Category Archives: You’ve Got to be “Kitten” Me

October 5, 2016
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Litter Box Cover DIY!

Ok, so you guys already know that I love all things “crazy cat lady” but I especially love a good cat DIY that makes the less attractive parts of pet ownership more attractive. Since we don’t have a laundry room type space at this house I’ve been wanting to make a cute litter box cover for almost a year now and I finally got around to making one and sharing it over on A Beautiful Mess this week—I love it so much!! Being forced to have a litter box out in the open has always been my worst nightmare scenario when it comes to the kitties, but this solution has already made it way more tolerable on the old eyeballs.
Thankfully the cats seem happy with it too so that’s a big relief, PHEW!  If you need a solution for the litter box aesthetics in your home, this might be the fix for you!signature2 copy

May 5, 2016
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My Favorite Natural Cat Products!

So, besides talking about all the projects I’m working on lately or venting about the ins and outs of being a band wife, my other favorite topic to discuss is my cats!! I spend a lot of time with them so I’m always on the hunt to find things to make their life (and mine) a little better. Lately I’ve been trying to find more ways I can be healthier and more eco-friendly in my daily life (more on that whirlwind process later) but you can believe that trying to be more green has taken over the cat kingdom here as well. I had already been trying out a few all natural litters that I wasn’t that happy with when sWheat Scoop contacted me to ask if I would be interested in giving their natural cat litter a try. I said I would definitely be interested and I liked it so much that I wanted to partner with them to do a roundup of all my favorite natural cat products to share with the rest of you kitty mammas who might be looking for some good products to change to as well. sWheat Scoop Litter: The worst thing about litter boxes for me isn’t the the constant cleaning (or even the smell at times) but all the chemicals that go into traditional litter. Not only are those chemicals tracked around your house but the toxins are directly ingested by your kitty when they go to clean their paws—gross! I love that the sWheat Scoop is completely biodegradable and is made from 100% wheat. It’s clay-free, chemical-free, and you can even flush it down your toilet if you wanted to. The corn and pine based litters I was trying before this product worked OK and I liked that they were more natural, but they didn’t clump as well as I would have liked and when urine would mix with the corn product it would kind of give off a smell that was actually worse than the pee just by itself. sWheat Scoop is much better at masking odor than the other natural litters I tried and it clumps with liquid pretty well too. I would say that I usually let the liquid dry a bit before scooping it out though which helps it stick together a lot more than when it’s freshly wet. It’s great to know that there are no more paw-shaped toxins throughout the house and they can lick their paws in peace.Litter Genie: Speaking of litter boxes, this is another product that will make your household pawprint a little greener as well. We all know how many plastic bags you can use when cleaning out you cat’s box day after day, but the Litter Genie acts the same way a diaper genie does for dirty diapers and can save you from using dozens of plastic bags a month. The waste goes down a chute and is kept in a plastic bag lined area that is sealed off at the bottom of the Genie so no odors escape (really, they don’t!) and you can keep collecting waste daily until the cavity is full. Even with two cats we probably only have to change the liner ever 3 weeks (although they do like to dig and go outside in the great outdoors when they have a chance) and one liner will allow you to use it three times. I’ve kept one by every litter box we have for years and it’s made cleaning the boxes so much faster with less plastic use.
Only Natural Pet Stain and Oder Remover: I am the type of person that doesn’t like to use a lot of chemicals when I clean. In fact, I really only use water (with maybe a mild soap) when I can get away with it, but when there are pet accidents you want to use something that has enzymes to cover specific scents so the pets don’t come back to remark that spot again. This non-toxic stain and odor remover is made up of organic bio-enzymes that has an amazing fresh scent (mandarin orange and green tea) so you can keep your home smelling clean without any harsh chemicals.Kittles Cat Treats: Kitty snacks can be a tough deal in our house. We have one cat (Mac) that will eat literally anything and another kitty (Charlie) who is incredible picky about her tastes. In fact, there’s only ever been one treat that I’ve bought her that she’s actually eaten so she considers herself quite the connoisseur. I wanted to switch them to some treats without preservatives or artificial colors but I thought it would be quite a long shot to find something for Miss Picky-Picky’s palate. I couldn’t believe it when these Kittles treats (the first natural treats I tried by the way) were an instant hit with her. She does try to steal bites of my cooked salmon when I make it so I guess she appreciates the real salmon in the treats!This is me feeding Mac the treats during my kitty pajama DIY photoshoot. He’s an easy boy to bribe!
Junk Food Cat Toys: Ok, this one involves a little more work than the others, but it’s still my favorite natural toy for kitties. I made them these junk food cat toys last year, stuffed them with organic catnip, and they make me smile every time I see them scattered throughout the house. How can a cat playing with a tiny hamburger not make you smile?? Are you made of stone?!? You can even use organic plant-dyed felt for the toys as well so everything on the toy is safe to bite and play with. LOVE THESE!Trying to be more aware of the choices you make for your pets can really affect both your lives in a positive way and keep everyone happy and healthy for as long as possible. I don’t have a main natural food on this list because we are in a bit of a food transition with Mac having to be switched to a wet prescription food because of a serious UTI infection recently and so I’m trying to figure out what’s best for that situation right now. Also, if you have any tips I’ve been really interested in finding a more natural flea and tick repellent so we don’t have to do the chemical doses on the back of their neck. They love to be outside all day long and we live right next to some serious woods so they definitely need some good preventative treatment for sure.

