Living in an apartment with a cat as your roomie can have its ups and downs.
But so do all roommates, really. A person might not scratch the stuffing out of your favourite cushion, but a cat won’t invite its friends around till 2 am either (we hope!). Here are our top tips on how to enhance your cat’s home life and enjoy your cohabitation.
Secure the balcony
Safety is the first priority when living in an apartment building with your cat. Whether you’re on the second floor or the thirty-second floor, ensuring that your balcony is cat-proof is a must. You have two options:
1. Make the balcony off limits when you aren’t home. When you are home strap your kitty into a harness, attach it to a lead and tie the lead end somewhere secure. Let them wander around the balcony, with the lead falling short of the railing. Ensure that you’re keeping an eye on your furry friend too, because they’re wily and clever and will try and elude their restraints!
2. Construct a barrier around your balcony. This can be done with chicken wire, timber lattice, or any kind of sturdy mesh. The type of material you use depends on the strength and size of your cat, and your overall budget. If you own your apartment and are looking for something a little more aesthetically pleasing, you could install louvre shutters to alternate between a kitty haven and a balcony with a view.
Choose the right kitty litter
When it comes to kitty litter, there are A LOT of considerations. Who knew poop required so much thought? In an apartment, however, your main concerns are often odour and mess. And this largely depends on where you’re going to put the litter. The main contenders tend to be the bathroom and the balcony. The balcony is great if you’ve got permanent kitty proofing installed, as it is aerated and the smell won’t linger. But the bathroom is often a necessity for pets kept inside at night or when you aren’t home, and this room can often lack in ventilation. It’s therefore important that you get a good odour resistant litter. If your feline friend is on the messy side, investing in a quick clumping and dust free litter will also help speed up cleaning. More often than not, it’s a little trial and error to find the best option for your cat and your home, as we all know kitty can be precious about toilet time!
Odour, odour, odour. We’re harping on about it a lot, aren’t we? But for good reason. Small spaces with limited ventilation can get stinky quickly. And when you’re serving up gourmet meals of tuna or raw meat for your furry friend, any remnants will be pungent and attract all sorts of critters into your apartment. This is why it’s important to clean your cat’s food bowl and surrounds immediately after mealtime to keep pests such as ants and cockroaches at bay. And maintain a fresh, clean home!
Invest in storage with doors
Open plan shelves might look nice, but don’t bode well with active cats. Coming home to a smashed photo frame or broken jar of scattered rice is all too familiar. Cats are explorers and won’t tiptoe around your valuables. If your kitty is left inside by itself during the day, it’s best to place your possessions behind glass cabinet doors or secure them away in the cupboard. This will make for a much better relationship between you and your curious roomie.
Keep things entertaining
A bored cat can be your worst nightmare. One that leaves scratch marks all down your expensive sofa, claw marks in your favourite sweater and streams of torn paper in their wake. A cat can happily be an inside pet but needs to be kept occupied and stimulated. Rotate toys to keep things fresh and interactive, create high places in your apartment that your cat can chill out in, and make sure you have a scratching post for them to paw at. And don’t forget to spend quality time with your feline friend (when it suits them, of course) when you get home! All of these habits will reduce, if not eliminate any destructive habits.
Don’t leave them alone for too long
If you’re going on a short trip away, having a friend check in on your pet once a day may not provide your cat with enough attention. Consider booking them into Samford Pet Resort for a kitty getaway, where they will receive plenty of TLC and new environments to explore. Much better than being left in your apartment to get bored and wreak havoc on your stuff! Contact us today for any enquiries.