Having a cat as a roomie is certainly fun. But this relationship can have its share fare of ups and downs. But this is to be expected with all roommates, right? One thing to note, however, is that not all apartments will allow pets. Some states have stricter strata laws than others. This is something that you’ll have to factor in before moving into a new apartment. You just don’t want to cause any unnecessary problems with your landlord or your neighbors. Cats, like their other families in the wild, are solitary and territorial animals. But there is something about domesticated cats that makes them the best companions. It’s those soft brushes they’ll give you when you get home, taking comfort on your lap, and those purrs!
A cat will offer you unsolicited companionship that is sincere and long-lasting. Speaking of long-lasting, did you know that cats have a lifespan of 12-18 years? However, this will all depend on how well you take care of your feline friend. Unlike dogs, cats prefer confined environments and rarely will they tread outside, though they surely love climbing on trees every once in a while. With that having been said, here’s an ultimate guide on things you need to know about having a cat in your apartment.
1. Taking Care of Your Cat’s Hygiene
Well, your cat has got most of their cleanliness already figured out. Cats are perhaps the cleanest animals that there are. When resting, a cat will lick its paws, “wash” their face, and take care of their tails in the most graceful way. But you’ll however need to brush your cat regularly. This will help to keep their coats clean, reduce shedding, and prevent them from choking on hairballs.
Now, here comes the biggest challenge when living with a cat in an apartment, taking care of their poop! According to HowToHome.com, cleaning after your cat can be extremely unpleasant and gut-wrenching. It’s important to ensure that they are potty/litter trained when young. The thing is, most cats would prefer to do their business outdoors, but not when you’re living on the 25th floor. Today, you can invest in self-cleaning litter boxes that automatically rake the waste into secure waste containers. And here comes the best part; some litter boxes come with features such as cover boxes for privacy, carbon filters that help to prevent odors, and LED lighting for notification purposes. As you can see, you’ll be spoilt for options the next time you take your feline friend for litter box shopping!
2. Think Safety First
If you’re living in an upper room, you must consider the safety of your cat. This means making your balcony cat-proof. Balconies are the perfect places for cats to extend their territories, play, and get fresh air. Cats will not jump from heights deliberately unless they have their targets locked on a prey. But even the most careful cat can be clumsy. If you’re living in a rental apartment, you can always ask your landlord for the possibility of making changes to cat-proof the balcony. Most importantly, ensure that your cat is supervised when playing on the balcony and if you’re not at home, ensure that the balcony is off-limits. Now, among the things you can do to make your balcony safer for your cat include:
- Providing Your Cat with a Safe View – Cats enjoy a good view. It’s perhaps the reason they’ll climb trees and never want to get down! To make it easier for them and as earlier mentioned, ensure that your apartment windows are cat-proof. The next thing you’ll need to do is provide them with a table or a ledge they can rest on beside the window. This, while ensuring that there are no outdoor disturbances that stress them out. Other things include installing a cat safety net, an outdoor cat funhouse or a balcony patio enclosure, investing in shelter objects that your cat can use during sunny days, and installing scratch posts and other toys for your cat to play with
- Protect Your Cat – Not everyone in your apartment will love cats the same way that you do. Now, these are the neighbors you’ll want to protect your cat against. This means securing your windows, balcony, and ensuring that your cat is indoors at all times. To help make life comfortable for your cat, take them outside in their caged boxes and if they are trained, you can always take them for walks
3. Providing Your Cat with Comfort
As earlier mentioned, cats are territorial and in addition to this, they are also solitary creatures. Older cats will not play as often as they did when young. They’ll spend most of their time sleeping, eating, and exploring. This, however, doesn’t mean that they cannot be engaged in a conversation! To maintain a happy cat doesn’t take much. Regardless of the cat breed, you’ll want to ensure that you’ve provided them with a cozy home, warm beddings, and clean air. Yes! You heard it right the first time. It’s important to ensure that the indoor air quality in your apartment is crisp, clean and safe. This will help protect you and your cat against allergies and other ailments.
A cold cat is an unhappy cat. During winter, ensure that your home is warm and comfortable for the both of you. Invest in warmer rugs that your cat can lie on when the floors are cold. During summer, however, temperatures can soar and this will make your cat uncomfortable. The first thing you’ll need to do is ensure that your rooms are properly ventilated while at the same time ensuring that the windows are secured.
You, of course, want to live with a healthier cat in your apartment, right? This means that you should take them to the vet at least twice in a year for their annual shots, examinations, or when injured. This will ensure that they are dewormed and provided with shampoos that help eliminate pests.
5. Is Your Apartment Cat Spayed Or Neutered?
By five months of age, male cats should be neutered and female cats spayed. Doing this to an apartment cat has both medical and behavioral benefits. The medical benefits include:
- Spayed cats live healthier lives – Spaying prevents uterine infections, tumors in the breasts, and prevents unnecessary littering
- On the other hand, neutering your cat can help prevent prostate problems and some forms of testicular cancers
Behavioral benefits include:
- Prevents your cat from roaming around in search of a mate
- Neutered cats are better behaved
6. Food and Treats for Your Cat
Your feline roomie needs to eat too, and you don’t want them to go hungry when you’re out for work. While it can be tempting to share your pasta with them, you’ll need to be extra cautious with the foods you provide them with. There are commercial cat foods that are readily available in the supermarkets. However, you’ll need to ensure that these foods are packed with the right ingredients and nutrition best suited to your cat. Other factors to consider include the breed of your cat and their age. While in the same vein, don’t forget to provide your cat with clean drinking water.
7. Invest In Pet-Friendly Furniture
Sharing your apartment with a cat can be fun. But this fun can be short-lived if you find your expensive upholstery with claw marks. To prevent you from going ballistic on your cat, choose your furniture wisely. Among the things that you’ll need to consider when investing in cat-friendly furniture include:
- Consider the color of your furniture – You cannot prevent your cat from shedding. The best that you can do is control it by brushing them regularly. That said, go for colors that will help to camouflage the cat’s fur.
- Go for washable linens – Invest in washable linens for your pillows and rugs. In addition to this go for fabrics that can withstand your cat’s claws.
- If you can, avoid wooden legs – By now, you already know how wooden objects are tempting to a cat. They’ll scratch them for all the known reasons and to them, it feels darn good! There are various options of wooden legs you can choose from including metal, glass, and reinforced plastic. You can also provide your cat with alternatives such as scratch tree houses and scratch posts.
More and more people are finding cats as the best companions and with the increasing urbanization, strata laws have changed. This means that you can bring a cat into your rental apartment, unit, or townhouse. The above tips will help to smoothen their transition and make their new home habitable and comfortable.