10 Tips for Cat Owners in Apartments

Owning a cat in an apartment comes with its challenges but having a furry friend to share your space with is a reward in itself! At The Colonnade Residences, we welcome pets with open arms. We want you to have a furry companion to keep you and your family company in your living space.

Cats are great for apartment life because they are small, do not require outside bathroom breaks, and sleep about 15 hours a day, so they don’t usually cause a disturbance to neighbors. If you’re looking to introduce a cat into your home and need ideas on how to make your apartment more comfortable for you and your new friend, check out these tips for cat owners in apartments.

Cat proof your space

Cats are natural climbers, scratchers, and loungers. They don’t know that your shelves are off-limits, not to scratch your leather couch, or lay all over your black clothing. Providing space for them to climb, scratch and relax will make your and your cat’s lives easier and happier.

Cat trees and climbing structures give your cat the space and activity they need to be distracted from jumping on and scratching your personal items and the apartment’s fixtures. Most cat trees include scratching posts and lounging perches. There are even climbing structures you can mount to your walls to let them explore different heights.

To prevent scratching, place a few scratching posts in the corners of your apartment and whenever you see them scratching in a forbidden place, redirect them to the scratch post. You can also buy clear anti-scratch tape to place on your furniture and doors or use an organic no scratch spray to discourage unwanted clawing.

Lazy days 

Speaking of lounging around, cats sleep a big part of the day and love to sunbathe during warmer months. Cat window perches attach to your window and give your kitty the option to nap in the sun or bird watch during the day. Having a designated and comfy spot for your cat to curl up will make your kitty purr all day! From fluffy beds to cat caves, choosing the right bed for your friend will make them feel more at home. No matter what you go with, you want to invest in a bed that is durable, easily cleaned, and with hypoallergenic material, like faux fur or fleece.

Cat enrichment 

Cats can become easily bored if they do not have enough toys or enrichment items to keep them mentally stimulated and active. Often, bored cats can become destructive or act out by excessive scratching, using the bathroom outside the litter box, or developing anxiety. Providing entertainment for your feline friend keeps their environment exciting and promotes good health and well-being.
Some great enrichment items for your cat:

  • Catnip balls or toys

Catnip balls attach to the wall and provide stimulation for your kitty. Not only is catnip a favorite snack but can help digestion. Refillable catnip toys are fun for you and your pet companion. Cats love to play fetch with their toys especially when filled with catnip and watching them get excited is good entertainment.

  • Interactive cat toys

Interactive cat toys provide environmental enrichment to a cat’s home. They can stimulate their social needs and prevent boredom. Indoor cats are also prone to be overweight from lack of enrichment items, so including a rotating ball toy or flopping fish toy can increase the amount of activity they are doing.

  • Slow feeders or puzzle feeders

Cats are natural hunters and slow or puzzle feeders can give them that sense of instinct and allow your cat to “hunt” for their food. These types of feeders are designed to be challenging and keep your kitty interested. Plus, slow feeders can prevent obesity in cats who tend to be lazier.

  • Cat tunnels

Like interactive toys, cat tunnels are perfect for getting more activity in your cat’s daily routine. The tunnels allow your cat to tap in their wild side with hiding, playing, and pouncing. Throw a few toys in there and your cat will instantly become a hunter!

Keeping plenty of toys and mental stimulation items lying around for your cat will help prevent attention-seeking behaviors and anxiety in your companion.

Daily Exercise 

Cat wheels are increasingly becoming popular and are a great way to get your cat some serious exercise. You can find cat trees with wheels attached if you are looking for a space saver option. Making you’re your kitty is getting enough exercise will help with their overall health, but it also helps with the zoomies at night. If cats do not get enough activity or enrichment during the day, they are sure to try to get it at night while you’re sleeping.

Another way to get your feline friend physically active is with a laser pointer. Cats love the thrill of the chase and provide great entertainment for you watching them stalk a little red dot and jump up on the walls trying to catch it. Teaser cat wands are also great and instantly make your cat an Olympian. They will go to great lengths to catch that bird, feather, or whatever item is attached at the end. It is common for indoor cats to develop weight problems that could lead to cat diabetes, so give them plenty of opportunities to exercise to maintain their health.

Find a good litter & box 

With dozens of brands to choose from and all of them claiming to be the best, it can be overwhelming shopping for a good cat litter. The most important things to consider are odor control, good absorption, and minimum dust. The last thing you want is to walk into your apartment and smell the litter box or have a sneezy cat!

Choosing between scented and unscented is a personal choice, but sometimes the scents can be too potent for a cat, and they will choose to go to the bathroom somewhere else. There might be a trial-and-error period before finding the best litter for your cat and apartment. World’s Best Cat Litter and Pretty Litter are great options to start with and both can be delivered straight to your door.

