Cats are ideal for apartment living. They are independent, love to hide in small places, and don’t require frequent visits home for bathroom breaks. When given the right amount of exercise, cats can live quite happily in a less spacious home — even in a tiny studio apartment. However, there are a few things you can do to make sure that your cat has everything he needs to lead a healthy, happy life.
Install Cat Perches and Shelves
Cats are known for being curious, mischievous creatures. However, excessive amounts of destruction usually signal that they aren’t getting enough exercise and are feeling anxious. One way to remedy this is by giving your cats a place to play. Of course, you could shell out $100 for a kitty playhouse, but there are also DIY solutions. Providing some shelves for climbing will give your feline some play room and a place to survey the apartment from above. Building a small perch next to a window will also provide your cat with hours of amusement, hunting birds and other critters, harmlessly, from afar. There are a number of toys and ways to keep your cat entertained and exercised, which you can find in our Tips to Keep Your Cat Happy in Your Apartment.
Consider Litter Box Placement
Smaller apartments mean less distance between yourself and your cat’s waste space. Unfortunately, not even scented or odor control litter can entirely extinguish the potent stench of kitty waste.
One way to combat this — aside from regularly cleaning of course — is by finding a good place to put the litter box. Some people use a covered litter box to contain the scent and put it in the bathroom, a place generally less-trafficked by guests and which already has tile or wood flooring. If you really want to utilize your space, there are many DIY projects online that show you how to convert tables and hollow benches into litter boxes. This was you’ll have a functional piece of furniture and a private, out-of-the-way place for your kitty to spend their private time.
Find a Private Place for Dining
An often overlooked consideration of litter box placement has to do with its proximity to your cat’s food and water. Cats easily get dehydrated, and keeping their water next to their litter box can discourage them from drinking enough water. To avoid this conflict, keep food and water in a separate room than the litter box. But choose the location carefully; there is nothing worse than causing a traffic jam in the kitchen just so your kitty can have some dinner. Placing the bowls under a table will keep them out of the way and allow your cat to have some privacy while eating.
It is so common for cats to leap from upper-floor apartment windows that vets have a name for it: high-rise syndrome. There is nothing wrong with letting your cat enjoy the view, but make sure that the windows are closed or have screen guards to give your cat extra protection.
Get a Scratching Post
Sometimes, the only way to spruce up a smaller living space is to buy beautiful — and sometimes expensive — furniture. Unfortunately, your cat looks at that gorgeous leather upholstery and sees only one thing: a gigantic scratching post. Make sure you have a scratching post somewhere in the apartment, even if it takes up a little room. No matter how many spray bottles you keep around the house, the cat is inevitably going to have to scratch somewhere to mark their territory, shed outer nail layers, and just to get a good stretch. Give them a safe place to do it, and don’t give them an excuse to destroy your furniture.
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