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7 Vet-Approved Cat Hacks Every Kitty Parent Needs to Know

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on February 28, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

a woman holding a cat that's licking its mouth

7 Vet-Approved Cat Hacks Every Kitty Parent Needs to Know

VET APPROVED

Dr. Lauren Demos (DVM) Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Lauren Demos (DVM)

Veterinarian

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Cats can bring endless joy and entertainment to your life, but that doesn’t make sharing a home with one any easier sometimes. From scratching at new furniture to leaving hair on your clothes to keeping you up with nocturnal antics, a cat that runs your home can add to your stress. But there are ways you can alleviate the stress your differences cause.

Here are the top seven life hacks to make life with a cat a little easier and restore harmony in your home.

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The 7 Cat Hacks Every Kitty Parent Needs to Know

1. Control Litter Box Odors

Litter boxes are one of the perks of owning a cat—no yard poop cleanup! But litter boxes might not always seem like a perk as they can bring their own challenges, including how to keep odors at bay. There are plenty of litter formulas that claim to eliminate odors, but they don’t always work. Adding litter additives to the litter can go a long way in keeping it smelling fresh. Of course, you still have to keep up with regular scooping and cleaning.

Young man in gloves cleaning cat litter tray at home
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

2. Make Your Own Cat Toys

There’s no shortage of cat toys on the market, ranging from basic and budget-friendly to expensive and elaborate. However, you can make your own cat toys on the cheap with stuff you have around the house, such as old boxes, tissue paper, and toilet paper rolls. Just make sure anything you give your cat is safe and non-toxic.


3. Simplify Mealtime

Cats can be relentless about food, which is why many owners rely on free-choice feeding. However, allowing your cat to eat as much as they want (and as often as they want!) can lead to obesity and health problems. Set a schedule when you can feed your cat at the same time to establish a routine.

However, if this is not possible because your daily schedule varies, invest in an automatic feeder with portion control to ensure your cat gets food on a schedule without disrupting your day.

cat-about-to-eat-from-an-automatic-feeder
Image Credit: Okrasiuk, Shutterstock

4. Get Your Beauty Sleep

A common complaint among cat owners is a cat who is active and loud all night. There are many ways to address this problem, including feeding your cat later in the evening, but one surefire way is to tire your cat out before bed. A long play session that exercises their mind and body, such as chasing a lure or laser pointer, is often enough to keep your cat mellow throughout the night.

You may need to shut your bedroom door when you retire for the evening. This way, your cat cannot wake you up for a 2 AM play session!


5. Limit Cat Hair

Even short-haired cats tend to leave hair all over the house—on the floors, couches, and your clothes. You can’t stop shedding completely, but regular brushing can cut back on the amount of cat hair that embellishes your furniture. You should also invest in tools like a reusable lint roller, dryer sheets designed to remove pet hair, and wool dryer balls to make laundry and cleaning easier.

lint roller with animal fur
Image Credit: Ekaterina_Minaeva, Shutterstock

6. Safeguard Your Home Office

Cats can be a big distraction while you’re working from home. Instead of closing your cat out of your office, which may encourage incessant scratching and meowing, put a cozy box on your desk or nearby. Cats love spending time in boxes, and this gives them a safe and secure spot to relax close to you.


7. Provide a Lot of Scratching Surfaces

Cats need to scratch to keep their claws trimmed and stay in shape. If you don’t provide scratching surfaces, your cat will make their own out of furniture legs, moldings, and doorframes. It’s best to experiment with a few different scratching areas, including scratching posts and boards, to give your cat options. If you’re handy and have some free time, you could even make your own. If your cat insists on using the furniture, try wrapping some sisal rope around the legs to protect them.

white cat playing on a scratching post
Image Credit: Daga_Roszkowska, Pixabay

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Conclusion

Sharing your life with a cat is rewarding, but you may need some ingenuity to streamline your routine. Use these tips to make your day a little easier, or let them inspire you to come up with your own life hacks for cat ownership. Applying some of these ideas will help you keep your cat happy while ensuring that your day runs smoothly.


Featured Image Credit: Olesya Kuznetsova, Shutterstock

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