It was almost two years ago when we discussed the hairy situation around here, as in, how in the world we keep it under control – and many of you chimed in with your own tips and suggestions, too. Living in small quarters with three (adorable, squishy, cutie) pets can certainly throw some challenges our way, but none too large to tackle and maintain.
Oddly enough (or maybe not? You tell us!), we receive the occasional email, sheepishly asking, but dudes, where do you keep your litter box? Mixed in with that question – and these come more frequently – are others: Do your pets claw the furniture? How do you keep odors in check? And most importantly, does Jack get along with the kitties? (Um, they agree to disagree.)
So while we’re absolutely obsessed with our kids and could talk about them all day long (and in my case, talk to them all day long!), we thought it’d make sense to share our little tips outside of our inbox and into the blog. And because every do-good pet-obsessed mom and pop loves a good insiders secret, we hope you’ll pipe up again. Here’s how we stay prepped for our pets – all those other things not involving the furry tumbleweeds.
THE HIDDEN BOX. This might sound weird. We stash that litter box in the corner of our bedroom, right there at the head of the bed – my side of the bed. The girls own that room. They sleep there; they eat there. They snooze on my head all night long, and so yes, it made the most sense for us to stow their potty in there, too. (You probably know that’s obviously not Maddie or Libs, below, but I couldn’t embarrass them by taking an actual photo! But yes, our box has a lid and cute kitties come and go.)
It’s been there for years, and the one time we decided to move it into the office (our second “bedroom” before it became the studio), the girls showed us just how pissed they were by… well, literally pissing. In the spot by the bed where their box should’ve been. Lesson learned. (Yes, sometimes they forget to “flush,” but they’re little old ladies. God love them.)
WE PRE-TREAT. You’ve seen us upholster more than one chair around here, and each time – before the chair (or pillow or fabric-covered-anything) makes it in the home, it’s pre-treated with Scotch Gard outside on the back patio. Not only does it help repel daily abuse (say, dark jeans rubbing onto the fabric will easily wipe up with a wet rag), but we like knowing there’s a teeny barrier between wet or dusty paw pads.
FABRIC CHOOSING. In addition to our pre-treating, we’re mindful of the fabrics we bring into the home. Drink spills naturally bead up on our microfiber couch, the velvet chair is self-healing against kitty scratches (or, as we say, when they knead biscuits), and we’ve chosen a neutral Flor rug that allows for swapping of tiles if needed (luckily, we haven’t had to do this yet!). We know that natural fabrics such as jute rugs are an absolute no – because those? They’d be goners. The girls just can’t resist.
WE MIST. Using a solution of half water and half white vinegar, we’ll mist the carpets and curtains in our home, naturally ridding the funny pet odors. The vinegar smell doesn’t linger (rather, your items will smell like nothing at all!), and between this, our Febooze and keeping our windows open on cool, pretty days, we’re able to minimize any lingering unwanted scents. This is not to say we are immune to them – no way, no how – but our misting solutions do help quite a bit.
FOR THOSE OOPS MOMENTS. We can be sleeping in on a Sunday morning – out cold – but the second we hear that first gurgling sound of Jack’s upset belly (followed by the unmistakable lip smacking and throat-y noise), we can bolt out of bed, find our pup in the living room, then coax him onto the hardwood to purge himself of last night’s dinner. (Ew, sorry.) But for those times that we’re just not fast enough and our rugs, couches and chairs have been soiled, we turn to the hard stuff: Woolite Pet Oxygen. We’ve tried a dozen different brands over the last ten years, and this is the one we come back to, time and time again.
For stubborn spots that you don’t even know what they are (and likely don’t want to know), we give it a good Folex. Folex, you guys, is a game changer – and not just for pets; it’s a miracle on pens! Makeup! Wine!
With all this said, please remember that we are far from having every pet situation completely under control. We have hair. We have kitty sick-ups. We have wet nose kisses on every window and while we care for our furniture, we still have worn-in areas, biscuit remnants (the girls love kneading that dough!) and to be honest, everything could use another Scotch Gard-ing. But that’s a loved and lived-in home; that’s the way it should be.
Okay, go on. Pipe up! How do you cut down on fur, clean the oops messes and hide, stow and stash that pesky litter box? Pipe, pipe!
In exchange for cutie pie photos of our kiddos today, we urge you to show us some love in the Apartment Therapy Small Cool contest! Just click the “Favorite” button; please, thank you, and we love you. (You can also access our entry anytime from the sidebar!)