Today’s post is more of a follow up to the post that I wrote about “how to get your cats to stop scratching furniture” where I already shared some of my tips. In this blog post I want to be even more specific and share my cat-friendly decorating tips.
Some of my tips are possibly a no-brainer to most pet owners already but regardless I hope that I can still help someone out there to have a new outlook on their decor while living pretty with pets. (#livingprettywithyourpets is my hashtag on Instagram)
As always I have to mention that this post is for people who are willing to compromise on their lifestyle and decor decisions when they decide to adopt a pet. You shouldn’t adopt any pet if you aren’t willing to adapt with your animals to their needs and messes they possibly make. There are ways to adapt and make things easier for us humans and I’m hoping that I address this in today’s post.
My cats give so much love, entertainment and life lessons that I can’t imagine my life without them and cat-friendly decorating is just something that comes natural to me now. They are by far the best accessory in hour home if I may even call them that because they nothing less than our beloved family members.
My cat-friendly decorating tips
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- Color match your decor to your cats
- Get rid of wall-to-wall carpet
- Hard surface flooring is the way to go
- Choose affordable rugs and throw blankets
- Have an area just for them in every room
- Don’t decorate with expensive and breakable accessories/collectibles
- Use throw pillows with removable covers for easy cleaning
- Cover your furniture with blankets or fur where to minimize wear and tear
- Match toys to your decor
- Buy scratching furniture scaled to the size of your room
- Find creative ways to hide their litter boxes
- Make the right house plant decisions
- DON’T STRESS IF EVERYTHING DOESN’T LOOK PICTURE PERFECT
Color match your decor to your cats
Yes you heard me right. This might sound completely crazy but I’ve gotten comments so many times that my cats match my home when it is in reality the other way around. My home decor matches my cats! The reason for that is that their fur will show up less. Of course you can’t completely adhere to that but it certainly helps if you keep this in mind.
This tip isn’t really achievable with our Walter, since he is all black and I won’t change my decor to all black LOL. And if you have several cats in all different fur colors it is not doable either. I’m an animal lover and I know that fur will show up regardless. If you can’t handle the dirty part of pet ownership then you are better off not getting a pet anyways since you can’t avoid the messy side. My ivory curtains you see hanging in the background have Walter fur on it consistently and I just live the fact that I have to clean them regularly.
As an example, look below how Maya blends in though.
Walter does blend into my son’s room though 🙂
Forget about wall-to-wall carpet
Wall-to-wall carpet has been my enemy since we moved into our home 21 years ago. It was a slow process getting rid of it all but I definitely have no regrets.
The occasional urine and vomit accident not only from our cats but toddlers too made the wall-to-wall carpet a filth trap that was so difficult to keep clean. Even the carpet shampooer didn’t help anymore. It was disgusting and proved to be even worse than I had expected when we finally ripped it up and I saw the underside. Shocking!
Hard surface flooring is the way to go
If you have been following me for a while then you know that we installed bamboo hardwood in our upstairs where the bedrooms are located. I have mixed feelings about that floor after leaving with it for years.
This March we will have lived with our Karndean vinyl plank flooring on our main floor for 3 years and I still love it as much as I did on day one. Read more about why I chose Karndean vinyl plank flooring.
Before the vinyl planks we had Armstrong laminate and it was not the best idea when if came to cat pee accidents because it swelled in several areas where the liquid sat for longer periods of time.
Choose affordable rugs and throw blankets
I pretty much tree rugs and throw blankets the same way. They need to be easy to clean, durable and of course affordable. It is pretty incredible how area rugs have evolved. There are so many great companies out there that sell high quality rugs at affordable prices.
The below black and white diamond patterned rug has been one of my favorites. I actually have two of them since 2015 and they have served us so well. If you are looking for a versatile durable rug this one is definitely it.
Do the cats scratch our rugs at times? Yes they do, there’s no way around it but having affordable durable rugs that look pretty helps. Whenever there is an area where they tend to pull threads, I place a out on it. Not kidding. They also look pretty and give the cats another piece to sleep on.
