Cat After Eating Catnip

Twitching backs, swishing tails, and pupils like black holes - all telltale signs that your cat has found the catnip.

We all know catnip is basically "kitty crack," but why? What is it about catnip that drives our feline friends crazy?

And if it is Fluffy’s version of a stimulant street drug, is it safe to give her?

Let’s dive in.

What Is Catnip? Silver Vine?

Catnip

Catnip is a plant in the mint family. While it may look like a normal but pretty plant to you and me, your cat sees it quite differently. Catnip contains a compound that attracts cats and makes them go bonkers for anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes.

Then there’s silver vine. As randy as your cat gets for catnip, she’ll go even more crazy for silver vine. Silver vine is a climbing plant that grows in the mountains of China and Japan. While catnip contains one cat attractant, silver vine contains two, making it twice as potent.

Why Does My Cat Love It?

Cat Eating Catnip

The chief ingredient in catnip that makes your cat turn into a spaz is nepetalactone. It’s a completely organic compound that occurs in some plants. When your cat sniffs catnip, oil containing nepetalactone enters your cat’s nasal cavity and binds to receptors that drive your cat’s super sensitive sensory neurons crazy.

Think of it like smelling salts mixed with your favorite scented candle.

If your cat doesn’t seem to respond to catnip, don’t worry - she’s not broken. A 2017 study found that one in three cats doesn’t respond to catnip. However, about 80 percent of all cats will respond to silver vine.

Silver vine contains actinidine, which is not only a powerful cat attractant, but also acts as a pheromone for insects. Silver vine is more potent than catnip and may cause a different response in your cat. But don’t worry - it’s perfectly safe! In fact, people all over Asia use silver vine as a health aid.

When Should I Fork It Over?

Despite your cat’s disinterested demeanor, he actually needs quite a bit of stimulation. Playing with, touching, and exercising your cat are all great ways to reduce stress and promote health. However, while your cat likely gets plenty of visual and tactile stimulation, he also needs olfactory stimulation.

Cats have a powerful sense of smell, so appealing to their natural predilections for scent stimuli can go a long way toward making your kitty happy.

In other words, if you’re looking for ways to enrich your cat’s environment, reach for the catnip or silver vine. Researchers say that these plants are “an effective means to improve the quality of life for cats.”

And don’t worry: both catnip and silver vine are natural, non-toxic, and not addictive.

How to Get More Catnip In Kitty’s Life

Cat with Catnip Toy

You’ve probably seen bags of catnip at the pet store that look suspiciously like something worthy of a misdemeanor. Catnip and silver vine both come in the form of dried leaves that you can sprinkle on your cat’s favorite surface.

Because these dried plants can make a mess and turn into one more reason you need to vacuum more often, many pet parents opt for pouring the dried catnip or silver vine into a corrugated cardboard cat scratcher. The tiny compartments perfectly house the dried leaves and encourage your cat to scratch the safe surface (rather than scratching your couch!).

If you’d rather not sprinkle the dried version of either catnip or silver vine freely throughout your home, we understand. You can find cat toys that already contain the dried leaves or that you can fill as needed. Your cat will get a kick out of batting around this little ball of joy.

Catnip sprays allow you to give your furry friend all the joys of catnip without the crumbly mess. Use catnip spray on your cat’s favorite blanket, bed, or perch and watch him go to town.

If you prefer to harvest your own catnip or silver vine, you can grow a catnip plant in your window sill. Just be careful, though - Fluffy may be so excited about your new potted friend that she knocks your precious catnip plant to the floor. This catnip planter has a wide base and locks in dirt to prevent spills.

Who doesn’t love watching a cat trip on catnip? We’re pretty sure no one. Share your best kitty-gone-krazy videos with us on Instagram @PrettyLitterCats.

Clay Litter vs Silica Litter

Switching from I-need-a-forklift litter to lightweight? Or, better yet, from clay litter to PrettyLitter?

If you’re planning on changing up your cat’s poop dirt, you’d better be prepared for a bit of a power struggle with your cat.

While some cats couldn’t care less about the medium between their toes when they do their business, others are extremely particular and don’t fare well with change.

Hope for the best but prepare for the worst with this quick guide for transitioning your cat to a new type of litter.

Play a Little Trick

Mixing Kitty Litter

When you first start using a new cat litter, you want your cat to feel as comfortable and familiar with the new scenario as possible. If you can trick your cute kitty into thinking nothing has changed, that’s even better.

Start by filling your litter box up with about an inch and a half of your new litter. If you’re using a self-cleaning litter box with very specific load limitations, fill your litter box 75% of the way full with the new litter. Then, top it off with about a half-inch (or the remaining 25%) of your old litter.

This top layer will simultaneously trick Kitty into thinking she’s home sweet home, while also allowing her to gradually get used to the smell and texture of your new litter as she shuffles around in the mixture.

