A cat’s home isn’t just is castle, it’s his world. Indoor cats might happily live their whole lives barely going outside the walls of their domicile – especially if they use an in-home vet service! – which is why it’s so important for it to feel homey.
Apartment-dwelling cat owners often ask us, “How can I make my cat feel more at home?” It can be tough, particularly if you switch apartments often, to help your apartment cat feel comfortable in his space.
Here are four things your apartment cat needs to feel at home.
1. A Window Watch
No matter how small your apartment is, a window perch makes it feel bigger. Cats are territorial animals and in order to work that part of their brain, they have to really feel the delineation between their territory and the outside world. A spot near a window with as much of a view as possible does the trick.
One caveat: Cats – even cats that are happy to live indoors! – are natural born escape artists. Always be sure to keep your windows locked and to fit any window your cat could potentially jump out of with screens. This is one situation in which it’s better to be safe than sorry.
2. Something to Scratch
Well…lots of things. You know how being in a small enclosed space can make you feel a little antsy? It makes your cat feel that way too. Having plenty of things for him to scratch is paramount to his mental health and the long-term viability of your furniture.
Scratching posts are popular, but it’s fine to think outside the box. They make scratching trees, scratching boards, and even adhesive-backed scratching strips you can stick wherever you want! The only place in your apartment your cat wants to scratch is your headboard? You’re covered.
3. A Clean Litter Box
Litter box hygiene is nowhere more important than it is in an apartment. Your cat deserves a clean, dedicated place to do his business, preferably far from where he eats. Most people choose to set up the litter box in the bathroom for sanitary reasons but an open-door closet or other private nook will work, too.
You have to be particularly diligent about cleaning when you have an apartment cat, litter box not excluded. Aim to scoop it once a day – your cat will be less likely to start avoiding the litter box and you’ll definitely keep gross smells at bay. It’s a win-win.
4. Self-Stimulating Toys
Most people aren’t home all day to entertain their cats. That’s okay. As long as you give your cat plenty of dedicated play time before you leave and after you come home every day he should be fine. But be sure to stock plenty of self-driven toys for him to amuse himself while you’re away.
There are a host of smartphone activated toys and gadgets on the market now that make engaging with your cat from afar possible. Electronic mice, stand-based feather toys, and even ripple rugs your cat can build a fort in will do.
Cats can live just as happily in apartments as they can in massive mansions! Your cat doesn’t need a lot of space, but he does need somewhere to call his own. As long as he’s got a cozy, private spot to hide, plenty of toys to keep busy with, and a clean place to eat, sleep, and poop, he’ll (probably) be happy.