Cats are very clean animals and can be picky about their bathrooms. Finding the right litter box for your furry friend will help them be more comfortable and avoid any accidents on the floors. Make sure to choose a box large enough for your cat to use comfortably, as cats like to dig and cover their waste. A common rule for cat-to-litter box ratio is one box per cat plus an extra one.

Here are a few different types of litter boxes to consider:

1. Uncovered Box

An uncovered box is a common litter box to choose for your kitty. Be sure to purchase one with a lot of depth and low front, so your cat can easily come and go. Uncovered boxes are great for training new kittens and older cats with mobility issues.

2. Covered Box

As mentioned, cats are picky about their bathrooms and covered litter boxes are perfect for the finicky cats who like their privacy. Hooded cat boxes not only give your cat their alone time, but keep litter from flying everywhere, and can help with odor control. Most covered boxes come with a filter and a removable door. You can even find covered boxes designed to double as furniture, which works great for apartments!

3. Automatic Cleaning Box 

To keep your apartment from smelling and your cat happy, automatic cleaning litter boxes are good for keeping the litter box at optimal cleanliness, plus they do all the hard lifting! The box can detect when your kitty has gone to the bathroom then rakes through the litter pushing the waster into a disposal bin. Automatic cleaning boxes fit perfectly into the life of busy professionals or students and can make your apartment much cleaner.

Litter Box Location

You might not give the location of your kitty’s litter box much thought, but the location is everything when it comes to their bathroom. Much like humans, cats do not like to use the litter box near where they eat and prefer to not be seen. Most apartment owners will opt to place the litter box in the bathroom but sometimes the bathroom lacks enough ventilation in the room which will cause unpleasant smells.

Selecting an absorbent and odor control litter will help with this. Another great location is under a desk or in a slightly hidden corner of the apartment. You want the box to be easy to find for your cat and offer enough airflow to control any smells that are not absorbed by the litter.

Best feeding spots 

You might think putting your kitty’s food and water bowl in the kitchen is the perfect place, but high-traffic areas are not always the best option. Cats like to be able to eat in peace with little interruptions and if their feeding bowls are where you walk a lot, they might feel like they need to eat quickly or become nervous. You want to choose a quieter area of your apartment for the food and water bowls, like a semi-hidden nook or corner. Make sure you definitely keep it away from the litter box’s location!

Odor control & Cleanliness

Keeping cats in an apartment, as with many other pets, comes with the responsibility of keeping your companion healthy, comfortable, and clean. Since apartments are smaller spaces than houses, they can become more prone to pet smells, like their wet food. It is important to clean your cat’s food bowl after every use when feeding them wet or dry food. Your kitty’s water bowl can attract bugs and after a while might form bacteria growth, so it is important to remember to wash the water bowl daily too.

While cats are natural groomers, they still need you to do some cleaning and grooming for them, like nail clipping and brushing. Brushing helps with dandruff and shedding plus keeps your feline friend looking dapper and feeling soft. Weekly cleanings of their bedding and toys can go a long way with keeping cat smells to a minimum.

Watch out for plants 

Having plants in the apartment can be beneficial to you and your cat, however, you want to make sure that the plants are kept out of reach. Many indoor plants are toxic to cats and can cause upset stomachs, skin irritation, vomiting, and diarrhea. There are still many non-toxic plants that you can keep in your home, like spider plants, African violets, and bamboo. You can also grow catnip indoors and give your cat a plant of its own.

Balcony safety

Most apartments have a patio or balcony and allowing outside time for your kitty can be a nice treat and offer a different space to explore. Before letting your furry friend explore, make sure the balcony is a safe place to be. Cats are very curious animals and will push their limits.

Consider building a barrier around the railing of your balcony. You can use a faux leaf privacy screen to provide a blockade between your cat and the railing, plus it will add more privacy and greenery to your space. While you let them wander around, keep a close eye, and never leave them out there alone.

The Colonnade Residences encourage their residents to adopt cats in need of a loving home. If you’re in the market to adopt, visit Animal Rescue League of Boston to find your new furry friend. Cats make great apartment pets and best friends.

Find Your Purrfect Home at The Colonnade Residences 

In addition to being pet-friendly apartments, The Colonnade Residences offers an exceptional selection of luxury 1, 2, and 3 bedroom and penthouse apartments and prestigious amenities. Our apartments include open hallways, en suite baths, and ample closet space. Browse our floor plans and virtual tours, check availability, and schedule a tour today!

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The Druker Company, Ltd. brings a century of experience developing and managing landmark buildings to The Colonnade Residences. We welcome the opportunity to provide you with additional information.


The Druker Company, Ltd. brings a century of experience developing and managing landmark buildings to The Colonnade Residences. We welcome the opportunity to provide you with additional information.