A special thank you to our guest writer, Jessica Brody!
If you are struggling to keep your home clean since bringing a feline friend into your family, you are not alone. While cats are known to be a low-maintenance animal companion, living with one does mean you have to elevate your cleaning routine. For the most part, your goal is to eliminate dander and hair from the air and keep litter box odors at bay. Read on for simple solutions to these common cat lover conundrums.
Invest in a quality vacuum cleaner.
Cats, like all animals with fur, shed. And although their hair is not the cause of any allergies you might be experiencing, it is undoubtedly the carrier. Cats self-groom with their tongues. In the process, they transfer saliva, which contains compounds that many humans are sensitive to.
Because of this, one of your first investments upon bringing home a new cat or kitten is to buy a vacuum cleaner that can efficiently remove hair and dander from hard and soft surfaces. Groom + Style recommends the Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright. However, there are many less expensive brands available that will do the trick; look for a version with a HEPA filter and an upholstery attachment.
Create a diligent cleaning schedule.
Your vacuum will become your second best friend, just behind your cat. And you will use it to do everything from clean the carpets to eliminate loose dirt and debris that’s been inevitably spread by your curious kitty. But even more than vacuuming, your daily cleaning schedule should include things like wiping down the countertops, which can help prevent toxoplasmosis, to cleaning out your cat’s food and water bowls.
On top of all of your other cleaning duties, the added chores may get overwhelming. If you find yourself struggling, and you have the budget to routinely cover $130 to $175, look for a maid service to help you upkeep your home’s interior. There are many options in the Fargo area, so don’t be afraid to compare costs to find the best deal.
Show some love to the litter box.
One of the first indicators that a home is occupied by cats is a poorly maintained litter box. And, unfortunately, keeping the litter box clean is everyone’s least favorite chore. But keep it clean you must, and this starts by scooping every day. Have a scooping schedule, perhaps after lunch and then before you go to bed.
You’ll also want to give the litter box a good scrubbing at least once each month and replace it periodically. As cats use a litter box, it can become scratched on the bottom, and germs, bacteria, and odors can set in. Preventive Vet also recommends keeping the cat’s indoor bathroom break in a well-ventilated area and sprinkling it with baking soda each time you change the litter.
Use an enzymatic cleaner.
An enzymatic cleaner can counter the compounds in things like blood, vomit, urine, and feces. They work by breaking down the proteins in these so that stains and smells don’t linger. Many pet parents swear by cleaning with an enzyme-based cleaner, which is typically much safer to use around your animals – and children – than harsh chemicals, such as ammonia and bleach.
If your upholstered furniture could use a spruce up to get things back in order, you can expect to pay a professional $80 to $140 to clean an average sized couch. To reduce the amount of cleaning you do, cover your furniture with blankets so even if accidents happen you don’t have to clean your entire sofa to remove unwelcome odors.
Really, keeping a cat in your home just means adding a few common-sense tactics and a little extra elbow grease to your cleaning routine. But slacking is not an option! Grab a good vacuum cleaner and some enzymatic cleaner and get to work, but don’t be afraid to get help when you need it. As a result, you’ll be able to maintain a home that’s fresh, clean, and healthy for you and your feline family member.