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any tips on how to keep a house clean while living with a cat?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I am really frustrated right now. First problem- litter tracking. There is litter all over the house!! I dunno what to do I moved the litter box from one of the rooms to the bathroom, but now every time I step out of the shower I step on litter Second problem- food smell. I'm feeding authority chicken and lamb. He gets two feedings of 3 oz. every day and eats dry food in between. He never eats the whole 3 oz, instead he eats it periodically over 2-3 hours and that time is enough to make the entire house stink!! I can't feed him in the kitchen because we have hardwood floors and so I feed him in my bathroom...It's really gross to have a bathroom smelling like cat food.....I'm just really frustrated right now because I'm trying to do some organizing and cleaning and it's like - nothing works!!! Help!! Any suggestions? I was thinking of getting some kind of mat to put in front of the litter boxes..but i still dunno what to do about the food smell
post #2 of 22
I have a booda dome which has steps up the side and that actually gets a lot of litter of little paws before they get out of the litter box. But it does not get rid of all the litter. I also have the litter box set on an old bath towel folded in half that can easily be washed every week which also seems to do well in collecting litter. You could also just keep a dustpan and brush set where the litter is and just brush it up before having a shower or whatever.

I don't see a problem with feeding on hardwood floors if you use a mat for the food dishes. As to the smell of the cat food, I honestly don't notice that ours smells. In fact I have to usually push my nose almost in to make sure it smells OK for the kitty.
post #3 of 22
Are you talking about 3oz of wet food? IMO, I wouldn't leave the wet food out that long. He gets what he eats in 15 minutes, then it goes into the fridge for later. (Leaving it out causes a build-up of bacteria)

As for litter, I use rubbermaid 18 gal storage tubs. Cut a hole in the lid & presto - top entry litterbox. Cuts down on tracking.
post #4 of 22
I have hardwood floors in my kitchen and that is where I feed mine. I don't see the problem.

Some of the wet food can be kinda stinky but I find the smell dissipates pretty quickly. If you're feeding in a small confined area like a bathroom the smell will linger longer.
post #5 of 22
Well, I solved my litter tracking problem by switching to the Tidy Cats Breeze. No more litter The most I get is a few pellets here & there, which I can just pick up and throw back in the box.

As far as food, I don't see why you couldn't feed him in your kitchen with a mat underneath his bowl. I have mats under all my cats bowls and it works well. Also, I agree with white cat, in that you really shouldn't leave wet food out that long due to bacteria, etc. I give all my cats (4) 30min. to eat. That's it. If they don't finish, sorry, food gets put back/thrown out (if it's wet food) til the next meal. They understand that now, and clean their bowls by the time I let them out.
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Well sometimes I put the wet food out and he will not even touch it until 30 minutes later...Like I just put some wet food out for him and he still hasn't touched it. I mean he is still a kitten so they eat more frequently in smaller portions than adult cats, that could be the reason why. I guess I will start giving him 2 oz portions three times a day, that should help a little....I just think feeding on tile floor that gets mopped is more hygenic than on the hardwood floor that only gets swept with a very damp mop because water is bad for it, even if i have mats underneath bowls... stuff still gets spilled on the mat and sometimes gets under it..
I think I will start sweeping up the litter more often like 3-4 times per day rather than once or twice...Hopefully that will solve the issue of tracking, or at least prevent it from spreading past the few feet in front of the litter box... I already bought two enclosed litter boxes that were kind of expensive, around $30 and I don't feel like spending even more money to buy bins..I do see how using those could help tho.
I just got so frustated that Jake wouldn't even touch his wet food!! The smell makes me sick...It's authority chicken and lamb. I will try different varieties that might smell less. Like I know I will try out avoderm wet food and wellness.
post #7 of 22
As far as litter tracking I feel your pain. I have a cat with constant bladder problems so he uses the box several times a day. I have the booda dome with the steps in it, but I don't really feel like it stops the tracking of the litter. I pretty much vacuum everyday and sweep up what they track in the bathroom... cats... gotta love 'em :p
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
lol yea i've been vaccuuming every day up until now but since Yosemite suggested sweeping it occured to me that it might be much easier especially on the tile floor of the bathroom...I hate dragging that huge vacuum throughout the house..
post #9 of 22
I vacuum the room with the litter boxes a couple times a week, but the rest of the house more like once a week (my classes have kept me very busy this semester).

