Can You Keep a Cat AND a Clean Home?

Having a Cat and a Clean Home

I never thought about it when I my cat babies first came to live with us.

I had always  wanted a cat and when I was a college student I got not one but two (one a gift from my sister and brother-in-law). This was while I was still living at home with my mother.

Then I got married and moved into my own home. The reality of how to keep my home spotless with two demanding felines became something I meant to conquer. I love a clean home and there is nothing better to challenge how well you clean your home than a cat (any pet really). I wonder who was doing all this cleaning when I lived at home during college…hmmm…(thanks Mom).

While I never fully eliminated that stray, lone, piece of fur that would find itself in odd places, and there were a few accidents here and there that I had to take a deep breath over, I did come up with a system to keep my home clean. And I would like to share those tips with you.

The Issue of the LitterBox

Where to Put the Litter Box: Phew! This was the main bane of my existence. My husband and I spend a lot of time trying to perfect the the litter box situation. If you have cats you can relate.

In our second apartment we lived in a two bed, two bath apartment and chose to keep the litter box in the unused shower in our second bathroom. This made cleaning it pretty easy as it was on a laminate floor. I also kept layers of newspaper inside the box underneath the bag that held the litter (and have since learned that may not have been the best). Cats have nails and if they scratch through litter bags you get a mess. I still got a mess with the newspaper but it was easier to deal with.

Since that home we have moved twice and each time there have been long running discussion on where to keep the litter box. In our previous town home we kept it in the garage. This was not ideal when winter came and then we kept it in the guest bathroom. Also not ideal. At this point our cat was quite elderly and she did not live long (my male fur baby had passed away at the apartment) in this new home.

We are now in a two story house and again the issue of where to keep the cat litter has come up. We would like another cat but have run into a few issues in this home.

  • Our laundry room is super tiny. It might be where we end up keeping the litter box but it is very tiny.
  • The only bathroom large enough would be our master bath. There goes that spa feeling.
  • We have a spare bedroom so while the cat is a kitten all his stuff is in here.

Some Notes on Cat Litter

We went back and forth for years on the best amount of litter to keep in the box. A nice good few inches or a mere sprinkling on a layer of newspaper? This can depend on your particular cat and “their” preferences so make sure you pay attention. In the end how much litter didn’t matter as much as scooping at least twice a day to keep the odor down well.

On litter preferences we use Dr. Esley which I have on autoship from Chewy.com.

  Take away: scoop often.

Shedding Fur

Fur will get everywhere. You will find it in your mouth in the morning if your loving feline lays it’s heavy warm body across your neck (or face) as you sleep. It may fill up the lint drawer in your dryer after a good day of washing. Years later you will find it in clothing you packed away in deep storage. My poor babies have been gone for about 8 years and I still find it in my Bible and elsewhere.

Here are some of the things I did to keep the fur from flying.

First of all I threw easy to wash blankets] on everything. I had a soft blanket that matched the comforters on the beds. I had a folded blanket, in my decor colors, on the couches. I did try to brush the cats but my cats were not into brushing. Maybe they were but the biting suggested they were not.

If it was not your hand they were in no mood. I tried one of those fur gloves but they knew it wasn’t a bare hand and would just get up and walk away.

I had a short hair and long haired cat. The short haired would prefer not to brushed so I dealt with the most fur balls from him. The long haired liked brushing but she would roll around, try to bite you, and try to scratch you the whole time. Fun times.

We had to lay down newspapers, use a whole roll of damp paper towels (to control the flying fur) and follow her around on all fours to get it done. We gave up and took them to the groomer regularly. But if your cats take it brush them daily and put down blankets, and vacuum often with tools such as the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser.

Fur Balls and Other Stomach Issues: They happen. Brushing keeps them down and give your cat a dose of fur ball medicine. And when you do find fur balls clean them up. Don’t let that stuff fester. It’s a mixture of stomach acid, fur, and food (probably). You might want to invest in a pet cleaning machine like the Bissell SPOTbot for those icky spots.

Scratching: You would think that if you provide enough scratching posts your cats will be nice and not scratch up anything else. Right? Especially not your leather furniture. Surely not. The truth is your cats will find something you love and cherish and rip deep ravines into it. My cats chose a custom pair of leather boots. I still seethe over this 20 years later.

In addition to putting up items and closing closet doors use throws and rugs to provide kitty with a comfy place to lay that can cushion the effect their claws have on your clothing, furniture, and bedding. Use corner and edge protectors on wood furniture and doors kitty seems attracted to.

So yes you can have a cat AND a clean home. It may take a little extra cleaning details but aren’t those adorable balls of fur worth it?

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