Bham Pet Sitting https://bhampetsitting.com Reliable, Loving Care for Your Pet in Bellingham, WA and surrounding areas. Tue, 26 Nov 2019 08:49:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://bhampetsitting.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/cropped-faviconsquareversion-150x150.png Bham Pet Sitting https://bhampetsitting.com 32 32 Zero Waste Cats https://bhampetsitting.com/zero-waste-cats/ Tue, 26 Nov 2019 08:49:28 +0000 https://bhampetsitting.com/?p=1507 As many of my followers know, I live a zero-waste lifestyle as much as possible. I also am a huge animal lover, having 5 pets in a two-person studio apartment. I do my best to reduce my pets’ waste as well. However, before I get into this I want to emphasize that you should never […]

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As many of my followers know, I live a zero-waste lifestyle as much as possible. I also am a huge animal lover, having 5 pets in a two-person studio apartment. I do my best to reduce my pets’ waste as well. However, before I get into this I want to emphasize that you should never risk the health of your pet in favor of having a zero-waste cat. It’s important to give your cat the best life possible, even if that means producing trash. That being said, I wanted to provide insight into how I reduce my cat’s waste.

Furniture (Litter box, trees, etc.)

Buy Used

Unfortunately, most of Dean’s things were purchased new. However, I searched for used items first. This isn’t a surprise, but used items are often cheaper as an added bonus. You can often find unique items too — I recently bought a litter box cover that doubles as a coffee table for only 15 dollars. Similar items online cost over 60, and as a bonus, this one was custom built and well taken care of.

Buy Unpackaged/Local

The next best thing to buying used is buying something that isn’t packaged. Supporting local pet stores is also a nice bonus, as they often treat their animals better than big box stores and encourage adopting (depending on the store).

Go without

Now first, let’s make this clear. Your cat needs surfaces to scratch on, and places to crawl, cocoon, and climb. However, there are often alternatives. Shelves and furniture arrangements that allow cats access to high-up places can help reduce the number of cat trees in your life, thus reducing cost/waste. You can often get shelves and hanging supplies unpackaged at hardware stores, or even make your own out of wood. If you add a cozy surface on the shelves so that your cat’s scent can collect on it, you’ve got a great setup.

Toys

Re-purpose

Many things around your home can likely be great cat toys already. For example, some of my cat’s favorite toys include hair ties, plastic milk rings (which are recyclable but we save some for him), scraps of cardboard, and thread bobbins. For small toys that could be dangerous if ingested like the milk rings and hair ties, we let him play but only under our supervision. Still, these make great toys. Dean is also a fan of loose fabric dragged across the ground and plastic shower rings.

Buy Unpackaged/Local

Buying unpackaged toys from local pet stores is a great way to reduce your waste and support local businesses.

Make them yourself

Many simple cat toys can be made with not-too-complex methods, and there are numerous patterns and instructions to be found online. There is an added bonus if you live near a discard fabric store — at my local store, you can get scrap fabric (which is plenty large enough for most cat toys) for a dollar a bag. If you’re a crafter, it’s a great way to use up scrap fabric.

Buy from small creators

My last-resort method for cat toys is to support small, non-local creators. This isn’t ideal since you inevitably produce some packaging and the good must be transported to you, but it’s significantly better than buying super wasteful products. There are many great cat toy stores on Etsy which are all handmade, and most shops are very accommodating if you ask them to use minimal packaging and/or no plastic. Here’s one toy I’ve had my eye on for a while!

Scratchers

Wrap furniture legs in sisal string

There are several scratchers designed to wrap around a furniture leg. However, you can do this with much less waste by using a sisal string. Once your cat destroys the string, it’s totally biodegradable so you can toss it in the compost or bury it. It’s also cheaper and (in my opinion), looks much better.

