Having a kitten can bring joy and companionship to lots of people, especially seniors who are living in a small apartment. Raising a kitten in an apartment can be more challenging, but the rewards will overcome any issues you may have.
There are some issues facing someone who wants to raise a kitten in an apartment, however having the right supplies and knowledge will be the secret to successfully raising your kitten into a well behaved cat in your small apartment.
Raising a kitten in the confines of an apartment can be fun and be beneficial to you and your cat if you have prepared for your little fluffy bundle, and having the right supplies and some of the tips I’m going to share with you will keep you and your kitten happy.
Raising a Kitten in An Apartment [The Supplies]
You’re going to need some supplies to raise your kitten, I have put together a list of items you will need, depending on your apartments layout you may not need all the items. You’ll want to have some of these items already prepared before you bring your kitten home.
- Food… This can be some wet canned foods and some dry foods. It’s a good idea to start out with a small amount of each as your kitten may not like the food.
- Food and Water Dishes… Get dishes that are made for kittens or use some small bowls or plates you may already have.
- Litter Box… Very important to have your litter box set-up and in a good location for your kitten to find and use. If you need more information on litter training you can read my article How to Litter Train a Kitten.
- Brushes and an Assortment of Toys.
- Cat bed and a Scratching Post.
- Cat Carrier.
- Safety Devices… You may want to use a baby gate or other means to restrict your kitten to certain rooms and areas in your apartment. Secure any dangerous items that you don’t want your kitten getting into.
- Drop Sheets… During the litter training you’ll want to avoid accidents that may damage the flooring in your apartment.
Getting Your Apartment Prepared For Kitten
The secret to making life as easy as possible for you and your new kitten is making sure your apartment is ready for your new pet. Kittens are full of energy and very curious and will be exploring its new home; here are some tips to make the transition easier:
Select a Room… During the first weeks in its new home have a room that you can keep your kitten that’s safe and where you can begin your litter box training and you’ll also have their food and water in this room, keep the food and water separate from their litter box.
You can use a large dog crate if you don’t have any other area to keep your kitten during the training process.
Prepare Their Litter Box… Picking a spot for the litter box needs to provide quick access for your kitten and someplace out of the way. Ideally pick a spot that doesn’t have carpet on the floor, there’s going to be accidents and messes of litter until your kitten gets used to using their litter box.
Pick a litterbox that has easy access for a kitten and avoid using clumping type litter, using pellet type litter works well until your kitten reaches about 3 months and then you can start using different litter. If your kitty has an accident on the carpet and you need some help you can read my article How to Get Cat Pee Smell Out of Carpet for tips on dealing with cat pee.
Choosing Their Food and Water Dishes… To make kitty’s life easier use kitty size dishes and place them where kitty can use and find them easily. Give your kitten a few days to know where the food and water dishes are as well as the location of the litter box.
Lock up Any Dangerous Things… Take some time and go into each room and remove anything that could harm your kitten. Kittens love to explore so make the areas you’re going to let them use safe for them. Kittens love to pick up items and chew on them, so have a few chewable cat toys for them to play and chew on.
Secure Windows… Cats really enjoy getting up onto window sills to soak up some sunshine and to look outside. It saddens my heart when I hear of a cat that has fallen out a window and been hurt or worst.
Make sure any windows that are open have a strong screen that is securely attached; you can make something to fit your window that is see thru that will cover the opening part if needed.
Secure Doorways… There may be times when you want to keep your kitten in one room; a good option is a baby gate that has openings small enough to prevent your kitten from getting thru.
Here’s Some Ways to Make a Cat Friendly Apartment
- Vertical Space… Kittens and especially grown cats love to be up higher, so making a vertical space for them will give them a new perspective of their small apartment.
- Better Dining… Did you know that cats can be irked by their sensitive whiskers hitting the side of their dish when eating. Use a wider dish that has lower sides, I find a medium size plate works well for most foods.
- Place to Feel Secure… Cats like to have a place they can sink into and feel secure while being in the family setting. Make a cocoon place that your kitten can sneak into which will allow them to hide in plain view.
- Good View… Kittens and older adult cats really enjoy being able to perch on a window sill and look outside. Even a spot on a bookcase that gives a view of outside if your windows don’t have a ledge for them to perch on.
- Clean Litter Box… To keep your kitten using the litter box keep it clean, scoop out messes daily and replace the litter every two to three days. Another good choice is to get a self-cleaning litter box to keep everything nice and clean smelling, if you might benefit from having one you can check out Amazons line of self-cleaning litter boxes here.
- Scratching Post… This is a great item to have and it certainly helps keep your furniture from being scratched up. Keep an eye on your cat to see where their favorite scratching place is and put the scratching post there.
Tips For Living In an Apartment With a Cat
Apartment living with a kitten or cat will have a few pros and cons, but overall the things your cat offers are well worth the few things that irk you about them. Here’s a few tips to make living with a cat much easier.
Balcony or Deck Security… Your cat’s safety is the first concern with a balcony if you live more than one floor off the ground. Let’s look at the two best options:
First… DON’T allow access to the balcony to the cat if you’re not home. If you want to give your cat some fresh air on the balcony, invest in a good harness and hook it up to a long leash so you can secure the end solidly.
