Spring Cleaning Tips for Feline Households
Longer days and sunnier skies have finally arrived, ushering in a breeze of fresh air as we wave goodbye to our winter blues. With spring allergies and shedding season both in full swing, now is the perfect opportunity to freshen up your home. From choosing safe cleaning products to relieving both human and feline allergies, we’re breaking down the basics of spring cleaning with your cat’s health in mind.
Feline-Friendly Cleaning Solutions
As you begin to deep clean every nook and corner of your home, be mindful that the cleansers and cleaning products you’re choosing aren’t harmful to your cat’s health. Simple household products like white vinegar, baking soda and unscented dish soap make great solutions for getting dirt and grime off of surfaces—stinky litter boxes included!
If you’re looking to give the litter box a scrub, try letting it soak in a solution of hot water and mild detergent before air drying it in the sunlight to help remove tough odors without the use of harsh chemicals. While regular litter box maintenance must be performed, we recommend replacing litter boxes every 6 to 12 months to promote a healthy environment for your cat. Learn more about keeping a happy and hygienic litter box here.
Along with incorporating non-toxic cleaning solutions, opt for a breezy (and screened) window over scented air fresheners to avoid causing discomfort to your cat’s respiratory system. Cats have sensitive noses to scents like citrus, lemon and eucalyptus—all common household cleaning fragrances. By utilizing artificial fragrances near your cat’s litter box, you risk repelling them from doing their business in the appropriate spot.
A Calm Approach to Cleaning
Ever wonder why there seems to be a surplus of cat hair around the house in the spring? Shedding correlates to the amount of light that a cat’s fur is exposed to, meaning the return of sunbathing under the screened window kicks off a season of furry furniture! Interior fabrics like couches and rugs tend to be significant collectors of cat hair and dander as well as household allergens like mold, mildew and dust. Avoid spending an entire season sneezing and suffering from allergies by washing cushion covers regularly and vacuuming often.
While vacuums can offer the quickest solution to a hairy situation, many pet owners struggle with scaring their cats as soon as they hit the power button. It’s easy to understand how our small pets could be startled by such a loud and large machine, but desensitizing them to the sight and sound of the dreaded vacuum cleaner is the key to reducing their fear. Start slowly by leaving the vacuum out ahead of your cleaning schedule to demystify the fear and reward them for being in its presence. Then, before your vacuuming commences, opt to place your cat in another room to create a comfortable distance between them and the noise.
Offer Shedding Assistance
Much like insulation in the walls of a home, a cat’s fur acts as a built-in temperature regulation system. Their fur coats help regulate both hot and cold temperatures, sealing in body heat during the winter months and allowing fresh air to flow through like air conditioning in the summer.
Cats are natural grooming experts, but you can still lend a hand to help shed their winter coats. Reduce hairballs and prevent excess fur from covering your furniture and clothing by brushing your cat regularly. Create a relaxing environment by grabbing a brush and cuddling up on the couch together while you detangle your cat’s fur.
While shaving is ill-advised, long-haired cats can benefit from a trim to assist in the natural shedding of their furry winter coats. When in doubt, leave it to the professionals and take your cat to a groomer for just a trim. Learn more about warm weathered grooming here.
Feline Allergies and Asthma
If you notice your cat is prone to wheezing, the issue might be more than a simple hairball. Just like us, cats can suffer from signs of respiratory inflammation including seasonal allergies and asthma. Allergens can trigger sneezing, flaky skin and difficulty breathing due to excess mucus. Not only are these allergic reactions uncomfortable for our cats, but excess dander due to increased itching can worsen pet owner allergies as well.
Along with regular grooming to reduce the amount of pollen and mold adhered to your cat’s fur, investing in a high quality litter with a low dust formulation can help improve the quality of life for allergy-prone and asthmatic cats. Dr. Elsey’s R&R™ Respiratory Relief Litter is available in two formulas—clumping clay and biodegradable silica gel. Both low dust and hypoallergenic litters work to control respiratory inflammation with a formulation free from plant proteins, perfumes or deodorants. The natural essences in the litter along with the low dust help to reduce stress, which can be an important factor in controlling Feline Respiratory Disease.
If you suspect your cat might be suffering from asthma or is having difficulty breathing, schedule a trip to the veterinarian for proper treatment. According to Dr. Elsey, “You miss more by not looking than by not knowing.” Regularly bringing your cat to the veterinarian for hands on care is necessary for diagnosing any issues and making sure your cat is in good health.
Veterinarian formulated with respiratory sensitivities in mind, Dr. Elsey’s R&R™ Respiratory Relief Litter is an ideal solution for an allergy-friendly litter box. Want to discover which of our veterinarian formulated litters is right for your cat’s needs? Find the ideal litter for a spring refresh by taking our free litter quiz!