Tips And Things To Consider For Living With Cats In An Apartment

If you live in an apartment but would want a feline pet to keep you company, perhaps you might be wondering what you need to consider before owning one. Some of these include the policy of your landlord regarding having pets, the size of your apartment if there are noise restrictions, and the safety of your place. Because dogs are more difficult in apartments due to their size and exercise needs, most owners choose cats instead.

Whether you already own a cat, still planning to have one, or want to have another feline to keep your pet company, below, we have listed some important tips for you to consider when you want to live with cats in an apartment.

Living with cats in an apartment: tips and things to consider

1.  Know your landlord or your realtor’s house policy

As mentioned, the very first thing you should consider before having a cat in your apartment is determining if pets are allowed. This is important not only because your cat gets approval from the landlord, but it will also ensure that the maintenance staff will mind the door after they check or clean your room to prevent your furry friend from escaping.

2.  Cat-proof your apartment

Cats are very observant creatures that often figured out how to open doors and windows by themselves. This is dangerous especially because they can escape when you’re not at home. Therefore, before owning a cat, make sure that your apartment is already cat-proof. You can do it by using a lock or child-proofing handles not only for your doors and windows but also for the pantry to keep your cat from sneaking himself a snack in the middle of the night. After all, no one, except your cat, would be delighted to see a smashed broken jar of treats.

living with cats in apartment cat staring at window
Image credit: g3gg0n from Pixabay

3.  Clean their litter box every day

Perhaps no one enjoys cleaning the litter box, but it is a must for apartment dwellers. Not only because of sanitation purposes, but it will also keep the litter’s smell from spreading on your small space. Moreover, a clean litter box will ensure that your cat is happy, thus preventing them from relieving themselves of your furniture or on the corners of the room.

4.  Hide their litter box in plain sight

Not only is the sight of the litter box gross, but its smell can also spread if placed in the wrong area. This is the reason why many cat owners opt to place their cat’s litter boxes in hidden areas, such as in the basement. However, because an apartment is a cramped space, most apartment dwellers are having an issue with where to place the litter box.

One solution for this is to purchase a fancy litter box with a cover to hide your cat’s poop and urine and limit the spread of its smell. You can also hide them behind your home equipment and furniture, but make sure that your cat can still easily access them.

5.  Secure access to your balcony

If your apartment has a balcony, it is more important that you keep it secure by making it off-limits when you are not at home. You can also build a barrier around your balcony using chicken wire or any mesh. Keep in mind that the type of barrier that you will use plays a big role in keeping your cat safe from falling off the railings.

living with cat in apartment: cat at balcony
Image credit: Pixaline from Pixabay

6.  Hide their toys that make loud sounds at night

One of the many things you should know when you live with cats is that they are not the most considerate pets when it comes to waking you up at night. In fact, they may even cry or make sounds when they want your attention while you’re sleeping.

Because cats are more active at night and in the early morning, they are likely to play with their toys during these times which may wake you or your neighbor up. Therefore, it is just right to hide their toys that make loud noises, such as bells and balls, before bedtime. Instead, give them toys that make quiet or no sounds, such as a stuffed toy or a scratching post. This will ensure that they get the playtime they need without disturbing you or the people around you.

7.  You won’t have any privacy

The moment you decide to take a cat into your home, you should know that your privacy is over. Being curious pets, cats will explore every corner and nook of your apartment – basically anywhere they fit. Therefore, make sure that you deep clean your apartment.

In addition, no privacy means that they will follow you everywhere you go, even in the bathroom! Many cat owners are used to having their cats staring at them while they shower. If they are not allowed to stay inside the bathroom with their owners, they will instead sit on the bathroom mat right outside the door while waiting for their owners.

8.  Sweep and vacuum regularly

Regardless of their hair length, cats do shed. While they do great in keeping themselves clean, fallen hair will gather on your furniture and clothes. Therefore, using a vacuum cleaner, along with regular sweeping will be part of your routine. Aside from cleaning off loose hair, it will also help eliminate cat litter stuck on their paws and falling off on your floor.

9.  Install perches at different heights around your apartment

It is common knowledge for cat owners that their pet loves to be in high places. Therefore, make your cat happy by installing perches and cat towers near, or on your windows, to keep your cat entertained. Without sight of the outside world, your cat will become bored, which can lead to the development of destructive behaviors.

By giving them a “high rise” option, your cat’s tendency to sit on your furniture, such as your coffee table and countertops, will be eliminated. However, keep in mind that the view outside may not always be relaxing for cats, and can sometimes even cause stress.

