Our must haves for any pet owner!

September 06, 2018

Hello there! If you've been reading for awhile you know I tend to have one of our fur babies (especially pics on Instagram) in photos quite a bit. We have three animals -- our two cats, Colby and Nya, and our dog, Peanut -- who tend to follow me around quite a bit. 💓

We of course love them beyond measure and don't know what we'd do without them. Even Colby, a cat we adopted when he was a feral kitten who tests our patience daily: 

Crazy Colby cat
He is sitting there staring at me as I type.

He is SO loving but also needs a ton of attention. And he lets you know if he's not getting it. ;)

Our other cat is sweet as can be and loves to cuddle. She's laying against my laptop right now because she 1. Has to be right next to me at all times 2. Loves being toasty warm: 
Best products for cat owners

We call the cats the twins because they do everything the same -- and most of the time together. They also have very similar markings, just in different colors. It's actually quite weird. 

And our cuddle bug Peanut is the sweetest (to us) and would do anything to protect (just) us. His pastimes include sleeping most of the time and barking at all cars, people, animals, trucks, bugs, geese, airplanes and bikes that go by the house:
Chihuahua rat terrier

We adore all of our furry babes! Our house wouldn't be home without them. I've had animals my entire life so I consider myself a bit of an expert. I thought I'd share some of my favorite pet products with you today! (None of this stuff is sponsored by the way, just items that work really well.) 

The first item I've actually shared with you before. This stuff is called Furry Freshness and it is a MIRACLE in a bottle
The BEST cleaning product for animals

You can see why I love it so much in that link above. It is amazing stuff -- if you have animals and carpet it is a MUST. This works for both dogs and cats and gets out pretty much any stain. AND no rubbing, no work!! 

If you don't use the Furry Freshness you'll want this -- before I found that spray I used this Spotbot Pet carpet cleaner (affiliate) all the time: 
Spot bot pet carpet cleaner machine

Because that spray works so well I rarely use this for pet stuff anymore -- but it still works great for everything else! It works infinitely better than just patting or scrubbing by hand and is small enough that it's not a pain to carry around the house. (Instead of a big carpet cleaner.)

I don't even use cleaning solution in the tank -- I just spray the carpet and then put the machine (filled with water) on top. You push a button and it does all the work for you. LOVE. IT. 

The next one is for the cat owners -- we've tried many litter boxes over the years (I mean LOTS), but the one we keep coming back to is one of the most basic. I showed them to you in this before pic before I hid the boxes under that table: 
Best litter boxes with lids

These covered litter boxes make it easier to keep the litter in the box...which is the hardest part. And some kitties tend to accidentally urinate outside of the box because of the way they position themselves, so a cover prevents that. 

These come with doors that help to keep any smells inside but I removed them. Our cats don't like anything in their way and we scoop the litter enough that it doesn't stink. 

I do NOT recommend the "Luuup" litter box. I don't usually mention products I've had bad experiences with but that one warrants it. The product doesn't work, they're crazy expensive and the customer service is horrible. They also delete anything other than glowing reviews on their site or Facebook page. OK, rant over. ;) 

You can see how I hid our litter boxes but still gave the cats access in this post: 
Cute way to hide litter boxes

It's been working really well so far!

Speaking of litter, that's another product we've tested out quite a bit. My favorite is one we just started using this year:
Best non-tracking litter

The Clean Paws litter is the lowest tracking we've found. The pellets are slightly larger so they don't seem to get caught in their paws quite as much. It's still not 100 percent, but much better than any other brand we've used!

This isn't really a pet item but more of a method -- this is by far the most effective way I've found to remove pet hair from furniture:
Best way to remove pet hair from furniture

I've tried many doodads over the years and the simplest solution is the best! It works every time.

The final pet item we love can be used for both cats and dogs. Our cats have a chronic problem with sensitive bellies -- they vomit often. We've visited numerous vets about it and no one can come up with an explanation, so we started trying solutions on our own.

One that seems to help is smaller food servings. This rotating food bowl only allows for small portions. You can see our bowls in the pantry:
white shelves in pantry

You can set the timer so that the bowls rotate whenever you want. They are also great if you travel often -- at least shorter trips. I think there are six bowls inside? They take D batteries and the directions say they should last a year -- ours have been going strong for longer than that.