Hope you’ve found a few good things to try in your house and let me know if you have any natural or green favorites that you love!

P.S. If you’re wondering where our other baby Charlie is in these photos, let’s just say she does not enjoy being photographed except for rare moments so I don’t force her into it! Mac however, will happily be a model baby all day as long as he gets treats…signature2 copy

March 29, 2016
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Q: How Do You Deal With Having Houseplants and Cats?

A: Good question! This is probably the question I get most often online or on Instagram whenever I show areas of my house that have plants (which is pretty much every area!). If you would have seen my house about 3 years ago you would have noticed that there were no plants in the house. None. I think I just had the mindset that inside plants were for California houses or the waiting room at the dentist’s office. Anyways, once I saw how great they can look (and how much life they add to a space) I really wanted to add some plants into our house. I didn’t know at first though that there is a long list of plants that are toxic to cats (see the list here) and so I looked high and low to find the plants that were safe to have in the house. At that time we only had our kitty Charlie but I noticed something pretty quickly about Charlie and the plants—she didn’t care about them. They might as well just been a new piece of furniture or decorative object as far as she was concerned. No interest at all.

Since her lack of plant attention was so low, I decided to try buying a cactus that was on the toxic list and only have it out when I could watch her to see if she was interested in the plant, and big surprise, she wasn’t. I basically would do this method any time I got a new plant for a while— only have it out when I was around and just watch her to see if she was interested. Sometimes she would sniff it (as most cats will do with anything new in a room), sometimes she would try rub her face on the planter (a sign of friendliness), but after that first introduction, she just acted as though it wasn’t there. I did the same thing when we got Mac, our second kitty, a few years later and thankfully he was just as uninterested in the plants (although every so often he does like to dig in the dirt of the large planters—he loves digging outside). Now, I know that I’m pretty lucky to have two cats that are uninterested in houseplants, but even if your kitty will eat every green plant in sight, don’t worry! There’s still plenty of things you can do to have happy healthy kitties and lots of greenery around the house!

Plant Stands: Plant stands are a great way to get plants up off the floor and add some decor to an empty corner or wall space. To help keep plants away from kitties, have the plant in a large planter that takes up most of the top of the planter and don’t place it next to a table or chair so that the kitty doesn’t have anywhere to stand and bother the plant. This is probably best for kitties that are somewhat curious about plants, but not aggressively so.

Hanging planters: Hanging planters are a great option for plant-hungry kitties. If they can’t get to it, they can’t eat it! They also work really well to fill an empty corner of a room in a grouping of 3 or 5. Just make sure to keep plants well watered and check often in case any leaves drop off.