Buy Unpackaged/Local

Once again, buy an unpackaged scratching post at a local store! Support local businesses and reduce your waste. Opt for sisal for the same reason as above — additionally, it makes it easy to repair them. If your cat enjoys cardboard scratchers, opt for styles that can be refilled, such as boxes filled with cardboard strips like this one. Here’s a glue-free method of attaching the string from Reduced Style.

Repair

The same method as wrapping furniture legs can be used to repair a scratcher that’s been torn to shreds. I’ve even used to cover up damaged carpet scratchers. As I mentioned above, when the cardboard scratchers get torn to the point where your cat isn’t using it, with the right style it’s possible to refill it by cutting same-sized strips from your own cardboard and putting it back into the container. Here’s an article about it from Planet June.

Make them yourself

There are numerous do-it-yourself cat scratchers. Here’s a small collection of cool DIY scratchers.

Food

Feed Less Beef and Seafood

Beef consumption isn’t great for the planet, and it’s been suggested that reducing the amount of beef and dairy that we consume could have a great impact on the planet. The same can be true for our cats. I avoid feeding my cat beef, though he gets it on special occasions since his favorite flavor of his food has beef in it. But by opting for less of it, we can reduce our cat’s climate impact.

Feed raw

I’m no expert on raw diets. I’m a vegetarian, and I’d love to have the guts to feed Dean raw, but I just can’t handle it personally. It’s a lot for me. That being said, here’s an article about the topic from Plants not Plastic. If you want to do this, do some serious research on it first. There are a diversity of opinions on the issue.

Buy wet food in cans, not pouches/plastic cups

Now, if you’re like me the raw food is too far. I personally feed my cat dry food in the morning and wet food at night. One simple fix is to buy wet food in an actual can rather than plastic pouches or cups. Although plastic cups are better than the pouches since they are more recyclable, metal recycling is even more efficient. If you’re interested in the efficiency of recycling, I highly recommend the latest recycling episode of Stuff You Should Know, which you can find here.

Reuse dry food bags

There are lots of ideas online on how to reuse dry food bags. This page from Thrifty Fun is filled with lots of ideas. I personally use our dry food bags for our trash can — although I’m nearly entirely zero waste, I still throw away a few things (dairy and other things I can’t compost in my setup, cat poop, etc) and while I’m zero waste, my partner is not and still produces trash.

Cat Litter

Stay away from clay cat litter, even bulk clay cat litter

Yes, you can get cat litter in bulk. However, it’s almost always clay litter which is non-biodegradable and often mined using practices that aren’t safe for the environment. Additionally, it can be dangerous for your feline friends. You can read more about that here on Green Little Cat.

Make your own

There are several methods for making cat litter at home out of newspaper or using other materials as litter. As a college student in a tiny apartment, I don’t have the time, materials, or space for this, but if you do it’s a great option!

Opt for biodegradable cat litter

One of the most accessible solutions is to purchase biodegradable cat litter. I personally use World’s Best Cat Litter as it’s one of the only eco-friendly options available here (and Dean and I love it!), but there are lots of other options on the market which you can read more about here.

Compost it!

If you’re using biodegradable cat litter, you can compost it when your cat is done with it. However, do keep in mind that you can’t use the compost on or around food crops. For this reason, I can’t personally compost my cat litter. I only have one compost tumbler, and I use the compost on my herbs. Just don’t flush it!

Reuse the bag/recycle it if possible

Some types of cat litter do come in recyclable bags — check your local recycling website to find out if you can recycle it. I can’t, so I reuse the bags. I’ve previously mentioned using dry food bags in my trash can, and I do the same with litter bags. Many of the projects linked above for reusing dry food bags could also be done with litter bags.

Although cats come with a lot of extra work and trash, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are things we can do to reduce our pet’s waste without sacrificing their health or quality of life. Hopefully, as time goes on, companies make more eco-friendly options and recyclable packaging available for feline products. In the meantime, we can do the best we can.