If you’re using two different litters - like if your old litter is a clumping clay litter and your new choice is PrettyLitter - don’t worry. When you sift out the solid waste from your new litter, the clumps of old litter will come out with it.

When you eventually swap out your cat’s litter, fill it with only your new litter. Fluffy will be used to the new stuff and won’t be any the wiser.

For More Stubborn Cats

Kitten Eating Treats

Some cats are just stubborn. They like things to go their way all the time. If your cat is one of these princess types, there are a few other things you can try.

First, some cats get confused when they step into a new litter because it doesn’t conjure up all the same sensory memories as their old litter did. Cats begin to associate the smell and feel of their litter with potty time. To help your cat rebuild a new association with the new litter, place a few pieces of feces from the old litter into the new litter when you first introduce the new option.

Yes, we know it’s gross. But it may be just what your cat needs to understand that this is the new potty place.

Because bacteria can grow on feces, we recommend leaving the old bits in the new litter box just long enough for your cat to get the memo. Once your cat has gone in the new litter box and done her thing, go ahead and remove the feces, giving Kitty a clean experience once again.

Another option for stubborn kitties is to reward their good behavior. If you see your cat going into her litter box with the new litter, reward her as soon as she comes out. Be sure not to scare her with a whooping, “Yay! You went to the potty!” celebration. That could be counterproductive. But a few of her favorite treats placed just outside the litter box will do the trick.

Above all, don’t punish your cat for going to the bathroom in the wrong place. Of course, finding cat “presents” or puddles in the house is enough to send anyone through the roof. But your cat doesn’t know any better. Punishing your cat will only cause stress that can lead to more bad behaviors.

Make It Easy On Your Cat

Man Kissing Cat

Imagine waking up to find that your potty has completely changed size, color, and texture over night. You’d likely be a little freaked out and not quite sure what to do. You may even be more likely to ask your neighbor if you can use her facilities rather than face the unfamiliar fixture in your bathroom.

That’s what your cat goes through when you change cat litters. While most cats don’t think too long and hard about why their potty place suddenly looks different, others take major notice.

To make it as easy as possible on your picky cat, be sure to change only one thing at a time. Changing your cat’s litter box, litter, and litter box location all at once is a recipe for several accidents. Do your cat - and your carpet - a favor and pace yourself.

Start by changing your cat’s litter, as that’s what’s most likely to impact your cat’s health. We’re assuming, of course, that you’re switching to a healthier, dust-free cat litter that discourages bacterial growth.

Then, once you have the best cat litter, you can upgrade to a better cat litter box, too. Once your cat adjust to that new change well, then you can consider relocating Fluffy’s restroom to a different part of the house.

Is your cat struggling with a recent transition? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll do our best to help!

Cat Playing with Toy at Night

You know the drill.

It’s 9:27 PM.

You’re getting your Netflix + chill on.

Then, suddenly, a furry blur gallops through the room.

On the beast’s second pass, you see it’s your cat, all poofed up and actin’ a fool.

Don’t worry: your cat’s not broken.

In fact, there’s a very instinctual reason for your cat’s night-time behavior. Here’s what you need to know to understand your cat’s craziness.

The Hunt

Cat Hunting Feather Toy

By nature, cats are nocturnal – meaning they prefer to sleep during the day and be active at night.

While this is something that proved far more useful to your cat’s very distant, larger relatives like lions, tigers, and pumas, it’s a preference that many domesticated cats still have today.

Instinctually, your cat likely prefers to sleep during the day and be active at night. This helps your cat conserve energy by sleeping when it’s warmer but is also a throw back to the days when your cat’s ancestors would hunt for food at night to avoid exerting energy under the hot Sahara sun during the day.

When Fluffy starts going bananas while you’re watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones, it’s because she’s feeling that inner drive to hunt for food.

You’ll likely also notice that your cat’s tail is now twice its normal size and her body hair seems to bristle. This is a useful trick in the wild that allows cats to look bigger and therefore more threatening to other cats who may be lurking around trying to snatch your cat’s dinner.

The Prey

Cat with Pink Mouse Toy

Another reason why your cat may run around like a lunatic at night is that he hears prey nearby. Cats love to hunt, but our domesticated friends often forget about this favorite pastime... until they get a reminder.

If your cat smells or hears mice or other small critters, it might trigger his inner hunter and inspire him to chase down the prey. If the target is in the walls or outside, your cat may not even know why he’s spazzing out, but he’ll continue to be a poofed up Usain Bolt until he no longer hears the sounds of his would-be-dinner.

The Zoomies

Kitten Running

The so-called “zoomies” don’t have anything to do with needing to hunt or being triggered by the sound of prey nearby. Rather, the zoomies occur when your cat has a lot of pent up energy and she just needs to let loose

Oftentimes cats going through the zoomies will dart around your house like they’re trying out for the Olympics.