10. Be mindful in choosing your cat

Like dogs, cats tend to be more active when they are younger. If you’re adopting, consider having an adult cat instead of a kitten since the former is calmer and more relaxed. On the other hand, kittens have higher energy levels and are more playful, which increases the risk of your furniture being broken, especially if you live in a cramped apartment.

Read also: Is it OK to leave my cat alone at home?

11. Make sure that your cat’s basic needs are provided

Before owning a cat, put yourself in their shoes first. Is there a space where they can relax and enjoy the view outside? Is there a safe place for them to rest without being disturbed? Are there enough toys that they can play with? Do they have access to food and water all the time? Is their litter box properly placed? Make sure that all their needs are met. Otherwise, your cat may cause trouble in the future.

12. Manage the temperature inside your apartment

Since your cat will most often stay inside your apartment, it is important that they stay in a place where they are kept comfortable. Make sure that there’s a sunny area where your cat can stay and keep themselves warm during winter, such as a perch on the window. You may also need to dress them up with a sweater or a jacket to keep them warm.

Meanwhile, proper ventilation will be needed during summer to keep your cat from being too hot. You also need to ensure that they have access to fresh and clean water.

13. Provide your cat with various interactive toys

Cats, especially those who are kept indoors, need various toys and activities to keep themselves entertained, thus preventing the development of destructive behaviors. If you have provided numerous toys for your cat, don’t make them available all at the same time because they might get sick of it quickly. Instead, rotate toys to ensure that their interest in playing is still there.

If a cat is bored, this can be a huge problem for you and your apartment since your cat may leave claw marks on your sofa, or they may also ruin your favorite knitted sweater. Of course, aside from giving them toys, providing time to play with your cat is the most important factor in keeping them happy and entertained.

living with cats in apartment; kitten playing
Image credit: Alek B from Pixabay;

14. Never leave your cat alone for too long

Although they may seem snobbish and independent, cats are social animals and will always need your presence. If they are left alone for long periods of time, this may lead to them becoming sad and bored, which can result in, as mentioned earlier, the development of destructive habits.

If you’re going on a trip, make sure they have someone to check on them. Or better yet, take your cat with you. There are various pet-friendly places all over the world, anyway.

15. Eliminate your cat’s stressors

There are various possible stressors for cats. Busy neighborhoods, loud noises, and dirty litter boxes may cause your cat to be noisy and destructive, which may affect your neighbors.

To ensure that your cat does not cause trouble in your neighborhood, limit their stress by providing them with their needs and by giving them their own safe area, such as a quiet and dark corner of the room, where they can stay if they are afraid of the loud sounds.

In addition, if you have friendly neighbors, it is always a good idea to introduce your cats to them. Who knows, they might be there for you when you need help in providing care with your cat, or they may let you know if your cat has run loose, or is already causing trouble outside your apartment.

Moving to a new house with your cats? read this article to find out how to help them feel comfortable in the new environment

How to keep your cat happy and entertained inside the apartment

Keeping your cat happy and entertained inside your apartment will ensure that it won’t do anything dangerous or destructive. Because they are curious animals, cats need different activities to keep their mind and body stimulated at all times.

Below are some tips to help your cat feel happy and entertained inside the apartment:

  • Give them interactive toys, such as a toy that can make different sounds or a treat dispenser.
  • Provide them with scratching posts that will serve as an outlet for them to scratch. In addition, it will also give them something to attach themselves to in the home, which will help them adjust easier to their new environment.
  • If your realtor allows you, you can install bridges, walkways, and similar structures in your apartment, which will enable your cat to feel like they are living outdoors. This will also give them the chance to stay on high places.
  • If your cat is having a hard time adjusting inside the apartment, give them catnips. Catnip is an herb that helps cats relax. Catnips can be rubbed on their bedding or on their toys to make them feel calmer.
  • If you work during the daytime, make sure to make it up with your cat by spending more time with them when you are at the apartment. Instead of watching movies, it is better to play with your cat and make sure that they receive the right amount of love and attention that they need.

Final thought

The key takeaway is that while cats are much easier to take care of compared to other animals, especially if you live in small spaces, it is very important that they meet their daily needs in order for them to stay happy and healthy. Make sure they have access to a clean litter box, water, and food, various toys that they can play with, good climate control, and of course, make sure that you spend enough time playing and chilling with your cat. If all these are met, you’ll have a feline companion that will keep you entertained and will relieve your stress instead of adding up to your problems.

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