Cats are quite clean, but if you live with one, you know they can be untidy creatures. Cats leave a unique assortment of stains and messes around our homes that require constant cleaning, but here’s how to keep things nice and neat.
Cat Hair — Everywhere!
That luxurious, soft fur we love so much isn’t so nice when it’s all over our house. One tip for controlling the fur is to place cat beds, mats or blankets where your cat likes to lounge. These items can be easily tossed into the wash along with deposited fur.
For removing cat fur from furniture, rather than using a sticky tape lint roller, which can get expensive and create waste, instead try lightly misting the area with water and using a rag or a traditional lint brush to wipe the fur away. Rubber gloves also work well to pick up fur, especially in cracks and crevices like in between cushions.
Of course, brushing your cat regularly can help reduce the amount of fur that accumulates in your home.
My “right” stuff
Here are some of my favorite keeping-it-clean tools.
Fizzion: If you’re not into DIY cleaning products, Fizzion is a fantastic, easy-to-use, safe cleaning product that removes most stains and odors. | chewy.com
RESCUE: For added disinfecting, try RESCUE. Used in animal shelters and veterinary offices, this is a powerful but very safe product for use around pets. | rescuedisinfectants.com
Biokleen: I love all of their cleaners, especially the Bac-out enzyme cleaner. They are all lightly scented with essential oils and do not contain any harsh chemicals. | chewy.com
O-Cedar ProMist MAX Microfiber Spray Mop: Easy to fill with a water and vinegar solution for safe cleaning. | ocedar.com
OXO FurLifter: A new take on the traditional lint brush that is as effective and easy to use. | oxo.com
Dyson cordless vacuums: I can’t live without my Dyson! So easy for quick cleanup. | dyson.com
Really Tough Odors?
Sprinkle crushed zeolite on the area, let it sit overnight and then vacuum. This natural mineral is nontoxic and neutralizes odors almost immediately.
Helpful hints: Get zeolite granules and not powder for less dust. It’s also great for sprinkling in the litter box! Buy on amazon.com.
Icky, Sticky Messes
In addition to cleaning up cat fur, all cat owners are familiar with the messier messes, including hairballs, vomit and potty accidents. These require a little more effort for cleaning and removal, but don’t worry, the solutions are simple.
Use pet-safe cleaning products in your home, avoiding harsh chemicals and synthetic fragrances. It’s healthier for your cat and for you. There are some simple DIY cleaning products that work wonders on cat messes. No need to spend a fortune on fancy cleaning products, just use basic ingredients that are both safe and inexpensive.
Here are some things to keep on hand:
- Distilled white vinegar
- Baking soda
- Liquid dish soap
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Enzyme cleaner
- Rags or paper towels
- Soft bristle brush
- Spray bottle
For basic stains like vomit or a hairball, start by picking up as much of the mess as you can with a paper towel or a rag. Blot the area to remove as much moisture as possible. If the stain is on carpet or fabric, sprinkle the area with baking soda and let it sit for about an hour to absorb the moisture.
Next, in a small spray bottle, mix a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water and spray the area, which will cause the baking soda to fizz. Wipe away the baking soda and continue to spray and blot the stain until it’s gone.
For urine stains, we need a little more power. Again, absorb as much of the urine as possible with a paper towel or rag and sprinkle with baking soda. Let it sit for about 15 minutes and then pour straight vinegar on the area.
After it fizzes, blot the area with a clean rag.
To tackle the odor, mix ½ cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide with 2 cups of water and a teaspoon of plain liquid dish soap in a clean spray bottle. It’s a good idea to test this mixture on an inconspicuous part of the carpet or fabric first to make sure it won’t discolor. Spray the stained area with the hydrogen peroxide mixture, using a soft, bristled brush to work it into the carpet or fabric. Allow to dry.
In order to prevent the odor from returning, once dry, saturate the area with an enzyme cleaner and let it dry completely, which could take a day or two. Once dry, vacuum thoroughly and repeat enzyme treatment if the odor remains.
Leaving Their Mark
Cats rub their cheeks against the corners of walls and furniture to leave their scent and mark territory, which leaves a grimy mess. Fill a spray bottle with 50/50 water and vinegar plus a teaspoon of liquid soap to clean up those messy marks.
Cleaning up after your cats can be pretty quick and easy. Apply these feline cleaning fundamentals with a little bit of planning and the right tools. Your cat and home will appreciate getting the cleaning love they deserve and visitors will say, “You’ve got cats?!”