Hello friends! Do you have indoor pets? I can no longer have cats or dogs inside the home due to allergies and risks associated with Lyme disease, but I have been blessed with the companionship of both cats and dogs as roommates over the years. As a decorator and “clean freak” this was not always an easy relationship, but I did learn a few tips and hacks that helped minimize messes, odors and kept accidents from happening. Cats seemed to be a little trickier at times, and can be the bane of a naturally fragrant household so today I will be focusing on feline friendly ways to keep your home looking (and smelling) beautiful! *This post contains affiliate links.
There are few experiences more rewarding than sitting with a warm, contented, purring kitty on your lap. Your fluffy feline may be your best friend, but they’re also one of the most perfectly evolved predators in the animal kingdom with a set of instincts that isn’t always compatible with a beautifully maintained home with a delicate and finely tuned aesthetic. The beautiful and innocent looking kitten above has the ability to rip a beautiful an expensive French linen duvet or heirloom rug to shreds in minutes!
Nobody likes the prospect of their expensive furniture or upholstery getting turned into confetti by the indiscriminate claws of a cat honing the most valuable tool in their hunting arsenal. Fortunately, while it’s in a cat’s nature to claw and scratch at their surroundings, the damage can be mitigated. Ensure that kitty has (and is encouraged to use) at least one scratching post to help them maintain their claws.
It’s important to understand that there’s a territorial aspect to a cat’s scratching so place scratching posts close to furniture to incentive them to mark their territory by scratching the post and not your beautifully appointed love seat. Luckily you don’t have to just stick and ugly post with a carpet remnant in the middle of your “Pinworthy” living room! Today there are adorable DIY cat scratching posts and furniture pieces you can seamlessly work into your decor.
I love this spool end table wrapped in jute rope which doubles as a cat scratching post.
Even a beautiful piece of wood can provide hours of play and (diversion from your furniture) for your feline friends.
Of course it is also important to protect your cat! If you love all things old, chippy, shabby chic, with distressed peeling paint, be sure to seal your furniture! Chipping lead paint is highly toxic to both humans and pets. Do not allow your cat to scratch up old windows or furniture with lead paint (any homes prior to 1978 used lead paint). They can easily ingest it while cleaning their paws.
Outdoor cats shed their fur seasonally but house cats may shed consistently throughout the year. Thus, it’s important to stay vigilant as not only does a layer of cat fur do little to complement your flooring and furniture, it can also be a powerful allergen that will send the odd dinner party guest running from your home in fits of sneezing. Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to mitigate problem shedding.
Brush them regularly and bathe them using disposable safe pads. This will remove the oils which many find allergenic. Combined with the regular vacuuming that most of us do anyway this will lead to a pristine and fur free home.
Dealing With Odors
Let’s face it. There is nothing worse than walking into a house which wreaks of the well known scent of cat waste. No matter how much time, money and energy you invest in making your home showroom perfect, the smell of cat odor ruins the aesthetic. Furthermore, most cat owners actually become accustomed to the embarrassing smell and may wonder why friends and family members never want to come over for a visit. Did you know that the bacteria in cat waste is actually dangerous to your health? It is imperative that you keep litter boxes clean! If possible, try to use eco-friendly litter which is better for all cats and humans alike!
If possible have a designated area in your home away from clean laundry and food. It is unsanitary to have a litter box in the bathroom ( I did this for years before reading scientific research), where you will be breathing in ammonia and bacteria in the steam every time you shower. A designated cat litter box area mud room or enclosed porch is a much better choice.
Another cute idea is to repurpose piece of old furniture into a kitty litter station. This can be placed in away from food prep and other sanitary areas as well.
Invest in clean air with air purifier technology. This will absorb the airborne particles of matter and bacteria which can cause unpleasant odors while leaving a sense of freshness in the air. Be sure to check out top air purifier reviews before purchasing to get the best deal. Even the kind of cat litter you buy can make a big difference in masking odors while a self cleaning litter tray will enable you to remove waste in a timely manner with a minimum of fuss.
Even with all of these factors to consider, cats are such fun and playful pets! While all the litter box talk may not seem to appealing and it’s best to put those litter boxes out of sight, here are some stylish feline furnishings and accessories you will want to put on display!
If I had a cat I would certainly be spoiling it with a French Country pet bed!
If you are a Rae Dunn pottery collector, there are plenty of cute mugs and accessories for cat lovers too!
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Although I no longer have a pet cat, I guess you could say I have a little cat niece…Reese! My sister just purchased her first home, so I think she needs an old piece of furniture to make Reese a shabby chic bed, (although I think she prefers my sister’s bed!)
If you do not have health issues or allergies which prevent you from having a cat indoors, then you can enjoy all the friendship and fun of cat ownership while maintaining a beautiful and sanitary home at the same time by using the tips shared here.
Enjoy your feline, furry friends! *Don’t forget to protect yourself and your pets from Lyme Disease and other tick borne illnesses using proper tick preventive. For more information, check ILADS.org.