One key difference, though, is that cats typically don’t get the poofed up tail and body hair when they have the zoomies. Rather, it’s more of a quick sprint session that ends in yet another nap.

When your cat goes through her midnight gallop phase, on the other hand, look out! That tail could knock over a small elephant.

Can’t quite visualize the “cat gallop”? Here’s a great visual. Or this one, for NASCAR fans.

Have a great video of your cat going bonkers? Share and tag us on Facebook @PrettyLitterCats

Territorial Cats

Cats are territorial by nature.

Like their bigger counterparts in the wild, cats mark their turf in some unusual ways.

Sometimes the way our cats strut their stuff is harmless and even entertaining.

Other times, though, it can cause problems for you, other pets, or any kids in the house.

Here’s what you need to know about your cat’s odd behavior and how to help her feel more secure in her territory.

Leaving Presents

Let’s get the least pleasant scenarios out of the way first, shall we?

One of the most common ways cats mark their territory is by spraying urine.

We know: no fun.

While female cats and neutered male cats can spray urine, it’s uncommon. Unneutered male cats are the most likely to spray and do so to let other cats know that they’re in the market for a partner.

If you have a male cat who is making things messy around the house, talk to your veterinarian about neutering. If letting your tomcat have kittens isn’t on your radar, neutering can put a stop to spraying and several other unwanted, sometimes aggressive behaviors.

Now, if your male cat is already neutered or if your female cat is the one doing the spraying, things get a bit more tricky. This is often a sign of territorial insecurity or stress and could be caused by a number of things like:

  • You’ve added a new cat, dog, baby, or other creature to your home.
  • There are feral cats in your neighborhood threatening your cat’s turf.
  • Your home doesn’t smell the same anymore or you’ve recently moved.
  • Your cat’s litter box isn’t as clean as she prefers and she’s refusing to use it.
  • Another cat is dominating the litter box and she has no place to feel safe to go.
  • Your cat is ill and being surrounded by her own scent makes her feel more comfortable

Apart from urine, cats also use feces to mark their turf.

A customer recently told us how her cat leaves a "territorial signpost dropping outside her litter box" when he notices anyone – human and cat alike – has come near his box. This not-so-cute behavior is called middening and is a way for cats to mark the boundaries of their territory.

The Fix

Understanding your cat and her particular stressors can go a long way toward eliminating these unpleasant occurrences.

Start by taking your cat to the vet to make sure everything is on the up-and-up health-wise.

If your cat has received a clean bill of health, it’s time to try other methods. If you have other cats in the home, make sure you have at least one litter box per cat, plus one. For example, if you have three cats, you should have four litter boxes. While that may seem like a lot, it’ll make a world of difference to make your kitties feel safe, comfortable, and free to stop leaving puddles around your home.

If you’ve recently moved, added a new member to the family member (either of the two- or four-legged variety), or introduced any other stressors to your cat’s environment, make sure she has a safe place to go when she needs to get away from it all. Letting her claim the space under the bed or having a dog-and-child-free room can alleviate your cat’s anxiety and put an end to the spraying.

Lastly, make sure any past “presents” have been cleaned up thoroughly. Using a UV light can help you identify any residual scent your cat may be picking up on that is triggering her to reapply.

Head Rubs

Don’t worry: This territorial behavior is far more adorable than the previous.

Have you ever seen your cat rubbing her head on the corners of walls, on new boxes that arrive in the mail, or against your shins?

She’s not just showing her love for all the wonderful things around her. Actually, she’s marking her territory.

Cats have scent glands on their foreheads, in front of their ears, on their cheeks, and on their chins. So don’t be alarmed if it looks like Fluffy is infatuated with the leg of the sofa. She’s just claiming it as part of her home.

The Fix

There isn’t really a fix for this cat behavior – and luckily you don’t really need one.

The oils that cats secrete by rubbing their cute little faces on everything are harmless, invisible, and can only be smelled by animals with noses far stronger than ours.

Scratching

The dreaded s-word: scratching. This is one of the more common and, unfortunately, harmful territorial cat behaviors.

While your cat is unlikely to scratch you or anyone else for the sake of marking her territory, she will go after walls, door jams, baseboards, and other areas near the entrances of your home.

Scratching is a way for your cat to leave both visual and scent cues that this is her property and no other cat should try to set up shop nearby.

Cats have scent glands in their paws, as well as all over their little heads. Scratching achieves two of your cat’s most important goals: marking her territory and maintaining a perfect manicure.

But don’t be fooled – even cats who have been declawed can mark their territory this way in order to activate those glands in the paws.

The Fix

If your cat is scratching up the outside exits of your home – such as to the front or backyards – she’s likely picking up on the scent of outside cats and wants to make things clear that other felines are not welcome. Try your best to keep those doors closed so your cat is distanced from the outside smells. Leave your shoes outside or put them in a closet where your cat can’t sniff any scents they may track in.