We have linoleum in the kitchen/bath and hardwood everywhere else. We have had fed them on the hardwood before, like when we were settling in. I just used placemats to protect the floor.
post #10 of 22
I bought those mats that catch the litter and put it infront of the litter boxes, and sweep a couple times a day.I don't have any litter tracked any further than a few feet away from the boxes.
post #11 of 22
I reallydon't have to worry much about a dirty house, because our 4 cats our strictly outdoors with the exception of bringing them in every now and then to hold on the couch. We used to keep our kittens indoors, and it was a stinky mess. Litter everywhere and our house smelled like pets. Our cats have a nice, big, fenced in yard and a back porch to enjoy. They don't need litter or boxes and are much happier that way. I'm not sure what your situation is, but I find it much easier in general to allow cats outdoors or to keep them outside, provided you give them shelter, fesh food and water and lots of TLC.
post #12 of 22
I would feed him, as you suggest, small quantities more often, and take it away after an hour. If he is hungry once or twice, he wioll soon learn to eat while it is there. ANd I use puppy training pads under hte litter booxes, that catch moisture and pellets and can be easily taken up and shaken into a bin and changed as necessary.
post #13 of 22
Does he free feed on dry food? We let our kitties free feed on dry, and we feed them one wet meal a day. They are SO PICKY about the wet food - but we've got one they all eat now, and they learned quickly that if they didn't eat it within the half hour we leave it out that it isn't there later.

Also, since you don't want to invest (understandably!) in more new boxes, the best litter mat we ever used was this one: http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...:referralID=NA

Otherwise, just make sure you scoop a lot.

I expect with those few changes, you'll find you have no more litter problem and no more smell problem! It's pretty easy once you find the routine that works for you.

Just a quick FYI - I'm really allergic to cats, and when they're older, the shedding can be a problem. The way we dealt with it also has "quick clean up" results, so thought I'd share. We put throw blankets over the couch and backs of cushy chairs. They collect the cat hair, and we wash them every week. When company came over, we didn't have to worry about cat hair on the furniture - just fold up the throw blankets and toss them on the shelf in the coat closet - furniture with no cat hairs on it as you're on the way to answer the door.

Laurie
post #14 of 22
I keep litter boxes in my bathroom and laundry room, and keep a broom and dustpan in each of those rooms. I sweep just before I scoop litter each day. If there are litter tracks in the morning when I shower, I just sweep them up next to the box and dust pan them up later in the day.
post #15 of 22
I would assume your wood floors are sealed--so you can mop them just like tile. You won't ruin them I promise!

As for leaving wet out--don't be so paranoid. If our cats can eat raw meat without a problem they can consume wet food that has sat out for awhile without a problem.

http://www.catinfo.org/#My_cats_are_now_eating
Lisa A. Pierson, DVM

"An added note about leaving canned food out: Keep in mind that a cat's gastrointestinal tract is much different from ours. I routinely leave canned food out for up to 12 hours at a time for my foster cats and kittens. I have been doing this for many years and hundreds of cats and kittens have passed through my foster room without experiencing any problems from this practice. If the weather is extra warm, I will try to visit my foster room a bit more often but if my schedule does not permit it, then I still do not worry about leaving the canned food out."

Leslie
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat-tastrophe View Post
I reallydon't have to worry much about a dirty house, because our 4 cats our strictly outdoors with the exception of bringing them in every now and then to hold on the couch. We used to keep our kittens indoors, and it was a stinky mess. Litter everywhere and our house smelled like pets. Our cats have a nice, big, fenced in yard and a back porch to enjoy. They don't need litter or boxes and are much happier that way. I'm not sure what your situation is, but I find it much easier in general to allow cats outdoors or to keep them outside, provided you give them shelter, fesh food and water and lots of TLC.
You won't find many folks here that would agree that outdoor cats are better off. In your case since you have a fenced in yard (I'm assuming the cats cannot get out of the yard and other critters cannot get in) that is a different scenario - they are more like farm cats.

