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6 Plants Your Cats Will Love
So many of us battle with our feline friends over the houseplants we’d rather they not eat. Ever wonder what plants you can grow specifically for cats? There are the obvious ones that I’m sure we can all name, but there are some less known plants that will make your kitty very happy.1. Cat Grass (dactylis glomerata)- this is an obvious one, but why spend $4 – $6 a pop at the store when you can grow it yourself?
Jun 9, 2011
True Confession: How I Saved My Carpet From Cat Urine
The rogue houseguest who inspired 10 Tips for Being a Good Houseguest had more of a lasting effect than I could have ever imagined. It seems one of my cats wasn’t exactly stoked by her presence and as soon as she left kitty decided to, ahem, “cover” every last bit of her scent in the guestroom. I had no idea what he was up to until it was too late.I’ll start out by saying, I don’t exactly love the carpet.
May 11, 2011
Quick Tip #14: How to Keep Pets Off Furniture
Every well-run home is teeming with tricks and shortcuts to keep it humming along. We’re sharing our best quick tips — for cleaning, organizing and repairing stuff at home — to save you time and money. Click through for today’s helpful hint, and links to tons more… Pets, in general, aren’t comfortable walking on strange surfaces that make noises. Try placing a piece of ALUMINUM FOIL (or bubble wrap) on the area in question and leave it for two or three days.
Mar 15, 2011
Yay or Nay? Cat Genie Self-Cleaning Litter Box
The Cat Genie is one of those things that can seem really green or really un-green, depending on how you look at it. I bought the first version of it after I had been in a car accident and injured my wrists pretty badly. I wasn’t able to carry heavy loads, which meant clumping cat litter and the Litter Robot I had considered purchasing for my four felines was out of the question.The glory of the Cat Genie is that it uses washable litter granules (made from recycled plastic).
Jan 28, 2011
Common House Plants that are Toxic to Pets
We often talk about the benefits of house plants for indoor air quality. If you’re a pet owner, you might not know that some of the most common plants can be harmful (and even fatal) to Fluffy or Fido. To avoid unexpected vet visits, I’ve compiled a list of some of the most common toxic plants for cats and dogs. I was shocked reading this list because I have many of these plants either indoors or out and have not personally encountered any problems.
Jan 26, 2011
New Options for Kid-Friendly Upholstery
So, you’ve decided that having kids doesn’t mean giving up on style. You are determined that yours will not become one of those living rooms that look like a Fisher Price liquidation sale, dominated by Disney pink and Thomas the Tank Engine blue. But you also know that you don’t want your living room to be, well, un-livable. You refuse to live in fear of your precious, breakable coffee table (not to mention your toddler’s precious, breakable head).
Sep 30, 2010
Mae & BJ’s Pretty Chic Pet-Friendly Pad
Name: BJ and Mae, and their family of rescued animalsLocation: Highland Square — Akron, OhioSize: 1,800 square feetYears lived in: 5 years — owned Mae and BJ’s dedication to living life to its fullest has resulted in a home that is welcoming to all and party-ready at a moment’s notice. Their ability to ballance their brood of rescued animals with a pleasing aesthetic has developed through years of trial and error.
Sep 10, 2010
Pet Hair Removal: Use Vacuum Attachments on a Shop Vac
Sometimes the best ingenuity happens when you’re between a rock and a hard place. The previous owner of my home had a cat. A nice yet ridiculously furry cat. Having grown up with felines in my home, I wasn’t shocked by the amount of hair ground into the carpet, but what I wasn’t prepared for was my complete inability to remove it — until today!
Sep 9, 2010
How To Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell and Other Odors
As much as people love their cats, and we know that love is boundless, there are certain aspects of life with pets that can be a challenge — odors being top of the “arrgh” list for many. We dug through our archives for some reader intelligence on the issue and according to our commenters, here are three top tips to try.
Aug 18, 2010
Dealing With A Cat Who Pees All Over The House
Once upon a time we were happy people, a family that lived harmoniously with a cat. Then we discovered hidden caches of pee: in the hamper, in trash cans, on quilts. Some members of the family wanted to banish said cat from the house, we refused and dedicated ourselves to solving the problem. Our kitty is a female so she wasn’t spraying the walls to mark her territory, she was just unloading her bladder on, normally, piles of soft things.
Jul 19, 2010
Raising Chickens In The Backyard
For a while now we’ve considered raising chickens in the yard. Not only do some people claim they make better pets than dogs, but they lay eggs that you can eat. We finally have a backyard, so that’s a start. We’ve read so much about it and then yesterday, we visited a friend’s ranch.We took a trip up to Santa Paula to visit an old friend who now lives on a lemon ranch. And among other animals they have close to 15 chickens.
