The idea for this post comes from Dr Karen Becker. I have slightly unconventional views on this subject. I don’t feel it is hard to keep my home clean because I share it with my cat. Perhaps it is because I am used to it or I don’t see the dirt! Actually, the latter suggestion isn’t true because I am quite tidy and I like a fairly clean home.
However, it does help if one is not overly houseproud. A cat caretaker has to accept a bit of naturalness. We are after all living with a companion who has no conception of the human trait of being houseproud. It makes us a better cat guardian if we are not too obsessed with a bit of cat made mess.
Also living with a full-time indoor cat must make things easier or does it? Sure, full-time indoor cats don’t walk-in mud through the cat flap but then again indoor cats need a cat litter tray while indoor/outdoor cats go to the toilet outside removing at a stroke a large chunk of the source of mess inside the house. Of course the mess is outside the home and buried in the garden which may upset someone but in the UK it rarely does.
Another source of cat mess is the eating area. That can get manky (UK speak for old dirt) if left uncleaned for a while. One reason why a cat’s eating area can become manky is because it is on the floor where it the mess is more likely to be accepted by the cat’s caretaker. I much prefer to let my cat eat on the kitchen counter top. This concept will cause some people to have a bout of angina. But I am a member of the cat countertop club. I don’t see a thing wrong with it and it is so, so much easier to clean a cat’s eating area when it is a part of the kitchen’s counter top. Also you don’t walk into it spilling the water everywhere and into the food.
My cat is an indoor/outdoor cat. His cat flap is in a kitchen window leading directly onto the kitchen counter; another concept which will bring on heart palpitations for some people but for me it is so easy to wipe over the area where he enters the home when the weather is wet. One way to keep a place clean is to make it easy to clean and easy to maintain.
If my cat used a cat litter I’d make sure it was covered to stop litter particles being chucked out and I’d choose a litter which did not walk out so easily (I used wood litter when my cat used the litter as a kitten). Also it goes without saying that the litter tray should be on a hard, easy-to-clean surface.
As for cat hair, I don’t see it! Problem solved. It does pay to have certain areas, ideally, which are consistently used by your cat which limits cat hair (more or less) to specific areas in the house. Unfortunately you can’t be certain that a cat will use designated areas. They are independent minded companions and will do what suits them. The classic answer is to brush your cat regularly and if cat hair bugs the hell out of you adopt a shorthaired cat. There is no such cat as a non-shedding cat so you can forget that idea. Using designated blankets is a good idea as you can deal with them separately.
Buying an easy-to-use and mobile vacuum cleaner makes it less of a bother to grab it and use it to pick up the cat hairs. I actually use a special brush to pick cat hair off my bed. It is a felt brush and the nap of the felt picks up the hair very effectively. This brush avoids the need to fire up the vacuum cleaner which has a special attachment for hairs and the like. I use this when I am in the mood.
My cat will always come to my bedroom when he greets me having been outside during the night. He is trilled to see me. He jumps on the bed and gives me a nose-to-nose greeting sometimes (a friendly greeting with tail up). Of course he may well walk-in some mud from outside (what’s left of it on his paws). I accept this as part of the process of caring for a cat companion. Acceptance of cat behavior and sometimes a bit of mess is good for the quality of cat caretaking; it raises the standard.
P.S. The photo is of my cat Gabriel on my bed between my legs looking very long as usual. I like the textures.