Thursday, May 28, 2015

How to Survive 2 Cats in a 85 Sq. Ft. Tiny House

Justin & my first date lasted a full week. Our lives meshed just right, and we were inseparable. Within two months I moved into his apartment and we had already purchased a little kitty named Malbec. Malbec Findale [She`s a girl]

Malbec was pretty much the perfect kitten, she nipped at our toes a bit when we slept, but she used her box, she ate her food, and she really didn't wine too much. She fit our lives perfectly.
After a few months we decided it was time to buy her a little SisterKitty. So as a birthday gift to me, Justin drove me to Palmer, and I picked out another simply adorable baby. Frankie Moscato [another little girl]
For every ounce of cuteness [and she was SO cute], Frankie had problems. She cried and cried, and threw fits in her box on trips out of town. She bit [through skin]when you tried to feed her treats; worst of all, Frankie did what all cat owners dread. She peed. She peed on EVERYTHING.
It was a challenge, but luckily at that point in time we were still in our apartment. We tried all sorts of cat litters, having strategically placed potty-boxes in various areas of the apartment. As she grew her potty problems lessened a bit, but were certainly not over.

We moved into the Tinyhouse as planned on June 1st 2014. The girls took well to climbing the ladder and finding playful ways of making good use of the small space. But Frankie continued, here and there, to pee on blankets, clothes, and the sofa. We were worried that she was unhappy in the house or had bladder issues.

One trick that seemed to get rid of a good portion the urine smell on items that can`t be machine washed [like cushions]was completely dousing the pee area with rubbing alcohol, I mean SOAKING it. Then we let it sit and kill bacteria, and pat out whatever moisture we could.

For the first five months in the Tinyhouse, we bough a new blanket every couple of months when we
tired of trying to get rid of the urine smell. almost instantly she marked these.
We began to resent her, i noticed both Justin and I weren't interacting with her as kindly and lovingly as we did Malbec.

Don`t get me wrong, we still pet her and gave her kitty kisses, but our heart wasn't in it. So we made the decision to try harder to show her attention and make her feel noticed. [I know, WE ARE crazy cat people.] She opened up, she became even more loving than we could have imagined. And, the peeing stopped. 

With the peeing under control, we can finally deal with what i call "Stank Management". These girls are cute, cuddly, and stinky.

Like i mentioned, we tried every litter they sell at Fredmeyers. Natural and less natural. I am gung-ho about never using perfume in anything, however I have made an exception for the one cat litter that works for our household.
We don't use the Purina Tidy Cats with the blue label, we don't use the Orange label. We use the Red label, Tight clumping and it keeps the box smells at bay. Not all litters are created equal, and for our two cat/one box household, this is our go to choice. [If only they made it unscented] I go through about 1.5 of these ever month, so that costs about $12. Towards the end of the litters life [when the urine smell seems strongest] i add a coating of baking soda to prolong the litter a few extra days.

Everything feels fresher after a good wash, or a sun bath. During the summer we place our pillows outside in the hot sun to help get rid of any set in pet smells.
Of course living down the street from a laundry mat is always nice for those larger items.

To freshen the carpet [ours is a low pile outdoor rug] i dump a thick coating of baking soda onto the rug and allow it to sit for an hour [or as long as i can hold off sweeping it] Then i sweep it up, this takes a few passes [if you have a vacuum this could be way easier and most likely yield better results].

After sweeping i scrub the rub with a dry kitchen brush shown below this removes a good amount of cat hair and stuck debris. [be sure to only use this for non kitchen related activities, it will never be hair free]

To keep my linens, curtains, rugs, blankets and pillows smelling fresh between washes i mix up a super easy air freshener that works really well [its also awesome for cleaning the kitchen].

For the spray I use 1/3 cup vodka, 1/3 cup vinegar, 5-15 drops peppermint essential oil, and water to fill my large spray bottle. Spray this wherever stink resides. [Bonus: some say peppermint keeps spiders away]

It hasn't always been easy, and some-days are harder than others. Overall, I love our TinyLife.