On the other hand, if your cat is scratching up doorways that don’t lead outside, she may be having a beef with another animal in your house. Determine which side of the barrier – either inside or outside the room – your cat prefers and try to keep the other pets out of that space.

Here are more tips and tricks for keeping your cat from scratching up your decor.

Cat body language can tell you quite a bit. If your cat is showing other signs of territorial behavior, tell us about it in the comments below and we’ll help you find a solution.

Cat Litter Evolution

Like chocolate chip cookies, Play-Doh, and the pacemaker, cat litter was an accidental invention.

And we’re thrilled for the mishap because without it we’re not sure how we’d be able to live with our lovable, furry friends under one roof.

But kitty litter didn’t always look the way it does today. And the first version certainly didn’t have the lifesaving health alert benefits of modern silica litter.

Here’s a look at how cat litter has evolved over time and a side-by-side comparison of the best options available to you today.

Demand Sparks Ingenuity

Cats have been living with us through the entire modern age - and long before then, too. But before the 1940s, cat parents resorted to letting their furry friends outside a few times per day or filled a makeshift cat box with anything they had on hand. Things like sawdust, shredded newspaper, sand, and dirt were common cat box fillers.

In 1947, a man by the name of Ed Lowe was working at his father’s ice, coal, and sawdust factory. The business also produced kiln-dried clay, which was used as a safe, fire-retardant way to soak up grease spills.

One day, Mr. Lowe’s neighbor, Mrs. Draper, asked Ed for some of the sawdust from his factory for her cat’s box. Without any on hand, Ed gave her a bag of the kiln-dried clay instead. After trying it out in her cat’s box, Mrs. Draper was ecstatic! The clay filler worked far better than any sawdust or sand she had ever used before.

Shortly thereafter, Mr. Lowe began marketing the clay as “kitty litter” and sold it in pet stores for $0.65 per bag. Cat parents were overjoyed with the new invention and were willing to pay for Ed’s kitty litter rather than get another filler for free from their backyards.

In 1964, Ed officially created Tidy Cats and began marketing his product for sale in grocery stores. In 1990, Ed sold his company and lived out the rest of his life as a happy millionaire until he died at the age of 75 in 1995.

Modern Options

Sadly, Ed didn’t know that clay cat litter can be extremely hazardous to cats. Not only can the dust cause severe respiratory problems or even cat allergies, but also the material offers the perfect environment for bacteria to grow.

Today, cat owners have far more options than Mrs. Draper did back in 1947.  

Improved Clay

Clay Cat Litter

Clay kitty litter manufacturers have taken notice of the warnings from the veterinary science community and have tried to make a better product. That’s why you’ll see clay cat litter advertised as “low dust” or as containing antibacterial elements.

However, clay cat litter is still a dangerous option for your cat’s litter box as it can also cause blockages in your cat’s digestive system and in other pets who get into the litter box. It also makes it easy for toxoplasmosis to be spread to you and members of your family.

Natural Media

Pine Pellet Cat Litter

Before the invention of silica cat litter, many health-conscious pet parents turned to natural media for filling the litter box. Natural media includes options like pine pellets, corn, beet pulp, wheat, and recycled paper materials. Each of these causes far less dust and are usually harmless if accidentally ingested by a pet.

However, the trouble with natural media is it can still be a breeding ground for bacteria and it offers nothing in the way of odor control.

Silica

Silica vs Traditional Litter - PrettyLitter

In the 1990s, silica cat litter was invented. Silica microcrystals - like those that make up PrettyLitter - are highly absorbent. This allows the tiny granules to trap odor and bacteria. However, the silica microcrystals also allow moisture to evaporate, so all the bacteria stay trapped while the litter dries.

Silica is also an entirely dust-free material, which means it can be kicked around, sifted, and poured without causing any irritation to you or your cat.

As an added bonus, silica microcrystals are easy to combine with other vital additives. PrettyLitter combines the engineering genius of silica with health indicators that alert you by changing color if your cat’s urine is an abnormal pH or contains blood.

Tell us about your cat litter experience (good or bad) in the comments below!

cat hair problems

Nobody likes wearing cat hair to work.

It's summertime and your cat may be turning your home (and wardrobe) into a hairy mess.

Rather than single-handedly keeping 3M Lint Rollers in production, here are a few cat hair solutions while your feline friend goes through her summer shed.

Shedding Breeds

young maine coon cat

As much as we love our fluffy, soft felines, there are some that shed a ridiculous amount. If you’ve ever given your cat one affectionate stroke down her back and come away with a hand that resembles Chewbacca’s, you know exactly what we’re talking about.

