Urbanites have known it forever -- cats make great apartment pets. Unlike larger apartment companions, a cat would feel perfectly at home in your 800sqft studio. But that doesn’t mean bringing a cat home is all bells and catnip -- like any other roommate, living with a cat can have its ups and downs.
If you’re considering inviting a feline friend into your apartment, make sure you’re prepared. Before bringing kitty home, be sure you’re prepared to:
- Keep your cat safe in an apartment
- Create a cat-friendly apartment garden
- Automate cat care to keep yourself sane
- Figure out your cat’s bathroom area before move-in
- Build cat entertainment and enrichment into your apartment
0. Choose a cat-friendly apartment.
This might go without saying, which is why we’re including it before we actually get to the list. Before bringing your new furry friend home, make sure your apartment allows cats. If you already know you live in a cat-friendly apartment, make sure to give management a heads up -- there may be some fees or paperwork that need to be handled to ensure that Fluffy can stay for good, and it’s important for management and maintenance teams to know what to expect so that your furbaby doesn’t accidentally get loose if they stop by.
1. Learn how to keep your city kitty safe in an apartment.
Step number one in being a good cat mom or cat dad is learning how to keep your pet safe. When you’re bringing a cat into an apartment, there are a few things you should consider:
- Windows. Do your windows have screens? If not (and if you plan on opening them) make sure to find some. Cats might have a tendency to land on their feet if startled from a bookshelf, but don’t risk your cat’s safety or risk letting them run off by testing that on a larger scale.
- Balconies. An apartment balcony can be a great place for a kitty to snooze in the sun… as long as you’re there supervising. Make sure that the balcony is off-limits when you aren’t around and construct a barrier to keep your cat safe even when you are.
- First aid. Bumps and bruises happen, especially if you have a playful or curious cat. Be prepared to handle minor cat injuries in your own apartment, and have a local vet’s number on hand in case your feline friend ever needs more serious treatment.
- Microchipping. Living in a densely populated area like a city can be fun, but it can also mean that tracking down a lost cat is even harder than ever. Stay ahead of the game and get your cat microchipped before moving into your apartment.
- Problem areas. Look at your apartment from a cat’s perspective. Where are the good spots to climb, nap, or hide? What vases and goldfish bowls might get in the way? Try to identify and fix any problem areas before your cat gets into trouble.
2. Expand your apartment garden to include some cat-friendly plants.
Apartment gardening is a great way to brighten up your living space, and it also opens up the possibility of creating some green space for your cat as well. Cats love cat grass, and including a catnip garden for them to explore in your apartment garden is a great way to keep them entertained.
Note: Some common house and apartment plants can be toxic to cats, so always double check to make sure plants are cat-safe before bringing them home!
3. Automate cat care whenever possible.
Did you know that you can get cat drinking fountains? Or automated cat food bowls that automatically serve your pet breakfast and dinner on a timer? Keep meowing to a minimum both for your own sanity and for your neighbors when you switch to automated cat care.
4. Nail down your cat’s bathroom situation before move-in.
Cats need a nice, private place to toilet, so make sure you have a solution ready before you bring kitty home. If you don’t have space to give your cat their own bathroom -- and in an apartment, it’s likely you don’t! -- find a covered litter box to keep that litter box smell from taking over your living space. Scented, biodegradable diaper bags make scooping the litter box a breeze, and a handy cat mat keeps litter from getting tracked through the rest of your apartment.
5. Create built-in entertainment and enrichment areas for your cat.
Bored cats can quickly become destructive cats. Save your furniture and your safety deposit by creating enrichment areas for your cat that they can access whenever they please. This can mean having a bin full of kitty toys available, utilizing your vertical space with cat-friendly shelves, or turning the nooks and crannies in your apartment into cozy cat spaces.
Cats are great apartment pets, but owning a cat in an apartment requires a little forethought to get right. Keep these things in mind when setting up your apartment, and we’re sure you and your kitty will feel right at home!