The smaller portions seem to help with their vomiting and if you have cats you know they tend to freak out if they don't have food. These allow for at least a little bit at all times. I refill them every couple of days.

Those are some of our pet must-haves! Do you use any of these? Any favorites I didn't mention that you can't live without? I'd love to hear what you love. :)

Some affiliate links included for your convenience!
Email subscription form header
Your email:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide


  1. Out of curiosity, do you keep the pantry door open all the time so the cats have access to their food? If so, how do you keep the dog out of it? For that matter, how do you keep the dog out of the litter boxes?

    Sorry, inquiring minds want to know...

    1. Yes it’s open all the time. Our dog used to eat their food occasionally but the vet said it’s not a big deal. He doesn’t do it anymore. He’s not interested in the litter thank goodness!!

  2. I have 2 cats as well. One has a more sensitive stomach than the other. How do you make sure the cats eat their own portion of food? How do you keep it separated?

    1. We don’t really — the portions are so small, if they eat off the other it’s not a big deal. Not sure how you’d separate it for your sensitive one. 🤔

  3. I first purchased Furry Freshness upon your recommendation last year sometime. LIFE CHANGING. I now have a monthly delivery of the gallon size because I use it as a carpet cleaner in my steamer. We bought our house a year ago and inherited older carpet. It has taken out the stains that came with it. It is magic in a bottle.

    1. I started using Furry Freshness because of Sara's recommendation also. I have an old dog who occasionally has accidents - and sometimes I think on purpose out of laziness - so it's a well used product. Works better than anything I've ever tried and I've had pets my entire life.

  4. One of the BEST things you can do for your cats is feed them canned, wet food. My cat Meow is diabetic and in learning about Feline Diabetes Mellitus, learning about how bad dry cat food is for cats made me so sad for all the years and all the cats I fed what is basically Cap'n Crunch to.
    The added moisture in the food, with water added as well, will help with upset tummies, as will the higher protein, low carb makeup of pate style canned foods. Likely they get upset stomachs from their Blood Glucose bouncing around.

    1. Thank you, we will have to try it! They get so anxious if they don’t have just a little food in their bowls though. Does yours not?

    2. I just started giving mine canned in addition to the dry food. No more daily hairballs thrown up. yay! My hubby gives him a big scoop of dry and then I feed the cat a quarter of a 5 ounce can of wellness brand twice a day. As long as it's a chicken variety, he's a happy camper.

    3. We feed our kitties Royal Canin dry food. I don’t think all dry food is created equally. I actually tried wet food as a supplement (so they could benefit from the added water) and they started vomiting regularly. I discontinued the wet food and we’ve had no vomiting at all ever since.

    4. We have two cats. One of them was vomiting quite often. I tried several different formulas for sensitive stomachs, etc. They are now on Royal Canin Feline Hairball Care dry cat food and it has worked wonders. Our puker does so very rarely now and seems so much happier. The non-puker prefers wet food and we feed her maybe 2-3 tbls/day of a small can that has lots of gravy and she supplements with the dry Royal Canin. The puker doesn't care for wet food. Our vet told us to never buy the wet food with fish in it because of the high levels of mercury and other chemicals in it, so we only buy chicken, turkey, gravy, etc. Anyway, bottom-line, the Royal Canin hairball formula has been a miracle for us.

  5. I have three cats and used the same litter boxes. Last year I switched to top entry and now I have almost zero tracking! They enter through the top and there are little holes that catch the litter. And as someone else asked my dogs cannot get in there. I got mine on chewy.

    1. Ours are so picky I’m afraid they wouldn’t use them! Did they take to them right away?

    2. Yes! I was worried about that as well but no problems at all.

    3. We have two cats and have used the Litter Robot automatic litter box for 9 years now. It is fabulous! It's pricey, but well worth the money. All we have to do is remove the bag from the dump tray once a week and add 1 cup of litter. We can be gone for at least a week without having to ask someone to take care of the litter box. If you can afford it, check it out. I've owned cats all of my life (and that's a pretty long time now) and this is the easiest litter box I've ever had.