  • American Bobtail
  • Kurilian Bobtail
  • Maine Coon
  • British Longhair
  • Oriental Longhair
  • American Curl
  • Chartreux
  • Cymric
  • Nebelung
  • Coupari
  • Ragamuffin
  • Ragdoll
  • Himalayan
  • Siberian

In general, cat breeds that originate from colder climates - for instance, the Maine Coon and Himalayan cats - are more prone to shedding. However, don’t be fooled by short hair cats. Even cuties like the short-haired Chartreux can be heavy shedders.

If you have a moggy cat - aka, a mixed breed - she could have the shedder’s curse common among the above breeds, too.

Non-Shedding Breeds

non shedding ocicats

Thinking about getting a new feline companion but want to avoid the fashion faux-pas of wearing cat hair to work? Consider getting one of these breeds known for their minimal shedding:

  • Ocicat
  • Bengal
  • Bombay
  • Burmese
  • Sphynx
  • Devon Rex
  • Cornish Rex
  • Colorpoint Shorthair

While some of these cat breeds do shed a bit during seasonal changes, their fur follies are far less noticeable.

Of course, if you want to be that cat parent, you could always go for a hairless sphynx and sidestep the shedding dilemma altogether.

Know Your Cat’s Fur... or Hair

Cats come in so many different colors, body types, and personalities – but did you know they also have different types of coats?

1, 2, 3 Coats!

The cats that shed the most are those with multiple layers of fur. Cats have either a single-, double-, or triple-coat of fur. Single-coat cats shed far less and triple-coat cats shed far more. By understanding your cat’s unique coat, you can apply the grooming regimen that’s going to have the best impact on the shedding issue.

turkish angora cat

single coat Turkish Angora cat

Single-coat cats only have guard hairs, which makes their coats silky, smooth, and fine. Turkish Angoras, for example, are a single-coat breed with only guard hairs.

Double-coat cats, like Persians, have an outer layer of awn or down hairs that provide an added layer of warmth.

Triple-coat cats, as you probably guessed, have all three types of hairs. Siberian cats are a common example of triple-coat cats and can shed an infuriating amount each day.

Fur or Hair

In addition to having different numbers of layers of fur, some cats don’t even have fur at all – they have hair! While it’s common to use the words “fur” and “hair” interchangeably in the world of cat parenting, they’re actually quite different things... sort of.

All fur is technically hair, but not all hair is fur. Just like all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares.

Stay with us here.

In other words, all cats have hair. Just like all people have hair. But only cats that have very thick, dense hair are considered to have fur.

If your cat’s coat is particularly dense to the point where you can’t separate it with your fingers to see her skin on most of her body, she likely has fur. If a quick puff of air allows you to separate your cat’s coat and see that cute pink belly, she has hair.

Be Proactive

Why does all this matter? Well, because cats with double- and triple-coats, and cats with fur need far more grooming than cats with single-coats or thin hair.

Groom, Groom, Groom

cat being groomed

Thanks to modern inventors, there are dozens of great products out there that can help you whisk away as many hairs from your cat’s body in one motion. The trick is to find what your cat will tolerate best.

While some cats yearn for brushing time, others dodge it every chance they get. If your cat runs away when she sees you pull out the hair brush, consider switching to a grooming glove instead. For many cats, it feels just like you’re petting them and they’ll be completely oblivious to the fact that you’re actually getting ahead of the shedding problem.

Baths

cute kitten getting a bath

Yes. Baths. We know, we know... cats and water don’t mix. But baths can significantly help reduce shedding and some cats may even surprise you by tolerating the water.

If your cat absolutely despises baths and refuses to cooperate, wet a washcloth and wipe her down, from head to toe. The water will help trap lose hairs and give your kitty a better clean than brushing alone.

Do this every 4 to 6 weeks and you’ll notice a dramatic reduction in the amount of cat hair in the air and on your clothes.

Get a Check Up

If you’ve been staying on top of your cat’s grooming and she’s still shedding like crazy, or if you have a cat breed that’s known for being a low-shedder but she’s still losing lots of fur, you may need to call your vet.

There are several internal issues that could be causing your cat’s excess shedding. For example, poor nutrition from low-quality food can cause your cat’s hair to fall out at an alarming rate. Allergies (yes, your cat can get allergies, too!) can also be a factor in shedding.

More serious issues like hyperthyroidism and hormonal problems may require medical intervention. If you’re concerned about your cat’s hair loss, don’t wait. Take her in for a check up as soon as possible.

To Cut or Not to Cut?

You probably noticed that we didn’t recommend getting your cat’s hair cut. That’s because while it may solve a problem for you short-term, there are two giant downsides.

cat hair cut

First, even if your cat’s hair is cut shorter – or, gasp!, shaved – she’s still going to shed. The hairs that fall are just going to be shorter.

Second, and more importantly, getting a haircut can be an extremely stressful experience for a cat. Even if your groomer is the sweetest, most gentle person you know, your cat may still get anxiety. That stress can wreak havoc on your cat’s health, so to us it’s just not worth it.

