cleaning products

7 Simple House Cleaning Tips for Cat Parents

cat-on-sofa

Guest post by James Hall

Studies have shown that sharing life with a cat reduces stress, strengthens the immune system and lowers the risk of stroke. For most of us, these benefits more than make up for the extra housework cats may cause us. The fact is that cats have a seemingly endless supply of hair to spread around furniture, carpets and beds. And of course, there’s the litter box. Keeping a home clean and odor-free may sometimes seem like an impossible task.

It doesn’t need to be this way though! The seven tips below can make cleaning a home with a cat faster, easier and more efficient.Continue Reading

Evercare Review: Cat Hair Pick Up Solutions That Work

evercare-review

This post is sponsored by Evercare and contains affiliate links*

Living with cat hair is a fact of life when you share your home with cats. Shedding is a normal process for healthy cats, in which old fur is replaced with new. All cats shed, regardless of the length of their coats. You may think that longhaired cats shed more, but that’s only because the fur they shed is so much more visible. We recently offered tips to deal with shedding, from regular brushing to feeding a species-appropriate diet to supplements, but even if you follow our advice, you’ll still have some cat hair to deal with.

Evercare, the inventor of the original pet hair roller, offers several effective tools to help you deal with cat hair. We tested a few of them for you.Continue Reading

Cats and Vacuum Cleaners

cat_with_vacuum cleaner

When it comes to cats and vacuum cleaners, there seems to be no grey zone: cats either hate them, of, if a slew of videos on YouTube is to be believed, love them. I’ve never had a cat who loved the vacuum cleaner, and with the exception of Allegra, all my cats have always been afraid of “The Monster,” as we call it at our house.

It’s not surprising that most cats dislike vacuums. They’re loud – even to us. Imagine what they sound like to far more sensitive cat ears. They move at the cat’s level, and seem to be able to go anywhere. They eat everything in their path. What’s not to be afraid of?

Feebee was terrified of the vacuum cleaner and would hide under the bed until I was done. Amber’s hiding place was the shower stall in the downstairs bathroom. Buckley was neutral about the vacuum cleaner when she was my office cat at the animal hospital and would watch it go by while sitting on my desk. Continue Reading

Review, giveaway and special discount: Fizzion Pet Stain and Odor Remover

 Fizzion Pet Stain and Odor Remover for Cats

Fizzion Pet Stain and Odor Remover

When Cat Daddy Jackson Galaxy recommended Fizzion Pet Stain and Odor Remover on a recent episode of My Cat From Hell,  I wanted to learn more about it. The friendly folks at Fizzion sent me a bottle so I could try it out.

I’ve used any number of cleaners and odor removers in the past, and there are a couple that I consider my go-to products, so I was curious to see how this one would measure up.

Fizzion is non-toxic and environmentally friendly – definitely a plus as far as I’m concerned. The solution is designed to go to the root of the stain and  odor, and form a shield around the stain while it works on it. Unlike enzymatic cleaners that can require long waiting periods to activate, Fizzion is said to work instantly on contact.Continue Reading

Cat safe cleaning tips

cat-washing-tongue

Cats are self-cleaning, as Allegra demonstrates in this photo. Unfortunately, our houses aren’t, so we have to use cleaning products to get the job done. Many commercial cleaning products are not safe to use around cats.  The chemicals in these products can be extremely toxic, and even deadly. Cats are especially susceptible since they groom themselves by licking and as a result ingest anything that comes in contact with their feet or fur.

Thankfully, there are many options for cat-safe, chemical-free and green cleaning products available. I particularly like the Method and Seventh Generation lines of products.

Some of my favorite cleaners, and also the safest and least expensive, are baking soda and white distilled vinegar.  Some suggestions for use are:Continue Reading

Product review: NOse Offense for Pets

NOse Offense...for Pets review

It seems like every time you turn around, there’s a new odor remover on the market. Many of these products have a strong scent and do little but mask the offending odor, whether it’s litter box odors, or any other “pet generated” smells. For someone like me, who doesn’t like scented products at all, the overpowering fragrance of most of the odor removers I’ve tried is worse than the initial offending odor.

