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Apartment Living with a Kitten

  • Emily Rice

Emily Rice

6 min read
Apartment Living with a Kitten

If your apartment is animal friendly, but you don’t want a dog, try a cat!

Cats are considered low maintenance. Meaning, if you provide for them their basic needs, they’ll pretty much take care of themselves. Compared to a dog or a human child, cats are a lot cheaper to care for, too!

Before looking for a cat/kitten, first check to see if your apartment is animal friendly. Next, remember that a cat has nine lives - this is a long-term responsibility. After that, we recommend asking yourself a few questions to see if you are ready for this commitment.

Are you financially ready for a cat?
Like anything, cats carry financial obligations. Besides food, toys, and a litter box, cats may need to be spay or neutered, get vaccinations, have annual examinations, and veterinarian care.

Are there any young children?
Some children don’t necessarily like animals, they may be afraid of them. Then, there’s other children who love animals to death. Both can inflict harm; the children may terrorize the cat and the cat might scratch the children. Every situation is different and is something to be mindful of.

Of course, pets are fine for teaching children responsibility, but there should be an adult around to supervise and ensure necessary jobs are done like feeding the cat, cleaning the litter box, and grooming the cat regularly.

Do you have time for a cat?
Contrary to some beliefs, cats like (in moderation) attention. If you live a busy lifestyle, a neglected cat, or any animal in general, will find all kinds of mischief to amuse themselves.

A cat [pet] is your companion as you are their companion.

If your answers align with these questions, then perhaps it’s time to adopt a kitten/cat!

Prior to Arrival

Before bringing the kitten/cat home to your apartment, it’s best to get the place arranged. That means getting down to cat level and see if there’s anything that might hurt them or damage things that you don’t want them to get ahold of.

Remove items that they might chew or swallow. Items might include, paper towels, paper clips, pencils, exposed wires, electrical cords, caps, cleaning products, medications, or any household plants that might be toxic to pets.

Lose wires and cords are distracting – Tape them to baseboards or under tables/furniture to hold them in place.

Look for anything fragile that might be broken if bumped. This includes items that are above the reach of leaping.

Share with Those that Need to Know

With the addition of a pet, you’ll need to inform your landlord. Typically, there will be additional expenses needed to be paid.

Letting your insurance company know that you’re a pet-owner too can’t hurt. That way should something happen, they can protect you.

Dealing with Claws

To mediate the cat from ruining furniture or curtains, provide them with a sturdy, rough-textured scratching post to sharpen their claws.

Even if your cat is declawed, it’s still a natural instinct.

A Place for Litter

Instinctively, cats burry their waste.

Place the litter box in a secluded area, where they will feel comfortable doing their business. First, see how they take to it. If they don’t dig or scratch, then they might need some guidance. Simply, hold their front paw and simulate digging with it – hopefully they’ll get the idea. When they do use the litter box, praise them or reward them to encourage them to do it again.

Eventually, the cat will be trained and no longer make messy, smelly accidents on the apartment floor.

A corner of your bathroom or the closet might make good spots for a litter box. Some people place their cat’s litter box in the kitchen. Doing so is okay, but it’d be best not to have your cats waste near food since airborne litter and fecal matter can be dangerous to ingest.

A confined space, out of sight, would be best for you, your cat, and any guests.

Getting Acquainted

Moving into your apartment will be something new for the cat, and for you. It will take some time for the cat to feel comfortable in their new environment and with you.

To help ease this transition, it’s a good idea to create a space specific for your feline. Arrange him/her a bed, with toys, food and water, and a litter box. This will act as their sanctuary. If you have other pets, this will be their place to unwind and feel secure.

Following a routine will instill in the cat what they can expect, from you. For instance, feeding time will demonstrate trust. After a while the cat will know it’s feeding time and will get used to you. Same goes for play time, cuddle time, bath time, etc.

Secure to Leave

For a while, it might be a good idea to place your kitten/cat in a kennel if they aren’t house trained when it’s time to leave the apartment.

If not a kennel, then a secured room. For a majority of the time, they’ll probably sleep, but it might be nice to leave a bed, litter box, toys, scratching post, food and water in the room. Music or leaving the TV on can be beneficial to calm a kitten/cat when alone.

When alone, a cat can get bored. Especially, in a confined space like an apartment. However, there are things you can do to spruce your apartment up, so that it’s cat friendly.

The Good Outdoors

If you have a balcony or a patio, be on alert when you open the patio door. Cat’s are known to be curious and try to escape to get outside.

If your cat likes to be outdoors, try to make it enclosed, somehow. You could screen or fence your railings in, but this will only work for cats who are declawed. Or, there are enclosures known as a “catio” to give your cat a taste of the outdoors without the risks.

If you can’t bring your cat outdoors, then bring the outdoors, in. This can be done by adding plants, indoor pots, even fake grass to give your cat a change of scenery.

Even if your cat lives entirely indoors, they still tend to get lost. That’s where microchips, ID tags, or a GPS collar comes in. That way you’ll always be able to bring your feline back home, to you.

Breed of Choice

Believe it or not, a cat’s personality and energy is sometimes heretitary, based off the type of breed. In general, every cat is different, which is why it’s nice to interact with a cat before purchasing one so that you can get accustomed to their demeanor.

If you are not sure which kind of cat to get, Purina has a breed quiz.

Kittens and cats are unique individuals, that often have personalities, needs, and behaviors of their own. If you’ve never owned a cat, or a pet in general, you’ll need to prepare yourself for a bit of pet ownership. Unlike other pets (fish and reptiles, for example) kittens need your attention, companionship, and care.

Pets are also great conversation starters. If you run into your neighbor and need something to talk about, bring up that you have a cat. Some neighbors might appreciate having contact with a companion animal.

After taking these things into consideration, you and your cat can be happy in any apartment.

Choose from a variety of apartments, and find which ones are cat-friendly!