3 Cat Parent Necessities I Didn’t Know I Needed

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I love my two cats, Boomer and Peaches, and consider them my fur babies. Our family has had them for a little over a year and when we first adopted them I went to the store with a list of things I needed. Things like a cat box, food, litter, toys, etc. As time has gone on I discovered three things that weren’t on my list originally but I’d now consider necessities in our home and I wanted to share them with you all.

First, if your family is splitting pet parent responsibilities like our’s is you will want to put together a pet “chore” chart. I discovered this was the easiest way to keep track of whose day it is to feed them and clean the cat box (especially if you have forgetful family members….) Above is a feeding chart that I had created for our boys that went right on the food bin. A similar one can be created for cleaning the cat box OR you can use the same chart for both pet parent chores.

Speaking of that pesky cat box chore, my life has become 10x better since discovering the Litter Genie® Cat Litter Disposal System. Seriously. I used to HATE cleaning the cat box as much as I hate cleaning the toilet and would avoid it as much as possible, begging Sinisa to do it for me. He cleaned it most of the time, dumping the soiled litter into a bag and replacing it with all new litter since that was easier for him than carrying the dirty litter by scoop to a trash can. I appreciated his help and the fact that the cat box was clean but you know what the problem was? It was so expensive! Over three quarters of that litter was still usable but it was just easier to dump it all out and start fresh than make daily trips to the trash can with it.

With the Litter Genie® Pail we save money and time cleaning the cat box. We can just use the scoop daily to remove the poop and clumps and top off the litter box with some fresh litter. It takes only a minute or so and we aren’t dumping out all of that good litter or making daily trips to the trash can. And guess what? I don’t mind cleaning the cat box anymore!

The other bonus is that the cat box (and our home!) stays smelling fresh because the Litter Genie® Pail is designed to help eliminate odors for up to two weeks at a time. It locks away litter odor in just 3 simple steps- 1.) Scoop 2.) Open Lid 3.) Pull Handle. It’s not like a trash can where you lift the lid and immediately smell everything in the can because it has a unique, airt-tight design that helps keep smells in even when you open the lid! It’s compact too, which I wasn’t expecting. It’s perfect for people who live in a small home like we do. It can also be tucked away in a cabinet so it’s hidden so it gets bonus points for being a discreet odor fighter ;)

The Litter Genie® Cat Litter Disposal System itself was a lot less expensive than I thought it would be. I found it at Target by the litter boxes for only $14.99 and used Target Cartwheel to get a discount on it (I really love that app!) Speaking of Target…anyone else find they can never get out of the store with just one item? I love that store and I’m always discovering new products and fun items our family *needs* (and at such great prices I can’t pass them up). This is my “problem”:

Every.Single.Time. haha. ANYWAYS…

It does need refills (which can be purchased at Target as well) but each refill package is supposed to last up to 2 months with one cat. One Litter Genie® Pail refill contains 7 bags, each bag holding approximately 14 days worth of litter. Honestly though, I’ve been using this for about a week and a half with two cats and I am just now going to have to change the bag so I feel that having two cats is pretty similar usage-wise. It’s easy to empty as well. When the bag is full, a simple cut-and-tie empties it and you are ready for a new bag.

I really wish I would have discovered this sooner!

The last thing I feel that has been a necessity for us is our cat tower. I bought one with two levels (though the cats don’t use the lower area). They spend at least half the day on this perch, looking out the window at all the birds and bugs or napping in the sun.

I bought cat beds for them that looked more comfortable but they have rarely used them. I think they prefer being high up and being able to look outside and bask in the warm sunlight.

As much as they love their cat tree it’s looking pretty raggedy after only a year. It’s made of carpet and the area where they sit is all matted down and there is nothing but plywood under it so I thought I’d make them a new cushion to sleep on. I was going to buy some pretty fabric but as I was cleaning out my closet I found an old pair of fleece pants that I figured I could upcycle into a new cat tower cushion for them. This cat cushion is awesome because it’s a no-sew project and only needs a handful of items you probably already have in your home!


  • An old pair of fleece pants or sweatshirt
  • Marker
  • Tape measure
  • Fabric scissors


  • Cut along the inner seam of the pant leg almost to the top then cut across to cut out a large rectangle.
  • Repeat on the other pant leg

  • On the inside of one of the fabric pieces, draw a circle an inch or two wider than the cat bed area but DO NOT CUT it out
  • Measure 2 inches out from that circle all around your fabric piece and mark it to form a second, outer circle
  • Cut around that outer circle
  • Lay the cut piece of fabric on your other one and cut the second piece in a circle to match it
  • Stack the pieces on top of each other with the inner part of one pants leg facing the table and the other one facing you
  • Cut 1 inch wide slits around the material, stopping at the inner circle mark
  • Tie the top piece and the bottom piece together in a simple knot
  • Repeat, creating knots around the circle, and stopping when you get to the last three
  • Carefully turn the cushion inside out (the cushion edges will look like the image below once you do)
  • Use the excess fabric you discarded to cut small squares to make the stuffing of the pillow
  • Once it’s fluffy enough, tie the last few remaining pieces into knots and tuck the edges inside the pillow

Now my fur babies have a nice fluffy pillow on their cat tower :)

Have you tried the Litter Genie® Cat Litter Disposal System yet? What other things have you discovered are necessities as a pet parent?

