When it comes to owning cats, a prevalent question among prospective cat owners is apartment size.
Now we know cats like small spaces. But does that translate to small apartments as well?
Are cats comfortable and happy in studio apartments? How small is too small for a cat, or is there such a thing?
When it comes to cats, you don’t have to do a lot to take care of them. But the little needs that cats have are to be addressed responsibly.
In this article, let us look at how cats generally respond to small living areas. Starting with the most frequently asked question;
Do cats like small apartments?
If their basic needs are adequately addressed, cats enjoy living in small apartments and will develop as well-adjusted pets. It is possible to create an interactive ecosystem in small apartments too. Add loving human companionship, and your cat will grow happy and healthy.
You see, whether a cat will like the living space depends less on her liking and more on how her needs as a cat are addressed.
A cat can be happy in a small studio apartment, and she can be bored and sad in a 4000 sq. ft. home.
It comes down to how efficiently her human companion interacts and addresses her simple needs.
In the next section, let’s see these needs and how you can fulfill them in small apartments.
How much space does a cat need?
I even get intense questions like is it cruel to keep a cat in a studio environment?
The answer is no. You have to look at cats as these bundles of energy who need exercise and interaction to express their predatory instincts. So, if your ecosystem gives them a clean space to eat, eliminate, engage and play around, they will be fine.
Cats don’t have a problem with contracted spaces. As a matter of fact, cats love small cozy spaces.
You may have a hard time believing it, but even a 250-300 sq. ft. apartment is big enough for a cat.
People who choose to own a cat rarely stop at one. This is because taking care of a cat is not that difficult. Once you meet their basic needs, they practically raise themselves.
Also, if you get cats in pairs, you are even relieved from most of their engagement and interaction activities. They play, engage, chase, sleep, groom each other, and grow happily without you needing to do a lot.
Addressing a Cat’s Need in a Small Apartment
So from the very start, I have been saying you need to be responsible for your cat’s needs.
But what are these needs?
To make it simple, for a while, I want you to look at your cat as a bundle of instincts that needs to be expressed. I know we like treating our cats as our own kids, which is perfect, but in that way limited.
We must understand that this being was once in the wild, and she has chosen to live with you. The contract was you need to address my wild expression, and in return, I will bless you with the mysterious company.
Let’s look at the most important things you need to be responsible for when it comes to cats.
Food & Water
Needless to say, one of the most important things is to ensure that your cat is fed and watered correctly. It may take some time to determine your cat’s food likes and dislikes.
But when you do, she must be fed on time with her favorite food and fed in a proper way.
Cats like to eat their food peacefully, away from high-traffic areas and litter boxes.
I recommend placing the food and water bowl against a wall kitchen or under a table for small apartments.
The area around their eating spaces must be peaceful and sanitary.
If you are out of home a lot, I think some of these automatic gravity feeders will help you.
Another question I often see is when owners ask how to sleep with a cat in a studio apartment.
Well, there is a good chance that your cat will hop onto your bed for warmth and comfort when it’s time to sleep. If your cat likes her personal space, you can get aBEDSURE Orthopedic Dog Bed for Medium Dogs - Waterproof Dog Bed Medium, Foam Sofa with Removable Washable Cover, Waterproof Lining and Nonskid Bottom Couch, Pet Bed that you can place in a small space.
Cats love fitting into small spaces that are secluded and out of foot traffic.
So, you can place the bed under the bed, in a closet, or like an empty cubby on a bookshelf.
As I said, cats are a bundle of energy that wants their predatory instinct exercised. So, you must exercise your cat in a small apartment with active playtime.
Cats express their physical energy by jumping, scratching, and chasing feather toys as it emulates hunting in the wild.
Luckily, cats do not require a lot of space to play. All cats are different, but your cat can be entertained even with a toilet paper roll.
So, as a routine, you need to take time to play, engage, talk and cuddle with your cat.
You don’t need to overspend on toys; you can DIY them using simple household materials.
One of the most critical aspects that need to be addressed for cats in a small apartment is the litter box location.
I have created a separate article to address ideal litter box locations that you can check out.
The main thing to keep in mind is to keep the litter box in a secluded and convenient location. A bathroom, a utility closet, or a nicely ventilated empty lower cabinet or shelf will be good locations.
Cats are very sensitive about where they eat and eliminate. Therefore, please do not keep the litter box near where they eat. In small apartments, that is a possibility.
If you have a relatively big apartment, you would want at least two litter boxes placed in different places in the house.
Can Cats Get Bored in Small Apartments?
Whether or not cats get bored depends not on the apartment size but on how the cat is handled.
A cat can be pleased in a small apartment and equally miserable in a big flat.
Many people tend to think that cats are loners. Cats are independent creatures but need human companionship and playful engagement to develop well in domesticated ecosystems.
If you do not create a space where a cat can express herself in her own ways, boredom can set in.
You do not need to do much to keep a cat entertained, nor do you need a big apartment. As long you take time to play, engage and cuddle with your cat, your cat will grow joyfully.
And that shouldn’t be too hard as those are some of the main reasons we get a cat, right?
Cats may get bored in small apartments because of the lack of organic stimulation.
It is not difficult to create a space that is conducive to cat activity, something that can keep them active.
Cat trees and perches placed in strategic locations will help cats navigate the apartment, thus keeping them active.
