Come to think of it, our house has actually become cleaner after we got our second and third cats. Because of them, I clean the house more! The result is a cleaner house, of course.
Also because you can train your house cats – to not go on tables and counter tops. This way, the cats will not throw our human possessions from the tables to the floor. Our cats know this, and have stopped climbing on top of tables. They know that the floor is their domain and not tables, and they leave things alone if they are on tables and counter tops, even if it is food. They never climb on top of the kitchen counter while I am preparing their meals, and would wait on the floor next to me instead. Such house rules are important – never feed your kitten on the table or counter if you do not want them to eat from it when they grow up. Of course now and then they still sneak in a climb, but they pretty much know they shouldn’t do it. Now, the only messes we have are from us human inhabitants – messy desks, laundry baskets and the like. We are the truly messier ones.
We keep all their toys in an open box, which they can take and play if they like, or we will reach in and grab one every now and then for them to play by themselves. Usually after that all the toys go back in the box, which is situated near their cat condo.
The cat condo itself relieves their need for climbing – domestic cats are descended from wild cats who enjoy climbing trees. This way, they can climb, hide and scratch away on the cat condo, and leave our couch alone. Every now and then Slinky enjoys a snooze on the sofa, but the rest of the cats pretty much leave the sofa alone.
We also have designated beds for them to sleep in. Apart from our bed, which we allow them to share with us whenever they feel like it, we have two baskets lined with homemade pillows, and a cat igloo compartment in the cat condo, which Sayang likes to sleep in sometimes.
Where cats are concerned, they usually like to do their toilet business cleanly, in a litter tray. Unless the cat is stressed for various controllable reasons, they will not do their business outside of the litter tray, as they are inclined to dig and cover their poo with the cat litter after they are done. However cat litter can be messy- to solve the problem of cat litter being all over the house, we switched from sand to pine pellets, which are bigger and easier to pick up if they do trail outside the box. Unlike sand, the cats will not leave paw prints (if their paws are wet), and the PeeWee litter tray filters the pine dust to the bottom tray, leaving our house litter dust free.
To further solve the problem of paw prints around the house, we keep our bathroom doors closed. This is partly also because once, when one of the times we brought home a stray cat because she was ill, she started breaking things in the bathroom, leaving glass shards for my tenant to step on when she went into the bathroom the next morning. But another reason is because our bathroom floor is usually wet because of the air-con drainage, and whenever the cats go in, they don’t necessarily wipe their feet on the floor mat when they exit. So, only Slinky is allowed to go inside the toilet because that is where her own litter tray is.
When it comes to food, it is tidy too. I placed a floor mat on our feeding area, so food crumbs are easy to clear up – just wash the mat. You can also place a towel underneath their water bowls or water fountain to eliminate spills on the floor. We also have a specialised cleaning sponge for washing the cats’ bowls, a separate one from ours, placed in a separate sponge holder by the sink.
We keep their cat food in our cat closet, a high up cabinet in the kitchen. Our cat closet holds more than food – it also has our cat first aid kit and medicines and their grooming paraphenalia. The large items like our 15kg Royal Canin food, and the cat litter, are all in our storeroom.
When it comes to the fur, which is a large problem for furry animals in general, we reduce the fur shed around the house by grooming them often. This way, the dead fur is removed. We usually do this before we clean the floor of the house. Of course, stray fur will still trail everywhere around the house, especially Slinky’s fur, because she has very thick fur like that of a British Shorthair and other similar non-oriental short-hair cats. It is also the reason I am not tempted to own a Persian cat, because the fur will be just too much for my allergies. Yet again, where allergies are concerned, usually my body acclimatises to the change in fur levels in about a week. When Orket came to stay with us, she didn’t really cause much of a fur invasion problem either, because we groomed her daily. To clear the fur off the cat condo and the sofa, we use this particular thingamajig that scrapes off the fur off fabric surfaces effectively, a free gift from Royal Canin.
So all in all, our cats are actually tidy. We are the messy ones, the humans. (This is why I cannot post pictures of proof here, because the pictures will be flanked by our laundry, our messy desks, our sink filled with dirty dishes from time to time…)