Momma Told Me: Cats VS Dogs: Mischief + D.I.Y Doggy Stairs Tutorial

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Cats VS Dogs: Mischief + D.I.Y Doggy Stairs Tutorial

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NewPetNoStains #CollectiveBias
Which causes more mischief? We weigh in! #NewPetNoStains AD
Momma Told Me: Like cats and dogs.

Growing up we had musical pets.

I've touched on the stories before, but it basically boiled down to Momma's need to bring home any wayward animal, often those with serious terminal illness. It taught me compassion for animals, regardless of their stage of life- but it definitely was tough as a child to constantly see pets come and go.

Understandably, as soon as I became a responsible adult with a home of my own I was determined to find fur-ever pets of my own and to provide them with a fur-ever home. Not only was I accustomed to having animals around, but I understood the extreme responsibilities of being a pet owner under many circumstances. What I was not prepared for were the challenges of bringing a puppy or kitten home- essentially a child. Nearly all of the pets of my childhood were senior, definitely adult, animals which required no patience in obedience or house-training.
When I first brought Truffles home she was a tiny kitten, covered in fleas, which fit in the palm of my hand. She had to be bottle fed, as her mother had been unable to feed and ween her, and she slept on my bosom close to the sound of my beating heart for the first several months of her life. It was instant love.

The above photo, which has remained my phone wallpaper for 6 years (through 5 phones), captures Truffles at about 1 year of age, curled up and sleeping peacefully. It remains my all time favorite photo of her, which is saying a lot for a cat photographed every day, despite the somewhat comical circumstances of her scene. One lesson I'd never learned growing up- cat's in 'heat' and how completely delightful they can be on the ears. When I took this snapshot I was quite literally making an appointment for her to be spayed, and thankful for the 5 minutes of peace and quiet!
When I brought Nora home she weighed less than Truffles had, but was twice the size thanks to a thick coat of 'fluff' I have a hard time calling fur. We drove 4 hours, each way, to bring her home and it was clear from that first car ride Nora was not your typical dog. Through her first years of life we thought we'd never see her potty trained (it wasn't easy going living in a second story condo with a dog) and that we'd likely never get any sleep. Nora wanted to play all the time!
#NewPetNoStains AD
Of course, much like with human kids, any good pet parent knows the secret to staying sane through the 'toddler' years is patience, and a few top secret weapons. In our case we kept plenty of sanitizing wipes, baby wipes, and carpet cleaner on hand to promote deep breathing and serenity during Nora's first year. Ideally we would have had STAINMASTER® Carpet installed to help keep our pad pet friendly, but, as renters we couldn't so easily tear up the flooring just to welcome our new pet. Thankfully STAINMASTER® has a brand new product line designed to help new pet owners (really ANY pet owners) keep their sanity through the bundles of messes that come with bringing home a new furry friend.
Pick up Stainmaster Carpet Pet Stain Remover from a Target near you, or buy online today, for fuss free removal of pretty much any stain your pet throws at you. #NewPetNoStains AD
Naturally pet accidents are one of the lest fun aspects of being a pet parent, and tend to happen most with puppies or kittens, during that 'potty training' phase. However, you might find yourself needing STAINMASTER® Carpet Pet Stain Remover on hand if you have recently moved (territory issues), have an elderly or ill pet (UTIs are quite common with house cats) or introduce a new family member into the home. STAINMASTER® Carpet Pet Stain Remover is designed to not only quickly clean on contact, but to also help repel future stains and odors thanks to powerful ODOR REMOVE™ technology. And, while it works great with a variety of pet related stains, it's also powerful against coffee, ketchup, and pretty much any other typical household carpet stain while leaving no sticky residue.

I was able to pick up new powerful STAINMASTER® Carpet Pet Stain Remover at my local Target in Ventura, California but STAINMASTER® Carpet is currently only available at select Target locations nationwide. CLICK HERE to find STAINMASTER® Carpet Pet Stain Remover at a Target near you, or to order it online and have it shipped free to your local Target store. Click the button below to save 25% on STAINMASTER® Carpet Pet Stain Remover with Cartwheel at Target now through March 4, 2017. This is especially useful for anyone hoping to adopt a new pet in the coming months!
As both a cat and dog mother I'm often asked which animal I feel is 'easier' to care for. I think this is a rather silly question, really, because every animal (much like humans) has their own unique individual personality. How a pet is raised definitely contributes to it's behaviors, but there's also a large element of the animal's own personality that will always remain their own. Because our cat out weighs our dog by half a pound, I think she has the upper edge on mischief-

BUT, cats are also generally unrestricted in their territory. They can jump, climb, and crawl into pretty much any corner, height, or crevice. This allows a lot more freedom than the average house-bound dog has. For instance, while Nora might investigate and try to eat a house plant if she was given the opportunity, we keep our plants up in alcoves she could never reach. So the job of plant tipping, and eating, is left all to the cat.

