House Hacks For Pet Owners

Pretty Cats on Pretty Tufted Cushion

by Michele Redmon

I have two adorably mischievous cats, Henry and Rosie. We love them so much, but for being so small they can make a mighty big mess. Between the litter box, the toys, the accidents (LOL, with cats there are no, “accidents”) and hair on everything, I am one broken vacuum away from going from cat lady to cat hoarder with stacks of periodicals and dead mice.

Nobody wants that.

So here are a few tips and tricks to ensure your house is always guest-ready and will never land you on a sad reality TV show documenting your filth.

Smell Ya Later:
One of the first things I notice when I enter someone’s home is the smell. I don’t care how tidy the place is; if it smells funky it doesn’t feel clean. You don’t have to have a million lit candles or cans of air freshener in every room, but think about investing in a vapor diffusor and air purifier. These devices do more than just mask bad odors; they clean the air.

I know, I know, it’s your house and you can do whatever you want, but be aware that not everyone who walks in your door loves your pet as much as you do. Personally, I hate when dog owners stand back while their precious pup takes inventory of my lady business or jumps excitedly on my legs, leaving a trail of red scratches. If you want people to feel welcome in your home, you need to respect their space. Think of it this way: If your child were jumping all over a guest would you not tell them to stop?

Hair, Hair, Everywhere:
Furry pet owners know that without our vacuums, chaos would reign. Hairy, sneezy, dusty chaos. Invest in a pet hair vacuum, perhaps one with additional attachments for animal hair and check out this post ( I did about making DIY carpet powder for additional carpet cleaning! Also, have lint rollers handy in your house AND car so if you ever find yourself halfway to a meeting covered in dog hair you won’t panic!

Be Prepared:
When/if your pet does have an accident, don’t scramble all over the house searching for paper towels and spot cleaner. Be prepared with a small, portable kit (mine is in a bucket) of everything you’ll need, like carpet cleaner, towels, rags, baking soda, etc. This also comes in handy if you have kids and those kids ever get the stomach flu. Maybe stick a box of wine in there too.

The Guest-Zone:
I try to always have the main rooms of my house pretty clean at all times. My kids’ room, my office and the kitchen might be a hot mess, but I can shut those doors if I need to. I hate that feeling of panic I get when someone drops by and my living room is a disaster, so I really try to keep it tidy. Having baskets around the house for quickly collecting toys helps to keep things easily accessible but not all over the place.

Ultimately, these little preemptive strikes make your house easier to manage and better equipped to unite people and animals in harmony!

* Check Michele out daily at No Model Lady for more articles from this amazing broad living abroad.

pug and frenchie pups

[this post could not come at a better time for us with our new puppies running around. It’s a good thing my plan is to eventually rip up the carpet, or I would be in puppy poo hell right now! Each and every one of our flat surfaces are lined with paper towel rolls, wipes, bags, pee pads, but I LOVE the bucket idea! ~ Maegan]

American expat living in Japan. Military wife and mother of two adorable boys and one temperamental cat. She blogs at, where shares a little bit of everything, including life overseas, family, health, fitness, fashion and more! She's been featured on Huffington Post, Babble and now Maegan!! * Find Michele on Instagram at NoModelLady


  • Liz

    March 25, 2014 | Reply

    love the puppiess!!

  • Always So Sweet

    March 25, 2014 | Reply

    Excellent article! Love the kitties, too. I use unscented baby wipes with a spray of vodka on each wipe. Seems to work. Also, you can add a bit of lemon extract or orange extract (food quality) to the vodka in a spray bottle to freshen the air naturally. I’ll check out “No Model Lady”!

  • MA

    March 25, 2014 | Reply

    I am definitely adding this to my handy tip info! Even though we are “pet-less” right now, it is always a good idea to keep on top of smells of any kind. 😉

  • Erika

    March 25, 2014 | Reply

    Bebop is looking very sprightly! I’m guessing the puppies are keeping him busy 🙂

    From a long time dog and cat person – citrus oils are good as a deterrent from toileting in the same place (citronella is ideal, but the others are a good option). Don’t use bleach or ammonia, that just smells like piddle to them and keeps them going back to the same spot! Bicarb soda is brilliant (several applications if needed). Soda water is also a useful option.

    I know it’s tedious, but as soon as they wake, before they eat, after they eat, before they go to sleep – outside and encourage them to toilet, with some walking around until they do. Some dogs or breeds housetrain faster than others. And at least the frenchies are small – try cleaning up after a giant breed 😉

  • Aniella

    March 26, 2014 | Reply

    These pets are just too cute!

  • Kyleigh

    March 26, 2014 | Reply

    A lot of great tips here. Just one I would disagree with: the respect one. Especially in a home with a puppy it’s hard to stop a puppy from jumping on guests. First of all, they’re a puppy, they’re not fully trained yet. Second of all, you’re the one entering their home, they have every right to inspect you and ensure you’re a safe guest for their family. Thirdly, I could easily, you might argue, pick my dog up (if small enough) but I can guarantee no matter when I set them down they will still go over to you and jump all over you, sniff you, etc. So if I were to stand there and shout at my puppy to stop, it’s just going to get awkward and loud unnecessarily or if I – again – pick them up after they jump on you, they’re going to go right back to it when I put them down. So, I’m sorry but honestly I feel if you’re entering someone’s home take the thirty seconds to bend down and let the dog smell your hand and they will instantly calm down because they just want to be sure you’re not an enemy. (And I’m also not saying this because I’m a ~dog person~ I own two cats and two dogs, had birds, gerbils, snakes, etc. I’m an animal person and this is just the reality of owning dogs. It’s their home as much as ours.)

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