Cats are easy going creatures. As long as they get food, water and a place to sleep, they're happy. Right? Are cats easy pets to keep in small apartments, or do they need more space? If you truly want to have a pet cat but don't have a bigger place, can you keep a cat? What can you do to make sure they're happy and healthy?
The first problem you'll run into with any pet is boredom. Cats are clever creatures and if they're not entertained, they'll look for it. This can cause problems for both pet and human. The first thing you need to do when getting a pet is to ensure they have enough toys and space to play. Proper interaction with their humans is also necessary. If your apartment is too cramped for pets to play and if you can't give them any attention, it may not be a good idea to get a pet at this time.
The second thing to take into account is the mess and the smell. All pets need to alleviate themselves and they tend to be messy. In a tiny apartment a litter box can smell bad if its not cleaned frequently. You have to be prepared to clean it regularly but this is a good rule for a living space of any size. If you're renting an apartment you have to keep in mind the mess a pet can cause. Stains on carpets can cost money and you may not be willing to pay for it. If you want to have an apartment cat, you better litter box train them thoroughly. Regular cleaning will also become part of your daily routine. Cat hair can accumulate quickly so a proper vacuuming every now and then will benefit you.
One problem you can encounter with cats and apartments is the need to go outside. Now, cats doesn't have to be outdoor creatures. In fact, it can be more beneficial for them to live inside where they're safe from other animals and diseases. However, cats, just like dogs, need exercise. This can be remedied by taking them outside for a stroll. Never leave them unattended. This means you shouldn't just leave windows for them to come and go either. They can fall and injure themselves. You can play games with them indoors too. This is ideal for days when its too hot or cold to go outside.
Makes sure everyone sharing the space gets along. It will be very selfish if you're the only one who wants a cat. If you share the apartment with others, make sure they're okay with it and keep in mind allergies which can be amplified in such a small space. You, the cat, and your roommates will be sharing the same space. An unwanted pet can cause tension. Cats also have a tendency to take over whatever space they want to claim. Training your cat to know where they can and cannot hide or play will prevent problems in the future. It's also important to provide them with their own space. A dark hiding spot like a box can provide them with some cat-time.
Lastly, find out if your apartment building and landlord allow pets. You don't want to have serious trouble or get kicked out and getting attached to a cat and then giving them up will be a traumatic experience for both of you. Sometimes it's better not to have a pet than to put them through such an experience.
Sometimes having a cat in a small apartment isn't such a great idea. They can invade people's space, cause a mess and may not be happy with their environment. This doesn't mean that it can't work. It will involve a lot of sacrifices. But sometimes the sacrifices are worth it if it means you can have a kitty companion to cuddle.