Have a brilliant trick for minimizing cat hair problems that you’d like to share? Post in the comments below! We’re all (cat) ears.

hidden cat litter box

pinterest.com

You work hard to make your home look and feel a certain way.

You want it to be spacious, clean, comforting, and give you all the good feels.

But a cat litter box doesn’t quite match your good intentions, which can make it hard to find the right place for your furry friend’s commode.

Rather than conceding an entire half-bath, basement, laundry room, or closet to your fur baby, why not hide your litter box in plain sight?

Here are our favorite – and dare we say, ingenious – solutions for your cat’s least attractive accessory.

The Bin Beneath the Bench

A common household complaint is a lack of seating space, which is why we love this two-in-one solution.

hidden cat litter box bench

ebay.com

If you love to entertain, consider adding a cozy cushioned bench to your home. And underneath, in a hidden compartment, you can stash the cat box.

For this stealthy solution, you’ll need:

  • A closed cabinet with doors, measuring about 4 feet long, 2 feet tall, and 18 inches wide
  • An oscillating saw or jigsaw
  • A comfy cushion to lay atop the cabinet
  • All your cat’s lovely accessories

Follow HGTV’s super simple video here for how-to instructions.   

End Table Elegance

cat litterbox end table

This option is ideal for apartments and small spaces because you don’t have to give Kitty any space you’d like to allocate to other things.

Start by finding an end table that would go well with your living room decor and that has an open bottom (i.e., no bottom shelf). We like this one for its simplicity and variety of colors and this one for the cute drawer that comes with it.

Next, find a fabric that fits with your decor. If you have curtains or an upholstered couch, you may want to find a near-identical fabric. Otherwise, feel free to get whimsical and creative with a fabric of your choice.

You’ll need a piece about 2 feet wide by 6 feet long, approximately. The goal is to create curtains that hang from underneath the end table and wrap all the way around, so make sure your fabric is at least as tall as your end table and can wrap all the way around loosely.

Turning your end table upside down, use a staple gun to attach the fabric to the outer perimeter of the end table’s underside. Be sure to use short staples (1/4-inch should do) so as not to damage your table. Make sure the ends of the fabric meet on the side you want Kitty to use as an entrance to her private privy.  

Finally, flip your end table right-side up, place it beside your couch, and stash your fur baby’s cat box underneath. Not only will the litter box be hidden from sight, but also you’ll elevate a once boring end table with a custom touch.

Potted Potty

hidden cat litter planter

If you’ve embraced plant life in your home, this is a great way to make Kitty’s potty jive with your potted plants.

Pick up a plant pot with a large enough base for your cat to do her business. We like this 18-inch square-base pot or this 16-inch faux-bronze round pot. Bonus points if you can find one that comes with a lid!

If your pot doesn’t have a lid, you’ll need to cut one out of a piece of plywood. We recommend cutting it to be about 1/4-inch smaller than the inside measurement of the opening of the pot. For example, if you pick up the 18-inch square-base pot, you’ll cut a piece of light plywood to be 17.5-by-17.5-inches.

This will serve as a shelf that closes off the top of your pot-turned-litter-box.

Using a jigsaw or box cutting knife, cut a window in the side of the pot. This will be your cat’s entrance and exit.

Place a liner in the bottom of the pot and fill with your cat’s favorite litter. Place it in your home and angle the opening toward a wall so that it’s out of sight but Fluffy still has plenty of room to get in and out comfortably.

Add a fake plant to the top of the closed pot and voila! – your cat’s private quarters will blend in with the rest of the flora in your home.

Modkat

modkat litter box

modkat.com

Not the DIY type? No problem. If you’d rather purchase a camouflaged cat litter box, we’ve found the prettiest one on the market.

This cat commode will blend right in among subwoofers, planters, and a sleek, modern home decor. Not only does the Modkat litter box not look like a litter box, but it also reduces litter tracking.

It’s a top-entry cat box with a plastic mesh platform on top. When you cat finishes doing her business, she hops out onto the platform and any litter trapped betwixt her little toes falls right back down into the box.

Stick this box anywhere in plain sight and your guests will run through a dozen guesses before they figure out it’s your kitty’s potty.

Final Thought

Now, you may be thinking, “But what about the smell?” And we have a very simple and predictable answer for you: PrettyLitter. Possibly the most difficult aspect of your cat’s litter box to hide is the odor, but if you use PrettyLitter you never have to worry about that.

So get creative, examine your decor, and add an element that guests would never guess actually contains your cat’s latrine. We’ve got the scent covered.

Have you found a smart solution to the litter box problem to your home? Snap a pic and tag us on Instagram #PrettyLitter!

cat father day

When is cat-Father’s Day? June 17. It coincides with people-Father’s Day, but we think the feline version is more fun.

