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Home > Cats > How to Live With a Cat in a Small Apartment: 10 Things to Know

How to Live With a Cat in a Small Apartment: 10 Things to Know

cat resting near window

If you live in a small condo or apartment, your feline can adapt to your rooms and thrive in comfortable digs.

Pet housing is not exclusively determined by your home’s size. What is essential as a pet owner is to take the time to offer much love and attention while creating a conducive environment for your furry friend. That means you need to make your cat’s living areas more than only the floor by utilizing the vertical and cubic space in your apartment, such as areas around or behind furniture.

Equipping that lovely apartment with equipment such as a cat tree and using fascinating kitty toys can help you create an engaging playground in your small apartment.

To create a kitty-friendly environment in your small apartment or condo, try these ideas.


The 10 Tips for Living With a Cat in a Small Apartment

1. Find a Perfect Place for Your Cat’s Litter Box

When it comes to feline litter, there are a lot of considerations. However, your main concerns might be the smell and mess in your apartment, but this greatly depends on where you put the litter box. The ideal places tend to be the balcony or bathroom.

Your balcony is perfect if you have feline-proofing installed since it is well-aerated, and the smell will not persist. However, a bathroom is usually ideal for pets kept inside at night or if you are away from home, although this room may often lack ventilation. Collectively, you will need to find a perfect odor-resistant litter box.

cat litter box top entry
Photo Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

2. Get the Right Plants

Help your kitty embrace their wild instincts with some attractive leafy plants that they can hide behind or gnaw on. However, be careful since not all plants will make your cat’s life better. Some plants are toxic and can lead to severe illness or indigestion in felines, so make sure to look for safe plants for pets.

There are numerous pet plants, but catnip is often the safest for cats. Another great option is a cat bed entirely made of grass, which you can make by yourself.

3. Provide Your Feline With Scratching Objects

Scratching is very healthy for your cat. Besides keeping the cat’s nails sharp and healthy, scratching helps cats mark their territory. Their nail curves help them leave a chemical scent wherever they scratch, which is why most cats will scratch on furniture even when they have a scratching post.

To curb this behavior, ensure your kitty has somewhere to scratch in every room. It does not have to be a post. You can purchase scratchers that hang on door knots or DIY simple wall scratchers for which your cat will go crazy.

4. Use Toys That Stir Excitement

A plumage on a string might be your kitty’s favorite toy. However, make sure to stock your home with some extra toys your cat can entertain themselves with. These may include a wooly mouse full of catnip or an engaging play that rewards your cat with treats.

5. Give Your Cat Space

In a small apartment, it can be pretty hard for a cat to have privacy. However, even the most social cat requires some time alone now and then, which is very relatable. An enclosed kitty bed offers a comfortable area for your cat to hang out while still providing a little shelter from humans, too.

cat lying on enclose cat bed
Photo Credit: NOKOEIDEH, Shutterstock

6. Help Your Kitty Get High (Not Just on Catnip)

Cats love sitting in a raised position where they can watch over their Kingdom Lion King-style. It is one of their deeply implanted survival intuitions. That is why you need a cat tree.

However, if you don’t want to invest in luxurious cat furniture or if large carpeted towers don’t match your home’s appeal, there is a much more affordable and attractive solution: shelves. Simple shelves fitted perfectly beside the wall can provide several places to lounge and allow your cat to hop up safely to ceiling height.

If your furry friend likes spending time with you in the kitchen, you need to keep the top of your refrigerator cleared off, too.  It provides your cat with a place to hang out and survey all the exciting kitchen activities from on high without getting any hair in your meal.

7. Deck Out Your Window Ridges

The window acts like television for cats, with hours of exciting, ad-free programming of people, birds, and sounds to arouse their hunting intuitions all day along. That means it is vital for your window ridges to be cat-friendly. If the sill is too thin for a kitty to lounge comfortably, attach a small ledge to add width, such as a hanging cat perch.

Fold up a warm blanket in winter and lay it on the ridge so your cat can watch their movie with no chill.

cat near window
Photo Credit: Piqsels

8. Clean the Litter Box Daily

Most pet owners, particularly those living in apartments, may get a bit lax with their home maintenance, especially when it comes to litter boxes. However, if you are a cat owner living in a small apartment, you need to be passionately cleaning your litter box at least once per day. That is hygienic and will also keep the odor from spreading through your already limited space.

Besides sanitation, a tidy litter box keeps your kitty happy. Your feline is more likely to be destructive or aloof when their litter box is dirty since they don’t feel comfortable going there. However, your cat is less likely to cause an accident if they know that their litter box is a clean place to go.

9. Sweep and Vacuum Often

Cats shed regardless of their fur height. You might not see it as much since they groom themselves regularly, but their fur will accumulate on about everything. However, their hair becomes much more visible in small spaces like apartments.

If you are a kitty parent who lives in a small apartment, you need to invest in a vacuum cleaner designed to pull out pet hair from furniture and carpets. When you sweep and vacuum often, you also get rid of the cat litter spread, which your furry friend will track around accidentally.

It is not their fault, as sometimes a little gets stuck between their clumps and pads onto their feet and falls off. However, nothing is more annoying than moving around your place barefoot when everything is full of what feels like sand. It is also a lot less hygienic.

person vacuuming carpet
Photo Credit: Andrey_Popov, Shutterstock

10. Cat-Proof Your Apartment

Some cats are so intelligent that they can learn how to open doors or windows. If you have a cat in your apartment, you need to reinforce your window screens. That way, if your cat spots something it likes outside with the window open, it is less likely to jump through the curtain.

Or else, you may opt for a physical closing mechanism on your window if your kitty has learned how to open the windows.

In addition, if your cat has learned how to open doors, purchase child-proofing knobs for your door so that your feline can’t let themselves out in the middle of the night for a snack. It is pretty difficult for your cat to get through without protuberant presses in a space where even toddlers can’t pass through.



Do not allow the fear of sharing a limited space to keep you from gaining the benefits of cat companionship. With creative thinking and patience, you can create a home that allows you and your furry friend to live harmoniously and happily. The amount of positive attention and love your kitty gets is much more essential than the size of your apartment.

Featured Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

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