Spring Cleaning – for your Cats

It’s that time of the year when spring is in the air, and the cleaning bug hits. Spring means getting ready for the beautiful weather, and opening up those windows to let the fresh air in.

As we’re cleaning and preparing our homes for spring, this is also a great time to do a little spring cleaning for our kitties, too.

Here are some items we should tackle at least once a year, if not more often.

Clean and Replace Toys

Are your cats still chasing the same old toys? I know my cats love some of their toys so much that they are very well loved and in need of replacement. Stuffed toys that are coming apart at the seams should be replaced with new ones that are filled with fresh catnip. Any toys that are in good condition should be washed before giving them back to your cats. Even if all the cat toys are in good shape, it’s still a great time to spoil your cat with some brand new ones.

Freshen up Cat Bedding

Like with the cat toys, any cat beds and blankets that are coming apart should be tossed and replaced with fresh new ones. Any that are still in good shape can be tossed into the washer to freshen them up. Your cats will purr with happiness they get in those freshly cleaned (or brand new) beds and blankets. Sprinkle them with catnip for extra cat appeal.

Check the Food Bowls

How long have you been using the same food and water bowls? When were they last deep cleaned? When our days get busy, it’s easy to just rinse the dishes casually before refiling them, but doing so can cause dangerous bacteria to grow and make your kitty ill. Take the time to inspect the dishes and bowls; if they are chipped, cracked, or scratched, it’s time to invest in some new ones. If they are in good shape, wash them with hot soapy water and rinse thoroughly before putting them back into use.

Deep Clean those Litter Boxes

Another item that gets neglects easily; the litter box. While scooping every day is a must, so is periodic deep cleaning. Look over the litter boxes for any broken edges, cracks, or deep scratches that could hold bacteria. Boxes that are still in good shape can be taken outside for deep cleaning with soapy water or an enzyme killing solution. If it’s been a while since you’ve replaced your cat’s litter box, now might be a good time consider doing so. (My new favorite litter box is the Litter Genie Cat Box, which is both sturdy and flexible so it’s easy to clean!

Toss Expired Treats, Food, Meds

We all have those special treats on hand that we give to our cats only occasionally. When is the last time you checked the expiration date on the packages? Toss any expired treats, or packages that have been sitting opened for a while and may have grown stale. Likewise, check the dates on pet medications and canned foods as well, and toss anything that has expired. If you have unopened food that is still good yet your cats will no longer (because you know how finicky cats can get!), donate them to a local rescue or shelter, so other kitties can enjoy it.

Inspect the Pet Carrier

If you haven’t looked over your pet carrier recently, now is the time. Those bolts that hold the carriers together often come loose and get lost (I know that’s happened to mine), and the last thing you want is for the carrier to fall apart while in use. Also, this is a good time to give the carrier a thorough cleaning. Take a look at the carrier to ensure it’s still secure, and then give it a wash outside with soapy water or an enzyme killing solution. Let it dry out in the sun, then fill it with fresh bedding so it’s ready for use, in case of emergencies.

Get that Yearly Vet Exam

Last, but not least, when was your cat’s last vet exam? Cats do need to be seen annually by your veterinarian, especially as they age. Cats are masters at hiding illness, so making sure your veterinarian knows your cat well, and has baseline test results, is very important. Annual wellness exams run on average between $45 and $55. That is a small price to pay for getting that clean bill of health or catching any illnesses in the early stages so they can be handled easily.

Spring cleaning for both yourself and your cat will have you both ready to spring into summer, and enjoy relaxing together in the sunshine.

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