NOse Offense...for Pets review

When the folks at NOse Offense contacted me and asked whether I would like to review their product, I was intrigued, because the product claims to neutralize odors without the use of any fragrances. No artificial vanilla or citrus scented cover ups? Just complete elimination of the offending odor? I was hopeful.

And I wasn’t disappointed. Let me just say that pet odors are not a big problem at my house. I feed raw, so Allegra’s and Ruby’s stools literally don’t smell (for most people new to raw feeding, this is one of the most startling, and quite pleasant, positive “side effects!”). Urine odors aren’t much of a problem, either, because I work from home and I’m very conscientious about scooping as soon as the girls deposit something in the box. Allegra has been known to complain that she can’t even finish covering up before I come with the scoop and baggie…

So I didn’t get much of a chance to try the product on cat odors, but I tried it on several other odors that I don’t particularly enjoy. I don’t like lingering cooking odors, no matter how yummy the meal I just enjoyed may have been. When I’m done eating, I don’t want to smell my dinner for the next few hours. A few light squirts of NOse Offense, and the lingering cooking odors dissipated almost immediately.

I sprayed NOse Offense around the litter boxes, but as I said, odor isn’t much of a problem for us, so I can’t speak to its effect. I wanted to test the product with something else, and I found the final frontier of odors: the trash can in the garage. I empty my kitchen trash into it several times a week, and it then gets picked up once a week. I also empty the deposits out of the litter boxes directly into that trash can. Over the course of a week, it gets pretty rank in there, especially during the warmer months, when temperatures in my garage easily reach the 90s. I sprayed NOse Offense into the trash can, and it actually got rid of the nasty smell. 

I also like that the product is made with natural and organic indgredients,  doesn’t contain alcohol, phenols, aerosols, or phosphates, and is completely biodegradable. It is also eco-friendly and made from recycled materials.

For more information about NOse Offense for Pets, please visit their website.

Pet-Friendly Cleaning Tips

Did you know that many commercial cleaning products can be extremely toxic, and even deadly, to your pets?  Cats are especially susceptible since they groom themselves by licking and as a result ingest anything that comes in contact with their feet or fur.

Dangers of Chemical-based Household Cleaners

Many household cleaners contain contain hazardous ingredients such as organic solvents and petroleum based chemicals which can release volatile organic compounds  into your indoor air. Some ingredients in household cleaners are known to cause cancer in animals and are suspected human carcinogens. Inappropriate use, storage and disposal of these hazardous household substances may impact your personal health and the health of our environment.  Lysol, Pine-sol and other products containing phenols are deadly to cats as they can cause serious liver damage.  Chlorox bleach, especially when concentrated, can cause chemical burns when it comes in contact with sensitive pet paws.

Non-toxic Cleaning Products

With the wide variety of naturally based and non-toxic cleaners available, there is no need to continue to use unsafe, toxic products.  Brands such as Seventh Generation and Method offer every type of cleaner imaginable and are available in all major grocery stores.  If you have cats, try to steer clear of natural products containing essential oils.  Even though many manufacturers of essential oils claim that they are safe to use around cats, this is not always the case.  Tea tree oil in particular can be deadly to cats.

Some of the safest and least expensive cleaners are baking soda and white distilled vinegar.  Some suggestions for use are:

Baking Soda:

  • Pour a layer in the litterbox before adding fresh litter to quell odors.
  • Add 1/2 cup to the laundry to freshen pet bedding.
  • Use as an abrasive cleaner for sinks, bowls, and non-porous surfaces.

White Distilled Vinegar:

  • Use to disinfect feeding dishes, the litterbox, and non-porous toys.
  • Add 1 cup to the wash cycle to freshen and soften pet bedding.
  • Apply a diluted solution (one part vinegar and one part water) to help remove the appearance and odor of urine stains from carpets.
  • Baking soda and white vinegar combined make a great non-toxic drain cleaner – pour some baking soda down the drain, follow with a cup or so of vinegar.  The mixture will foam, and the foaming action will clear your drain.  Repeat if necessary.  For tough drains, follow with hot water.

If your pet does come into contact with toxic chemicals, contact the Animal Poison Control Center for help.

Photo source: Miele USA website