pet-friendly cleaning

Review: Unique Natural Products Carpet Shampoo

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My entire house is carpeted (with the exception of the kitchen and bathrooms.) The carpet in my living room, hallway, and upstairs bedrooms is off white. And it’s the original carpet, so it’s almost 40 years old. Between the home’s original owners and me, my carpets have dealt with a total of seven cats so far. Nobody who walks into my house believes me that the carpet is that old.

How I care for my carpet

I vacuum weekly, and for the first 20+ years that I’ve lived in this house, I’ve had my carpets professionally cleaned. I discontinued the professional cleanings a few years ago. Between Buckley’s heart disease, and Amber getting older, I didn’t want to stress them out by having to lock them into a bathroom for the time it would take to get the whole house cleaned. Allegra hates being locked up so much that she actually starts trying to dig her way out from under the door, and Ruby is terrified of the sound of the vacuum cleaner, so professional cleanings weren’t going to be happening any time soon at my house.Continue Reading

Allegra and Ruby Love (Most) Household Chores

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Household chores are at the very bottom of my list of things I enjoy doing. I’m fortunate that I have two feline helpers who make the whole process a lot more fun each week, because they seem to think that some aspects of household chores are actually kitty playtime.

At the top of the list is changing the sheets. Allegra is particularly adept at this particular task. She loves to “ride the mattress” when I turn it. Then she dives under the fitted sheet as I try to fasten it to the mattress. Once that is successfully accomplished, complete with kitty lump under the sheet, she’ll move on to crawling inside the duvet cover helping me put the duvet cover on.

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Ruby is a very talented bathroom cleaning assistant. Continue Reading

Giveaway: O-Duster Robotic Floor Cleaner

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How many times have you vacuumed or dusted and the thought crossed your mind of how nice it would be to have a robot who could do that for you? There are quite a few robotic floor cleaners available, but the price tag of several hundred dollars makes them prohibitive for a lot of people. Now there’s a new player on the market: O-Duster™. At $39.99, available from Amazon and other online retailers, robotic floor cleaning is now affordable for everyone.

I was sent one of these to test, but it totally spooked Allegra, and I aborted the test, so I unfortunately, I can’t share any personal experience with it. And yes, that’s her giving the O-Cedar the stink eye in the photo montage above: as far as Allegra is concerned, any dusting at our house will continue to be done the old-fashioned way!

For those of you with braver kitties, the O-Duster™ may be worth a look. Its auto-navigation feature is desgined to cover all hard floor surfaces. Its flexible base is able to reach into corners and along edges while the compact design slips under sofas, beds and other furniture to grab dust and pet hair.Continue Reading

Bissell Lift Off Deluxe Pet Deep Cleaner Review

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My entire house is carpeted (with the exception of the kitchen and bathrooms.) The carpet in my living room, hallway, and upstairs bedrooms is off white. And it’s the original carpet, so it’s about 35 years old. It has been through as many years of homeowners with cats. Between the original owners and me, my carpets have dealt with a total of seven cats so far. Nobody who walks into my house believes me that the carpet is that old.

I vacuum weekly, and for the first 20+ years that I’ve lived in this house, I’ve had my carpets professionally cleaned. But for the last few years, I discontinued the professional cleanings. Between Buckley’s heart disease, and Amber getting older, I didn’t want to stress them out by having to lock them into a bathroom for the time it would take to get the whole house cleaned. When Allegra and Ruby joined me, I thought that the time was right to have the carpet cleaned professionally again, but Allegra hates being locked up so much that she actually starts trying to dig her way out from under the door. And Ruby is terrified of the sound of the vacuum cleaner.

My solution: get a steam carpet cleaner, and do it myself.Continue Reading

Cat-Friendly Cleaning Products

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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.

Additionally, the chemicals in and fumes resulting from cleaning products can cause allergic reactions in cats (and humans, for that matter). Many chemical cleaning products pollute the air inside your home by off-gassing toxic fumes, or they contain antibacterial substances that are not only unnecessary, but can actually contribute to bacteria becoming more resistant to killing agents.

Thankfully, there are alternatives to these chemical products that are not only safer for your cats, but also gentler to the planet. And they’re inexpensive! Allegra was kind enough to pose with two of my go to cleaning products for this post. You’d be surprised what you can do with vinegar, baking soda, olive oil and lemon juice.Continue Reading

Protect Your Cat from Household Hazards

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When was the last time you crawled around your house on your hands and knees? As strange as that may sound, you may want to give it a try sometime – because this is how your cats experience your home much of the time. Things that seem innocuous to us can present a real danger to your cat.

Protecting your cat from hazards in your home is not all that different from child-proofing a house. The following tips can protect your cat from common household hazards.Continue Reading

Cats and Vacuum Cleaners

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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

Go Green for a Healthier Cat and a Happier Planet

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Today is Earth Day, and it’s a good day to remember what going green means: making conscious choices every day about protecting our environment. Recycling, buying organic, and using eco-friendly products are only some of the everyday choices that contribute to a healthier planet.

You can also help the planet by making choices for your cat that will not only benefit the planet, but will also keep your cat healthy.

Feed natural and organic food

Natural and organic pet foods use meats that are raised in sustainable, humane ways without added drugs or hormones, minimally processed, and preserved with natural substances, such as vitamins C and E. Certified-organic pet foods must meet strict USDA standards that spell out how ingredients are produced and processed, Continue Reading

Ruby’s Reflections: House Cleaning

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Hi, everyone! It’s Ruby! Mom says I have a “propensity to get myself in trouble.” I think that’s human speak for “I know how to have fun!”

The other day, I was helping Mom clean the house. I like almost everything about that, except for when Mom brings out the big scary monster. It’s this big blue thing with a long tail, and it makes this really scary noise. And it moves all over the house, and eats stuff that is in its path. I hide all the way in the corner of the living room behind an end table when the monster is running free, because I know it can’t get back there. I don’t know why Allegra isn’t afraid of that thing – she actually follows it around the house!

Other than the monster, though, helping  Mom clean is great fun. Allegra and I both like to bat at the lambswool duster. It’s like a big fuzzy toy, and we like to try and subdue it! I think Mom likes when we help her, because she always praises us, and we even get treats after the big monster goes away.

But the other day, I guess I did something Mom wasn’t thrilled with. She had sprayed something on a small stain on the carpet, and then turned away to grab a paper towel. I immediately went to investigate. There was some white bubbly stuff there that looked very interesting. I cautiously stuck my paw in it. Next thing I know, I hear Mom scream “Ruby, no!”Continue Reading

Detox Your Cat

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Many health problems, in both cats and humans, chronic or otherwise, are caused by day-to-day exposure to toxic substances such as chemicals and other molecules that are foreign to the body. These toxins accumulate in the body over a period of time, often over many years. Research on the human side suggests that more than 75% of cancers are caused by diet and environmental factors. In addition, toxic exposure is a contributing factor to cardiovascular diseases, strokes, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Environmental pollutants stockpile in the body contributing to the chronic diseases.

Now consider how much smaller our cats are. It most likely takes a much smaller load of toxins for our pets to cause problems. Additionally, as cats groom themselves, it’s easy for them to ingest any environmental toxins they may have accidentally come in contact with on their fur and paws.Continue Reading

Cat safe cleaning tips

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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