In fact, one might think our dog's life is quite dull-

As a toy breed she is primped and pampered, grooming wise, often, and she has an over abundance of items your ordinary dog would be too 'dog' to own. Her wardrobe is bigger than Jay's and she has a trough of toys we bought solely because they would 'look cute' next to her, that she'll probably never really get to. And then there are the constant 'naps' on her favorite couch, with her favorite human. Truth be told, if one of them is down for the count and out of mischief, than the other is attached at the hip behaving them-self, too. I especially love those moments.
Meanwhile, Truffles, the cat, is busy scaling every household surface, opening cabinets, and attempting to claw on any surface she hasn't directly been told not to scratch, yet. As of lately I'll usually catch Jay and the dog napping on the couch while the cat proceeds to fit herself into every nook and cranny of Jay's work desk. The truly hilarious part? That cream thing on the left side of the photo above is a rather expensive cat tree. Nobody tells a cat where they'll loaf, I guess!
Just because the cat's always getting into something she probably shouldn't, don't think that she gets to have ALL the fun. After all, the dog is the one who gets to leave the house. In the past year alone Nora has been on 2 plane trips (cross country) and 3 road trips (up North), and she rides along to pretty much any event we attend where we're not explicitly told animals aren't allowed. And, of course, there's also the beach- if I don't bathe her immediately upon re-ntry into the house I'll find my carpets have been transformed into a sandy oasis for weeks.
At the end of the day, though, the house is a playground for the cat and the dog's relatively grounded. In the spirit of making her world a little more accessible I decided to make some simple dog stairs for our living room couch. Dog stairs might sound absurd if you have a larger breed animal, such as a Labrador, but many ages (and breeds) of dogs can benefit from having home access assistance at one point in their life or another. For example, older dogs often suffer from joint pain, while dachshunds simply weren't built to make large leaps. And other dogs, such as Nora, aren't keen about the sudden drop when coming off of the couch.
DIY Doggy Stairs- No woodworking skills required! Grab your supplies at Target! #NewPetNoStains AD
There are many materials one could use to make dog stairs, and some dogs may even require a ramp. In planning my dog stairs I spent hours searching online for inspiration. In the end, I wasn't really able to find anything I could easily assemble with my limited woodworking ('shop') skills and tools. The end result was some creative visualization. In fact, I actually found the base for my structure in the children's bedding department of Target. Simple wooden storage bins just happened to provide the perfect building blocks for my steps.
After an hour or so of rearranging 3 wooden storage bins in every configuration I could imagine I settled on a simple 2 bin composition. Using wood glue I attached the two bins, then added some side brackets for extra stability. In this case I used a pair of hinges leftover from another project. They didn't serve a purpose, hinge wise, but I rather liked the aesthetic of the design.
Next I gave my stairs a quick coat of white paint and allowed it to dry for 6 hours. Because I knew I wanted the stairs to look worn as part of their final design I then put on gloves, eye protection, and a face mask and grabbed a few sheets of varying grit sand paper. Focusing on the edges, and anywhere wear would naturally accumulate I roughly sanded to remove some of that fresh coat of paint. Make sure, once you're happy with your finish, that you wipe down any residue and give your stairs a nice clear top coat and seal.

If you'd like to add more depth to your aging you can even add a light layer of color atop your white base and 'wet sand' over that once the paint has halfway dried.
DIY Doggy Stairs- No woodworking skills required! Grab your supplies at Target! #NewPetNoStains AD
I have to say, considering this project didn't require any wood work, I'm quite pleased with how my stairs turned out. They're the perfect height for Nora, and really subtle against the couch in our main living room. The stairs themselves lean against the couch for extra stability, and are very lightweight and easy to move from room to room. I just might make a set for Nora's bed!
DIY Doggy Stairs- No woodworking skills required! Grab your supplies at Target! #NewPetNoStains AD
I have to say, the stairs seem to be just another piece of furniture our pets immediately claimed as their own. It took a while for Nora to figure out she was 'allowed' on them, but after the initial hesitation we've caught her sitting on them. She's even been spotted trying to find a way to lay down across them.
DIY Doggy Stairs- No woodworking skills required! Grab your supplies at Target! #NewPetNoStains AD
In our household the cat definitely gets into more shenanigans than the dog- but I wouldn't say she has all the fun. These two have even been known to play with one another from time to time. Heaven help me if they ever decide to team up on their mischief- I may have to invest in STAINMASTER® stock! One thing's for sure- whether you're bringing home a new puppy, or tossing a ball of yarn to your senior cat, pets rule our homes, not the messes they make! Now, tell me a little bit about a time when your pet caused a little mischief of their own.

What Daughter Says: It's not easy raising productive pets of society- cat or dog, big personalities can result in even bigger messes. Lucky for them, we wouldn't have it any other way.


  1. We have a dog that gets into a lot of mischief in the backyard! I am pretty sure that our dog is trying to dig to China LOL! She does have a hard time getting on our bed so I should do something like this so she can get up on our that easier.

  2. STAINMASTER® Carpet Pet Stain Remover is the perfect product for all stages of a pet's life! You are a pet expert and I love how your stairs turned out!! #client

  3. Oh my gosh! These are genius! And both your cat and dog are adorable!

  4. Pet stains have seriously got to be the worst. I love that you have shared an amazing product to get them out.

  5. I've always had a cat through my whole life. I've had a number of dogs as well. I remmber housebreaking some of the dogs and how many stains there were.

  6. Oh what a wonderful story! I'm sure your Mom would be proud. And I love this DIY dog steps, I need this for our little Boston Terrier!

  7. This is impressive and clever idea! It's also cute and looks easy to do. I'm going to try this DIY dog steps too.

  8. Your pets are the most adorable ever! I love how they get along! We also STAINMASTER® Carpet Pet Stain Remover so our pets also have accidents here and there since they are still small. Those stairs look so easy to make! Thanks for sharing!

  9. How about some instructions? This site is definitely not very helpful for someone looking for directions on how to build stairs.

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