It’s that time of year, when many of us start feeling the urge to push open the windows and give our homes a thorough spring cleaning. From purging closets, pantries, and everything in between, don’t forget your cat! Cleaning and sorting through their bedding, toys and litter area is an important task that you may be overlooking. Here’s a kitty-related spring-cleaning checklist for every cat parent.
Who doesn’t love spoiling their kitties? As you probably know, toys can easily go missing or get overlooked and misplaced. Take the time to find all the miscellaneous items laying around that fall victim or have gone missing under the couch, refrigerator, or stove.
Thoroughly inspect each toy as you find them. Is it broken or dirty? If so, take the time to fix, clean or toss them in the trash, if necessary. Consider donating any unused or unwanted toys to your local animal shelter, including outgrown bedding or access bowls and dishes. Shelters are always in need of items.
When it comes to cleaning your cats favorite soft toys, be it rubber or plastic, ensure you are soaking them in a bucket filled with equal parts water and vinegar. Leave this for roughly 20 minutes, then rinse and dry each toy. For any plush toys, place them in the washing machine (on your gentle or delicate cycle) in cold water and use scent-free detergent. We’d recommend placing them in a delicate bag or a pillowcase.
Hard toys such as bones and rubber Kongs can contain tons of bacteria in those nooks and crannies that your cat constantly chews and claws at. Use hot soapy water, if necessary, use a very mild bleach solution (or white vinegar and baking soda) to disinfect. Soak the toys for 20-30 minutes, and scrub away. Be sure that any toys that contain catnip or food are cleaned daily so that small insects aren’t attracted to it and to rid of any mold growth.
Speaking of catnip, these toys will lose potency over time, especially if washed. If you have a dirty catnip toy, it’s probably time to replace it.
Bowls and Storage
A dirty pet dish can attract bacteria, bugs, and mold. Food and water bowls are one of those things that tend to slip our mind to clean on the regular. They are items that are used multiple times a day and are one of the most important. Did you know that oils from your pet food can gather on their serving dishes and cause issues for your cats?
For most pet dishes, you can simply put them in the dishwasher. Just remember, if the bowl is plastic, place it on the top rack so that it doesn’t melt.
Run the dishes through the entire cycle as normal. You can run them in the same load as the rest of your dishes; no need to wash them separately. If washing by hand, use hot water and a nontoxic dish soap. Once scrubbed clean, rinse with cold water and dry with a dish or paper towel. If you find yourself dealing with limescale or hard water deposits, soak the dishes in a vinegar and water solution then scrub and rinse.
On top of keeping your furry felines food and water dishes clean, their food should always be safely stored, if not it can cause the development of bacteria, infestations, and in some instances the food may spoil. In order to store dry food properly, keep the food in a cool dry place and in a sealed container. For canned food, keep it in the refrigerator in a sealed container after opening. Discard after a few days if not consumed.
Be sure to check out our Go! Solutions recipes for cats.
Solutions for Your Pet's Unique Dietary Needs
If your cat is a picky eater, has a dull coat, or food sensitivities, feeding them a solutions-based food may be the answer to many issues.
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It’s time to pull out the gloves and get to scrubbing! Giving your cat’s litter box area a deep cleaning isn’t always fun, but you’ll feel so much better once it’s done. Start by removing all litter boxes from their designated area and grab a broom and vacuum to pick up any remaining pieces. If your litter boxes are sitting on tile, hardwood or even vinyl, give the area a good wipe down with a spray or wipe to eliminate any odors or built-up debris. If you’re wanting to give the box some extra attention, wash with a vinegar and water mix, followed by ample dry time.
Things to remember wash the lid if there’s one, and don’t forget the scooper! Let the box dry thoroughly before putting in new litter.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could easily train a cat to sleep in their own bed, or clean up after themselves? Seasonal changes mean more shedding… and more shedding means more hair, everywhere! Take this time to catch up on cat hair removal during your spring clean.
Start by vacuuming your couch with an upholstery attachment. This will begin to loosen up hair and dirt. Most vacuums that don’t have a pet brush can struggle with picking up pet hair, especially if it is deeply stuck into your couches, nooks and crannies. Applying some fabric softener with a spray bottle to the area you are about to vacuum will make your task easier. Don’t forget to vacuum around and under pillows.
It’s no surprise that anyone with hardwood floors is likely going to see cat hair-bunnies floating around or piled up in the corners. Sweeping your floors with dust cloths that are meant to trap in dirt and dust on contact.
Your cat's bedding is likely a hairball itself. Collecting and storing your felines' fur with their constant daily use only means storing other unwanted dirt, dander, and debris. Before throwing your cat's bed into the wash, be sure to do a quick lint roll over it to remove excess hair and give it a good shake outside. Your soap should be formulated for pets or one that's non-toxic.
Keep one of those lint rollers right beside your door, for a quick hair removal session before you leave to meet friends or go to work. The sticky texture is perfect to grab unwanted hairs.
Spot clean furniture
Cleaning and disinfecting a cat tree/scratching post or any other items, is necessary for every cat parent. Items you’ll need on hand are a vacuum cleaner, a scrub brush, an old comb, a de-shedding tool, and pet-friendly cleaning solutions.
Start by using your scrub brush or old comb to bring the cat hair to the surface. Then begin vacuuming the built-up hair and debris. If there are noticeable stains, spray with a cat friendly non-toxic solution such as warm water and hydrogen peroxide and give it a good scrub. After cleaning, let it air dry before letting your kitty use it.
Without a doubt, spring is a wonderful time to start purging and cleaning those cat items you’ve been putting off. Use your judgment to throw away those in bad shape or donate ones that have been long forgotten about. Proper cleaning will ensure your cat’s toys will last longer and be safe to play with for many months to come. Soon you’ll be welcoming spring with a fresh, clean house, and a happy cat!
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