If your home has suffered at the paws of your pets, or you’re redecorating and wondering just what to buy, Janet Lyle’s tips and tricks will have you and your furry friends on your way to a beautiful home.
“Last Christmas was so exciting – we collected our two beautiful Birman kittens on Boxing Day and immediately they became part of the family.” Janet’s animal brood also counts a chocolate Labrador and a West Highland Terrier, so if anyone knows the havoc animals can wreak on a home, she does! “As much as I adore my animals, they do come second to my home. I’m terribly house-proud, and I’m pleased to pass on my tips for a harmonious household,” explains Janet.
“The right floor coverings are so important, as is the right sweeper. If you have carpets or upholstered furniture, make sure you buy a sweeper designed to suck up animal hair,” Janet advises. Hard flooring is ideal in a home with animals – opt for those that can withstand scratches, like a tough laminate. Frequent cleaning will soon take its toll on carpets, but hard floors can be mopped and swept at will, a quick turn with a dustpan and brush perfect for dealing with any shedding.
Itchy and Scratchy
Janet’s secret to preserving her expensive furnishings is simple. “Kitten claws can cause chaos, so as soon as you bring your new addition home, buy a scratching post and teach the kitten to use it from day one. Providing an accessible and durable scratching post should ensure that your furniture stays fray-free throughout your pet’s lifetime.” Scratching posts are available from pet stores, varying from simple two piece units to elaborate feline home entertainment systems!
Basket or Bust
Teaching your animals to keep off sofas and chairs from the start is so important, according to Janet. “Good habits are best formed early on, but if your efforts have failed there are things you can do to make sure your furniture is hygienic and looks good.” Janet advises opting for patterned upholstery to disguise shed fur with removable covers for ease of cleaning. “Leather is a good choice for very fluffy furries, but remember that it may not withstand a regular clawing,” she says.
In order to keep hygiene standards high Janet recommends not feeding animals in your kitchen. “If you can’t avoid this ensure that you fit a durable and easy to clean floor in your kitchen and keep it scrupulously free of germs. Grouting between ceramic tiles can quickly become a magnet for cat and dog food, so choose a vinyl material if you can,” she advises. A utility area is a great place to feed animals; you might even be able to persuade them outside for summer time meals.
Keeping pets doesn’t mean your house can’t be a beautiful home. Choose furnishings that you can quickly and easily clean, and train your animals while they are young to discourage scratching. Consider keeping some rooms for human enjoyment only and teach pets to occupy their own basket. Janet has one final piece of advice: “If you only do one thing, train cats and dogs to stay off your bed. My husband and I find ourselves shaped around two cats and at least one dog every night!”