  6. The spotbot pet is amazing! I have no idea how I survived before without!

  7. #1 must have when owning pets...PATIENCE! I have four cats and a large dog! Dogs pee and chew but if you are lucky they out grow both...ours is 4 and the only time she chews is if she is mad that I left her at home alone...fortunately she finds whatever is handy and chomps it a time or two to send her message...one reason I am so OCD about "clutter" laying around. All cats and dogs shed...it's going to be an issue. I have a cordless "stick vacuum" (a Shark) that is a God-sent and a MUST between heavy vacuuming! Cat vomit? I have found that brushing the cats often helps but they do tend to pig out and make themselves sick...one reason I no longer have carpet or expensive area rugs. White washable bedding...a must have for furry animals! Litter box issues? They are going to stink and your best bet is to clean it out often.

  8. I don't know if you've ever tried it, but we switched from cat litter to horse bedding. I know it sounds SUPER strange, but they are big pine pellets that soak up liquids so well that it has helped so much with odor from the cat urine plus they don't really track it out. It's super cheap too. We get it from Tractor Supply Co. for like, $5 for a huge bag. I know once you find a good litter you stick with it, but I just thought I'd mention it :)

    1. Hmmm!! I haven't heard of this but I'm intrigued. I will have to look into it.

  9. I used to have two cats, but they shared a litter box. Do your cats stick to their own box or switch it up?? Also, how do you keep the cats from eating the other ones portion? Just curious. I have three dogs and have to make sure they eat ONLY their own food.

  10. What is that container beside the litter boxes, that is holding a scooper?

    1. I think it's a litter genie. It's basically like the diaper genie, but for cat poop. Our friends have one and like it.

    2. Yes! I should have mentioned that too! It’s great.

  11. Sarah, thanks so much for the positive preview of the Furry Freshness! I’ve wondered about this product, read reviews but I totally believe you. Your blog was the first I read and it is still number one today. I have an important question for you. In my foyer I have a buffet and I’ve purchased a large mirror to go above it. I’m thinking that I don’t want to hang the mirror just set it on the back. Do you recommend anchoring it to the wall with maybe wire wrapped around a large screw. I have put rubber pad between the mirror and buffet! Will patiently be waiting for your advice!

  12. We recently adopted our first cat. She is 11 weeks old. We already have two small dogs. We have opted out of having her declawed, and we had her claws clipped a few days ago. Problem is is that she is scratching all my furniture and curtains up even after having her claws clipped. We have scratching posts, toys, and a cat tower for her. Do you have any suggestions on how we can keep her from scratching those things?

  13. Colby is adorable.
    When one of our kitties was puking a lot, our vet recommended that we place some large rocks in his food dish. The rocks would be too big for him to ingest but big enough for him to eat around and slow down his eating. So far, so good.

  14. Hi Sarah!
    Our cat used to vomit frequently as well. Nothing helped until I switched her to grain free food (mostly dry but some wet too) She almost never vomits now and used to daily!!

  15. Cats are amazing creatures, as evidenced by all the comments. I’ve been rescuing kitties for 40 years, presently I have 7 down from 16 at the most, ages 5 to 20 (this Nov.). I’ve used a variety of different litter boxes over the years, some like lidded, other don’t so I have both (I have 7 boxes), my newest and fav are Modcat (go to their website). I feed wet primarily, and dry sprinkled on top. I do not free feed, except for one that was starved (well most were) before I rescued them, and since he’s a nibbler and a waif (5 lbs), he gets to eat when he wants. Everyone else, A.M. & P.M. only, each in their own spot. I use 3.5 Oz cans fancy feast Classic, with a little warm water poured over the wet food sorta like gravy.

    My experience with barfers- it’s generally hair they’ve barfing up, or they they truly don’t like the food or wolfed it down to fast. I too avoid fish canned stocking with the Classic, no shreds and chunks or grilled.

    A few get the Royal Canine Renal F (from my vet), because I have a few 17-yr olds borderline renal.

    I love the pic of Colby on the printer - he’s handsome! I also read recently on a Canadian Vet website, cats prefer 20 degrees warmer temps than we do - hence maybe sun seeking kitties!

  16. Oh, my favorite kitty litter is The World's Best Kitty litter, it’s corn based, no dusty clay litter, no matter how dust free it says, clay based ones are still dusty!


If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here!

You can find our paint colors and links to items at the "Our Home" tab at the top of my site.

THANKS so much for reading!