All the best guys are cat dads, so make sure to celebrate the male cat-lover in your life this season.

Here are our favorite Father’s day gifts for cat guys this year.

Bonus points (and purrs) if you sign the card from the cat.

Wardrobe Upgrades

cat dad t-shirt

 

Guys are both the easiest and the hardest to shop for. Your options for gift ideas are limited, but guys rarely need or want much anyway. So this year, we’re sticking with what we know the cat dad in your life will love: t-shirts.

Swing on over to the Tee Shirt Palace and grab dad a purrfect wardrobe enhancer in his favorite color. This Cat Dad t-shirt is a huge hit around the office or while hanging out with the guys. If the man in your life is more of a retro dude, there’s also this excellent tie-dye option that’s sure to get a thumbs up.

If you’d like to personalize your gift, Zazzle lets you work wonders at the click of a button. Start out with their adorable “World’s Best Cat Dad” t-shirt design and add your own flare so Dad knows how much you and Fluffy adore him.

If the man in your life is a movie buff, he’s undoubtedly a fan of the Godfather. Make him feel right at home with Francis Ford Coppola and the gang with this “The Catfather” iconic t-shirt.

To top it off, grab this adorable Parisian Pet “I Love My Daddy” cat t-shirt for your feline offspring and surprise Dad with a round of laughs and “awwww”s when he sees Fluffy in this awesome outfit.

Of course, contrary to what many men believe, a wardrobe isn’t complete with just a collection of awesome t-shirts. To round out Dad’s clothing needs, get him some great cat-themed ties for the days when he needs to look sharp. We love this business cat, this vintage print, and this hidden black cat.

Practical Presents

cat dad mug

Does Dad drink coffee? We thought so. In that case, he’ll love this mug that lets him sip while simultaneously bragging about his status as a cool cat dad. Win, win. Or surprise Dad with this custom message from the cat himself for an added fun twist. We also love this comic gem.

Another thing men always seem in short supply of: socks. Don’t let Dad’s feet get cold. These fun Paw Print Crew Socks will have Dad bonding with the cat on a whole new level.

What’s more practical than a hearty breakfast to kick off the day? It’s a solid foundation to the start of any productive day and you’ll send Dad off to work with a smile when you serve up delicious eggs in this Cat Egg Mold.

Don’t Forget the Card

cat dad card

A little bit of sentiment goes a long way. So when we saw this heartfelt card from the cat, our hearts just gushed. Who can’t fall in love all over again with a critter who gives you a card that reads, “Thanks Dad for cleaning up my poo. I might not show it but deep down I love you!” That’s certainly one card Dad will cherish for years, right?

Of course, if you’d rather at the cat’s personal touch, you can do so easily with this Baby Safe Ink Print Kit. It’s non-toxic, safe for infants and pets alike, and washes off easily so Fluffy won’t track paw prints all over your house (as adorable as that might seem in theory, that’s probably not the decor look you’re going for).

Add your cat’s paw print to a card, the back of a photo of her and Dad, or a simple piece of paper that you can decorate and frame for a sweet keepsake.

Whatever gifts you decided on for the cat Dad in your life this season, we want to see them! Snap your pics and tag us on Instagram with #PrettyLitter for a chance to be featured!

cat pageant show winner

If you've ever flipped through daytime television in aimless boredom, you’ve likely stumbled on a publicized dog or cat show.

And since your cat is the most adorable one you’ve ever seen – right, cat parents? – you may have thought about entering your gorgeous fur baby in a cat show.

Why not? Seems like a great place for like-minded cat lovers to congregate and celebrate the beauty of cats.

Before you put yourself and your cat on the podium, here’s what you need to know about the world of cat shows and what it's really like to step into the ring.

What It’s All About

Here in the United States, cat shows are largely hosted and governed by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA). The CFA is the world’s largest registry of pedigreed cats and hosts the most prominent cat shows each year.

cfa.org logo

 

Founded in 1906 in Buffalo, New York, the CFA has grown into something that only true cat lovers can appreciate. In 2011, CFA moved their Global Headquarters to Alliance, Ohio, where they now share a stunning multi-story granite office building with the CFA Foundation Feline Historical Museum.

Clearly, these people know (and adore) cats. Today, CFA has more than 600 member clubs around the world and now licenses 400 cat shows globally each year. The registry that started CFA more than a hundred years ago now includes more than 2 million cats.

But the CFA and their shows represent more than just the feline version of Ms. Congeniality.

In all, the CFA and the cat shows they host stand for some powerful values that we can all get behind – like promoting the welfare of cats, advocating for legislation for feline research, supporting breeders, ensuring ethical and high standards for breeding cats safely, and providing a forum for cat lovers to come together.

Pedigreed or Moggy?

