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How To Keep A Pet-Friendly Home Clean

We all know people who own a couple dogs or a few cats whose house reflects that. Either their house is covered in pet hair, or there is a strong pet odor right when you enter their home.

So, is it possible to share a house with your pet(s) and still be able to maintain a clean and tidy home? Fortunately, if you lay down a few ground rules, it shouldn’t take too much extra work. Although it would be nice to get your pet to follow along with house rules, these rules aren’t for your pet, these rules are for you:

  • Decide what parts of the house you’re willing to share with your pet and be consistent about it.

  • While most of us consider our pets apart of the family, don’t allow your pet to sleep in your bed.

  • Groom your pet regularly to avoid dog or cat hair all over your furniture.

  • Give your pet the attention it needs. Take it out for a walk or to the park. A bored pet is likely to tear into things or chew things up. 

Feeding Your Pets

Try to find a place in your home where you won’t mind if your dog knocks over the water dish or if catnip is spilt on the floor. Consider an outer room like your garage or a utility area. Most utility areas have sinks where you can clean out dishes, you can also store your animal’s food in this room.

Keep food and water dishes in a plastic container or tray to protect your floor from spills. Wash the tray or container every week with hot water and bleach. Avoid feeding your animals on carpet floors.

It’s important to get in the habit of cleaning out your animal’s dishes right after they are done eating. Teach your animal to eat right when you put their food out so you can clean the dish immediately after. If you have to work all day, leave a water bowl out for your pet.

Battling Animal Fur

A shedding dog or cat can be one of the biggest hassles about owning a pet. A good vacuum is a necessity when you have an indoor pet. Use the upholstery tool on your vacuum to get hair off furniture. For chairs, beds, and blankets, use a wet rubber glove to gather pet hair. If anyone in your home has bad allergies, groom your pet outdoors to keep dust particles and hair out of the house. If you have a pet that tends to shed a lot, make sure you change your vents regularly to keep pet hair and particles out of the air. 

Bedding For Your Pet

While flannel bedding may look nice, it accumulates pet hair and can be a pain to clean. A wicker bed is a better choice because you can easily wash down the basket. Whatever bedding you choose for your pet, make sure you clean it once a week. If you don’t clean your pet’s bedding, it can become a home for fleas and mites.

No matter how easy to clean your home is, when you own a pet, it will take a daily and weekly effort to keep your home clean. The key is to prevent as much mess as possible and your home will be both clean and pet-friendly.

Trisha Banks is a blogger for Steamer's Carpet Care in San Antonio, Texas. Trisha just bought a cat and wanted to learn ways to keep her home fresh and clean while still keeping it pet-friendly. 

House Training Your Kitten to Use the Toilet

Cat using toiletIntroduction

Whether you intend to have a house cat, or allow your cat into the garden, in the first few months, you will need to have somewhere in the house for your kitten to do her business. Instinctively, cats are clean animals so training a kitten to go in a designated place is relatively simple; you just need patience and understanding.

The Basics

You will need a cat litter box or litter tray that is easily accessible for your kitten. There are lots of litter trays on the market, including automatic ones. However, in the initial stages it’s easier and cheaper to have a simple litter tray that is easy to get in and out of. There is also a wide range of cat litter available and what may suit you may not suit your kitten, so in these early stages if your kitten refuses to go near the litter tray try changing the litter, especially if you initially chose a scented variety, cats have a heightened sense of smell and it may be too over powering for your kitten.

So you have a simple tray and basic litter for your kitten, now you need to decide where to put it. Imagine you wake up desperately needing to ‘go’ but the nearest toilet is a 10 minute walk away – being a human you will do the right thing and wait until to you get there – hopefully. But if you are a kitten, you will get halfway there, not be able to wait and go in the nearest available corner. This is not bad behaviour on the part of your kitten; it is poor planning on your part. Put the litter tray far enough away from family areas but close enough that the kitten can get to it in time. You need to have three areas for your kitten, feeding, sleeping and pooping. Keep a good space between the feeding and pooping areas, but the sleeping area near to the pooping area.

Making the Connection

You need to help your kitten make the connection between ‘going’ and the litter tray. The easiest way to do this is to catch her just before she goes and put her in the litter tray until she has done something. This is easier than it would seem as kittens tend to ‘go’ shortly after being fed, so use this time to put your kitten in her litter tray. Lots and lots of praise is needed when she finally uses the tray. Kittens sleep for quite long periods, so every time your kitten wakes from a nap put her in the litter tray.

After a few days you will begin to recognise the signs that your kitten is looking for somewhere to go, when this happens go to her litter tray and call her over, she may not pay attention immediately because she is concentrating on finding somewhere to ‘go’, if you cannot get her attention at all, pick her up before she ‘goes’ and put her in the litter tray.

Accidents Will Happen

It is highly likely that you will have a few accidents and when these happen, do not scold your kitten, just put her in the litter tray and make sure you clean the area where the accident occurred to remove any scent that may confuse your kitten. 

And Finally..

Remember cats are clean animals so you need to make sure the litter tray is kept clean otherwise your kitten will look for somewhere else to go.

Featured images:

Jason Balchand has helped many cat owners toilet train their new kitten quickly and easily. He also writes articles about pets and gives pet care advice on his Facebook and Twitter pages.