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How to keep a clean house when you have a cat

If you own a cat, you will know that they are some of the best companions you can have. They are adorable, affectionate creatures with enough independence that you don’t need to wait on them hand and foot. They provide comfort when you’re feeling stressed and spark joy the minute you see them totter through the door. In fact, the only downside to these furry friends is the mess.

Any cat owner will know how messy a cat can be. They can leave hair everywhere, scratch furniture, leave nasty smells from the litter tray and even bring dead animals in from outdoors. For anyone who likes to keep a clean and tidy household, a cat can present a significant challenge.

But owning a cat, or even several, doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to an unclean house. It just means you have a little extra work on your hands. With the right habits and cleaning techniques, you and your feline companion will be able to live in harmony in a beautifully-kept home.

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How do you keep your house clean with a cat?

Keeping a cat-friendly home clean is all about maintaining good habits. Here are a few tasks you will need to complete regularly to stay on top of your tidy household.

  1. Brush your cat
    One of the biggest annoyances for a cat owner is the hair that gets everywhere. Cats tend to groom themselves whenever and wherever they feel like it, meaning that hair ends up all over the house. By taking the time once a week to give your pet a good brush, you will capture all the hair that would otherwise end up stuck in the carpet and furniture. It also means they are less likely to throw up hairballs after ingesting their own fur.
  2. Vacuum regularly
    To stop hair and debris building up, you should hoover the carpets and floors at least once a week. You can even purchase special anti-hair vacuums to remove fur that gets tangled up in carpet fibres.
  3. Protect furniture
    Cats love napping on a sofa or bed. And while it may look cute, you’ll notice that they often leave stray hairs and scratch marks all over the upholstery. Take steps to protect furniture by covering it with a blanket that you can easily wash or using a lint roller to clear up your cat’s favourite spot. Purchase a scratching post for your cat to keep its claws sharp rather than your duvet and sofa cushions.
  4. Wipe down counters
    Cats get up to all kinds of mischief when their owners aren’t about, including wandering over the kitchen surfaces. Although this might seem harmless, they could be spreading germs straight from their litter tray onto the counters where you prepare and cook food. Wipe down all surfaces before and after eating, and keep any food preparation tools hidden away in drawers and cabinets.
  5. Keep the litter box clean
    A poorly-kept litter box will cause smells to permeate through the house. If you get used to the smell, you may not even realise it’s there until a disgusted guest points it out. To avoid nasty odours building up, scoop out your cat’s litter tray at least once a day, and make sure it is kept in a place well away from the kitchen and living areas.

How to keep your house clean of cat hair?

Cleaning up your cat’s hair is not always as simple as picking up loose clumps and throwing blankets in the wash. Over time it can set in to your soft furnishings and work its way into the fibres. It’s essential you vacuum carpets frequently to stop hairs setting in and groom your cat to prevent hairs spreading. If your home is already covered in fur, here are some steps you’ll need to take to make it fur-free.

  • Go over carpets with a pumice stone, scrubbing vigorously to release stubborn hairs.
  • Use a dry mop to trap hair and clean up hard floors.
  • Go over all your clothes with a lint roller.
  • To remove hair from furniture, put on a rubber glove (the kind used for washing dishes), get it slightly damp, and run your hand over the furniture to pick up any cat hair.

Do cats like a clean home?

If you own a cat, you will no doubt have noticed that it spends a significant portion of its day cleaning itself. Cats are naturally clean animals and don’t appreciate a dirty environment. From birth, their mothers clean them until they are old enough to do it themselves, and they can spend up to 50% of their waking life on grooming. Cats are picky creatures, and that’s part of the reason we love them so much. A cat will not tolerate a dirty litter tray or food that is old and spoiled, so you should never give them anything but the most hygienic treatment. Keep their food bowls clean, and replace old, uneaten food. Wash their toys and beds regularly and scoop out their litter tray once a day.

How do you keep your house smelling good with a cat?

As well as leaving hair and scratch marks all over the place, some cats can cause unpleasant odours to linger in the house. This might be simply due to your lackadaisical approach to emptying the litter tray, but it could be something in their diet or a health issue causing them to create abnormal smells. If you are struggling to keep your home smelling fresh, ensure their litter tray is kept well away from areas where food is prepared, and empty it once a day. Buy a covered litter box to conceal odours better, and be careful with the litter you purchase, as some types are designed to absorb smells better than others. If your cat is leaving particularly nasty smells, you might want to change something in their diet to see if that makes a difference or take them to a vet to have it checked out.


If you need help removing your cat’s hair and odours from your home, consider hiring a professional cleaning company.

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