Jed is the Creative Director at Hepper, a Modern Pet Furnishings company in Burlington, Vermont. He gets to design the products he wants for his pets, and has a house full of cats to test all the new concepts.
As much as we love the critters in our house, they do bring a lot of challenges with their companionship. The fur-everywhere, midnight-puking, couch-scratching, litter-spreading lifestyle that our cats have is well worth the friendship, fun, and joy they bring to our lives, but there are some things that you can do to reduce the bad and increase the good.
Our 3 cats go through a lot of food and they are not the cleanest eaters. There’s always a halo of food crumbs and water dribbles in their food area. Chances of teaching them to clean up after themselves is slim, but I have found a simple food area organization solution that works well. Super simple really, not a product, but just a nice modern look: get a stainless steel baking sheet (kitchen stores, or even Kmart) and your choice of some cool bowls or plates. If you use light plastic plates like these robot versions, add some sticky rubber bumpers underneath to keep them from sliding. (Or velcro tape if you hand-wash). Then a once-a-week cleaning of everything is as easy as dumping the crumbs in the trash and washing everything out. Although there are some great pet bowls and feeders out there, this won’t cost you much and is easily customizable to match your home.
Cat toys are always fun and they’re great for getting your fat kitty moving. Our problem is that we are victims of impulse buys and there are now toys everywhere in the house. I’ve been working on some ideas for a Hepper product solution for this, but in the meantime, you could try this simple solution: a plastic grocery bag holder. It works great to hold and hide smaller plush cat toys. Assuming that the sizes match up well, the kitties can pull out their toys when they want them. I like the look of the “grocery bag holder” from simplehuman.com – it could even be mounted in the living room and still look good! Now all we have to do is teach the cats to put their toys back in..