Adjust the leash so its limits there reach to just before the railing at the shortest point. Keep an eye on kitty while there on the balcony… Kitties can be very clever and trying to escape the harness is something they’ll be trying to do.
Second… Build a quick guard in front of the railings to prevent them from getting thru the railing. You can get a roll of chicken wire and some cable straps to install this barrier. You can also use some plastic vinyl lattice to block off the railing.
Some of the newer apartments have solid glass railings to allow for good viewing, but beware these usually don’t go right down to the deck surface and there may be room for a small kitten to squeeze below the railing.
I much prefer the harness option with the leash secured as the safest as it also prevent them from jumping up onto the railing and falling off. You can put out some bird seeds and keep your cat inside so they can look through the glass door to watch the birds.
Be Selective When Choosing Kitty Litter… There are many different types of cat litter to choose from and the biggest issue with the litter box is the smell followed by the mess kitty makes when doing their business. You’ll want to get a kitty litter that is scented that will help cover up the odors.
Consider using a dust free and fast clumping litter if your little kitty likes to dig around in the litter, this type will be easier to clean and be friendly on your nose. In some cases you may have to experiment with litter types so until you find one that works best for you just buy the small bag when you’re experimenting.
Get Storage Cabinets That Have Doors… While open shelving allows you to see the contents it also allows access to your kitten. Kittens are curious and will be checking out everything and knocking over items will be a common event.
If you have valuables use storage cabinets that have doors, if you still want to display some items get a storage cabinet that has glass doors. It’s up to you to protect your breakables, your cat doesn’t know any better.
Have Someone Look in On Your Cat… If you’re going to have go away for a few days or longer arrange to have someone check in to your apartment and see how your kitten is doing. Or better yet take them to a pet boarding place where they will be looked after while you’re away.
Make Your Apartment Feel Bigger to Your Cat
Rearrange Furniture… Move some furniture around so your kitten can jump from one item to another. A good way to do this is arranging the furniture pieces from shortest to tallest. A dresser and bookcase work well to create a climbing wall. If you have the space clear off a section of a bookcase and put some cat toys there.
Create Some Tiny Spaces… Make some smaller spaces in various spots in your apartment for your cat to find and hide in. A good place could be clearing off the bottom shelf in a bookcase or a corner in a closet this will give kitty a place to hang out.
One method I’ve used is just before I leave for work is to hang a blanket over a chair, this will create a tent like structure for kitty to jump into and have a snug place for a nap.
Keeping Your Cat Happy Safe & Healthy
- Cleaning… Because you’re living in a small apartment it can get a build-up of cat hairs and cat litter tracked by your kitten. Give the apartment a sweep and vacuum more often and if you have central heating give the air ducts a quick vacuum as well.
- Cat Scratchers… A cat scratching is a comment issue no matter where you live; get yourself a few cheap cardboard cat scratchers and at least one cat scratching post. Amazon has a good selection of cat scratchers you can check out here.
- Quality Playtime… Cats need to have some quality playtime daily, and being inside an apartment they don’t get the outdoor time as often. Get a couple high energy play toys so your cat can get some playtime indoors.
- Enough Exercise… Most indoor cats do spend a lot of time lying around and apartment life can contribute to this. One way to improve their activity is to get a cat tree with play toys attached; this will provide many hours of exercise and entrainment for your cat.
Is it Cruel to Keep a Cat in an Apartment?
Raising a cat in an apartment will present various complications and some believe a cat needs to have the freedom to come and go as they please. If you live in densely populated place then it can be unsafe for a cat to go outside.
I believe raining a cat is about loving them and providing them with the necessities for living and you can do this indoors quite well. Having a large pet living in a small apartment can affect the wellbeing of the pet, smaller pets will do much better in apartment living.
Do Cats Get Bored Living in an Apartment?
The biggest problem that apartment cats face is “boredom” which in some cases can lead to behavior issues. Providing them with some one-on-one playtime as well as making the apartment more exciting with cat trees, lots of cat toys and love.
While cats can amuse themselves and are to a certain degree low maintenance they will still need some entertainment throughout the day. Use some of the ideas I’ve given in this article to keep your cat entertained during the day and with a few changed your cat will always have something to do.
Is it Good to Have a Pet Cat in a Studio Apartment?
A studio apartment can also be considered a bachelor suite which has one main living area and bathroom and usually a small storage room. Cats are different from humans and can do amazingly well in small areas. The problem is there are not a lot of options for giving you a place of your own other than using the bathroom or storage room as a getaway.
Just make sure you create some small spaces where your kitty can go to for stress relief and take a quiet nap. Also keeping up with the litter box cleaning will make the small studio much more pleasant to live in for both you and your cat.
Keep your cat supplies updated and be creative with the space you have and experiment with different room layouts until you find something that both you and your cat can be happy with. With some careful planning you’ll find the space will work out for you both.
Raising a cat and especially a kitten can bring various challenges if you’re living in a small apartment, but that doesn’t mean it can’t work. You have chosen to have a pet cat and they become a part of your life and are family, the joy they bring to you will outweigh and inconveniences you’ll have. Thanks for reading.