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Zero Waste Hamsters https://bhampetsitting.com/zero-waste-hamsters/ Tue, 26 Nov 2019 08:20:35 +0000 https://bhampetsitting.com/?p=1502 Although I am a huge animal lover, I do my best to reduce my pets’ waste as well. However, before I get into this I want to emphasize that you should never risk the health of your pet to reduce their waste. Your pet’s well being always comes before the picture-perfect zero waste lifestyle. That […]

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Although I am a huge animal lover, I do my best to reduce my pets’ waste as well. However, before I get into this I want to emphasize that you should never risk the health of your pet to reduce their waste. Your pet’s well being always comes before the picture-perfect zero waste lifestyle. That being said, I wanted to provide insight into how I reduce my hamster’s waste.

Food

Bulk Mixes

Although this is uncommon, there’s a chance your local pet shop offers hamster mix in bulk. At my local store, they offer rabbit, guinea pig, and rat food in bulk. If you have this, it’s probably the best option for zero-waste food!

DIY Mixes

This is one of those things you need to do lots of research on. Developing your own food mix takes a lot of time and work. I am going to include my recipe, but please keep in mind that you can’t just remove ingredients/replace them. It’s important to ensure your hamster’s diet is nutritionally balanced.

Excluding the mealworms and the hay, I can get all of these ingredients in bulk. It’s possible to raise mealworms yourself so that you can avoid the waste, however, I don’t have space or time to farm them right now. It’s preferable to buy them in solid containers rather than plastic pouches since the bottles are recyclable while the pouches are not.

How to feed

I recommend feeding this mix alongside high-quality commercial lab blocks to ensure proper vitamins and minerals are consumed, as it’s difficult to calculate the vitamins present in each meal. I use these lab blocks, and they are what I calculated the nutritional analysis with.

I also recommend supplementing with fresh fruits and vegetables, just make sure they’re safe for your hamster first. I often use scraps from my cooking! For growing hamsters, add extra mealworms for more protein.

Commercial Food

For most people, commercial foods are the best option. And as I mentioned, even with a bulk mix used to reduce the waste you must feed lab blocks and (for my blend) mealworms. So at that point, it’s about making sure the food bag does as much as it can in its lifetime.

Reuse

I’ve mentioned these kinds of crafts in my zero waste cats article, but there are several things you can make out of pet food bags. I personally use my bags for trash once they’re empty. Hamster food bags are pretty small, so generally, I use it for a few days of cat litter scooping rather than for putting in a trash can.

Treats and Chews

Rather than purchasing treats and chews wrapped in plastic, I prefer to make my own treats and chews.

DIY

Treats

There are numerous recipes for hamster treats, many of which involving ingredients easy to find in bulk. I’ve put together a playlist of some great hamster treat recipes for your reference!

Chews

There are also lots of great ways to make chews out of things like toilet paper rolls! My hamsters love them, and it’s great for their teeth. Here’s another playlist of ideas for you!

Bulk

Treats

Often the best treats are fruit or veggie scraps from cooking. Additionally, many hamsters love nuts like unsalted peanuts. However, they are high in fat and should only be fed once or twice per week. As an additional bonus, they also work great for wearing down teeth!

Chews

As I mentioned, nuts are both a great treat and great chew that can be found in bulk. You can also offer untreated wood (which can be sometimes found unpackaged for birds or fish, if not rodents). Dog biscuits can be found in bulk at treat bars in many stores and can be offered once a month depending on the type. They can be great for hamster teeth, especially if targeted towards dogs’ oral health. Finally, the medical need for chews can be reduced (not eliminated) simply by feeding a high-quality diet with lots of seeds and such that your hamster has to chew.

Bedding

I personally use a mix of the following methods. I occasionally shred paper or make the DIY bedding for my hamster’s nesting areas if I have paper and time, although I mostly rely on commercial bedding.

DIY Bedding

There are some methods of making paper bedding using paper. It’s time-consuming and can be more expensive if you’re buying paper for it, but using only recycled papers can be helpful. Be careful about what inks are used on the paper, though! Here’s a link to a great method created by Luci over at Hamster Hideout.

