We’ve had our fluffball Zuko for almost 2 months now! Truth be told he thinks his name is “Floofer” since that’s what we call him due to his fluffiness …
Anyways, I wanted to share some ‘cat hacks’ for anyone who is considering going tiny with their feline family!
Save money by making your own toys. We learned that cats appreciate novelty over quality, but it’s not necessary to spend a fortune on new toys. For instance you can cut up cardboard toilet paper rolls to form a ball and put catnip or a bell inside. Paper bags, string, wild bird feathers…anything can be a plaything. Sylvester’s favorite toy is the laser pointer while Zuko loves plastic springs (they bounce around and make noise rolling on the floor!). We rotate the toys daily and put them in a dedicated drawer after playtime. You can see Sylvester testing our homemade sisal rope scratching post, which is so much cheaper and stronger than a store-bought one.
Choose the right flooring. If you have pets, invest in durable flooring from the start. We have cork in our loft that is very scratched up from kitten claws, unfortunately. I imagine that vinyl, hardwood, or ceramic would be good for pets.
Outside time. It didn’t take long for Zuko to learn to love his harness! A small investment for the peace-of-mind of supervised excursions outside.
Unscented litter. To me, scented litters are more noxious than the smells they’re trying to cover up. Keep the box scooped and you won’t need perfumy-litter anyways. Even in a tiny house 🙂
Pet bed? Zuko has a comfy fleece cat bed, but the majority of the time he sleeps on the couch, in the closet, on top of the cabinets, or in the bathroom sink… at least while he’s small enough!
Quality food. Good nutrition saves money on health in the long run. After a lot of research, I jumped on the raw feeding bandwagon and learned how to “make” cat food! I say “make” because I simply add egg yolks, fish oil, and vitamins to chubs of raw meat/bone that I buy frozen at the pet store.
The bone is essential for calcium and very finely ground. He gets regular canned food too, but he definitely prefers the raw stuff. Best of all, it’s surprisingly economical and eco-friendly (no cans or kibble bags to dispose of). If you’ve ever bought cans of cat food, you’ve noticed that most varieties, especially the grain-free ones, are at least $1.30 per 5.5oz can. For homemade, it’s 90 cents for the same amount! I mix up a big batch, freeze each day’s portion in individual plastic containers, and put one in the fridge every night so it defrosts in time for breakfast. Even with a tiny freezer I can store 10-15 lbs of cat food in addition to our human food.
One of the best ways to save money on pet food is through variety, so you can buy whatever’s on sale. It is also better for the pet’s health to rotate between different foods than to eat the same thing all the time. I’ve noticed that benefits of the mostly-raw diet include almost zero shedding, good appetite and weight, and small odorless poop (yes really!)
In the end, having a cat in a tiny house isn’t much different than having a cat in any other house. Cheers to our Floofer, who really puts the “home” in “Rose Home” 🙂