Jun 9, 2010
Curing Your Couch of Cat Scratch Fever
Our old couch was in dire need of a pick-me-up. Torn to pieces in some places by our cats, we were finally in a place where we could afford to get it reupholstered. Our newest concern–keeping the pristine couch free from our cats clawing ways. Check out how we’re approaching it, after the jump. When we were in the first stages of picking out a fabric, we knew to swear off any type of tweed material.
Jun 7, 2010
Make Your Dog Toys Clean And Fresh Again
In a two dog household where anything stuffed, bouncy or squeaky gets gnawed on and drooled upon, we quickly realized that we might need to take more action than just playing fetch. Although you might not think about cleaning your pets toys, depending on how quickly they go through them, it can be an added bonus that results in a cleaner toy bin.
May 28, 2010
The Best Way To Green Clean Pet Urine
Although we mentioned earlier an alternative way to clean pet stains on carpet, urine in particular can need a little extra help. That doesn’t mean you have to resort to harsh chemicals; in fact, the opposite is true, green cleaning is the only way to remove it once and for all!Being a pet owner, we’ve had our fair share of pet accidents during illnesses and potty training sessions.
May 12, 2010
How Do I Prevent My Cats From Climbing Onto the Screen?
Q: My husband and I adopted a kitten a few months ago, and now that the warmer weather is coming we need some help cat-proofing the apartment in a new way. We’re lucky enough to have two large 6 foot windows and a sliding door (with screen) that’s about 10 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Any tips for how to keep the cat from climbing on the screens? We keep her nails clipped short, but she manages to grab hold anyway. Any diversion tips? Thanks!
Feb 24, 2010
How To Clean Food & Pet Stains From A Wool Rug
It’s inevitable. If you have a pet and a nice wool rug, you will, at some point, have to clean your pet’s mess off said wool rug. You’ll get angry, you’ll assign a time out, then you’ll use this cleaning method to remove the funk, and all will be well. This is our go-to method for cleaning up pet messes on our rugs around the house. If caught quickly, it’s really the best possible, non-toxic way to clean pet stains from a rug.
Feb 23, 2010
Ikea Hack of the Year: World’s Best Hamster Cage
We followed IkeaHacker’s annual Hack of the Year contest with bated breath, but it was obvious from the get-go that Martina’s fabulous hamster habitat was a crowd favorite. Congratulations, Martina… and congratulations also to Sonic, the lucky inhabitant!IkeaHacker recently announced the contest winner, decided by reader voting, here. What makes this an exemplary hack is that it represents the true spirit of hacking: creating something brand-new out of necessity.
Jan 27, 2010
Pets that Wake the Baby
Getting your baby, infant or toddler to sleep through the night can be a long, exasperating road so when that hard work is unraveled by your pets it makes you want to throw your hands up in the air and declare, “I give up!” (that’s the G-rated version). In our case it’s cats. Two cats who stage their version of the Kentucky Derby up and down our long, railroad apartment at 4 am. Did I mention these two cats don’t get along?
Jan 6, 2010
1,001 Uses for White Distilled Vinegar
We love white distilled vinegar. We don’t love the way it smells. But we love it. It’s pretty cheap, it’s non-toxic, environmentally-friendly, and you can use it to do (literally) like a thousand things in your home.We just stumbled on this ridiculous website—a website where you can find 1,001 things to do in your home with vinegar.They’ve got cleaning tips (vinegar makes a cheap tile and grout cleaner) and laundry tips (use it as a stain remover).
Oct 22, 2009
Caroline’s In/Animate Collections
Name: CarolineLocation: Upper West Side, NYCSize: 1,500 square feet Years lived in: 21 years Trying to sum up Caroline’s home in a few short paragraphs is akin to putting on a straightjacket before taking a ballet class. Caroline is a native New Yorker. She’s always lived within a 10-block area on the Upper West Side. She is a dentist who inherited her father’s patients — including many well-known artists with whom she barters her trade.
Aug 12, 2009
5 Tips For Preparing The Apartment For A New Kitty
When my beloved Coco died 2 months ago I was bereft. She had been my constant companion at home. She jingle jangled her way down the stairs to greet me, she hopped up on the couch as soon as I sat down to relax, ran into the bathroom upon hearing the faucet run, eager for a drink of water. These were the moments that I missed most terribly, the mundane everydayness of having a pet. Well, today I’m bringing home Coco’s 10 week old grand daughter and I’m getting prepared.