Wall Planters: Another good option for kitties that love plants. Wall planters are a nice decor choice when you have a longer area to fill or just want to have a low profile planter next to a print or pice of art (they don’t stick out as far from the wall as a traditional hanging planter would).

Plants with High Leaves: There are some larger plants, like a fiddle leaf fig, that you can trim off their bottom leaves to create more of a tree look and the leaves become too high for kitty to reach. Again, this would work best if it’s not next to other furniture for them to stand on to reach the leaves from another angle so keep it solo away from anything they could climb. Also, this assumes that your cat is only interested in the leaf parts of plants like most cats are and not a bark-like tree stem, but don’t do this option if your cat would just chew on the stem for some reason!
Faux Plants: For the most aggressive cat, you may just have to do faux plants if they just can’t leave the real thing alone! I actually use faux plants all over my house in wall planters, on bookshelves, plants that are hard to reach to water, or planters that leak easily. They have been making some awesome faux succulents lately and I’ve seen them at pretty much every craft store and even Target. I even saw some faux fiddle leaf fig trees at the mall the other day that took me a while to tell that they were actually fake. You could also do toxic plants in places they can’t get to (like a hanging planter) and faux plants in places where they kitty can access them. Just plant them in real dirt and that helps a lot to fool your houseguests into thinking that they are real.

Side note: If a real cactus is going in a location where it could be touched or bumped by a cat (like on the floor or a dresser), I only use the ones with certain types of needles. I don’t really like the cactus with the teeny-tiny needles anyways since they always come off in your fingers (and I especially didn’t want them to be in their fur if they brushed by one), so I only buy the ones with the really obvious thick needles that don’t eject from the cactus (like the golden barrel cactus on the right) or the ones that don’t really have needles at all like the chocolate drop cactus on the left (which has more of a really short thorn than a needle). That way, if their tail swishes in the direction of the cactus, it’s not something that would be stuck in their fur when they went to clean themselves.

My cats also spend hours outside everyday (which is a place that is full of toxic plants for sure), so I do have to trust that their feline instincts will guide them to not eat the wrong thing, avoid dangerous animals, etc. when they are out of my eyesight. I guess I feel good knowing that they at least aren’t interested in eating plants when inside and hope that carries on to their outside adventures as well. Actually, when inside, I have to watch my own food more than anything else! I’ve definitely left the room for a moment only to come back and find Mac with my piece of pizza in his mouth. Once he even took a pieces of toast straight out of the toaster when it popped up!

Anyways, hope you found some ideas to help add some greenery to your space in a way that you and your kitty can enjoy!

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March 7, 2016
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Palm Springs Cat House!

I have to take a second to share one of my favorite things I’ve ever made and possible will ever make—a palm springs cat scratch house!! I made this a few weeks ago and shared it over on A Beautiful Mess, but I can’t tell you how happy it makes me every time he uses it or lays down to take a nap inside of it. I mean, if you think it’s cute as just a plain mini house, then it’s extra adorable when a kitty is frickin’ sleeping inside of it. The amazing thing is that a few days later I was tagged in an Instagram where someone followed the DIY to make their own for their kitty—YES! Not gonna lie, I was not sure if anyone but me was crazy to make it, but I’m so glad someone did! Making everything into a Palm Springs house is definitely a sickness, but I don’t think the fever will break any time soon!signature2 copy

December 23, 2015
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Felt Paw Stockings!

Christmas is almost here! Before it got too late, I wanted to share a few pics of these felt paw stockings that I made for the kitties last week. They turned out so cute—I love them! I decided to match the paw colors to the kitties so it would be obvious which stocking was for which cat and I think the personalization makes them extra special. I put some treats and toys in each one but I had to move them from under the tree to the mantel because it only took about 10 minutes Mac was seen dragging around Charlie’s toy (with the packaging still attached). Oh well! At least I know he likes it! Can’t wait to let them open their presents soon!signature2