Am I a Cat Person?
I have received some feedback from my friends that I am not posting enough cat content. It’s so true. I need to make space for cats. The fact is that while our cat Lottie Mae has the largest personality of all our fur-kids, she makes the smallest physical impact on our home (but not our hearts).
We have modified every inch of our 1,600 sq feet home to accommodate the dogs, but on the flip side, we just gave away Lottie’s litter box after it sat unused in our bathroom for over a year. In the winter, you can find her snuggled up in one of the many baskets or fluffy throws around the house, but in the summer, she comes inside to eat, get water, and then spends most of the day on one of our neighbor’s porches. (We have very kind and patient neighbors.)
I grew up with dogs and never thought I would live with a cat until my husband moved in with his beloved Simone. I was a little bit allergic and totally mystified by the kitty litter situation, but I was surprised by how quickly I fell for her. She was smart, sassy, and taught me the importance of creating a relaxing space. Then came Lottie, who doesn’t inspire blog ideas about how to repair or protect our house but she knows a thing or two about home design.
Cats Know Home Design
I am pretty sure cats were practicing Hygge way before any Scandinavians claimed it. They have this incredible sixth sense for finding the most comfortable little sleeping arrangements. Simone used to settle in between all the bed pillows and the tufted headboard. When we peeled back the pillows to get ready for bed, it was like waking Sleeping Beauty. I suspect she knew I was a little allergic to her and was being a bit spicy by sleeping near my bed pillow. Maybe she wanted to remind me that even though it was my house, she was in charge. I have a deep appreciation for a little sass.
Our cat Lottie also has a master’s degree in home design. When we were getting married, many of our friends sent us gifts from Amazon. If you request gift wrap, they send a blue tie string bag with the present, literally in the box with the gift, not wrapped around it. I would recommend you don’t waste your money on their gift wrap, but for Lottie, having all those bags was like having an amusement park in the middle of her house.
She would play with the small ones, create kitty sleeping bags with the medium size, and create cat tents with the large ones. She created a fitness center using the boxes as an obstacle course and had a great time hiding in them and then spooking the dogs when they walked by. (Just a reminder that Lottie weighs seven lbs and our German Shepard weighs SEVENTY- seven lbs). This ingenuity embodies all of my feelings about the power of home design. You can find solutions for your needs if you take what you have and get a little creative.
So going forward, I promise to keep a better balance between the dog and cat content. I may even ask Lottie to write a couple of posts since she is so darn creative.
To wrap up our week of celebrating new adoptees, we have some kitty-proofing tips from my friend Victoria and her new bae, Bee or Beatrice. She is nine weeks old and has been with Vicki for just two weeks, and she is so CUTE!! Get out of here with that cuteness.
Get your Home “Kitten – Ready”
Create a Safe Space
When we first got Lottie, we created a safe space for her in the guest bedroom. It kept the dogs out until we were ready to introduce them to her. We made sure there wasn’t anything on the floor that could be a hazard but also looked out for what she could jump on and potentially fall. Vicki puts items outreach on top of dressers but makes sure it doesn’t create inspiration for Beatrice to jump into a hazardous area.
Kitty Litter really deserves it’s very own poo-tastic post. Like most things that people hate, there have been some clever designs around litter boxes. We had one where the cat crawled down into it. It kept the dogs out and prevented her from kicking litter everywhere. When Simone moved in, she brought with her a litter box that doubled as a mudroom bench. She would crawl through the bottom of it to do her kitty business, and you could easily open up the top for cleanings. You can start with something simple and then graduate to a strategic option depending on your cat’s behaviors.
Cats love a Basket
Cats love baskets, and that’s great if you want to create some comfy beds for them. You can toss in a fluffy material, and it’s instant nap time. If you store things that you love in baskets and don’t want your cat to love them too (sewing basket, rare collectibles, etc.), you may want to move the basket out of reach or find a new home for the fancy items.
What cat’s lack in power they make up for in flexibility and ingenuity. Our feline friends look for the smallest little nook where they can hideaway for hours. Make sure there aren’t places where the cat can snuggle into where they could be in danger. Keep cabinets and dryer doors tightly closed. Vicki uses giant blankets to block off open spaces in her radiators.
Scratch on, Scratch off
When you get a new cat, it’s an excellent opportunity to let them know what you want them to scratch. We gave Lottie some of the simple cardboard scratchers when she first arrived, but we have recently upgraded her to a modern cat scratcher. She has mostly left the furniture alone. Vicki is going to get crafty and create some scratchy things. We will follow up with her to get those details.
Many of the puppy-proofing tips apply to kittens. You can get more tips from the Aspca.
And get more tips from me by dropping your email in this cute little box below.