When I was little, I begged my mom for a pet cat. She would shake her head “no” before explaining how much work a pet was. I didn’t understand how a cat could be hard to take care of; they practically came potty-trained. It wasn’t until I got my own cat as an adult that I learned exactly what my mom was talking about. Cats are cute little fur balls that are downright gross at times. We sure do love them, but these seven things cats do make us want to call a personal maid for help.
Urinating on the Carpet
Cats typically use the litter box for their bathroom, but there are reasons why they might choose to go on the carpet instead. Cleaning the stain and smell out of the carpet is a must for a clean home, but it will also prevent a cat from returning to the same place to pee. Before scrubbing, grab a towel and soak up the urine. When it is mostly dry, make a mixture of vinegar and baking soda to clean the spot and deodorize the smell. Add a large amount of baking soda on top and then pour hydrogen peroxide on top of it. Let it sit for a few hours, and then vacuum it up.
Getting Litter Everywhere
Cats like to dig holes before using the bathroom, and that can mean kitty litter flying out of the box and all over the floor. Purchasing a large box and filling it only halfway will help the litter stay inside. Keep the box on a hard surface like wood, laminate, or tile to prevent spills from getting on the carpet. I like to keep our litterbox in the bathroom with a towel under it. This helps prevent litter pieces from bouncing across the floor.
Climbing on the Counters
We have had cats that keep all four paws on the ground at all times, and then we have had cats that can’t seem to get enough of climbing on the counters. When cats get on your counters and furniture, the last thing they care about is knocking over lamps, frames, and papers. Keeping surfaces clean of clutter will leave the cat nothing to knock over. I also keep chairs away from the counters so climbing is a lot harder to do.
I have a strong gag reflex, and cat vomit is the one thing my stomach can’t handle. Cats typically vomit when chunks of hair form a hairball and get caught in their throat or stomach. In response, they throw up wherever they are standing. To clean up the vomit, grab a towel and wipe it up. Then, flush the area with vinegar and water. Grab a rag and scrub the spot before vacuuming.
Cats love to scratch, and if you care about your furniture, preventing scratching habits is something that has to begin on day one. Purchasing a cat post designed for scratching will give cats an area where they can freely play, climb, and, of course, scratch. Every time you see your cat ready to tear up your furniture, grab the cat and set them near the post. It will quickly learn where and what it can scratch. Another thing you can do is protect your furniture with plastic or blankets. We had one cat that wanted to scratch the back of our leather couch, and after trying everything to get him to stop, I finally draped a blanket across the back, and he never touched it again.
All animals poop, but the wonderful thing about cats is that they are easy to potty-train when you use a litter box. This means cleaning it out and keeping it fresh. Exactly how do you do this? Clean out the bathroom waste every morning and night. I stick mine in a brown paper bag before taking it out to the garbage. Then, every two weeks, replace all of the litter with a fresh batch. Use this time to scrub the box and dry it with a rag. The biggest thing I have learned with keeping the litter smelling fresh is to purchase a brand that works well. I made the mistake once and bought the cheapest litter I could find. Once the cat went to the bathroom, it smelled horrible! We had to throw out the entire 20-pound bag without even using it.
Getting Hair on Furniture, Clothing, and Beds
Cats love snuggling up to anything soft, and this means hair getting on your blankets, clothes, and couches. There isn’t a lot you can do to prevent a cuddling cat, but frequently changing your bedding will keep you and it clean. Vacuuming the couches and carpet daily or at least weekly will prevent floating hair from spreading to the rest of the house. Don’t let a little hair keep you from cozying up to your favorite little pet. Yes, cats do plenty of annoying things, but all of the work is worth it when you get to see that adorable face every day.