Shredded Paper

Shredded paper is another option for recycled hamster bedding, however, it’s worth noting that it’s not absorbent which means it needs to be cleaned once or twice a day. Aside from cutting paper yourself, there are manual paper shredders available to reduce the use of electricity.

Wood Chips

Aside from paper bedding, wood chips are a popular bedding option. If you or someone you know does any wood carving, you could definitely use some of the shavings as bedding. Be careful that there aren’t any sharp pieces and that you only use aspen.

Commercial Bedding

Although those are great options, the reality is that you likely will need store-bought bedding for your hamsters. Ideally, you’ll be able to find non-plastic wrapped options. However, this is unlikely. It does appear that this bulk aspen bedding may not be in plastic, however, I haven’t purchased it and it may be. I haven’t been successful in finding a no-plastic bedding solution.

Therefore, the best option is to reduce our bedding needs and reuse the bags.

Reduce

Try to reduce the bedding your hamster goes through to save both money and the waste. This is mostly related to your cleaning rituals.

The first step to reducing your bedding waste is spot cleaning. Hamsters, being pretty neat, usually pee in one or two corners. By cleaning that corner of soiled bedding or using a litter pan and picking poop out of the whole cage, you can make the bedding last longer between cleans as it won’t smell as bad.

Next, when you do need to deep clean the cage, take out only the top third of the bedding. Replace with clean bedding, and mix it with the old bedding. Because hamsters mostly spend time on top of the bedding and you’ve been spot cleaning, the deeper bedding should be clean for the most part. As an added bonus, this makes the cleaning less stressful for the hamster.

Now, I only have to completely empty and scrub my cages if a hamster gets ill (I clean the cage once they’re well again) or if one passes (to prepare for the next). This greatly reduces my bedding use!

Reuse

Once you finally empty a bag of hamster bedding, you can reuse it in the same way as the food bags. I use these for trash, but because these bags are thinner at the top it may not work for your trash cans. You could use them for picking up trash on walks to help clean up some litter!

Used Bedding

Because the bedding types I mentioned are made of paper and wood, they are totally compostable so long as your hamster is healthy. You should not compost the bedding of a sick hamster or a hamster who has died of unknown causes to prevent transmitting any potential illnesses via the soil.

Accessories

Wheels

Luckily, wheels are one thing that’s super easy to find unpackaged. The main point I’d like to make is that you should invest in a quality wheel. I personally buy silent spinner wheels. They are plastic, which means I can reuse them through multiple hamsters. Rather than using plastic support, they use a metal screw which makes them much more durable (except for the 10″ wheel). I currently have one comfort wheel (a much cheaper type of wheel) for my Syrian hamster. Even after just three months, there is visual wear on the wheel supports. You can tell it’s wearing down at the support steadily and definitely won’t last.

My first silent spinner has been functioning just fine for several years and has seen many tiny paws. Based on what I’ve seen so far, the cheaper wheel would never last that long. Quality wheels are pricey but in my opinion worth the investment.

Water Bottles

I personally prefer glass water bottles. I haven’t had one break yet, but if something were to happen to the nozzle you could try replacing it (depending on the company). Even if you aren’t able to replace the nozzle, the bottle will be recyclable, unlike the plastic variety. In general, I also believe glass bottles will last longer as hamsters can’t chew on them.

Hideouts + Other Accessories

Say no to plastic hideouts! I keep three plastic hideouts for travel (as it’s unsafe to use heavy hideouts in the car). However, all of my in-cage hideouts are wooden. Theoretically, they are compostable depending on the type, though if they are very solid it may take a long time. I don’t compost them in my setup, but use them as grave markers which won’t harm any other animals. Many tunnels made of twigs and such are easily composted!

For sand bowls and food dishes, I try to stick to good quality ceramic that will last a long time.

