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Being a pet owner is really no different from being a parent to human children. They’re all messy, and lovable, and make you wonder “why are we doing this” at the same time you’re bursting with love for your little baby – fur or humanoid.
For me, the biggest source of stress is the carpet mess. Potty training a child is not much different from housebreaking a dog or litter training a new kitten.
As with new parents, there are always things that new pet owners don’t realize they need until it’s too late, like an overabundance of microfiber cloths to clean up the inevitable mess.
Each animal is different and they all require different things, but there are a core group of things each pet needs when they come home with their new family. Because our most recent pet is a cat, I’m going to go over all the things you can’t live without when welcoming a new kitty into the family. These things also make a great gift for someone who just brought a cat home for the first time.
1 – An extra bag of litter
Any litter will do, but as someone who has a septic system, and finds the ability to flush litter absolutely fascinating, flushable litter is primo.
2 – An assortment of toys
Cats don’t all like to play with the same toys. For instance, PopTart loves balls, but he’s not so into the laser pointer. He also doesn’t like something that doesn’t move when he bats at it, but we didn’t figure that out without buying a couple of the things he doesn’t like. It’s important to have an assortment of toys when you bring a new pet home for a couple of reasons. A bored pet is a destructive pet, and that goes for cats too. We have scratching posts in every room in the house and toys upstairs and downstairs for him to play with no matter where he is. You also want to get to know your pet’s personality and the best way to do that is to introduce him to lots of toys.
3 – Microfiber Cloths
I wasn’t kidding about this one. I won’t go into detail other than to say I’ve picked and sopped up every bodily fluid under the sun with my microfiber cloths. They’re necessary for pet-ownership. If you keep them in a caddy under your sink or in your laundry room, you’ll always know where they are and you can get to them easily.
4 – STAINMASTER® Carpet Pet Stain Remover from Target
This is the kind of thing you don’t want to wait to get. You need to have it on hand for exactly when you need it. Cat’s first furball, Great Dane’s weekly vurp, or diabetic dog’s sticky bladder loss all over the carpet. STAINMASTER Carpet Pet Stain Remover removes stubborn pet stains and has ODOR REMOVE™ Technology which cleans and protects your floors while helping to repel dirt, leaving it easier to clean next time. It leaves no sticky residue and is perfect for use on stain resistant nylon, polyester, and polypropylene color-fast carpets and rugs. Using it is simple and won’t leave obvious dark stains weeks later when your pet had walked all over the same spot several times.
SPRAY: Spray product liberally and directly on affected areas.
WAIT: Wait 3-5 minutes to allow solution to penetrate the stain.
BLOT: Dampen the spot with water and blot with a clean, colorfast paper towel or cloth. Repeat as necessary to remove the stain. For best results treat stain immediately.
Find it at Target in the cleaning aisle (not the pet aisle or the carpet cleaning aisle, but in the regular cleaning aisle). STAINMASTER Carpet Pet Stain Remover is not available at all Target locations, but is available online. Click here to find STAINMASTER Carpet Pet Stain Remover, or have it shipped for free, to your local Target store. I got mine at the Panama City Target. Bonus? It’s on Cartwheel for 25% off right now!
5 – Treats
Cats dig treats too! We like using the laser pointer to make PopTart run around before landing on a freeze dried shrimp after a few passes. Cats love to stalk and it’s important to make them feel like they’ve caught a small animal when they’ve been stalking prey. It keeps them interested and is good for their physical health.
6 – Cat Wipes
Cats are super clean animals, but their dander causes some of us with these pesky little problems called allergies. We found some great cat wipes that you can use to rub on your cat’s fur to help with any allergy problems present. I’m one of the unfortunate. I am allergic to all animals, but I love having them so much that I just deal with it with wipes and lots of vacuuming and dusting, in between cuddles, of course.
7 – Litter box liners
Don’t leave the store without litterbox liners. They save you from having to clean the litter box so often (you still have to scoop daily, but cleaning is largely unnecessary when you use litter box liners.) These are a great way to keep maintenance down on an already low-maintenance animal.
Bonus tip: consider investing in a fountain-style water dish for your cat. Domesticated cats often struggle to get the water they need, but they’re more interested in moving water than the stagnant water hanging out in that cutesy dish you purchased. We noticed a huge uptick in water consumption after we got PopTart his fancy, flowing water dish.
The most important thing to remember is that your pet is a new member of your family, but like a baby, she might be terrified for a couple of days. Give them plenty of love and firm boundaries and in no time you’ll be wondering how you ever lived without them.
Your carpets might not be asking the same, but no one will be the wiser if you use STAINMASTER Carpet Pet Stain Remover to clean up after them.