Spring has sprung! And what that means for most of us is opening the windows, cleaning house, and finishing up projects. This is also a purr-fect time to do a bit of spring cleaning for our kitties, too! Enjoy these helpful tips for dealing with your cat’s mess in our Spring Cleaning Guide for Cat Parents:
Deep Clean Everything
You’re probably in the habit of washing your own bedding every week, but how long has it been since you washed your cat’s bed and blankets? It should be done weekly, too! Choose a pet bed with easy-to-wash, removable cushions, and use several blankets and pads so that you can always have a clean one to use while the other is being washed. Cats are very sensitive to scented laundry soap, so be sure to use unscented detergent when washing your feline friend’s stuff.
Most people are used to washing their cat’s food and water dishes regularly, but have you washed the toys recently? Deep clean your cat’s toys by putting any plastic ones on the top rack of the dishwasher or washing in mild, soapy water. Stuffed toys can be laundered. Catnip toys that are more than a few months old have probably lost their potency and should be replaced with new, fresh catnip toys! To avoid having to toss out old toys all the time – replace them with refillable catnip toys that you can wash and reuse by stuffing with fresh ‘nip when they get old!
Most of us only use our crates or carriers a few times a year, take them to the vet and home, and then put them away. So, they rarely get washed. Spring Cleaning time is a perfect time to pull those crates out and give them a thorough scrubbing. Use warm, soapy water to clean plastic crates. If you want to use bleach to fully disinfect, mix one ounce of bleach with a quart of water and be sure to rinse it completely. Fabric and plush carriers can be a bit trickier to clean. Some are safe to put in your washing machine, while others will need to be soaked and scrubbed by hand and then hung to dry. Either way, use mild, unscented, cat-safe cleansers.
After everything is scrubbed and sparkling clean, take a few moments to get all these cat-related tasks taken care of:
• Get ready for flea and tick season. Some cat parents in warmer climates need parasite prevention all year long, but if you live in a colder region, Spring is the time to start your cat’s flea and tick prevention.
• Make sure your cat’s ID is up to date. If your cat has a microchip implant, now is the perfect time to make sure your contact information is current. If kitty doesn’t have a microchip, is the phone number and address on your cat’s collar ID tag current and accurate?
• Take kitty for a checkup. Spring is a great time to bring your furry friend to his or her yearly visit to the veterinarian for a health checkup and to make sure he’s current on vaccines.
• Go through your pantry. Just like human foods, cat food and treats have expiration dates. Discard anything that is past its date.
If you’ve got a pet, Spring is a good time to do a house check for safety. Check all of your windows for loose screens or tears and repair or replace any broken screens. Make sure any cleaning products you use to clean are safe for your cat, or that you keep your cat away while you use them. If you’ll be doing any landscaping or yard work, be sure to only use plants that are safe for your cat, and be careful not to track any fertilizer or insecticides in the house.
Do you have any cat-centric spring cleaning tips to add? We’d love to hear them!