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5 Things You Learn Not to Care About When You Have a CH Cat

November 19, 2013

My years in college and a few years afterward meant two things: Moving nearly every year to a new apartment, and watching every penny.

IMG_0102I don’t know if you’ve ever gone through a similar phase like that, but while you’re going through it, it’s easy to start dreaming about what you’ll have one day when you’re settled down and have some disposable income. For me, one of my wish list items was having a grown-up bed — you know, like one of those you see in a magazine. A lovely bed frame, a gorgeous duvet, perhaps even more pillows than I’d know what to do with.

Well, it only took a few days after I adopted CG to realize that getting a grown-up bed would likely never come to fruition. Instead, I would give up that wish list item for someone who was even better. It wasn’t because of cost or cat hair or anything like that — I simply realized early on that CG was a climber. And if he wanted to get on my bed, that involved having bedding that was durable and easy to climb.

Since that day, I’ve realized that a “grown-up bed” was one of several things I’d have to cross off my wish list. So, if you’re new to CHers, here’s a heads up: Here are five things you learn not to care about when you have a CH cat. 

Out-of-a-Magazine Bedding: As I just mentioned, I gave up dreams of this for this. I know, I won in the end. While bedding like that would be lovely, it just isn’t practical with a CH cat who climbs. Most of those comforters and duvets are so delicate and soft, that one cat claw could do a great deal of damage.

image_7Instead, Matt and I opt for durable, utilitarian bedding. Right now we have a thick blanket on our bed that the cats can easily climb, and it doesn’t show any wear or damage like pulled threads. Our bed would never appear in Better Homes and Gardens, but a simple choice like this makes a world of difference when it comes to empowering CG and Ellie.

Put-on-Display Cat Dishes: There are some CUTE cat dishes out there. Unfortunately, if they’re made of ceramic or something similar, they may not last long. All it takes is one CH tumble, and the dish may end up chipped if not worse.  That said, using silicon place mats can help keep the dishes from sliding. PS — to be fair, I think I chip the plates while washing them as often as Ellie does! Want a simple solution? Opt for plastic or metal dishes, but there are pros and cons for those as well.

Looks-as-if-It-has-Never-Been-Sat-on Furniture: Yeah, you figure this out within the first few days. If your CH cat is a climber, you soon realize two things: One, your couch will never look perfect. Two, you start thinking about the best couch fabrics that are easy to climb and don’t show wear. By the way — if you find this magic combination, please let me know!

When Matt and I got married, he contributed his “bear couch” — a comfy red sofa that lived through several years of college friends. Unfortunately, after two years with CG and Ellie, it shows a very different, obvious type of wear.

IMG_7044Perfect Carpet: I know, this is an odd one, and it’s likely something all cat owners deal with. But one thing I’ve started to notice with our cats is that they seem to pull out threads from our carpet quite often — both on carpeted areas of our home and on our area rugs. Again, not a big deal, but it’s something I didn’t expect.

Delicate Curtains: OK, so I truly should have known better about this one. We put up some curtains in our front window — sheers in front, with heavier curtains to pull over them. Well, the sheer curtains are usually pulled mostly across the windows, right up to Ellie’s cat tree. Needless to say, every time she gets down from her tree, the sheer curtains, um, “help” a bit. Consequently, one panel is all torn up from cat claws.

Again, these things are just that — they’re things. They mean nothing in the grand scheme of things, especially since we’re blessed to have Ellie and CG in our lives. That said, if you are passionate about any of the items listed above, you may want to get creative in either how they co-exist with your CH cats.

Do you have more things to add to the list? Have you come up with any solutions so you can live with both these items and your cats? Please share in the comments! 

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Monika permalink
    November 19, 2013 9:03 am

    Hi Amanda, Loved this blog. Welcome to the pet world. I too had visions at one time of having a BH&G home but having fur babies and kids does put a damper on a lot of “picture perfect” decor. Over the years I have replaced our living room furniture 4 times. Not only due to clawing but “spraying” . Now I opted to cover my furniture after heavy duty cleaning with matching comforters (bought at outlet stores .) I buy Queen or King size to cover the whole area. They usually run about $30.00 each and last a few years. I originally tried slip covers from a well known company and paid a lot of money for them but they did not hold up to the washing and they snagged and shredded as easily as the sofa fabric.

    I also buy sheers at these outlet stores , I check the clearance racks or when they go on sale and buy enough to last a few years. ( I will not pay more than $10.00 for 2 panels.) I have 10 windows that the cats have access to so when I purchase I buy in bulk. Recently found a website for curtains that is unbelievably reasonable in pricing and free shipping to boot. The best type of sheers that I ever found were a netting type not the lisette or regular sheers. Unfortunetly I cannot find these types anymore. They have lasted about 10 years and do not show pulls. But alas they are finally wearing out more due to the sun than the cats. Molly just loves to swing on them and we are just waiting to see if she will attempt to climb them.
    Originally I had wall to wall carpeting but due to the urination problem I ripped out all of it and refinished the floors and now have area rugs everywhere. I just recently purchased some “oriental” look alike rugs from the “O” in man-made materials for easy clean-up (Molly was peeing whereever she lay for months and even though I had placed table protectors and upholstery material on top the urine did seep through. I watched the website forementioned and bought 2 rugs for less than the cost of cleaning the original rugs.

