If you’ve found our blog, you can see our love and admiration for cats is no secret and we encourage people to adopt cats as there are so many who need a safe place and to be loved. So, for the first-time-cat-owner-to-be, we’ve put together a list of things to consider when getting ready to bring home your very first cat into an apartment or condo.
Got a Balcony?
Cats usually come in two types, bush-dwellers and tree-dwellers. Bush dwellers prefer to stay on the ground at all times, making cosy spots and exploring spaces that are solid or low to the earth. Tree dwellers prefer to get up high and walk along tight paths above the ground. If your cat happens to be a tree dweller, you are at risk of them jumping onto your balcony railing and perilously walking across it while you worry if they will fall. Some cats will walk across railing 15 stories above the ground with seemingly no issue. The real problem is if they miss their footing trying to get on the rail and fall. In other words, you need to find a way to prevent them from trying to jump on the railing or to screen in your balcony entirely.
Cats love having places they can ‘own’ and always rely on as a spot to retire to. This includes places like cat trees, a box, a concealed place low on the ground or up high, and cat beds. The long and short of it is cats like to have a home within the home. If they are indoor, as most apartment or condo cats are, the apartment may be your home, but it is their world. Having safe spaces within your world is an animal instinct that extends even to humans. So, figure out what kind of cat you have – a tree dweller or bush dweller – then set up some spots they’ll feel comfortable in.
Apartments and condos can sometimes be tight on space. Setting up a litter box is necessary so you will need to find a spot for one. If unsure of where you can place it, the best spot is near a window. This will allow you to keep a window open to let the draft carry away any unpleasant odours. If a space by a window isn’t possible, the bathroom isn’t a bad idea. It will require regular upkeep, but the fan can also serve as a means to remove unwanted smells.
Cats require stimulation for many of the same reasons we do. Being alone and having nothing to do all the time does some strange things to our minds and cats need to keep busy and interested as well. Toys play a big role in keeping stimulated, so be sure to get some toys for them to enjoy. Catnip also is something cats love – going head over heels for it. Windows provide lots for cats to do – think of sitting by the window as their version of watching television, and the most important part of keeping a cat stimulated is you. Cats love their owners and want to interact with them often. Be sure to take lots of time to spend with your cat and play with them, it is the best thing you can do to bring both of you closer.
A key element in the life of any living entity, water is important for cats. You can make things more interesting for them by setting up a cat fountain, as running water is very stimulating to cats, as well as little bowls of water around your apartment or condo. Cats get a sense of satisfaction in finding water and by having more than one dish around the apartment, you can give them options or even keep them guessing by moving one of the dishes around periodically.
We believe all cats should have access to a cat tree at home as it is so much more than just a place to get up high. Many cat trees can function as safe spots, scratching posts, a 3d jungle gym and more. We even wrote an article about how much we believe cats should have a tree, so to find out more as to why you should have one at home, click here!
Find a Vet and Get Them Vaccinated
Most importantly, cats need health care; vaccines to keep them safe, and regular checkups to ensure they are healthy. Some veterinarians specialize in cats only and they usually make an ideal candidate for care. There is nothing wrong with vets who see all animals, as their cats are one of the most common pets. Regardless of their specialization, be sure to check up on their reputation. You can look online or ask other pet owners where they bring their animals.
Adding a cat to your family inside an apartment or condo is a great thing to do. With love and care, your cat will become a valued member of your household, and you’ll be providing a safe and happy life to an animal that would otherwise likely not receive that. There are many thousands of cats living in animal shelters across Canada who need your help. At Hervey Cats, we work to find safe homes for our animals and provide the best care possible to those currently with us. For more information on Hervey Cats or to adopt a cat, head to our homepage or our adopt a cat page.