How to Make a Cat Home Out of Moving Boxes

Nick's cat

As part of our Movers for Mutts campaign, we’re blogging about your pets all summer long!  This week, we want to introduce you to our General Manager Nick’s cat, Chandler!  Like most cats, Chandler prefers playing in cardboard boxes to the fancy cat trees Nick and his wife buy for him…  So we made a DIY cat home out of some of our moving boxes.  Here’s how you can make a home out of your cat’s favorite material while simultaneously reusing some of your old moving boxes:

Chandler’s cat home fits an average-sized kitty, and I used one Large moving box and one Small moving box to make the home.  I also used an Exacto knife, a Sharpie, and tape.

Step One: Measure the sides of your triangle.Step One: Draw your triangle.

I used a yardstick to trace the sides of this triangle.  We’ll be making an isosceles triangle (two sides are the same size) with the base and height each measuring 18 inches.  If your cat is larger or smaller than the average cat, you’ll want to adjust this measurement as needed.

Step Two: Trace the sides of the triangle cut-out to make three more triangles of the same shape.Step Two: Trace your first triangle to make three more of the same size.

Cut those triangles out, and you have the four sides of your cat home.

Step ThreeStep Three: Measure a square.

Each side needs to be the 18 inches (or the same length as the base and height of your triangles).  I found it easier to keep my lines perpendicular to one another by placing one side along a crease in the box.

Step FourThis is what you should have cut out at this point.

If you want to make your cat home fancier than mine, you can use a staple gun to cover these surfaces with your favorite fabric, or use double-sided tape to cover them with patterned scrapbook paper or gift wrap.

Step FourStep Four: Cut a hole in the front side of your cat home.

Remember that the bottom of the front side will be the shortest side of the triangle.  The bottom of my hole is 1.5 inches from the base of the triangle, but you can place your hole further up if you want to make your cat work to get into his new hideout.

Step FiveStep Five: Tape your triangles to the floor of the cat home.

Be sure that you only tape the base (the shortest side) of each triangle to the square floor.

Step SixStep Six: Start taping the sides together.

I didn’t want tape showing on the outside of my cat home, so I taped up one side at a time.  If you want to include a cushion in the bottom of your cat home, now would be the time to place it in the bottom.  Once you have all four sides taped together, you (obviously) won’t be able to fit it in.

Final ProductYou’re Done!

If you want to reinforce the strength of the home’s sides, you can add one strip of tape to the back two corners.

Thanks for reading!  If you want to help us support the cats and dogs at the Nashville Humane Association, click here to find out how to get involved with Movers for Mutts.  If you need information about our moving services or packing supplies, check out our website or give us a call at 615-248-6288!

How to Move In Your New Cat

How to move in a new cat or kitten

As part of our Movers for Mutts campaign benefiting the Nashville Humane Association, we’re publishing a series of blog posts all about your pets.  Even though we call the donation drive Movers for Mutts, we still love our adopted kitties too!  So this week, we’re talking about how to “move” a new cat into your home when you already have one or more cats living with you.

Unlike dogs, cats are not naturally pack animals, and actually make efforts to avoid one another when living in an outside environment.  Because of this tendency, domestic cats can take months (and possibly even a year) to warm up to a new adopted brother or sister.  In fact, professionals will tell you that some cats will never be willing to share their space with another kitty, so go into this adoption process knowing that you may have to re-home your new fur baby if it won’t work out.  Ready to give it a try?  Here’s a good introduction timeline to use for your new cat:

Day 1-3: Keep a supervised separation.

To avoid an ugly hissy fit, make sure your cats stay in separate parts of your house for the first few days of their introduction.  The first indicator of whether your cats will get along will show up when they’re able to smell one another, and you should let them get acquainted with each other’s smells without having the opportunity to see one another at first.  Keep your two cats separated with a door, and feed them next to the door at the same time for the first few days.  The food will provide a positive association with the other cat’s smell, so be sure to add in some special treats as well, like fish bits or cat treats.