Cats also like to supervise you, which counts as cat activity.
So, you can maybe place perches in such a way that gives them easy access to apartment shelves. Cats love high vantage points; they can supervise and stalk you from these shelves.
Another important thing to do to ensure your cats aren’t bored is to have a routine in place. The routine should be such that it allows them to use their energy throughout the day.
And this shouldn’t be difficult because cats are inherent creatures of routine.
You can develop the routine in such a way that your cat remains active when you are active and relaxed when you are relaxed.
After some time, you will see your cat will start looking forwards to engagement and playtime, and their energy level will match with yours.
Can you have multiple cats in a small apartment?
One of the best hacks to ensure your cat never gets bored is to have another feline companion.
Getting cats in pairs is always a good call because you will be relieved of most, if not all, engagement responsibilities.
But here is the big question, can you have multiple cats in a small apartment?
The answer is a resounding yes. You can have two or more cats in a small apartment. Using items like perches and small trees strategically, you can create a cat conducive environment even in small spaces. From there, it comes down to having a combination of fixed eating, playtime, and sleep schedule.
Having multiple cats means most engagement needs are taken care of organically.
The thing that remains for you to take care of is developing a harmonious routine between you and your cats.
The right time to dispense food and water will play a significant role. Cats are food motivated and tend to build many positive associations during meal and snack times.
Food also controls a cat’s energy levels.
So, if you want your cats to be energetic when you are active and calm while resting, you need to plan your cats’ meal time around your lifestyle.
When cats are fed together on a fixed routine, they tend to develop an excellent bond with their owners. Not just that, when cats eat together, they are more likely to get along owing to positive associations.
Scheduled playtime is equally important for cats that live together is small spaces. Yes, most of their energy will be spent grooming, chasing, and playing together, but playtime with humans sweetens the bond with the butler.
It will also tire your cats so that they will sleep like a log when you do, satisfies their wild instincts, and keeps them physically fit.
6 Tips for Cat Owners with Small Apartments
We have covered a lot regarding raising cats in small apartments.
Thank you for being so patient and reading the whole thing.
Before I take my leave, let me share 6 tips you can use while raising cats in small apartments.
Not all may apply to your situation but many will.
- Use a Cat Hammock
Cats love lazying in the morning sunshine. So, if your window receives the morning sun, your cat will dearly appreciate a hammock. An excellent place to rest, and it doesn’t take up any extra space, which is perfect for small apartments.
- Get your Cats Some Scratchers
The last thing you want in a small apartment is cats taking out their scratching on your furniture. Scratching posts help cats sharpen their claws and allow them to express some of their instincts.
If your space allows, you can get trees with scratching fabric wrapped around them.
- Give Cats a Taste of Outdoors
You can create an enclosure on your balcony and let your cats have a healthy taste of outdoor sun and winds.
If you cannot create an enclosure, you need to harness your cat to prevent escape and injury.
Some cats can even be trained to walk on a leash. But if you wish to take your cat on a walk, train her well first, and use a secure, safe surrounding to walk her.
- Use Perches and Shelves Strategically
Cats love high vantage points. They use high spaces to rest, stalk, play and keep an eye on things happening in the house.
For small apartments, you can strategically arrange perches and trees so they can access high-vantage resting places.
Basically, you have to get a little bit creative and ‘catify’ your apartment.
- If possible, get a cat exercise wheel
I know this is a significant investment, but an exercise wheel can keep cats entertained for hours if you can afford it. Not to mention, they are fantastic means of exercising a cat’s body. Here is one of the best exercise wheels you can buy for your cat.
- 【Proper Dimensions】After repeated tests by our designer, we have made this cat exercise wheel (wheel outer diameter: 35.5inch；Runway width: 11inch) which suitable for most cats, so that you don't need to think twice about the size you want to buy!
- 【How to Installation】Our cat treadmill is designed with reserved holes; You can easily complete the installation according to the installation instructions. It is strongly recommended to prepare an electric drill, which will greatly reduce your installation time.
- 【How to Use】You only need to use a cat wand toy to attract you cat's attention, and he will run with the wheel. After several times of guidance, he will learn how to use, and love this sport; the cat exercise wheel also have a safety lock which will freely control the training time.
- 【High Quality Materials】This cat running wheel is made of carefully selected solid wood multilayer boards, which is compact in structure and very durable. The pulley block is designed to prevent noise, When your cat is exercising, you can still listen to music quietly by the side.
- 【Kindly Tips】Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions during the installation process or about the product; And, If you have any good ideas and suggestions about our cat exercise wheel, please contact us, and we will continue to improve it to meet your needs.
Cat exercise wheels are like treadmills for our four-footed feline athletes. With some training, you can enable your cat to have fun and get the necessary exercise simultaneously. Also, your kitty will be so tired that she will not run around your studio apartment and knock stuff over.
- Respect their need for space
Last but not least, you have to accept that although cats love human companionship, they also like having their own space. They do not like to be disturbed, especially while eating and eliminating.
Leave them alone when they want or need to, and keep some unused cardboard boxes here and there for them to hide.
I hope you enjoyed this article on how to raise cats in small apartments.
I hope all these pointers help raise cats well, even if you live in a small apartment.
If you live in a studio apartment with one or more cats, I would also love to know about your experience.
Just use the comments section below to share anything you wish to.
Take care of yourselves, and I will see you at the next one!