All of our sitters at Wet Noses Pet Sitting have lots of experience working with animals in various settings. Over the years we have picked up some tips for a variety of pet care topics such as feeding, medicating, walking and playing. This article will focus on litter boxes, and dealing with pet messes.
Pick a litter you and your cat like. If your cat does not like the type of litter being used, he will not use it. Try many different litters, of varying types (clumping, clay, pellets, ect.) and with different or no scents. Also use a litter you like to use. If you hate the smell of your current litter or hate lugging in a heavy jug of litter (they actually make special light weight litter), you will be not be a very happy pet owner. Choose one that you, as the owner, don’t mind dealing with.
Add more litter than you think you need. One of the things that I find most helpful as a pet sitter is when there is lots of litter in a litter box. When there is a good volume of litter in the litter box it is easier to scoop and is less likely to stick to the bottom of the litter box. This is a good tip unless you have a cat who tends to kick out his litter.
Scrub out your litter box and scooper every few months. Kitty litter boxes, like anything else, can become very dirty and allow lots of bacteria to grow. I would recommend cleaning the litter box out any time it looks particularly gross, but at a minimum every 3 months. You can do this by emptying the box completely, wiping it out (or spraying it with a hose), then wiping it down with a 1:10 bleach solution or a specific for animals cleaner. After you clean it with cleaner, wipe it out again with a wet paper towel, then let it dry. The scoop can be wiped off with a paper towel and sprayed with bleach spray or another cleaner.
Always bring extra poop bags on a walk. Without fail, the time I bring one bag on a dog walk, the dog poops twice. Always bring twice the amount of bags you think you need. Be sure to pick up all poop and dispose of it properly.
Always keep carpet cleaner on hand. Keeping carpet cleaner on hand, even when your pet does not frequently have accidents, is very helpful. Make sure to clean up any stain with a rag or paper towel before applying the cleaner. Follow all directions on the cleaner bottle. As a side note, please show your pet sitter your carpet cleaner. Pets may have accidents when you are away.
Use baking soda to reduce pet odors. Ever come home and notice that your house smells very catty (or doggy)? Sprinkle baking soda on your carpet then vacuum it up. This should reduce the smell and make your carpet even cleaner.
While owning a pet can have some dirty parts, with these tips it should become a bit more pleasant. Look out for our next articles on other pet related topics.