Day 4-6: Switch-a-roo time!

Using the same door as a separator, pick the cats up and switch their places so they can smell the other cat in their former space.  (This also allows your new cat to get to know another part of their new home.)  Keep feeding and treating them near the door so they can become accustomed to one another’s scent and sounds.

Day 7-9: Add some fun into the mix.

Have your spouse, roommate, or a friend play with one cat on one side of the door while you play with the other cat on the other side.  This adds more positive associations with the scent and sound of the other cat, and encourages play between the two cats.  You may start to see your cats bat at one another under the door–a great sign!

Day 10-12: Why, hello, beautiful!

It’s time for your two cats to see each other!  But keep it safe–use a screen or baby gate as a separator where your door stood before, just in case.  Start feeding them treats through this separator so they can see that the other cat is accepted and treated in the same way they are.  Continue feeding and playing with the cats next to this separator so they can continue to bond.

Day 13-15: Introductions are in order.

Get ready to bring your cats together for a same-room meeting.  Before bringing them together, try to have each cat at its calmest.  By this time, you should have a clue about how to tucker out your two cats, possibly through meal time, lots of comforting petting, or extended play.  When they’re both nice and calm, it’s time to bring them together in the same room to meet.  Make sure you have your spouse, roommate, or friend there to help you with this introduction, and have a squirt bottle full of water ready in case of bad behavior.  During these meeting sessions, be sure to supervise the two cats at all times.  Notice whether one of the cats seems overly fearful of the other, or overly aggressive.  In such a situation, you should call a professional for further advice.

Day 13-Forever: Keep it nice and open.

When you have more than one cat in your home, always be sure to keep their food, water, and litter boxes in open spaces to avoid causing timid kitties from feeling trapped if their housemate comes in.  Additionally, the minimum number of litter boxes in your home should be equivalent to the number of cats you have, plus one, so they feel like they have some personal, private space to do their business.

Jenni's adopted kitten, Cupcake

We were able to find this tried-and-true advice from the ASPCA website, and some of our employees have even used this advice for themselves when moving in new cats!  ASPCA even has articles explaining how to introduce cats to a dog-filled home, and how to make your cats feel more at home in general.

If you liked this blog and would like to help us “move” homeless cats into new homes in the Nashville area, please check out our Movers for Mutts campaign to benefit the NHA! If you need information about our moving services, give us a call at 615-248-6288 or check out our website!

8 Types of Pet-Friendly Furniture

Pet-friendly furniture

In honor of our Movers for Mutts campaign benefiting the Nashville Humane Association, we’re continuing our series of blog posts all about your pets this summer!  One struggle we personally face with our pets is decorating our homes (and keeping them clean!) when we have our fur babies running around inside every day.  All pet owners want to keep their dogs and cats safe and happy, but we also want to make sure our homes still look nice in the mean time.  After talking it over in the office, we’ve compiled this list of 8 fool-proof furniture ideas for you and your pets.

1. Your favorite furniture, wrapped in machine-washable covers.

When we all started adopting our pets, we didn’t want to start throwing out all of our old living room furniture sets.  Instead, a practical option is finding some attractive canvas covers for your existing furniture.  Canvas is made with cotton, which is totally machine-washable, very durable, and comfy to sit on.  You can also protect your bed from potential pet-mess disasters by covering your mattress with a thick, cotton mattress pad and wrapping your bedspread in a washable duvet cover.

2. Bringing the outdoors in.

When you bring pooches and putty-tats into your life, there’s no such thing as outdoor vs. indoor furniture anymore.  Outdoor furniture is built to withstand harsh weather, kid play, and pet claws, so why limit it to your backyard?  If you find some patio cushions with a great pattern, don’t be afraid to pull them into your indoor living areas.

