Diane’s Rules for a Happy Cat House (or Why Would You Want it Any Other Way?)
The toilet lid is to remain down at all times, unless occupied. Even cool cats have clutzy moments.
Get used to using shredded toilet tissue.
Use caution not to kick paper grocery bags left on the floor. Remember to leave paper grocery bags on the floor.
Likewise, look inside boxes before moving or throwing out.
Check inside closets and drawers and warm clothes dryers before closing them.
NEVER leave the following doors open unattended: refrigerator, freezer, oven, washing machine, dryer, dishwasher, or woodstove.
Fresh food and water given daily to calm the savage beast(s).
If you have outdoor cats remember they need lots of fresh water too, especially in areas where bowls freeze over in winter!
Secure bags of cat food in metal or glass containers to keep it fresh and prevent holes being torn by cats looking for a snack.
It isn’t necessary to buy expensive toys. Cats usually prefer wadded paper and upside-down boxes, anyway.
When you’re leaving the house for a long period, hide a few mousies and other little toys in various places while your cat watches. They can spend the time searching them out.
Make your own economical scratching posts by winding sisal rope around wood and securing them to commonly scratched surfaces. Like that sofa with the ragged arms you’ve given up on. Rub catnip on new posts to inspire interest.
Try growing a pot of catnip. Your cat may enjoy munching on a fresh, bruised leaf once in a while. Also, dry the clippings as that is the freshest and most potent dried catnip you’ll ever find. Felines prefer organic, too.
Prepare to have your screen doors, shower curtains and bare legs used for mountain climbing practice. If you wear long flowing skirts, get used to having them hiked up around your waist. Try to keep claws clipped to minimize scarring.
Secure second story windows with strong steel screens.
Watch where you are walking, the bones broken from the fall will probably be yours.
No strings, yarn, shredded carpet fibers, frayed towels, rubber bands or earplugs left around where cat could swallow or get tangled up in them. Check the upholstery skirt around the bottom of your sofa for loose strings.
Check the poisonous plants list then get rid of the offending houseplants.
Keep prescription medicines and vitamins put safely away, even Tylenol is toxic to cats.
Lock up cleaning supplies and always clean your floors with non-toxic chemicals. Don’t spray shower walls with products like Clean Shower. That is the first wall your cat will decide to try licking. Even a drop of spilled Antifreeze can mean disaster. And, remember these contortionists can wash their own feet.
Consider keeping a mug of fresh water by the tub so your cat will drink that instead of the soapy bath water.
Do familiarize yourself with a list of poisonous common household supplies and toxic houseplants. Did you know that moth balls are toxic?
Don’t bother to season your meat for dinner, cats shouldn’t have onion and you won’t be eating that much yourself anyway.
Do keep a water spray bottle handy to discourage scratching of furniture or jumping onto countertops.
Having an intelligent cat in the house is in some ways like having a houseful of toddlers, plan accordingly. Things such as dangling cords from blinds can be just as dangerous for a cat. Leaving the blinds up around 2 inches may keep your cat from feeling the need to redecorate.
Electrical outlet covers are a good investment.
Refrain from giving your cat any cat nip before bedtime if you are serious about getting some sleep.
Always leave doing dishes or any housework until later, your cat needs you now.
Your busy life will be rescheduled and put into better perspective with extra time for more meaningful things such as games of fetch or good belly rubs (not your belly, your cats’).
Do remember that you will now be able to take authentic cat naps with your cat.
Do not argue with your cat… you will always loose!