Your cat might be your favorite Friday night snuggle partner and the best listener in the house, but our whiskered friends don’t always make life easy.
Zoomies at 2 AM, scratches on brand new furniture, and no matter how many lint rollers we go through, the hair just keeps coming. For the most part, these are all minor challenges that we learn to accept. After all, our feline best friends are well worth it.
That doesn’t mean, however, that we’re not open to clever ways to make life with a cat simpler and more stress-free. Cat lovers around the world have united to share tips and tricks on how to best care for cats and keep the peace in every cat-friendly household.
From how to protect your house plants to how to convince your cat to sleep in, here’s a list of our favorite life hacks for cat owners…
1. Use what’s in your kitchen to reduce litter box odors.
It’s easy to find a brand of kitty litter that claims to eliminate all odors. Whether or not they actually work is a different story. When you’re struggling to find an affordable and effective solution to litter box smells, the answer might be closer than you think. Several common cooking ingredients do wonders for cat-related odors. Try sprinkling baking soda or loose leaf green tea in the bottom of the litter pan to keep the area smelling fresh.
2. Random objects make the best (and cheapest) toys.
There’s no reason to spend big bucks on cat toys. Store-bought toys look fun to us humans, but most cats are perfectly happy to swat around things like bottle caps, pipe cleaners, and old playing cards. The only rule is to make sure the object in question is not a choking hazard in case kitty attempts to swallow.
3. You can grow your own catnip.
If your cat goes crazy for catnip, consider growing your own. Catnip is relatively easy to grow in pots, and it’ll give you an endless supply of fun. Make sure to keep the pots out of kitty’s reach until you’re ready.
4. Invest in a pheromone diffuser.
Cats rely heavily on their sense of smell. Certain scents have the power to either calm or agitate a cat. The beauty of a pheromone diffuser is that it releases synthetic chemicals that are similar to a cat’s natural pheromones. It’s a great way to calm a nervous cat or help soothe a cat going through a difficult transition.
5. Consider pet insurance.
Vet bills are always expensive, and emergency vet bills are even worse. Pet insurance has saved countless owners from paying out big bucks when their cats become ill or injured. It’s something you hope you’ll never have to use, but it offers peace of mind. You know that if the worst happens, finances won’t affect the type of care your cat receives.
Also Read: Best Pet Insurance For Cats
6. Leave the carrier out.
Cats love to get cozy in small spaces. By leaving the carrier out for them to access, you give them the perfect place to nap. It also helps them get used to the carrier so the next vet visit won’t be so stressful.
7. Put blankets and pillows near windows.
There’s nothing quite as good as a comfy nap spot with a good view. If your cat likes to watch the world go by out the window, let them do it in comfort. You can also facilitate the perfect nap time by putting blankets and pillows on high perches like tall bookshelves.
8. Put tin foil or double-sided tape around areas where you don’t want your cat to go.
Cats hate the crinkly feel and sound of tinfoil. They also despise things sticking to their paws. Try surrounding your houseplants or covering your kitchen counter with these safe cat deterrents to help train kitty to stay away from certain areas.
9. Attach a brush to the wall.
Regularly brushing your cat will help reduce shedding, but what happens when kitty refuses to sit still? A useful life hack for cat owners is to attach a brush to the wall or doorframe. This way your cat can brush themselves.
10. Give your cat a bell.
Bells are recommended for outside cats to give birds and other prey animals a warning when kitty comes near. You can also use a bell for your inside cat if you need to keep better track of their comings and goings. Remember, however, to always use a breakaway collar so it can’t get stuck and injure your cat.
11. Make your own cat scratcher with what you have around the house. Or get a carpet sample for free.
A good cat scratcher will save your furniture, but they’re not cheap. You can get around this by using objects you already have in the house. An old welcome mat makes a good scratching area, and so does twine wrapped around the plywood. If you don’t have anything suitable, get a free carpet sample and attach it to a wooden board.
12. Put a box on your desk when you need to work.
Curious cats love to stand directly in front of the computer monitor and sit on the keyboard when you’re working on a big deadline. A conveniently placed box could be your secret to actually getting things done with a cat in the house.
13. Use a rubber glove to get the cat hair off your couch.
Dig out a clean pair of rubber gloves (the kind you use for kitchen cleaning), and rub them on your hairy couch. You’ll be surprised by how much easier it is to loosen and collect all that fur. Once you have it in a nice pile, vacuum it up for a clean couch.
14. Store dry cat food in a plastic pitcher or cereal container.
Leaving your cat’s food in the opened bag runs the risk of letting it get stale. Not to mention, it’s annoying to reach your hand into the bottom of the bag to scoop out the right amount of food. A plastic pitcher or cereal container will solve both problems. Easily pour food directly into a bowl or measuring cup and keep it fresh. Another great option is to use an automatic cat feeder. One of our favorite cat feeder is the Petlibro Granary Automatic Pet Feeder. Overall, this is a fortress of a feeder and, in our opinion, the best one Petlibro has made yet. Petlibro’s feeder is sold both through the Petlibro store and Amazon.
15. Wrap furniture legs in twine.
Even with a designated scratching area, some cats can’t resist taking their claws to the furniture. Protect your wooden furniture legs by wrapping them with twine.
16. Use dryer sheets to remove cat hair from clothes.
Lint rollers are a must-have for all cat owners, but dryer sheets will also get the job done. If the shirt you planned to wear is looking a little extra furry, throw it in the dryer for a few minutes with a dryer sheet. You can also rub a dryer sheet directly onto clothing. It removes hair and leaves behind a fresh scent.
17. Serve cat food on a shallow plate to prevent speed eating.
Some cats get so excited about meal times that they scarf everything down as fast as they can…and then they throw it up. This obviously isn’t good for your cat’s health or your floors. Serving meals on a shallow plate instead of a bowl will force your cat to slow down and help keep their food where it belongs.
18. Make sure toys are put away at bedtime.
How many times have you been woken up by the chirp of a cat toy or the sound of a bottle cap bouncing down the stairs? Your cat doesn’t care what time it is. When it’s time to play, it’s time to play. You can ensure their midnight shenanigans don’t interrupt your sleep by putting away all the noisy cat toys before bed.
19. Train your cat to come when called.
Coming when called is a trick that could literally save your cat’s life. If they accidentally get outside, a good recall could bring them back home safely. It’s also handy when you need to find your cat in a hurry and don’t have time to look under every bed or in every closet. You can train your cat just like you would a dog; repeat their name and give treats and praise when they respond.
20. Play with your cat right before bed.
If you wish your furry alarm clock would let you sleep in some days, make sure they’re good and tired when you go to bed. Spend at least 15 minutes right before bedtime playing with your cat so they have the chance to expend all that energy. Hopefully, it will help them sleep soundly and let you get extra rest.
21. Put citrus peels by your houseplants.
Cats love houseplants, but they hate citrus. Place a few orange peels either in the pot or around the pot to deter a mischievous cat. It will help stop your cat from both eating your plants and digging in the dirt.
Life with cats is never boring, and every day is a chance to learn something new about your feline friend. Try out these life hacks for cat owners and see how they make life with cats just a bit easier.