16 Hacks Every Cat Owner Should Know

tabby cat in basket looking out of the window
Ginger Cat House does not aim to replace your Veterinarian. Ginger Cat House offers practical advice but will always advise you to seek Veterinary attention for further information if your cat is unwell.

Owning a cat is not all fun and cuteness, there is also fur, cat litter kicked everywhere and the occasional kitty strop but we have ways to help. Today we are sharing our simple but effective cat owner hacks to make being a cat owner that little bit easier.

tabby cat in basket looking out of the window

16 Hacks Every Cat Owner Should Know

Use a rubber glove to remove cat hair from furniture or clothes

Cat fur gets everywhere, even fur from short-haired cats. Most of the time we can cope with it, but there are also times when you have just got dressed for work and two minutes later you are already covered in hair.

Lint rollers work great, however, rubber gloves work just as well. Just pop-on a standard rubber glove, give yourself or the furniture a rub down and watch the fur disappear. After, wash the glove in water from the sink, leave it dry and then use it again next time!

Bicarbonate of soda removes the smell of cat wee from carpets and furniture

If your cat has an accident and misses the litter box, do not stress. Yes, the smell can be awful but simply clean the area with dishwashing detergent and warm water and leave it to dry to remove the urine and stain.

Once dry, sprinkle a liberal amount of bicarbonate of soda over the area and leave it for an hour or so. After an hour, vacuum any remaining bicarb and the smell will be gone!

It is important your cat is checked by a Veterinary Surgeon if they are often missing the litter box or spraying around the home. It could be a sign of illness or stress in your cat which needs to be sort quickly.

If you have more than one cat, make sure each one has their own supplies

Fact: Cats do not like to share.

Cats are solitary animals by nature, it is humans which attempt to make them pack animals by creating multi-cat households.  If you want to create a happy, stress-free multi-cat household, each cat has to have its own supplies. This means their own food bowl, water bowl, bed, toys, etc.

With litter trays in a multicat household, the recommended amount is one per cat and then one additional. These litter trays should be placed in different locations around the home, not all in a line together.

Toys do not need to be expensive

How many times have you bought your cat a new toy and they have turned their nose up at it for an older toy?

It has happened to us many times.

Cats have no clue how much things cost, therefore, there is really no need to spend a ton of money on toys. You can even make homemade cat toys out of things you already have in the home – these always go down well.

The best toys we have ever bought our cats cost £5.99 for 12 and they are these simple cat springs. They are obsessed and they keep them so active.

Citrus keeps cats away from plants

Rue is obsessed with digging in plant pots. Any type of plant will be destroyed within minutes with her around. We tried absolutely everything to keep her from going near them and the only thing that worked was oranges.

If you have a cat which likes to dig up plants, try placing pieces of orange in the soil to keep them away. Just be careful during the hot weather that the fruit does not attract flies and other bugs!

Pinecones are also said to work as a deterrent as well!

Make sure your cat has an indoor climbing space

A cat which can climb is a happy cat. Cats love to be up high, they love to be able to survey the area from above and feel safe.

Which is why every cat should have a decent climbing tree (we have listed our favourite cat trees for bigger cats here). If you really do not have space for a cat tree, then ensure your cat has space to sit on top of wardrobes and other high up spaces.

If you want to go one step further, then invest in cat shelves and logs to create an indoor cat gym!

If you have an older cat (or an indoor-only cat) you can help them by trimming their claws.

As cats get older they do not retract and stretch their claws as much. Osteoarthritis in cats is seen more often than not in cats over 12.

When cats are not using their claws as much they are not filing them down naturally. Over time this can lead to them becoming overgrown in their pads, which is extremely painful and can lead to infections.

You prevent this happening by investing in a pair of good cat claw clippers and learning how to carefully trim their claws every few months.

Please note claw trimming is very different from claw removal (claw removal is illegal in the UK and rightly so).

Keep dry food in a sealed tub or cereal container – make sure it is air-tight!

If you feed your cat dry kibble, it is often more cost-effective to buy in bulk. However, to ensure it stays fresh you will need to keep it in a sealed tub rather than the standard food bag.

If the biscuit is not kept in an air-tight tub, not only will it lose its freshness and taste, it will also lose its nutrients, meaning your cat will not get everything they need!

Tubs do not need to be anything fancy, a standard air-tight cereal container will work just fine.

Grow your own catnip for endless cat fun!

Does your cat love catnip? Instead of buying dried catnip, grow your own!

Catnip seeds are relatively cheap to buy and they are really easy to grow.  As soon as the little seedlings start to poke through the soil, your cat will be obsessed, they can then be dried out towards the end of their plant life to be used as standard catnip in toys!

If you are prone to allergies to cat dander and fur invest in an air filter

When people are allergic to cats, it is actually the cat dander which they are allergic to, not the cat fur.

Cat dander consists of microscopic pieces of dry cat skin that become airborne, landing on bedding, curtains, carpeting, and other surfaces, including humans’ skin and clothing. Cat dander particles are tiny, about 1/10th the size of dust mites. So while hoovering hair does help to remove some of the dander, it will not remove all of it.

The best purchase you can make if you are irritated by cat dander is a decent air filter. A good-quality air purifier is worth the investment and will also help with cigarette smoke, unpleasant odours, spores, bacteria, pollen, dust mite residues

Buy clumping litter to make your life easier and to improve the smell

The best thing we ever purchased as cat owners in clumping cat litter. No longer do we have trails of cat litter around the house, no longer do we spend ages attempting to scoop dirty litter and most importantly no longer is there lingering smells.

Clumping cat litter will improve your life. We purchase ‘The World’s Best Cat Litter‘ which is expensive but for us it worth it and we use a lot less, so are happy to spend this amount on the cat litter. We purchase the neutral scent but they do also sell a lavender-scented litter – personally, I find this smell quite strong and feel it could slightly off-putting to some cats and may make them avoid the tray.

pair of tabby kittens

Take out pet insurance as soon as possible

Every pet owner should have pet insurance. This is something I will always stand by.

Accidents and illnesses do happen and if you cannot afford to pay for the Vet fees upfront, then purchase cat insurance.

Purchase the insurance as soon as you get your pet so there are no exclusions. Look for quotes from big, well-known companies and also look for schemes with names such as ‘covered for life’ or ‘life long’ – these will be the best plans.

I also always advise looking for plans which cover an amount ‘per illness per year’ as opposed to a .total amount per year’.

Never keep lilies in your home

Lily flowers are toxic to cats and can fatal kidney failure. Every part of the flower is toxic, not just the pollen, therefore do not have lilies in your home no matter how pretty they look.

If your cat does accidentally eat lilies then take them to your cat as soon as possible – it is an emergency,

white lilies - lilies are toxic to cats