33 thoughts on “3 Cat Parent Necessities I Didn’t Know I Needed”

  1. Haha, my cat doesn’t use any of the expensive beds or loungers at floor level- she just loves to be up high overlooking everything too. I love how you found a way to make their perch just a little more comfy! #client

  2. I have always wanted to try out the Litter Genie. I think it would be great for my two cats. I love that bed you made too. I need to make that for my cats.

    • You should get it! I always felt like my litter box was never clean enough with two cats but this just makes life SO much easier for us cat moms :)

  3. How nifty!! We had cts a while but can’t have pets in our rental :/ some of these things would make having them a lot better

  4. Boy oh boy! We are kittyless since our last cat passed. I haven’t even thought about another getting another cat and it’s all because of the litter box. Now I might reconsider!

    • aww, so sorry to hear that. Getting a new pet is always hard after you’ve lost one. If the litter box was what was holding you back you should go for it. This really has made life so much easier.

  5. I need to share these with all my friends who have cats! That homemade cat bed was so cute! These are some awesome accessories!

  6. I own the litter genie and love it. Also, another necessity I have is a bed that goes in the window. It fastens with suction cups, Missy spends a lot of time in the window watching the birds (found it at Walmart). It’s one of those things, if somethings happens to it, have to have another one.

    • I’ll have to look for one of those beds with suction cups! Both my cats squeeze together on top of the cat tower but I’m sure they’d be a lot more comfortable with their own spaces :)

  7. Thanks for the suggestions. We’ve got 3 outdoor cats and a new kitten that is indoor but will join the others when he is old enough.
    We get our kitty litter at a farming store. It’s a basic clumping litter. It runs 7.99 for a 40 lb bag. They will carry it out and load it to your car too. We can sometimes get it on sale for 6.99.
    The other hint for scooping is investing in the big scooping slotted shovel that has the extended handle. Cuts our scooping time down.
    In the past I bought the liners that come 10 in a pack laid usually 2 packs (removing the bottom one from the one I put on top) in the litter. Then you pour the litter on. This gives you 20 times of just pulling up the corners of all edges, just letting it flow though on the slits in the plastic. I’ve would tighten bag top & move side to side to get all clean litter out.
    This was when I was single and had one indoor cat in the city. Now married, in country with a child allergic to cats. We spoil our cats with heated water bowls, heated beds, multiple houses and tree tower too. Petsmart ran a sale. It was either new year’s eve or day for 1/2 price towers. I’d looked for years. Got the $125 tower for $64. Retailers have to pay tax on their stock, so it was probably the eve day just to eliminate some of their stock for tax purposes. In case there are more of you cat lovers out there looking to spoil your cat. They love the perch by the window in the garage year round.
    My friend has the automatic scooper pan which I’m considering as for years, it’s the least favorite task of cat owners. If mine were inside I would toliet train them (or at least try-I see videos out there that it’s possible )
    Dollar tree has good quality play toys for our new kitten. Like their prices on collars and we need the bells on the outdoor cats.
    Bowls we’ve tried many. We like the metal bowls at dollar tree and one antimicrobial one that I got either at Walmart or the local Meijers.
    Few years back I chose to wean myself off Target. They do so much right in their choices of selection, mgt training, marketing etc, but their actions in not supporting boy or girl scout groups, no Christmas decorations, and removing the bibles helped me decide to support other stores.
    Loved the cat bed you made. I’ve seen the diy on the sweaters in a bed which I still may do for ours but they love tge heated beds best.

  8. Love the genie!!! I’ve hand one over 3 years. Also after you empty and clean a pan, if you spray the pan with Pam before adding litter it will make it easier to clean the pan.

  9. I’m sure the Genie is great but I have a cheaper alternative. Look at Wal-Mart for one of the smallest step-on garbage cans ($10-$15). The 4-gal. plastic trash can liners fit them perfectly. I sit the can next to the litter box and with one of those slotted scoopers remove the soiled litter and with your foot, open the can lid and drop in the litter. The can will hold a week’s worth of scooped litter for two cats. On trash day, just remove the plastic bag and tie it with one of the included twist ties. Drop it in with your regular trash and replace the bag. You’re good to go for another week. The lid on the can seals in any odors, plus I get the scented plastic bags. All dirty litter is out of sight and smell!

    • Thanks for sharing your alternative! I had thought about that previously but would think that when you open up the can to put the dirty litter in, the smell would be awful right? What I like about the Litter Genie is that you never have to smell it once it’s in there, not to put more dirty litter in or even when it’s full and you are emptying it :)

  10. Use sifting litter liners. Faster, less messy than scooping, and much less expensive than that genie contraption. Drop used liner into plastic grocery bag, tie, dispose.


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