Aug 4, 2009
Cat Ladders & Stairs Around The World
I am not a cat person, but I found this blog that collects images of cat ladders fascinating. Simply and accurately described as “A picture gallery and a tribute to all the fantastic cat-ladders of the world.”, the blog is a great source of inspiration and cat-friendly engineering — let’s just hope that only welcomed critters use these elaborate stairways!For urban, indoor cats, be certain not to miss House Tour: Bill and Maria’s Cat Playground.
Jul 23, 2009
The Cat Litter Debate
As the owner of two cats in a small apartment, the issue of the litter box is actually an important issue to consider in our household for sanitary and odor issues. We’ve been using silica gel litter (aka crystals) for several years now after trying a wide assortment of environmentally friendly options made out of corn, pine wood pellets, recycled newspaper, clumping sawdust, barley, and even dried orange peel (how about Soylent Green litter?).
Jul 14, 2009
How To: Help an Abandoned Baby Squirrel
Over the weekend we spotted a baby squirrel perched alone amidst a construction area near our house. Three hours later it was in a pet carrier in our bathroom while we scoured the internet for information to help the poor guy (or gal). Spring sees an influx of infant and juvenile urban wildlife, and it’s helpful to have a few basic guidelines handy if you happen to find a young animal alone or in distress.• Determine if a baby animal is truly abandoned.
Apr 21, 2009
How To: Make a Patchwork Pet Bed
We’ve got a new puppy named Dizzy calling our apartment home, and were in need of a snuggly, pet-specific place for her to hang out and snooze. We’re also on a budget (and obedience school wasn’t cheap), so we didn’t want to spend a lot of money. So we hit the thrift stores for some wool sweaters, dug an old pillow out of the linen closet, and stitched together a colorful patchwork bed for her.
Mar 26, 2009
Pets on a Plane: Things to Know Before You Travel
We plan on taking our dog (aka Mayor) with us on a plane to Florida this week. While we’ve traveled with our cat before, we’re thinking this trip might prove to be a little bit of a challenge (so we’re doing everything we can to prep and avoid stressing out).
Nov 24, 2008
A Fishtank That Doesn’t Look Like The Dentist’s Office
The fish tank above is made from a glass canister that needed a purpose other than taking up space in the recycling bin. It’s made a great alternative to the usual dentist office type aquariums. Click through the jump to see how it all works (for less than $30) and to hear the story behind this (unoriginally named) male Beta named Nemo!This past summer we inherited Nemo and his neon colored tank from a nearby elementary school who was unable to take care of it.
Oct 15, 2008
Asahi Kasei’s Plus-Nyan: The Most Feline Friendly House
We have more than a sneaking suspicion if we were left to our own devices with an unlimited bank account and a blank slate for a residential design, we’d find ourselves with many of the same interior architectural features that Asahi Kasei’s Plus-Nyan house offers its four-legged residents.
Oct 9, 2008
How To Repel Fleas with Regular Household Items (Using Smells Fleas Hate!)
There’s a lot to love about having pets, but one of the downsides is the fleas that can sometimes come with them — especially if your pet goes outdoors. Fleas can be a pain to get out of your house, but there are a number of regular household items that can be used to repel and kill them without harming your beloved furry friend (no, not you, Windex). Learn more about these below.
Sep 15, 2008
Look! DIY Litter Boxes Hidden Inside Bookcase
Ask any cat owner with an ounce of decor-savvy what is amongst their top “pet peeves” and litter boxes will likely be high up there (right next to surprise phantom hairballs). Most litter boxes aren’t much too easy on the eyes, and some are just crazy contraptions that forgo any apparent forethought about decor-friendliness (we did roundup our favourite cat litter boxes not that long ago, so all hope is not lost).
Sep 10, 2008
LG SteamWasher’s Allergiene Allergen Reduction Cycle
Do you have allergies and pets? The LG Steamwasher may be able to help, with its exclusive Allergiene allergen reduction cycle. We read a bit about it and found that the effectiveness of the special cycle is even backed by an independent non-profit foundation dedicated to helping consumers and patients with asthma and allergic diseases…LG states that Allergiene removes at least 95% of pet dander and dust mites.
Sep 10, 2008
Fish for Feng Shui
Owning a pet requires time and money, things that may be in short supply in your own life. If this is your situation, why not try a fish? Fish not only make good pets for those who may not have the regular life that a dog or a cat requires but they’re also good for your home’s feng shui. Watching them swim is a proven destresser and anxiety reducer.
