To celebrate Petember we've invited Alex Frith (pictured above) of pet fashion and lifestyle blog Barkarama.co.uk (opens in new tab)
- owner of Basil the Boston Terrier (also above), and two cats, Winston and Nelson - to share her top tips for creating a lovely home for pets without compromising on style.
Alex says: "Cats are naturally a cleaner pet than dogs and generally less demanding. But don't let those crafty kitties fool you - they're adept at scratching sofas, turning carpet into their own shade of fur, stinking up the place with their poop and let's not get started on cat trees!
"They're also incredibly affectionate and cute, which is why so many of us are happy to co-habit with cats. There's no need to handover your perfect pad to your pussycat - here are eight ways to stop them cramping your home's style."
1. Disguise the litter
Personally, I think the litter box is the worst part of cat ownership but for people with housecats or apartment dwellers, they are unavoidable. I say out of sight so the Poopoopeedo Cat Litter Box (opens in new tab) (£59.99) is great for contemporary homes. If you are good with DIY, there's plenty of ideas to make your own hidden litter tray (check the link for some awesome examples!). I like this console-style litter box hider (opens in new tab), which doubles up as a display top for you. Check and clean regularly.
2. Clawing & scratching
Sofa, carpets, wallpaper - felines don't care where they scratch. It's natural behavior to sharpen and smooth their claws, stretch out and scent their patch. Counteract their terror with cat furniture (see below) or water sprays should they get too close for comfort or caught in the act. Try covering furniture with throws or double-sided tape, you can even make certain rooms out of bounds. There are also ready-made scratch prevention sprays (opens in new tab) that leave an unpleasant taste on your cat's paws and redirecting scratching with play is a good idea too.
3. Banish unsightly cat furniture
Scratching is essential for kitty wellbeing but cat trees (opens in new tab) can be big, bulky and no great shakes in the style stakes.
Scratchers need to be as tall or long as your cat when they stand on their hind legs and sturdy enough so they don't buckle under pressure.
My favourite contemporary and simple styles include this wall-mounted scratching post (opens in new tab) (pictured above), the MyKotty Cardboard Scratcher Lounger (opens in new tab)
and this blow-the-budget dog-shaped cat scratching post (opens in new tab)(pictured below), which let's them take revenge on their canine nemesis.
4. Pretty playthings
Toys are essential for stimulation and channeling your cat's mischief but sometimes it seems like garish toys have taken over your living space.
Add a little style to their toy box with Tux
& Tabby (opens in new tab), who offer a range of cat toys in neutral and natural materials or Cheshire
& Wain (opens in new tab) also stock a fun selection of catnip filled, handmade toys to please even the fussiest of felines. For something tailored to your décor, this DIY cat wand (opens in new tab) is easy to make.
5. Ideas for R&R
Cats are not always interested in purpose-made kitty beds. Instead you could try faux fur or fleece blankets on a chair in a lovely warm spot. Cats also like to relax on higher ground, especially if there's a dog in the house, so if you can spare the wall space this Ikea basket hack is an inexpensive and stylish solution.
Use catnip to entice your kitty to their new domain.
6. Cat hair
I can't stand pet hair, which is ironic owning two cats and a dog. Light, powerful and capable of getting into nooks and crannies, my Dyson V6 Animal Cordless Cleaner (opens in new tab)
is by far my best domestic investment. For certain furniture, I also use packing tape for any stragglers. Regular grooming keeps a handle on shedding - try the Furminator (opens in new tab) range (pictured above), which also tackles their undercoat.
7. Regular flea treatments
If you don't want to share your home with fleas keep on top of your cat's treatment! Mild outbreaks can be tackled with vet-bought sprays but serious cases might require a costly visit from Rentokil. Get your cat's treatment via your vet or from the pet store, and use monthly.
8. Food & Flies
If your cat is a grazer, an open bowl of food is a magnet for flies especially in the warmer months. Try food covers - just listen out for your cat's collar bell tinkling around their bowl to lift it. Alternatively, invest in a microchip feed bowl (opens in new tab)
that is activated to open by your cat's unique microchip and are a sound purchase for multi-pet households.
For more pet hacks for your home, get check out the rest of our articles for Petember.
Holly Walsh has been Content Editor at Ideal Home since 2021, but joined the brand back in 2015. With a background of studies in Interior Design, her career in interior journalism was a no-brainer and her passion for decorating homes is still as strong as it ever was. While Holly has written for most of the home titles at Future, including Livingetc, Country Homes & Interiors, Homes and Gardens and Style at Home, Ideal Home has always been her ideal home, and she can be found sharing her expertise and advice across both the printed magazine and the website too.
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