Over 95.6 million cats are living in homes across America, as reported by American Veterinary Medical Association, illustrating the popularity of our feline friends (and this number isn’t lowering any time soon)! Many of us love (and despise) elements of owning a cat, including the all too common issue of space. Cats are typically more independent than other pets, and show their needs differently. Struggling with living with your cat in a small apartment? Wondering how to make your apartment cat friendly? We’ve got you covered.
Whether you’re in an apartment or three story home, these tips work well for all cat owners:
This is mandatory for anyone with a cat in any home, but especially an apartment or small space! Find the best cat tree for your home. Cats need a place to sharpen their claws, stretch their ligaments, and shed old claw layers safely -- otherwise, you’ll see them using your chairs, couches, walls, or anywhere else to do it. Find a scratching post with an interactive element, like a perch or dangling toy, to ensure your felines won’t get enough of their new lounge spot.
Place the scratching post or cat tree near a window where the sunlight comes in; cats need to absorb vitamin D into their skin, so they will love being able to rest and play while getting their vital nutrients.
Social spaces are the areas in your apartment that you spend the most time in. Contrary to popular belief, dogs are not the only species that seek a pack mentality with their owners. Cats, too, want to feel a part of your tribe. Placing their toys, cat trees, perches, food dishes, and litter boxes near these social hot zones can help kitties feel more welcome and at home.
There are plenty of litter box hacks to keep your cat’s bathroom socially zoned without being an eyesore.
Cats are highly aware of our habits and routines, and most of us don’t even realize it! Cats know when we typically wake up for our daily responsibilities, when we get ready to eat, when they are fed, and almost every aspect of our activities. When the routine is shifted or changed, cats can experience small spikes in stress as a result. This can cause behavioral issues that many small home and apartment dwelling cat owners express, like misuse of the bathroom or 3 AM yowling.
The most important tip is to ensure that your cat is fed around the same time every day. If you are free-feeding your cat, try a scheduled feeding. Twice a day, about 9-12 hours apart, is sufficient for their metabolism. You will be able to accurately guess when they will start to bother you for food, and it can be tailored to your sleep schedule. This small bonding moment for you and your feline can do wonders for their mood.
Self-starter toys are ones that don’t require you to use them. Light wicker balls with bells, catnip stuffed “kickers” (cats love wrestling with these), and other battery-powered cat toys are great options. They will be free to play when you’re at work, out and about, or asleep, and their energy levels throughout the day will improve. Tiring your cat out with play will give them the enrichment they need and will prevent many of the complaints of apartment living with felines. Say “goodbye” to the antsy cat, disruptive “zoomies” across the furniture, and knocking items off of shelves by giving them enough playtime to tire them out and strengthen the bond between you both.
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