The below rugs are what we currently have in our home
(click on the arrows to the left and right to see more)
Have an area just for them in every room
I call it nest building and find it so very important. While they always use items to sleep on that I thought they would never even care about, I noticed that they still love having standard pet beds if I strategically place them in spots that they favor already. A good example is when I place one of their beds under their Christmas tree. They just love it.
Don’t decorate with breakable or expensive accessories/collectibles
Dogs can destroy a lot of things but cats are climbers too and love to investigate everything. Just look at Walter below. My cats also love knocking things off tables and counters.
I try to decorate my house with things that are inexpensive and mostly from affordable places like HomeGoods, thrift shops and auctions. If you do have collectibles and family heirlooms, consider getting a curio cabinet to tuck them away from your little critters.
Use throw pillows with removable covers for easy cleaning
I only buy affordable throw pillows from places like H&M, Amazon and Ikea where they sell the covers and inserts separately. Not only can you easily remove them and throw them in the wash but you can also easily store the extra covers you have instead of having to store entire pillows.
I like to mix some neutral pillows with black and white patterned pillows (which is also a neutral to me) and throw in a color or two for some interest. You can confirm that if you scroll through all my images, right?
Cover your furniture with blankets or fur to minimize wear and tear
In my blog post about cats scratching furniture I already mentioned that you can’t avoid entirely that your furniture will get scratched.
I bought already distressed pieces of furniture and also make sure to cover the others with furs and throw blankets in a stylish way.
Not only does it look cozy but the cats love it too. I occasionally brush the furs with this brush to clean out dirt and make them appear fluffy again.
Match toys to your decor
I lack in this department because I don’t take it all too serious after all. Like I mentioned before, my cats rule the house and I don’t care if their toys match but for those of you who get bothered by unsightly items scattered all over the floor, you are better off just buying pretty toys because they will blend in way better.
Here are some examples of toys that would look much prettier in my home than the ones I have:
Buy scratching furniture scaled to the size of your room
Oddly enough, this is to me the most important tip which you might find surprising but I see this done way too many times. We live in a small duplex home and I wouldn’t buy a huge cat tree to put into any of our smaller rooms. Instead I’d rather have my cats on our furniture. I know some of you don’t like that idea but this way I avoid having a monstrous piece of cat furniture mixed in with our decor. I bought small scratching posts for the living room for them to scratch on.
I mentioned above I cover our pieces that they fancy the most with blankets or furs which still looks pretty.
This doesn’t mean we don’t have any cat trees in our home. We actually have two in our bedroom because it is the roomiest space in our home and also has cathedral ceilings. To me it is the are where those pieces make the most sense and aren’t in your face for everyone to see.
I built a very tall but narrow tree that extends into the cathedral ceiling and we have another piece of cat furniture by the window of the bedroom where they can overlook our garden. Both pieces are in high demand amongst our cats.
The large tall tree is in the below bedroom but not in the initial view when you walk in. That also helps keeping the bedroom visually pleasing.
It is placed on the wall to the right and the other cat house is placed in the window to the left.
Also if you are on the hunt for a new piece of cat furniture keep in mind that the more neutral the better to blend in. Your cats certainly don’t care what color or style it is.
Find creative ways to hide their litter boxes
Below you can see my latest budget bathroom makeover where I showed that we hide our litter boxes in our small bathroom linen closets where I added my favorite cat hole doors. We have these little arched doorways in almost every door in our home and they are the best. They give them free access to every room and they love it. We also don’t have to worry about locking them in a room by accident.
Or for example the below hidden litter box station:
Make the right house plant decisions
Most people know that you need to double check whether a plant is toxic to your pets or not which isn’t just what I meant when I mentioned making the right house plant decisions was of importance. Hey, I even have some plants that aren’t good for cats and you know what I did with them? I put them into my hanging planters which look really pretty as well and keeps the cats away from them.
If you have cats that are really interested in house plants and like to dig or use them as litter boxes, consider decorating with faux plants instead. In the end you’ll have a lot less cleaning to do.
DON’T STRESS IF EVERYTHING DOESN’T LOOK PICTURE PERFECT
That’s right, nothing will look perfect especially when you decide to have children or bring animals into your home. You do this for the extra love and companionship which means compromises always have to be made no matter what. Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I gladly do because I get so much from them in return.