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Tips for a Secretly Pet-Friendly Home

My home is extremely pet friendly. Our floors are mainly tile, our backyard is fully fenced, and we have baby gates on multiple doors so that the cat can use a nice, open litterbox (which she has made very clear is her preference) without the dogs discovering all the “free snacks” she leaves behind.

Gross. I know. Sorry. But dogs definitely consider an open litterbox to be the world’s greatest vending machine.

However, while I know it’s important to provide my pets with an enriching environment, it’s important to me that the house not look like it’s gone to the dogs. Or the cat. There might be a few dog toys scattered about, and yes, that is a cat scratcher over there in the corner, but I’m always looking for ways to make my home pet-friendly in ways that aren’t so conspicuous. Lately, I’ve come across a few things that I’m loving — but even better, the animals love ’em, too.


Zen Cat Scratcher

Cat towers are awesome. I always put Trixie’s food up on the top level of a tower to encourage her to be more active (plus, it keeps it away from the dogs), and I love the idea of having a tower out in the living room so that Trixie can be a part of the action, whether she’s scratching or perching. But it’s gotta be the right tower, of course.

Most of my furniture has clean lines, so the Zen Cat Scratcher ($149.99) from The Refined Feline (which, by the way, has a ton of really stylish cat products) was a perfect fit. The fact that the mahogany finish was almost an exact match to the entertainment center? Total bonus. There’s even an option to do some additional customization — that side scratching pad can be replaced with two FLOR carpet squares, making it easy to replace and match basically any color.

Cats Incredible Cat Litter

How does cat litter improve the secret pet-friendliness of my house? A couple of ways. For one, Lucy Pet Products’ new Cats Incredible Cat Litter is dust-free and clumps really well, so there’s less litter dust floating around and fewer bits of litter being tracked. Second, it features “Smell Squasher” technology to keep those litterbox odors at bay (although, let’s be real — you still need to clean it at least daily).

Plus? All profits from the sale of Cats Incredible are donated to the Lucy Pet Foundation to help reduce pet overpopulation through mobile spay and neuter clinics and other animal related welfare causes. That is super pet-friendly.

Molly Mutt

When you’ve got big, older dogs, you’ve kind of gotta have a few large, soft dog beds laying around the house (even if they do opt to sprawl out on the cool tile floor half the time). We always have one out in the living room, and there’s really no way to hide it or tuck it out of the way, so I make sure the dog bed cover goes with (or adds to) the decor. I’m a big fan of Molly Mutt dog duvets — the patterns are modern and clever and the quality is fantasticP.L.A.Y. is another great option, although, if you have a bit of skill with a sewing machine, there are loads of patterns out there so you could probably pretty easily whip up a couple using the fabric of your choice. (And then maybe you could teach me your ways …)

Is your home pretty pet-friendly? Do you have tips or tricks for making it pet-friendly without making it look like it’s all about the dogs and cats? —Kristen

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