Do you have cat toys scattered all over your home? When you have an appointment at the veterinarian for your kitty, can you find his or her papers easily? Are the cat food cans, bags of dry food, treats, bowls and feeding dishes stored in a handy spot? What about your cat’s grooming aids and other items? Are these in specific places? If you answer “no” to any of these questions, it’s time to organize kitty’s pet supplies.
Photo: Sittipong Chananithitham | Getty Images
First, let’s go through these 10 decluttering rules of thumb — er, paw.
If your cat hasn’t played with a toy for a month, it’s time to toss, upcycle or donate. If it’s an interactive toy, alternate it every week to create interest. If that doesn’t work, it’s time to trash or donate.
If your cat has used a litter box for more than two years — toss. It’s time for a new one.
Take 15 minutes a day to put the cat things away.
Consider if your cat really does need another toy and, if so, how much does it cost, before making a purchase?
If your cat doesn’t eat a certain brand of cat food or seems to have a reaction to it, donate it before it expires and make a note not to buy it again.
If your cat has been on medication and no longer needs it or if it’s expired, discard it properly or check with your vet if she can use the remainder. If your cat is using needles for insulin or other injections, check with your local pharmacy or police precinct about proper disposal.
Invest in a small handheld vacuum to clean up any food your cat leaves on the floor or litter outside the box.
If you’ve used a cat food mat or mat under the litter box for more than a year and it’s retaining stains, toss it.
Sauder Side Table Cat Bed; chewy.com. $349.99
To save space and time, scan a copy of your pet-sitting instructions and vet records and save them to your computer where they can be updated as necessary.
If you collect cat items, ask yourself if the item you might buy is a must-have for your collection or if the money would be better spent to buy more storage for your feline companion or to donate to a cat cause or shelter.
Keeping Kitty’s pet supplies organized is all about storage
Purchase, build or repurpose a cat toy box. Feline Ruff is a company that sells a collapsible pet toy storage box and a cat teaser wand holder. According to the designer Mitch P., the “Feline Ruff Cat Teaser Wand Holder is a one-of-a kind storage solution for organizing and storing cat teaser wands.” This product features four openings to hold the wands and an open storage area in the back for additional items. It can be clipped onto the Feline Ruff pet toy storage box. Mitch came up with the idea for the wand holder because his own cats kept chewing through the strings of teaser wands, but when he stored them out of reach, the wands became tangled.
Feline Ruff Cat Teaser Wand Holder; felineruff.com. $19.99 Toy box also available at chewy.com. $15.99
Cat owner Lizz Reeves Fidler stores her five cats’ small catnip-filled pouches, balls, small wands and other toys in an ottoman. “Every time we open (it), the kitties can hear the hinges squeak a bit, and they come running!” she says.
Crayola Purrty Cat Storage Ottoman;
available at Wayfair, Overstock and Amazon. $44.72 – $49.99
Choose a cat-themed ottoman to add fun flair to the room, like with the Crayola Purrty Cat Storage Ottoman. Or, go even bigger with furniture that does double duty — a surface area for you and a storage, nap and scratch area for your cat, like the Sauder Side Table Cat Bed. It has two storage baskets inside for kitty’s toys, a cushion cover for napping and a sisal scratch pad on each end panel.
Lizz also purchased an Iris USA three-piece airtight food storage unit from Amazon to store her canned and dry cat food. It’s on wheels, so it can be moved around easily and also comes with a food scooper. “We keep the dry food in the bottom bin and the canned food on top,” she says.
The Cat File Folder set; zazzle.com. $12.95
Today, you can organize your cat’s health records the traditional way — by filing paper in adorable kitty files like The Cat File Folder set — or in a folder. When she adopted her cat, Angel, four years ago, Sandra Toney received a folder with pockets from the Pet Refuge shelter in South Bend, Indiana. The folder has a cat on the cover and two pockets inside. “ … all papers (like vet bills and records) go in there,” says Sandra, a member of the Cat Writers’ Association. “Keeps things very organized for me.”
Need a form for the pet sitter or dog walker? Pet Sitters International sells a downloadable Cat Care Profile Sheet on its online store that pet sitters or owners can purchase for $10 ($5 for PSI members). The one-page profile sheet has all the information anyone would need to know.
Organizing the Care of My Cat by Morgan T. Orr and Penelope Orr Spry; Published by You Wise Up! amazon.com. $3.99 – $7.23
The workbook Organizing the Care of my Cat by Morgan T. Orr features 18 fill-in-the-blank forms for pet sitters. It’s available in paperback and as an eBook.
Pet Portal app; jcrsoftware.com. Available at the App Store. $1.99
Prefer to go more high tech? Well, there’s an app for that. JCR Software produces the Pet Portal, an app where you can store your pet’s medications, vaccinations, vet visits, feedings, weight, temperature, growth, breed info, microchip information and many other details. Ray Im, from JCR Software, says, “Pet Portal can help cat owners organize their cat’s health information at their fingertips. You can access all your cat’s health info on your iOS, iPad, OS device. Your data is synced between your devices. You can even add family and friends who can add information to the app if they are helping with the care of your pet.”
Custom Cat Toy Bin; Orchid and Daisy at Etsy.com. $31.16
A unique idea for organizing travel items for trips to the vet or pet sitters, comes from Shayne Cohen. She uses a diaper bag to carry all her cat’s vet papers and toys, food bowls, harness and leash, medications and other items. “I organized it so, when I have someone pet sit or (I) travel, his bowls, vet records, toys, etc. (are) in there for easy travel.” There are also a variety of pet-travel kits available for sale that comply with airline regulations for those who fly with their cats, like the fashionable Sleepypod Atom, a multifunctional carrier and crash-tested car seat with large pockets on front and back and two gusseted side pockets for all Kitty’s things.
Sleepypod Atom; sleepypod.com. $119
For other pet supplies, Alicia Kozak uses a small, plastic basket for her cat, Hemi. “It fits her brushes, grooming glove, nail clippers, shampoo, treat jar, some catnip pellets I’m intending to use in a homemade toy for her and a couple of wands that don’t fit in the toy box,” she says. Or, if you want to combine function and fashion, plus make it personal, get a custom cat toy bin from Orchid and Daisy on Etsy.
With a little imagination and an affordable budget, cat owners can find their own solutions to their organizing challenges.
Featured Image: mapodile | Getty Images
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