If you’ve been anywhere near in the internet in the past few weeks, you’ve probably found it fairly difficult to avoid one particular irritating trending topic - and no, we don't mean Eurovision! April saw the second birthday of internet favourite Grumpy Cat and has been marked with plagues of memes and humourous tributes to the “World’s Grumpiest Cat”.
Perhaps it’s time to evaluate your own animals’ inner zen. Pets - and small children, for that matter - aren’t a topic often discussed in reference to home renovations. Most online advice or inspiration remains ominously pet-free in an attempt to banish those fleabags from the sterile universe of Home Renovation Land.™ But there are lots of great ways to renovate your home and keep it suitable for the furrier members of the household. On top of not being particularly lengthy or disruptive, here are 5 mini home remodels which will actually add to the standard of living of our four-legged friends.
Cats are notorious for their dislike of water - and even dogs which happily frolic in muddy puddles can be a little flighty about taking a bath. Why go through the hassle of washing your pets in your own bath or shower when you can have a purpose-built, toiletry-free area which is specifically designed to make the experience as quick and painless as possible? These double as great places to clean your shoes and bathers.
Is your pet an integral part of the family? Depending on the nature (and aroma) of their meals, you could consider putting in a feeding area into your laundry or kitchen. What’s handy about these devices is that they are fixed into place, thus preventing spillage and mess - and they certainly provide a hearty welcome into the family space.
Australian snakes put a monumental number of cats out of action every summer - and many cat owners opt to keep their feline indoors to prevent such events, as well as road accidents. As fundamentally curious and inquisitive creatures, however, it can be cruel to keep your cat under such tight restrictions - a custom-made cat run, such as those offered by companies like SecureaKat, may provide the solution. Constructed from a range of materials, including rope and netting, these enclosures allow cats relative outdoor freedom and can be made to suit the shape and size of any home and property.
A badly-disguised litter tray can ruin the ambiance of an otherwise elegant laundry or bathroom. Luckily, there are tonnes of products available which have made it their mission to be as subtle in the home as possible, benefitting both the human occupants and, with their innate feelings of shame abated, the cats themselves.
A DIY suitcase bed will add a bit of homely charm to your pet's favourite snooze spot...
... or you could even try making a cosy recycled beanbag out of an old wooly winter jumper.
Any live-in renovation will put a strain on your pet’s life. Consider keeping them in a specifically fenced outdoor area or in a special room away from the commutation. Many animals will be distressed by the variety of noises that can occur during a renovation project. They might bother the workers and will inevitably wander in and out of the house when provided with the opportunity - for example, through the middle of a new window install or a demolished wall. Depending on the length and scale of the remodel, it may be less stressful to have your pet house-sat or put in a home - pets mean trouble when it comes to temporary tarps strewn around.
Otherwise, remember that animals are both curious and lazy - they may easily knock over an important pile of kitchen tiles by brushing past it or happily investigate your material samples until they’re ripped up into little pieces on the floor. Messy house storage is just another part of renovating, but try to keep things orderly or secured wherever possible. Most importantly, some cats and dogs are prone to excessive nibbling and chewing. This can be very dangerous with lots of electrical wires hanging about the house, so take care to keep wires elevated or remove them when the pets will be in the space.