Decorating With A Cat

Statistics show that most of us have pets of some kind, and cats and dogs top the list; however, there are a myriad of other pets to consider in a household.  How to decorate around some of the necessities of having pets can be challenging.  Some pets require much more thought than the usual couple of cats and dogs; snakes, small rodents, small horses and the occasional arachnid may need special attention.  Fortunately, other than cats and dogs, most other pets fall outside of the public rooms in most homes.

My downsized situation required me to find a suitable place for a litter box, not an unusual problem for cat caretakers.  Having no separate laundry room made my litter box issue a problem.  The bathrooms were not really large enough to share suitably, leaving only my office— yuck!  What could I do?  I was pretty pleased to get he box out of view, for the most part; however sitting at my desk, I could see it. I put a privacy curtain along one side of the desk, offering the cat and myself a little privacy.

This solution worked for over a year, but the litter scatter was still an issue for me, and vacuuming multiple times a day was not in my game plan.  I took a look at Pinterest and found a simple solution using an inexpensive IKEA wicker basket idea.  I had a wicker basket under the picture wall of my office, but didn’t want to cut a side away.  Besides, its construction was not conducive to cutting a hole in the side.  The IKEA basket was perfect for this application.  Using tin snips or garden clippers, my husband and I cut away the wicker on one end of the basket leaving the heavy framework in place.  We used heavy plastic and lined three sides of the basket and the floor, inside, clipping the upper edges of the plastic to the upper edges of the wicker.  I found a mat at the pet shop that was intended to capture the litter from the cat’s paws as she left the enclosure, and this mat helped cut down on the tracking of litter, while the liner inside the basket took care of the scattered litter.  Cleaning and scooping the litter is so much easier now; I just lift the lid and have full access to the box, whereas before, I had to clamber under the desk and wiggle the box out to remove it, and that put me way too close to the contents to be happy, I find this much easier to deal with.

My ideal would be have a “Catio”, a term I heard from a local veterinarian; I was intrigued.  I have a perfect area just outside my office that I’d love to have screened in for just that purpose.  It would require a door leading out to the back yard, but oh my, the cat would L-O-V-E to have her own, semi-outside space; and I would love not having the litter box inside my office.  Of course, we would need a small cat door in the wall for her to access the “Catio”, but that seems minor to me, as I would not be the one cutting a hole in an outside wall.  

Maybe someday, this dream will come true for the both of us.  Next, I wonder if Sophie would use the area box in the cold of winter; maybe if I had a heated pathway for her to walk to the litter box—but then, maybe I’m getting a little carried away, or not.