If you’ve ever considered showing your adorable feline friend but are concerned that she’s not “pure blood” or pedigreed, we have some good news for you: cat shows aren’t just for the royale elite of the cat world anymore!

There are two different kinds of cat shows today: pedigreed and moggy.

pedigree cat show winner

pets4home.co.uk

Pedigreed cat shows are based on breed standards. The CFA has developed a set of standards for each breed. When you enter your cat into a pedigreed show, your cat will be judged according to those textbook standards. The cat who represents those standards in real life most closely wins the top award.

In order to qualify for a pedigreed show, a cat must be registered and her lineage must be traceable. This usually means you purchased your cat from a breeder who has professionally and rigorously kept records of your cat’s heritage.

Moggy cat shows are bit more fun, in our opinion. Rather than being all about the pedigree and a meticulous cat family tree, moggy cats are mixed breeds that may not hold any information about their ancestry.

According to the CFA, moggies (also known as “companion cats” or “household pets”) are judged “for their uniqueness, pleasing appearance, unusual markings, and sweet dispositions.” In an effort to promote positive cat parenting choices, the CFA only allows moggies to enter competition if they are not declawed and, if they’re over the age of eight months, they’ve been spayed or neutered.

As an added bonus, the CFA awards a special Merit ribbon to each moggie contestant who is in good health and vitality. While cat shows used to be all about purity of breed and superficial appearance, the CFA and cat shows around the world have gone out of their way to ensure that these events prioritize good cat health and include cats of all breeds – because diversity is the cat’s meow.

Step Right Up

Even if your cat isn’t pedigreed, you and your fluffy friend can get in on the cat-lovin’ action. Download the show rules and fill out an entry form with CFA today and you could be stroking your cat’s ego with plenty of adoring onlookers in no time.

Want to know more about your cat’s lineage before signing her up to strut her stuff? You can get your cat’s DNA tested through CFA’s partner, CatDNATest.org. In addition to finding out fun facts about your cat’s ancestry, you can also find out crucial health information that can help you plan ahead to ensure your cat has a long, healthy life.

We love all cats, so show off yours on Instagram and tag us at #PrettyLitter for a chance to be featured! And don’t be afraid to let your cat fancy flag fly.

cat jumping and landing on it's feet

You’re a good cat parent, right?

You know what your cat’s saying with his various meows and squawks. You know when he likes a quick petting and when to back off. But do you know how your cat manipulates the laws of physics?

Neither did we! So we decided to do some research to find out.

Cats are known for being able to somehow always land on their feet, even from the most awkward falls. And we finally figured out just how they do it.

Special Equipment

People used to think that cats were such great fallers because of their tails. But not so! Even tailless cats are able to pull off this stunt.

Cats have special equipment that most other mammals - humans included - don’t have. Cats actually have a special internal gyroscope located in the inner ear that allows them to detect their position in space.

To give you some perspective, imagine your evil friends blindfold you and spin you around and around and around. Without the use of your sight, it’ll be a few moments before you can figure out which way is up and how to avoid crashing to the ground.

Now imagine the same scenario, but when your friends finally let you go you know exactly where you are. No dizziness. No awkward stumbling. Just graceful awareness.

That’s your cat.

While most mammals have to rely on sight, your cat’s internal gyroscope gives your cat a Yoda-like awareness of all things physics.

Cat Physics

cat physics

www.infogrades.com

Newton’s the one who said “an object at rest will remain at rest unless acted on by an external force.” If Newton were alive today, we’d point to our feline friends and say, “Nuh uh!”

Somehow cats are able to change the physics of their fall despite having no external force (like a human, a diving bird, etc.) help them adjust their position.

Thanks to Dustin the human and Gigi the stunt cat at Smarter Every Day, we got a slow-motion look at the trick cats use to pull off this feat.

If you’ve ever been a kid on a playground (or maybe even as an adult, we’re not judging), you’ve probably hopped on the spinning platform of death. It’s a rotating (usually metal, of all things) platform that you can stand on and adjust your spin speed based on how tightly you hug the platform. Hang off as far as you can and you’ll slow down; tuck your arms and legs in and you spin faster and faster to migraine-inducing speeds.

Cats use the same principle of physics to pull off their perfect landing.

As a cat falls, his body wants to stay in the same position the whole way down. So in order to generate enough momentum to twist his body so his feet end up beneath him, your cat pulls his front paws in close to his body and extends his back legs out as far as possible. Now the front half of his body is falling faster than his back half.

Once your cat’s front legs and head are facing the direction he wants, he pushes his front legs out and tucks his back legs in. This allows him to stop the spin of his front body and allows the back half to spin faster and catch up with the position of his front half.

To watch the whole thing in slow motion, check out Dustin & Gigi’s video.

We’re pretty jealous of this innate talent cats have. What other tricks does your cat have up his sleeve that you wish you could master? Let us know in the comments below!

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