Hamsters are easily one of the most zero-waste friendly pets with almost everything they use being either compostable or reusable. Hopefully, as there is more demand for it, healthy bulk foods and waste-free bedding bags will become available. In the meantime, we can do our best to provide our hamsters a fulfilling, healthy, low-waste life.

This post contains affiliate links, and I may earn from qualifying sales.

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Eco-Friendly Dog Poop Disposal https://bhampetsitting.com/eco-friendly-dog-poop-disposal/ Tue, 26 Nov 2019 07:42:59 +0000 https://bhampetsitting.com/?p=1500 How do you dispose of dog poop in an eco-friendly fashion? Is there an eco-friendly alternative to doggie bags? These are questions that plague the zero waste pet community, and there are a variety of opinions on the matter. I hope to cover some options that will reduce your pup’s waste–at least the plastic kind. […]

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How do you dispose of dog poop in an eco-friendly fashion? Is there an eco-friendly alternative to doggie bags? These are questions that plague the zero waste pet community, and there are a variety of opinions on the matter. I hope to cover some options that will reduce your pup’s waste–at least the plastic kind.

Don’t Just Leave It

Just leave your dog’s poop right where they drop it is not a good option. While it may seem like the most environmentally friendly, zero waste option to just let it decompose, this can actually pollute waterways via storm drains and runoff, which are not treated. Aside from being a common courtesy, you’re helping the planet by picking up after your dog.

Reuse Old Bags

One common solution to the dog bag problem is making use of pre-existing plastic bags. Whether you use bags from products you can’t find an eco-friendly option for, a slip up at grocery store, or bags sourced from friends and coworkers, this is definitely a good option. However, I don’t believe it is the most environmentally friendly option. In the end, you’re still wrapping something which can degrade in plastic, preventing it from returning to the earth.

Water Soluble

There are some dog waste bags that claim to be water-soluble so that you can flush them. However, all of the ones I’ve found have multiple reviewers who have tested them and confirmed they do not dissolve in water–even after a week. Even more, report plumbing problems. I would not recommend these as a good zero waste option.

Compostable

Another option is compostable poo bags. There are a variety of types. However, you shouldn’t generally compost pet waste. It can carry diseases that aren’t killed in the composting process. If you choose to compost anyways, you shouldn’t use it near any plants you plan to eat. Most city composting programs do not accept pet waste for this reason. You could also throw these in the trash and hope it breaks down in the landfill, but in all likelihood, it will get buried and be unable to decompose. While these are better, I still don’t think they’re the lowest waste option for most people.

Pet Waste Station

Another option is pet waste stations. Depending on the specific type, they may not require a plastic liner inside. Regardless, using one allows you to have essentially a dog poop trash can outside of your home, eliminating smell concerns, so that it’s easy to clean your yard and you can only use one large plastic bag instead of multiple. Some systems are compatible with compostable large bag options, but the same issues with composting pet waste apply. Using one plastic bag for several weeks, especially if you reuse a preexisting bag, is certainly better than using one or two every day. However, this doesn’t solve the problem when you’re on a walk and still usually involves plastic.

Newspapers

One semi-gross option is to pick up the poop with newspapers instead of plastic bags. You do still have to throw or compost the poop, so the same challenges are posed there, but it may cut down on costs.

Flush It!

I personally recommend that everyone flush their dog’s poop. Although you can’t flush cat poop, dog feces is completely safe to flush. You can use a poop scooper both at home and while on walks to pick up the poop and transport it to your toilet. Many models are closed by default, which means you don’t have to hold it closed for the rest of your walk, either. Using this method involves no plastic, doesn’t impact untreated waterways, and allows the water to be treated at a sewage plant safely.

Although there is more than one solution to the dog waste problem, I truly think the most environmentally friendly and zero waste option is to flush your dogs’ poop. When on a walk, carrying a dog waste scooper to pick up the poo with until you get home works as well. Although some also use a bag or paper with the scooper to keep it clean, I would use mine without and just hose it down and spray with vinegar solution occasionally. I hope this look at various options was helpful to you. Is there anything I missed?

