There was that one time I decided we should adopt a dog and then brought it home only to watch it eat our cat. About $720, a collapsed lung, a failing liver and failing kidneys later, we realized that a dog in our house was not the best way to make living with our cat easier. It wasn’t my finest moment, but the cat is alive, our kids who witnessed the entire incident and are now terrified of dogs seem to be getting over it and the cat is just as annoying as ever – which is oddly comforting and really annoying at the same time. It’s just one of those things. Living with a cat is a lot of work considering the fact that people say cats are so low-maintenance. They’re not; they’re high-maintenance and they’re kind of annoyingly sweet. But we have some advice for cat owners that will make your life a lot easier with a cat in the house. Just listen to us (or not, I mean, my dog did eat my cat) and your life might be a little bit easier.
Cut Those Nails
Your life is going to be so much more enjoyable on so many levels if you just get the cat a trim. His nails are loud on the floor, they’re painful in your skin and they’re going to make you kind of miserable if you don’t do something about them now. So go ahead and make your cat’s nails a priority and everyone will live a much happier life at home with kitty.
Keep the Water Fresh
Cats meow a lot when their water is not fresh and their food dishes empty. It can be a bit annoying for all involved, so go ahead and make sure this does not happen to you by keeping this stuff handled and cared for. Trust me when I say that this is a very simple feat that will make you life a lot easier.
Use a Plate Instead of a Bowl
Have you ever noticed your cat’s food dish is all over the place and you probably step on it twice a day? That’s because cats have very sensitive whiskers, and when they hit the edge of a bowl it really does hurt their little faces. However, if you go ahead and you make it a point to give the cat a plate instead, you will find that this does not happen as much since he or she will not move the plate in an effort to free their whiskers.
Have Climbing Things
If you have a place your cat can climb, life will be easier all around. Cats like this kind of freedom and this kind of height. Additionally, if you take the chance to give them one of these and you let the cat climb as much as it wants, you will probably notice the cat spends far less time on the counters or the cabinets or the tables. They just love height, so give them some of their own.
Give Cats Access to Windows
Cats like to look outside. It doesn’t matter that they are not going out there. They just like to look at it. They like to see the outside world. They like to see what’s going on out there and what the world has to offer. And they like to look. So make sure that they can get to the windows and see what is happening outside and they’ll be a lot less annoying; especially when the doors are open and you’re bringing things in from outside.
Hide All Small Things
Unless you love the sound of the cat running around the hardwood floors at 2 am, allow us to suggest that you make your life a bit easier by hiding all small things that cats love to play with. Hide hair ties and small items that they like to bat off tables and other locations, and you will be very happy. Cats, for whatever reason, have so much energy in the middle of the night, so let’s go ahead and make sure this does not happen to your cat.
Get a Spray Bottle
Your cat is going to do things that do not make you happy, so get a spray bottle and fill it with water. This is the best way to teach a cat new tricks such as “NO” and “Stay off the counter” and “Stop eating the baby’s toys,” since cats are notorious for getting into trouble when they want something. They’re not all that impressed by your yelling or commands, but they are not impressed by the feel of water on their bodies so chances are good they’ll learn pretty quickly this is not the way to stay dry.
Let the Cat have a Haven
Cats are, by nature, a little bit shy around large groups. If you entertain often, or you have kids, your cat is going to want a place of its own. Our cat is so much happier since we made him his own bedroom in our house. Our laundry room is about the size of a small bedroom, and so it’s the cat’s haven now. He likes to get on top of the extra fridge, the washer, the dryer and the cabinets in there and make himself at home in what we like to call his king cat perch. He likes it, he’s not in our way, and everyone is quite happy.
Learn to Live with It
Cats can be annoying. If you get a cat, you will need to learn to live with this small fact. They can be irritating and annoying and really frustrating, but you can handle it. Just make sure that you have the ability to discipline poor behavior and that you have the patience to deal. It’ll make life so much easier.
Get the Cat a Bed
Cats need beds, too. Your cat will stay out of your bed more often if you get it one of its own. Just think of the lack of cat hair you will have to deal with and then be very excited that this is now your life. It’s simpler, easier and much less hairy when you sleep.
Photo by Tom Hindman/Getty Images