that they would like me to share the following tips with you on how humans should be taking care of their cats. So for all of you cat owners, lean in, because if cats could talk, here’s what they’d tell you, in plain English.
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Cat Request #1: Please, wash my food and water bowls after each meal.
I know a lot of messy people, but I know for sure that even the messiest of ladies and germs will not eat on a dirty dish. Your cat happens to be extremely finicky about cleanliness and a dirty plate or bowl smells and makes food and water rather unappetizing. ICYMI, a domestic cat has a sense of smell that’s 14 times stronger than a human’s, and average over 200 million olfactory receptors. HELLO. So aside from smelling rank, dirty dishware can also breed bacteria, which can make kitty sick and make your house smell too. We put ours in the dishwasher or hand wash them before a meal is served. Also, have you ever observed a cat eating? They do not follow the rules of fine dining engagement and often spill food. So, find a small placemat or shelf liner that can sit under the food and water bowl and will trap and contain the food and water spills.
Cat Request #2: I’d really like my toys to be cleaned.
Do you ever stop to think how gross your cat’s toys are? I seriously do. It’s nasty. They schlep them around in their mouths, heaven knows where they have been tossed, hidden or trapped, and how old they are. So to care for kitty’s toys, here’s what I recommend. For rubber or plastic toys, soak in a bucket filled with equal parts hot water and vinegar, leave this for 20 minutes then rinse and dry each toy. You can use a cloth if you like to wipe the toys while immersed. For plush toys, place them in the washing machine and use scent-free detergent. I’d recommend placing them in a delicates bag and using an extremely gentle cycle. I haven’t seen many durable plush cat toys, so just be prepared for what may come. Now, if the toy is stuffed with catnip, you do need to change these out every few months, since each time that toy gets wet it can add moisture to the catnip leading to mold or mildew. Cat trees can be sprinkled with baking soda, vacuumed and wiped with a damp cloth. If the carpeting needs some real TLC you can add a small squirt of dish soap to a bucket of warm water and use a scrub brush to clean the carpeted areas, pat dry with a clean cloth and continue to do this until the suds come out.
Cat Request #3: My bathroom should be fit for a queen (or king).
Oh don’t we know. No one fancies a dirty bathroom. When it comes to litter, consider the litter holy trinity: it should be good for cats, people and the environment. We used crystals for a while, but because it wasn’t meeting the mark, we recently made the switch to Swheat Scoop, which I’ve talked about before. Basically, it’s better for the environment because it’s 100% Biodegradable, clay-free and chemical-free. It’s better for the kitties because it’s clay-free, you can research the perils of clay litter, and I also see them pawing around in it more than they did with crystals. We like it more because it is easy to scoop and helps manage odours well. It’s actually kind of cool, if you can say that about litter…the enzymes in the wheat react to the cat waste and eliminate the odours and also the fact that wheat is starchy causes it to clump well, which has made scooping a lot easier. It’s made from non-food grade wheat, and even if you’re gluten-intolerant like me, you’ll still love this stuff. Now a couple of litter issues to address really quick: as with all litters, it can fall out of the litter box so what we’ve done is placed a boot tray under the litterbox and stay on top of sweeping. We scoop the box daily and change the litter weekly. Finally, locate your litterbox far away from where your kitties eat, because they have such powerful sniffers, they don’t want to be anywhere near their bathroom when they’re about to chow down. And frankly, neither would you.
Cat Request #4: I want to be groomed, like, all the time.
There are so many benefits to grooming your cat, it’s seriously not even a consideration to forgo it (unless kitty won’t allow it). Now assuming the cat will let you do so, get your cat brush and get going! First, grooming your cat is a part of keeping them, and you clean. We just did a post all about how to care for pets and deal with pet hair, check it out! Grooming greatly reduces hair flying around your house and in your food. It helps the cats take better care of themselves by not having to ingest all of that hair (and later, coughing up hairballs which you’ll have to clean up). Grooming also allows you to do a body scan of your cat, so you can look and feel for anything that shouldn’t be there, like a cut, a sore spot, fleas or anything else that seems off, this is something I learned from a vet! And finally, it’s a nice bonding experience. And hearing your kitty purr, come on, that’s right up there beside chocolate cake and an unlimited, pre-paid credit card!
Cat Request #5: My bed should be as clean as yours.
Now of course, if your cat sleeps on your bed then good for you. My cats seem to think that my bed is actually theirs, which can make for some pretty awkward sleep positions. However, if you do have a cat bed or blanket, it does need to be cleaned regularly to help reduce hair and eliminate odors. So this is quite simple to do, check the fabric care label and wash according to instructions. Generally, I recommend using a scent and dye free detergent and wash on a gentle cycle. If they sleep on YOUR bed like mine do, well, just take care of your linens as your normally would, or perhaps a little more frequently and use a lint roller or some other hair-removal device to manage the layers of cat hair you might find after a night of kitty slumber.
So from me, Malee, Paislee, Chad and our friends at Swheat Scoop, we want to wish you a very happy National Cat Day. Take good care of your kitties and they’ll be sure to control you for years to come.
Do you have a cat? If so, tell me about him or her and share his or her name, breed, and quirks in the comment box below! I could read about kitties for hours! Feel free to tag me in a kitty photo too on Instagram!
A special thank you to Swheat Scoop for teaming up with us on this project and video! We had a blast working with them, and have learned that they are truly caring, wonderful people behind a great product. We also love their Swheat Shares program, and we’ll be doing a video at a cat shelter very soon in conjunction with this project!
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