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Fun Things To Do with Your Hamster https://bhampetsitting.com/fun-things-to-do-with-your-hamster/ Tue, 26 Nov 2019 07:18:27 +0000 https://bhampetsitting.com/?p=1497 Some people think of hamsters as rather boring pets. However, when properly cared for and given plenty of enrichment they’re extremely amusing to watch. But that’s not all you can do with a hamster–there are tons of fun activities you can do with your hamster to have fun together. Redecorate their Cage Redecorating your hamster’s […]

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Some people think of hamsters as rather boring pets. However, when properly cared for and given plenty of enrichment they’re extremely amusing to watch. But that’s not all you can do with a hamster–there are tons of fun activities you can do with your hamster to have fun together.

Redecorate their Cage

Redecorating your hamster’s cage can be super fun. Watching them explore a new environment is entertaining, and trying to match your cage to a certain theme using bedding colors, toys, and more adds to the fun.

Make Puzzles

Making puzzles for your hamster is not only fun to do, but fun to watch them figure out! From paper tube puzzles to elaborate wooden forage boxes, there are tons of fun puzzles you can create. Entice your hamster to solve it by using treats and food!

Make Toys

You can make tons of fun toys for your hamster. Even just popsicle sticks will take you a long way in terms of what you can create! Try finding fun toy ideas and making them for your pet.

Make Hideouts

In the same vein, you can also create tons of cute hideouts for your hamster out of popsicle sticks and other materials. People have made everything from simple huts to elaborate hamster mansions!

Mazes

You can create mazes for your hamster to solve out of paper towel/toilet paper tubes, cardboard, popsicle sticks, and just about anything else! Try making mazes for your hamster to test their navigation skills.

Free-Range Time

If you have a safe room you can hamster-proof, let your hamster roam around free! Watching your hamster explore a new room can be super fun.

Playtime

Just taking your hamster out to play can be super fun! Set up a playpen and watch them play in a new area, let them crawl on you, or anything else you hamster wants to do!

Make Treats

Try making some homemade treats for your hamster to try. I’ve made a playlist of treat recipes in the past, and they’re all good fun for both you and your hamster–who will get a tasty snack out of it.

Hang Out

As long as your hamster wants to be out, just hang out with them while you do other things! Hang out with your hamster while you watch a show, do some work, or listen to music. Just make sure to keep an eye on them and let them go home when they’re done.

Have a Photoshoot

Have a little hamster photoshoot with your pal. Nice photos of hamsters are difficult to take since they move so quickly. However, having a hamster photoshoot is a great way to take some!

Bring Them Outside in a Playpen!

If you have a yard that you know hasn’t been treated with chemicals, then bringing your hamster outside to play in the grass is perfectly safe. Make sure to use a secure playpen and supervise your hamster the entire time. It can be dangerous outside, but you can get some cute photos and your hamster might enjoy it so long as precautions are taken.

Teach them Tricks

Believe it or not, you can teach many hamsters tricks. While it varies from hamster to hamster, many hamsters will enjoy the mental challenge. Here are some ideas from Troy Animal Hospital!

Obstacle Course

You can make a hamster obstacle course by arranging toys or objects for your hamsters to crawl over, under, and through. Train them to run the course by leading them with a treat, or just watch them explore on their own!

In spite of their reputations, hamsters make great pets not only to watch but to play with. With a little creativity, you can come up with lots of fun things to do together. What do you like to do with your hamster?