3. Pet-safe wall art.

While there isn’t a specific type of picture frame or sculptural design that is pet-resistant, strategic placement of your wall art can keep it safe from your pets.  Be sure to hang pictures high enough that your pets can’t inadvertently knock them down, and keep your most fragile wall art in areas that your high-jumpers don’t have access to.  Remember that your pets can also climb on couches and side tables to reach particularly attractive-looking art if they really want to, so keep this in mind when choosing where to hang those pieces.  (For example, our marketer Jenni has a replica of a Lord of the Rings sword hanging in her living room.  Instead of hanging the sword over furniture, she chose a high spot on the wall away from couches and railing, where her puppy Lucille has no hope of climbing!)

4. Mud room inspirations.

Families who have children often have mud rooms near the back door to hold dirt-crusted shoes away from the rest of the house.  Take some inspiration from this mud room idea and consider making an “animal room” near the main pet entrance of your home.  Use easy-to-clean linoleum floors and tiled walls in this room, and keep an old towel on a hook to wipe off muddy paws on rainy days.

Donald's dogs, Jax and Hersh

5. Attractive pet gear.

When you have pets, not all of your furniture belongs to you anymore!  Your kittens need their own litter boxes, and your pups need some sort of dog bed to hold their favorite toys and dog chews.  Plan ahead for these pet spaces and purchase homey-looking furniture and toys.  Litter boxes can be hidden in side table/kitty spot combo pieces, dog beds can be upholstered to match your existing decor, and you can purchase toys that won’t shed or fall apart all over the rest of your house.  Be sure to purchase dog toys made of durable rubber or fleece instead of toys stuffed with cotton pieces, and find scratching trees for your cat that are made of pretty carpet materials instead of corrugated cardboard.  (When office manager Donald realized his dogs were going to rip apart all of their stuffed toys and bring stuffing around the house, he started supplying them with rubber toys that stay in one piece.)

6. Crypton, leather, and ultrasuede.

These three upholstery materials were invented specifically for pet owners.  (Ok, maybe not, but they may as well have been!)  Crypton is a synthetic fabric that is super resistant to stains and pet smells.  Our move supervisor Joe M. opted for leather living room furniture because leather is very easy to wipe off and clean if you have pets that tend to shed more than normal.  And Donald found some great arm chairs covered in ultrasuede, a microfiber fabric that is machine-washable and stays cool during all types of weather.  You can find plenty of furniture options made with these great materials.

Photo Credit: freeimages.com

7. Low-pile carpets–or no carpets at all!

Especially if you’re potty-training a new puppy or kitten, carpets can be a huge hassle for pet owners.  Consider a more pet-friendly alternative to your cozy carpets that will be easier to keep clean and fresh-smelling, such as a low-pile carpet or a smooth floor surface.  One good option is ceramic tile.  This tile is easy to clean, resistant to pet nails and claws, and is stain-resistant.

8. Strategic color options.

When choosing your furniture pieces, always keep your pets’ coats in mind.  Our marketer Jenni will never purchase dark-colored furniture because Lucille’s fur is a light blonde color, and our customer service supervisor Joe G. chose bold patterns for his ottoman because the patterns hide his dog’s fur more easily than solid-colored pieces.

Pets definitely add a complicating factor to consider in your home decor options, but we hope these tips can narrow down your choices to keep your home looking sharp and clean.  If you liked this blog post and want to help us “move” some rescue pets into permanent homes, check out our Movers for Mutts campaign benefiting the NHA!

How to Pack for Your Pets

How to Pack for your Pets when moving

Almost every single employee here at Two Men and a Truck Nashville owns one or more pets, so we have a soft spot for families who have dogs and cats.  This summer, we’re really focusing on bettering the lives of our pets (and the families of our pets!) by supporting the Nashville Humane Association with our Movers for Mutts campaign.  One way we hope to take care of your family pets is by helping you prepare to move with your furry relatives.

When your family moves, you’ll typically keep a “Day-of-Move” kit separate from the rest of your moving boxes so you can have everything you’ll need immediately right on hand.  (For example, you’ll need toilet paper, bed sheets, and Clorox wipes pretty much as soon as you move into your new home.)  Well, you should think about moving your pets in the same way.  There are some things they’ll need as soon as you get to your new home.