    In conclusion, at first glance when you walk into our house it “almost” looks BH&G but with modifications and everything is washable! It is funny I am in the same circumstance as you but for other reasons. I am now retired and the disposable income no longer exists and I and my husband have to watch the pennies again. It’s the Circle of Life! I can give you some of the websites that I have found for bargains if you contact me.

    • November 22, 2013 7:46 am

      Great advice! Thanks, Monika!

  2. natsera permalink
    November 19, 2013 12:25 pm

    Just thinking….. I don’t have any carpets in my house, but lots and lots of cat beds. Also, no curtains — the front window is covered by a plastic “stained glass” of cats, of course. Two cat trees, which are well-clawe=”which Dimity can climb high enough to enjoy the view, accompanied by second, maybe third-hand coffee tables that have seen better days, to help her get down. No stairs either. I have 2 sofas, which are covered with flat bed sheets — easily washable, and easy to replace, too. As you know, I diaper her, so she’s free during the day, and spends her nights nude in a large cat-cage — I put doggy peepee pads on the bottom, and a cat box in case a miracle happens, and food and water and a nice comfy bed in there, and she’s happy. The reason I do it is to give her little butt some air time, so she doesn’t get sore. I was never a BH&G housekeeper anyway, so this is no sweat for me! 🙂

    • Monika permalink
      November 19, 2013 7:51 pm

      Love your decorating Natsera LOL – been there done that a long time ago . Can’t use diapers on our Molly at least not now so she uses the areas under the sofa and love seat which are all pee padded for now. Molly hasn’t learned yet how to climb so for now that is not an issue. She plays on the upholstery pad on our rug and jumps and drags herself all over the downstairs of our house and when she tires out she takes “hops, jumps etc.,to a sherpa lined cat carrier we had accidentally left in the room a while ago. She has claimed it as her safe area and always goes back to it every night on her own. Love seeing your responses.

    • November 22, 2013 7:46 am

      Love this! Hope Dimity is doing well!

  3. Lauren T. permalink
    November 20, 2013 9:41 am

    I 100% agree with this post! Mimosa has destroyed our comforter, sheets, sofas and carpet. The bed from climbing (even with the stairs) and I think she just likes to scratch at the side of the sofa and the carpets for fun, even though she has tons of scratching posts etc. I’ve come to realize that unless we possibly by a microfiber-type couch, which I don’t always like the look of, we will always have beat up looking furniture. We put blankets over the sofas when we are home to try and combat the big pulls and claw marks from climbing, but we can’t stop her from clawing at the sides of it for fun. We have a nice bed frame etc. but she even has put scratches on the actual wood when she is being a little terror under the bed. Thank god for the pet deposit at our rental, but I’m afraid it might not cover all the little pulls in what I thought was super durable carpet! I’ve also learned to live without a wonderful night’s sleep because of her, but that probably is just her and not CH related.

    • Betsy Reed permalink
      November 21, 2013 5:10 pm

      Oddly enough, my CH kitty is the least destructive in my house! My curtains are shredded from my other 3 arguing with the neighbor’s cat thru the window. I have Ikea cheap sheers that I’ve had forever, they are looking pretty pitiful by now! I also have an Ikea couch with cotton slip covers that are pretty tough! And the white ones were only $50! I know, you are thinking “I can’t do white!”-however, they don’t snag and you can bleach them and bleach them. The rug is a shag and was in good shap until the CH kitty came along, she leaks a bit when she’s tumbling (can’t blame her, so do I!) and the little spots I can’t see then collect dirt. In the Spring I think I might have to move furniture and stem clean, but otherwise. I have made duvet covers for my bed using pretty sheets-cheaper and sturdier than the store-bought, and the cat hair blends in so well!!

    • November 22, 2013 7:38 am

      Great tips, Betsy! You’ve found a lot of great solutions! I would love to find out more about them and your CH cat. I’ll email you soon!

    • November 22, 2013 7:45 am

      I’m 100% in agreement with your response! In addition to their CHness, sometimes our grays can tear stuff up simply because they’re cats! (You dont even want to know what CG is doing to our Christmas tree, but maybe I’ll post about it soon, haha!)

      That’s good news about the microfiber couch… as for the carpet, could you either cut or pull out the loose strands? I’ve done that, and while it’s not perfect, it does help at first glance…

    • Lauren T. permalink
      November 22, 2013 7:58 am

      Oh Mimosa likes to do a number on our Christmas tree too, we stopped putting any nice ornaments anywhere near the bottom for fear of her naughty little paws swatting everything off, like she does every other surface. I even have an cat ornament that I got “for her” that says “Santa, I’ll be good,” but she made a liar out of me and 10 seconds later had swatted it down off the tree.

      I’ve definitely had to pull and cut some carpet off. Its the type of carpet that when it tears it comes up in one lonnnng strip, so when a piece is missing, its rather obvious. But I’ve finally come to terms that having a cat, or any pet, is going to come with a lot of unexpected expenses, much like a kid I guess.

  4. Teresa permalink
    February 3, 2014 11:48 pm

    Our kitty was diagnosed with CH. But I think he has something worse. I have taken him to two animal ER’s and the vet twice and by the time we get there he is no longer exhibiting the behavior. I video taped him this morning and wish I could share it with someone who may know what is going on. He is usually totally normal until he has these strange “episodes”. Teresa

    • February 21, 2014 8:12 am

      Hi Teresa, Have you shown the video to your vet? Your cat may be having seizures (it’s the only thing that comes to mind). I’d recommend continuing to record it and share it with your vet the next chance you have. Good luck!

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