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Minimalist Cats https://bhampetsitting.com/minimalist-cats/ Tue, 26 Nov 2019 06:23:15 +0000 https://bhampetsitting.com/?p=1483 The Google search “Can minimalists have pets?” boasts a whopping 170,000+ results as of writing this. As a minimalist with now nine pets, I was shocked that some people believe not. I even read a few stories of people giving up their pets for a minimalist lifestyle and even more questioning if they should. I […]

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The Google search “Can minimalists have pets?” boasts a whopping 170,000+ results as of writing this. As a minimalist with now nine pets, I was shocked that some people believe not. I even read a few stories of people giving up their pets for a minimalist lifestyle and even more questioning if they should. I believe that the two can live in harmony. Pets aren’t right for everyone, but they can be right for a minimalist. Last time, I discussed how to manage the time requirements of a cat. Today, we’ll cover how you can keep the amount of “cat stuff” to a minimum.

Litterboxes

Litter boxes are probably the most dreaded part of cat ownership. Cats have a reputation as fairly self-sufficient animals, but the litter box is one place where that is definitely not true. Litter boxes require cleaning, are sometimes stinky, and are usually unattractive. I plan to write another article about litter boxes, but for now, I’ll sum it up to what I believe to be the best solutions.

Attractive

My first solution to the litter box problem was getting a litter box I could stand to look at. There are expensive models like the Modkat litter box, but I went with the Iris top entry litter box for a cheaper, still attractive option. There are many attractive versions of cat litter boxes.

Hidden

My ultimate solution was to get a hidden litter box that is disguised as a planter. It’s simple, we bought it from someone who’d handmade it. There are many commercial and DIY models as well.

Towers

Limiting need

I think the first step towards reducing cat towers is limiting the need for them. We used to have four cat towers in a tiny studio apartment. It was a little crazy! But a big reason it had to be that way was because of our furniture layout. Now, we have our furniture organized in a better fashion so that for the most part, our cat can use those to stay up high.

Alternatives

There are undeniably places in your home where you’ll need a cat tower–whether you don’t want your cat to climb over your desk while you’re working or simply have a furniture gap, they’re important and useful. Sometimes, though, alternative solutions work perfectly.

Cat Shelves

Cat shelves are a very popular and attractive option for adding cat walkways throughout the home. However, they can be pricey. DIY options can reduce the costs, however, I still don’t have much experience with them as they are out of my budget.

Furniture

I know, I know. I just said furniture arrangements. But that’s not what I mean this time. One gap in our cat highway was a corner between a shelving unit and our windowsill, where we previously kept our laundry basket. Our ultimate goal is to replace our current laundry hamper with a wooden one that Dean will be able to leap onto, rather than putting a cat tower there.

Other alternatives

Searching online will reveal countless different solutions to the cat tower problem aside from those listed here. From cat hammocks to multipurpose bookshelf cat trees, there are tons of possibilities depending on what works for your space and your budget.

Attractive

Finally, for those places you need a cat tree, go with an option you can bear to look at. We recently were gifted a Vesper cat tree and we love it. Compared to other cat trees, it’s gorgeous and we love to see Dean lounging on it. The replaceable pads are just an added bonus. There are lots of other attractive cat tree options, and sometimes even just getting a gray vs a tan cat tree can make all the difference.

Toys

Reduce

Rather than ending up with 1000 tiny mice toys, stick to three or four variations on classic toys that your cat loves. Our cat loves balls and ring-shaped toys, so we have several different types of those to rotate through. This keeps him happy and entertained without overwhelming us with toys.

Stick to one or two wand toys with replaceable heads. You only have one stick to keep track of and store, but tons of options for your furry friend to play with if they get bored.

Organize

Keep your toys contained and organized. I’ve done both the big basket of cat toys and the box, and the box is so much easier. I can keep track of which toys are in rotation currently much easier, and it provides a physical limit on toys in case I’m ever tempted by some big, fancy cat toy. If it can’t fit in the box, it goes.

Although cats do come with a lot of stuff if you’re willing to compromise with them to find a balance of cat and human things that works for you it’s well worth it. After going through many cat trees and toys that made me hate my space, I’ve managed to find objects that work for me. Seeing the cat tree fills me with joy rather than dulled disgust. It may take time, but it’s definitely possible! What’s your biggest cat clutter struggle?

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