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Tips for Buying a Cat

Are Your Pets Ruining Your Decor? Tales & Tips from my Home

Nobody told me when I got a cat a four years ago that I wasn’t allowed to have nice things anymore. I think my partner Gavin was so excited that I’d finally agreed to get a pet that we were at the Cat Protection Society at the speed of light, scooping up little Mim and bringing her home to complete the family Christmas photo.

Pets and Decor

Speaking of the festive season, we got her in December (a birthday present for Gavin) and that was when I first came to the harsh realisation that the way I approached decorating my home was going to change. Christmas tree baubles were hit onto the floor, wrapping paper was shredded and scratched, and ribbon on gifts… I think we all know how that ended!

It wasn’t until Mim turned her attention to the sofa that I began to understand my old life – with immaculate furniture – had come to an end to make way for a new story. The sofa got scratched up pretty quickly, as did the armchair that I purchased soon after. Carpet is another thing cats love to knead, while open doors have become a thing of the past (we’re indoor cat people).

Decor and Pets - Mim the Cat

Emi arrived on the scene two years later (we wanted to give bored Mim a little friend to play with) and she was like a wild banshee from the moment she hit the house. Mim quickly looked like an angel sent down from heaven in comparison, as energetic Emi wreaked havoc on the place. To this day, the cats still don’t get along, except when they do their business out of the litter or vomit up their dinner. It’s in this moment I think they turn to each other and wink. Terrorising us is the one thing that they can bond over!

Of course, despite my ‘lived-in’ furniture and inability to display bunches of flowers around the place (they love to knock them over), I do adore my two cats. It’s nice to come home to a pair of munchkins who rely on you and purr when you go near them (well, Mim makes you work for purrs pretty hard, actually). They don’t know I’m a stylist – or they don’t care lol – and they don’t understand that the sofa is not a scratch pole, but I do love them anyway. And I’ve undoubtably become a crazy cat lady who shares way too many cat photos on Instagram, but I can’t help it. I guess this is how people feel about their kids, right?

All of that said, the point of this post was to have a (small) gripe with you about pets but also provide some tips on what I’ve learnt about having cats and how they effect your home decor. So here are some pointers 🙂

Buying a Cat

Some tips on buying a cat and what they need in your home:

  • Cats need things to scratch, so it’s vital you have a few scratch poles in the house (there are some very stylish ones you can buy online to match your decor). Give them dedicated spots near windows so they can look outside
  • I’d recommend dining and office chairs that are wood, metal or plastic. Drape them with throws or the like if you need some cushioning, but anything padded with fabric is likely to get ruined quickly
  • There’s nothing more horrendous than a cat not going in the litter, be it on your carpet or $750 rug. For our two cats we have three litters. Again, there are some good looking ones you can buy online that don’t look or smell bad
  • Cats are either tree dwellers or shrub dwellers; they either love to climb high or hide under things. It’s nice to install shelving they can climb onto or tall furniture they can run across that’s not housing expensive or precious homewares
  • Cats malt, especially toward summer, so you’ll need to keep on top of removing their fur from your sofa, bed, chairs etc. Invest in a good vacuum cleaner, too – you’ll need it!

Do you have any tips for keeping pets and home decor living harmoniously together? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!


Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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9 Responses

  1. I dont have cat but have a beautiful and hectic mini poodle who has changed my decor a little. A throw permanently tucked into the chaise section of the sofa is a must as he has claimed that as his leaving me with legs out on the very edge. Multiple throws at that as I like to wash them weekly.Ikea sheepskins on the floor in each of the bedrooms which saves the carpet in those rooms a little as when he does his happy dance, rolling his head to the floor, bum in the ear and scratching more often than not he scratches the sheepskin.Try sheepskins for scratching if your carpet is getting trashed. His absolutel saving grace is being a poodle he doesnt drop hair as he doesnt have any. His coat is beautiful fluffy white and apricot wool which goes in well with any decor !! Plus being a loving handsome devil he is the best decor item in my house.

    1. Thanks so much for your advice Erin. I might have to drop by IKEA and try out some of the sheekskin numbers, because one devilish feline in particular likes to knead the carpet a fair bit! They are adorable though, aren’t they? Don’t know what I’d do without my pets! Good to see your poodle has pride of place on the couch 🙂

    1. Libby this sounds like my saving grace! Thank you – I will pick one up. It’s going to save my sofa (and clothes) for sure!

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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