As for the mess and stink - that's not the cats' fault, that's the owners' fault. We have many multiple cat owners here who scoop litter boxes on a regular basis and their homes are not a stinky mess. We have two cats and two litter boxes and you cannot tell when you walk in our home that we have litter boxes. You will see the cats though as they like to greet visitors.

Back to the OP - I use a special cleaner on my hardwood floor that is made specifically for them so they are not just being cleaned with a damp mop.
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
Yea we use a cleaner too but it still seems to me like its not the same as bleaching it lol...I mean the cleaner smells nice and makes floors look awesome but i'm just not sure how much it disinfects. It comes in a spray bottle so you just spray and then mop on top of that, which makes me feel like it's not as good as the bleach or disinfectant solution all over the floor and then once again to rinse, etc....I dunno I am a bit extreme and germophobic when it comes to disinfecting, so that could be why i am feeling this way
Anyway...I am glad I got so many tips Thanks to everyone. I am sure i will not be as frustrated once I get a good set up of how to do things -I'm still a new cat owner and just getting the hang of it all
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ut0pia View Post
Yea we use a cleaner too but it still seems to me like its not the same as bleaching it lol...I mean the cleaner smells nice and makes floors look awesome but i'm just not sure how much it disinfects. It comes in a spray bottle so you just spray and then mop on top of that, which makes me feel like it's not as good as the bleach or disinfectant solution all over the floor and then once again to rinse, etc....I dunno I am a bit extreme and germophobic when it comes to disinfecting, so that could be why i am feeling this way
Anyway...I am glad I got so many tips Thanks to everyone. I am sure i will not be as frustrated once I get a good set up of how to do things -I'm still a new cat owner and just getting the hang of it all
Ok - I see where you are coming from. Germophobic - OK.

I'm one of those people that think our immune systems are better off if we don't over-disinfect. But then I grew up on a farm where we pulled root veggies out of the ground, wiped them on our jeans and ate them. This was the same soil that my dad spread cow manure on just a few months before. My brothers and I and none of the neighbour kids were ever sick except for the measles or mumps and there wasn't one kid in our school with allergies.

I like clean but I'm not in the germophobic category.
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat-tastrophe View Post
I reallydon't have to worry much about a dirty house, because our 4 cats our strictly outdoors with the exception of bringing them in every now and then to hold on the couch. We used to keep our kittens indoors, and it was a stinky mess. Litter everywhere and our house smelled like pets. Our cats have a nice, big, fenced in yard and a back porch to enjoy. They don't need litter or boxes and are much happier that way. I'm not sure what your situation is, but I find it much easier in general to allow cats outdoors or to keep them outside, provided you give them shelter, fesh food and water and lots of TLC.
This is not a helpful response to the OP's question. Throwing the poor kitties out of the house is not the answer to every difficulty. Many of us feel that cats have a safer, happier life indoors, and in some cases outdoors is not even an option. I wouldn't dare let my cats out unsupervised. Between the coyotes, javelina (wild pigs), and traffic in my area, outdoor cats tend to have very short lives. Most kittens never get the chance to even grow up.

utOpia, what kind of litter are you using? My cats don't like the covered boxes, they won't even stay in long enough to cover their deposits. So it's back to the open boxes/bins. I can't tell you how many different types and brands of litter I went through before I found one that works for me. The ones with little round beads are usually good at odor control but they're the worst for scattering. I'm currently using the Walmart brand, Special Kitty clumping litter in the green box. It has the least dust and least tracking of anything I've tried and the kitties like the texture. It may not be the absolute best for odor control, but it's pretty good. I scoop at least once a day, and usually twice, so don't have much problem with odor.