Fluffy moves

Here are some things you’ll want to have in a specially-marked moving box to take care of your pet on Moving Day:

  • Food and water for 5 days, in case you can’t find the rest right away.
  • Travel crate/carrier.
  • Security blanket, toy, bone, etc that will keep your pet feeling secure and comfortable with the move.
  • Collar with updated contact information, in case Fido or Fluffy gets lost.
  • Cat litter for Fluffy; poop bags for Fido.
  • Carpet cleaner and paper towels, in case there’s an accident.
  • Vaccination and medical records.
  • Contact information for your current vet, new vet, and emergency veterinary clinic in your new neighborhood.

collapsible bowl

If you’re a Worst-Case-Scenario type of person like I am, you may also want to think about these items:

  • Pet first aid kit.
  • Treats.
  • Pet seat belt, car carrier, or car seat cover.
  • Current photo of your pet, in case Fido or Fluffy gets lost.
  • Collapsible pet bowl for travel.

You should be all set!  If you liked this article and would like to help us find homes for new Fidos and Fluffys, please check out our Movers for Mutts campaign benefiting the NHA.

How to Make Your Move Easy on Your Pets

How to Move With a Pet

Because we’re in the middle of our Movers for Mutts campaign to benefit the Nashville Humane Association, we’ve all had our minds on our pets even more often than usual.  Most of our office staff owns dogs and cats, and our Customer Service Manager, Donald, and our General Manager, Nick, have both recently moved into new homes with their dogs.  In fact, a large amount of the families we move in Nashville also move with their pets as well.  So how can you make this transition easiest on your fur babies?

Remember that your pets can’t speak English.

Even though your human family members have been preparing for this move for months, your pets have no idea why you’re packing the entire house into boxes.  They also have no idea why they’re living in a brand new place.  These changes may cause your pets to have some anxiety, and anxious pets can sometimes wreak minor havoc in a new home.  Don’t be surprised or upset if your dog has an accident in his new living room, or if your cat is suddenly nervous around furniture you’ve owned for years.  While you shouldn’t neglect normal disciplinary action with any accidents or damages that your pets inflict upon their new environment, be sure to remain patient while they adjust.

Donald's dogs, Jax and Hersh

Keep them safe on Moving Day.

Curious pets will most likely find themselves underfoot of your moving team, and nervous pets may hide in the spot that your movers plan on placing the next moving box.  Instead of letting your pets have free reign of the house on Moving Day, consider dropping them off at a Doggy Daycare or Kitty Kennel for the day.  If this isn’t an option due to a long-distance move, at least keep your pets confined to an area of the house that movers aren’t currently working in.

Let your pets have access to their security blankets.

Your pets will have a much easier time adjusting to their new home if they have familiar elements surrounding them.  Even though you’re excited about the brand new doggy bed you purchased to match your new wallpaper, or the new litter box you found that can be hidden inside an end table, your pets may not catch onto these changes very easily during this transition.  It will be easier for your dog to sleep in the comfort of his training crate for the first month, and for your cat to be introduced to a new litter box after she becomes acquainted and comfortable with her new surroundings.

Donald's dog, Jax

Set boundaries right away.

Your new home may be coming with some new rules for your pets.  If you know there’s a bedroom you don’t want covered in cat fur or your dog won’t be able to go into the unfenced backyard without a leash, go ahead and let your pets know from the beginning what their new normal will look like.  Start closing the door to your bedroom from Day One, instead of waiting for your cat to become comfortable having free reign of the full home before instating this rule.  Be strict about keeping your pup on a leash each time he needs to go outside so he knows right away that he won’t be able to roam around freely outside at the new place.

Once your pets adjust to your new space, they’ll be just as excited as you are to get back to playing fetch and chasing laser dots on the walls.  Just remember that they have an adjustment to make, just like you do!

If you liked this article and want to help us “move” more rescue pets into homes with their forever families, check out our Movers for Mutts campaign benefiting the NHA.