Right, let’s get things clear at the start. I am the cat, and I am the owner, not you. This should help you make your house fit for any self-respecting cat to live, as well as giving you instructions as to how you should clean up after me.
Do not attempt to bathe me. I do a good job of cleaning my own fur (unlike those barbaric dogs) and will give you a good scratching if you attempt it.
First and foremost: cleaning the feeding dish. If I have decided that my food is not fit for feline consumption and have left it, dispose of it thoughtfully in the compost and wash the bowl out the same way as you would your own plates and cups: in the dishwasher or by hand. Make sure you rinse it well. I like to haul my food out of my plate from time to time so appreciate it the way a gourmet should. If you are too lazy (the service around here is despicable!) to get down on your hands and knees to scrub the floor after me, then you can put my dish on a mat that washes down easily. A red carpet would be appreciated and appropriate, but you can use a vinyl mat if you must.
Next, floor cleaning. Here, I am talking about the carpet. I like to sleep on the carpet, if sunlight and warmth are adequate, so you must clean up after me with the vacuum cleaner, especially when I am moulting. And you must also vacuum the floor to ensure that any fleas do not trouble my slumbers. Vacuuming beats any amount of flea bombs with hideous chemicals – is it any wonder I pay a state visit to the neighbours when you want to throw one of these horrors around? You humans can’t smell what those things are like! And when you vacuum, don’t use those artificial scents, as they are not a patch on real scents. I think the house smells perfect with just plain fresh air (open the window to get this, as well as giving me an alternative exit when I like it). If you must, then add a little essential oil to the vacuum cleaner bag or to the filter. But why doesn’t anyone make catnip essential oil? Vacuuming is also the best way to remove my hairs off sofas and the soft chairs I love. But you will probably want to check down the back of the sofa for odds and ends such as pens, paper clips, coins and the remote control before you start vacuuming. Use the thin attachment on the hose for sucking up dirt, not that one that’s so big a mouse could run up it.
If I do get fleas, then please use natural cleaning methods of killing them rather than that stuff that makes my skin itch. Essential oil of penny royal works. If you can’t persuade me to roll in a patch of the herb, then hold a few sprigs in your hand while you stroke me so the smell gets into my fur. Alternatively, dab some of the essential oil onto a brush or a grooming mitt. I appreciate an aromatherapy massage too, thank you.
Lastly, cleaning the kitty litter tray. Do this regularly or I will use other places around your home. If you dislike the smell (imagine what it smells like to my nose) then sprinkle a little baking soda inside the tray. You could, of course, fill the entire tray with baking soda, but as you do not have the wealth of the Pharaohs (oh, how I wish for the good old days in Egypt!), ordinary kitty litter will do. Sand does not absorb smells, but suits ME. If you want to be really naturally minded, then use wood ash (never wood ash), as this also absorbs smells. And all kitty litter, ash or commercial, can be put into the compost heap. If you have a garden, do not bother with a kitty litter tray, as I will use the garden – but I won’t dig up your seeds and young plants if you scatter pepper where you don’t want me to go.