I don't have any suggestions for the wet food issue except to not leave it out so long. If your kitty isn't hungry when you first put it down, put it in the refrigerator and try again later. I never leave wet food out for more than 10 minutes. Well, I probably would, but the kitties don't. If one of my girls walks away without finishing her share, another on pounces on it.
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
Ok - I see where you are coming from. Germophobic - OK.

I'm one of those people that think our immune systems are better off if we don't over-disinfect. But then I grew up on a farm where we pulled root veggies out of the ground, wiped them on our jeans and ate them. This was the same soil that my dad spread cow manure on just a few months before. My brothers and I and none of the neighbour kids were ever sick except for the measles or mumps and there wasn't one kid in our school with allergies.

I like clean but I'm not in the germophobic category.
lyea - I realize how illogical it is to be germophobic and I do also think it's better for our immune systems not to over disinfect BUT I cannot sleep at night unless I do it

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldyCat View Post
This is not a helpful response to the OP's question. Throwing the poor kitties out of the house is not the answer to every difficulty. Many of us feel that cats have a safer, happier life indoors, and in some cases outdoors is not even an option. I wouldn't dare let my cats out unsupervised. Between the coyotes, javelina (wild pigs), and traffic in my area, outdoor cats tend to have very short lives. Most kittens never get the chance to even grow up.

utOpia, what kind of litter are you using? My cats don't like the covered boxes, they won't even stay in long enough to cover their deposits. So it's back to the open boxes/bins. I can't tell you how many different types and brands of litter I went through before I found one that works for me. The ones with little round beads are usually good at odor control but they're the worst for scattering. I'm currently using the Walmart brand, Special Kitty clumping litter in the green box. It has the least dust and least tracking of anything I've tried and the kitties like the texture. It may not be the absolute best for odor control, but it's pretty good. I scoop at least once a day, and usually twice, so don't have much problem with odor.

I don't have any suggestions for the wet food issue except to not leave it out so long. If your kitty isn't hungry when you first put it down, put it in the refrigerator and try again later. I never leave wet food out for more than 10 minutes. Well, I probably would, but the kitties don't. If one of my girls walks away without finishing her share, another on pounces on it.
I am using the pets mart brand exquisicat scoop. I find it okay because it doesn't have a lot of dust and it is scent free. I have no problem with odor control because I also scoop every day. I was using freshstep before and it was so much worse as far as tracking. I found that the smaller the grains of the litter are, the better it is for tracking which is strange..
I got a mat from petsmart. I'm trying it out and will get another one if I like it Everything is looking so much better now that I got rid of all of the litter that was spread, now I just have to see about maintaining it that way
post #21 of 22
I feed only HALF a 3 oz can at a time, and often my boy doesn't finish that (and he's BIG).

But to feed, you might try what I have in my kitchen. I have a plastic "boot tray" (you can find them anyplace, but I got mine online for about $2). It's a heavy plastic, about 2 feet long and a foot wide. It fits nicely next to my fridge, and there's room for 3-4 plates or bowls on it. Since it has a lip all around, the cat doesn't knock anything on the actual floor. And the tray can be easily cleaned.

As others have noticed, the odor will be much less in the kitchen than in the smaller bathroom.
post #22 of 22
Are you leaving dry food out for nibbles at night? If you do he may be filling up on dry food before breakfast and that might be why he is not too interested in the wet right away.

I also really like the Special Kitty litter. It still tracks but much less then the name brands that I had tried. Another thing I did was replace one of my litter boxes with one of those 66 gallon Sterlite tubs. Its a large rectangle shape and we cut out a entry door in the front. I can honestly say that we actually get less litter tracking from that box and the cats love that one way more. As a matter of fact I just reminded myself that I wanted to get two more to replace the other boxes As for price I think I only paid $10 for that giant tub.

As for kitties being put outside because they poop and pee... It is a known fact that if kitties could scoop their own litter boxes they would probably do it after every use. However they they lack the thumbs so us humans have to do this task for them... at least once a day... so the cats are happy and healthy... and your house isn't a stinky mess My six cats and visitors to my home can attest to this statement.
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