Sep 10, 2008
An Unlikely Cat Treat: Organic Salad Greens
This is going to sound a little odd, but hopefully some readers can relate: Our cat loves. craves. needs. must have… salad.Some cats flip for tuna fish or chicken — ours might just rip your fingers off in excitement if you so much as bring a piece of romaine into our apartment.When we first noticed his odd obsession with leafy greens, we did a little research.
Sep 3, 2008
Natural Solutions for Keeping Animals Off Your Lawn
Letting your own animals scamper on your grass is one thing but if you live in an area where other people’s pets consider your lawn their own personal way station, the result can be a ruined lawn and a bad temper. We’d love to think that a well placed sign asking pet owners to keep their animals off your lawn would do the trick but that is not always the case.
Sep 3, 2008
Beware: Toxic House Plants!
Owning a pet, especially those kept indoors, means being diligent about what they’re to eat…and what they’re not supposed to eat. Our cats had the habit of chewing on indoor ferns and palm leaves until we sprayed them with lemon juice; we lost a few plants, but we’d rather lose them than our feline family members.
Sep 2, 2008
10 Household Items to Donate to an Animal Shelter
We’ve suggested donating your towels to animal shelters, but there’s a whole slew of other common household items that could be put to good use at a shelter (or vet’s office) near you.Here are 10 common items that are welcome at many shelters:• Blankets. Fleece blankets are especially good for pet bedding. They keep animals warm and comfortable, and hopefully make them feel at home in the shelter until they find a cozier permanent home.• Plastic bags (with no holes!
Aug 25, 2008
Are Essential Oils Like Lavender Safe for Cats?
We started looking for natural remedies to our cats’ problems, including fleas, allergies and mood swings, after realizing that our kitties were very sensitive to some of the chemical treatments we had been given at the vet. As soon as we opened a tube of Advantage, even if it was in another room, our cat P. Kitty would be nowhere in sight.
Jul 31, 2008
Best Cat Litter Boxes Roundup
We love our cats, but we surely don’t love the sanitation issues they create (p-eww!), nor are we fond of the designs of most of the kitty litter boxes out on the market. We’ve got an affordable and decent duo of the Booda Dome and Charlie’s Box for out cats. But there are some other aesthetic options out on store shelves (or online) for you to actively hide or even show off what normally is a decor eyesore at an assortment of prices, some with unique features.
Jul 9, 2008
How to: Naturally Clean Up Pet Vomit From Carpet
Occasionally our cat scarfs down his kibbles so fast he doesn’t properly digest his meal, undoubtedly resulting in a small pile of partially digested dinner ontop of our rug. Cleaning it fully requires some careful handling, since you don’t want to press in the mess into the fabric and leave a stain…First, use a butter knife or a spoon to pick up the bulk of the mess from ontop the carpet.
May 30, 2008
How To: Build A DIY Humane Mouse Trap
It appears that my recent house guest was an elderly member of a rodent community underneath our building. Our friend and neighbor found another rodent brought in by her cat in her adjoining unit, and was notified that some workmen discovered a nest of mice living beneath the building in the foundation. She’s been looking to get rid of it, but humanely, but isn’t too keen on traditional traps.
May 27, 2008
Good Questions: My Dog Scratched My Leather Couch!
Dear Apartment Therapy,My dog has scratched my black leather couch and I need some help on repairing it. The couch doesn’t have a cut or tear, simply a bunch of scratches. Is there any kind of solution, oils, etc that will help make this less visible, or fix the problem? -Amanda Hi Amanda, we recommend you first try using some orange tree oil or olive oil on the scratches. These should help reduce the visibiliy and contrast of the scratches on the leather.
Jan 23, 2008
Good Question: Greener Swiffer?
Just this morning, AT:Green Home reader Shanalee wrote in:I have 2 cats and a dog. I Swiffer probably 3 or 4 times a week… that’s a LOT of Swiffer refills! Any green alternatives?-shanaleeDear Shanalee,By our calculations, you are spending about $1 per week, or $52 per year, on Swiffer refills, which means that over the next 5 years, you’ll spend upwards of $250 on something you’ll throw away.
Aug 9, 2007
The Kattbank
Kitty litter in the home is a hot button issue. In our contest, as well as in our emailing with cat owners, the stink of the kitty litter combined with the heinous styling of most bins has garnered the most commentary. Dogs are so much *easier* ;-).Kattbank was created to solve all these problems. Made of lacquered wood and durable hardware, the Kattbank is designed to look like an attractive modern bench, while it luxuriously hides the litter box et al inside.
Jul 28, 2006