8 Truths All Cat Owners Who Live In Apartments Know
How to make living in an apartment with your cat easy. Living in an apartment with your cat can be wonderful. You get to wake up to hear them purring at the end of the bed, and you can sit and watch endless movies together on the couch. Contrary to what many people believe, your cat can be totally happy living in even a rather small apartment with you. Just follow the simple guide below to ensure that your apartment is cat proof, cat friendly and cat ready.
1. Does your cat have the right personality to live in an apartment?
Some cats, particularly part feral cats, will find living indoors all the time difficult. If your cat has this kind of personality then it is best to find a place to live with a garden, or to re-home them. However, most cats will be totally happy living in an apartment if you take the steps below to make it ready for them.
2. Have lots of places for them to hide in.
Studies have shown that it is not the size of the apartment that determines how happy your cat will be in there so much as the number of corners and places to hide there are. Bay windows with window seats that are shaded by curtains, hallways with corners that your cat can hide in, wardrobes they can snuggle up in and a bed they can crouch under are all good examples of hidey holes that your cat will love. So, think about the design of your apartment and ensure that there are lots of little spaces for your cat to make their own.
3. Have plenty of toys.
Install a cat tower, and make sure that there are lots of catnip toys lying around the apartment for your kitty to play with. A laser pen is also a good purchase if you want to give your cat some exercise. Letting your cat get enough exercise is essential in an apartment, as they will not have the free rein to run around outside that they have in your back yard. Moreover, it is crucial to stop your cat getting bored (as this can lead to destructive behaviors like scratching up your prized furniture) and ensuring that they have more than enough toys to keep them happy is an essential step to take here.
4. Cat-proof the windows.
Cat-proof windows are a must if your apartment is high up. Ensure that they cannot bat open the window and get out onto the outside sill. Cats are curious and resourceful animals, so you need to be extra careful here. Often, your cat will be perfectly happy sitting inside the window on the sill, watching the birds go by.
5. Ensure that your cat is house trained.
This is very important as you will need to install a litter tray somewhere in the apartment. The positioning of the litter box is important: it will need to go somewhere private (for example beneath the stairs) and somewhere where odors will not become trapped and wind up being an offensive presence in your apartment. Choose soft clumping litter for odor control and make sure that the sand box is always clean and well filled with litter so that your cat feels happy about using it. Cats can be very fussy about hygiene and a dirty litter tray will often cause them to seek out alternative bathroom facilities – such as your floor.
6. Take your cat outside if needs be.
It is possible to purchase a cat leash which enables you to take your kitty on walks outside. Not all cats enjoy wearing leashes, though, so it is important to check that your cat is happy to do so. On the leash, you can take your cat outside and let them sniff around the park or the lawn outside your apartment block. This can be a good thing to do if your cat is feeling a little cooped up from time to time in the apartment.
7. Why might cats enjoy living in apartments?
An apartment provides your cat with a secure space, and a defined territory. They are free from threats such as other cats strolling into their space and stealing their food or picking a fight with them – as can happen if your cat is an ‘outdoor cat’ who spends their time in the back yard.
8. The advantages of keeping your cat in an apartment.
One key advantage of keeping your cat indoors all the time is that they have a smaller chance of picking up fleas, ticks, worms and other outdoor parasites. However, cats can still catch parasites when they live indoors as you can pick up flea eggs on your shoes or the bottoms of your pants as you walk through long grass, and then walk them into the apartment. So, it is crucial to periodically put flea powder down on the floor of the apartment and also to de-flea your cat every few months. The same goes for worms – your cat can still pick up worms when they live in an apartment, though the risk is greatly reduced. Your cat is also safe from bites and fights with other cats, and much less likely to get lost when they live with you in your apartment.
What is more, when you both live together in a little apartment, you and your kitty will be like roommates – you will get to spend so much time together, and it will be a great deal of fun. It’s always nice to have companionship in an apartment, particularly if you are the only human there.
9. The definitive guide to living in an apartment with your cat.
Living in an apartment with your cat can be a brilliant experience, as long as they are a cat whose temperament is suited to living indoors, who has plenty of space to hide and play in – and enough toys to keep them amused. Keep their sandbox clean and train them to use it properly. And, when it comes to fleas and other parasites, you can relax a little – but not too much – when you live with your cat in an apartment.
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Moving house with cats is simple when you know how! As all cat owners know, cats can get stressed out in new environments. Add to that the need to put them into a cat box and take them on long car journeys and the prospect of moving home might seem like a daunting one. But never fear! In this article, we provide you with some easy and practical solutions and tips for moving house with cats. Your kitty will be purring happily on the couch of your new home in no time!
Managing the journey
Before settling your cat into your new home, you will need to get them there! If getting to your new home involves a long car journey, the best thing that you can do is to get your kitty accustomed to traveling in the car. Take them on some short car journeys and get them used to sitting calmly in their cat box, by giving them one of their favorite toys and a couple of treats to entertain them on the way.
Give them a comfortable blanket and/ or cushion to snuggle up on. And, very importantly, make sure to keep them hydrated. Cats can get very hot in the car so it is a good idea to make a couple of stops to offer them some fresh water to drink as you travel to your new home.
In your new home: it’s all about space
In many ways, moving house with a cat involves many of the same strategies as welcoming a new cat to your home in the first place. A great piece of advice for introducing a cat to a new house or apartment is to keep them confined to a single room for anything from a couple of days to a week – whatever helps them to feel comfortable.
Let that room be ‘their’ room: equip it with their familiar toys and some cat treats, and let them get comfortable moving around in it and hanging out there before you open the door and let them explore the rest of your new place. Top tip: bringing your cat’s favorite toys with you to your new house is highly recommended: that way, they will have something comforting and familiar with them from the start.
Do not be surprised if your kitty instantly runs for the nearest cat sized nook or cranny and curls up in their to hide at first! Cats will often seek this kind of containment in small spaces to reassure themselves and to help themselves feel safe in unfamiliar environments. Coax them out with a little petting and a few treats, and perhaps some catnip toys.
Once your cat is comfortable running round the whole of your new house or apartment, make sure to establish a routine with them. Feed them at the same hours of the day, and give them plenty of love and reassurance. Soon, they will start treating the new place as home.
Buttering cats’ paws?
Perhaps you have heard the age old advice to ‘butter a cat’s paws’ when bringing them to a new home? Perhaps you may be curious as to why this is? Well, the most likely explanation is that if you smear a little delicious butter on your cat’s front paws they will instantly start licking it off. Grooming themselves in this way has an emotional effect on your cat, leaving it feeling comfortable and relaxed. It may even start purring.
So, it is likely that this old, traditional way of helping cats get settled was not some kind of magic trick – it was designed to start off grooming behavior in them, encouraging them to feel happy and relaxed enough to engage in a little self-pampering in their new pad.
Even if your cat is typically an outdoor cat, or a mixed outdoor and indoor cat, do not let them go outdoors for a couple of weeks. If you let your cat outdoors before they have accepted your new place as their home, chances are as soon as you let them out they will run away immediately, trying to get back to your old house (which they still regard as their real home). So, only let them out once they have truly settled in.
The next thing to consider is the timing. If you let your kitty out just before dinner time, they will be more likely to want to hang around and return to you at top speed when they hear the fork being tapped lightly on their food dish.
If your new place has a garden, you can always take your cat out on a leash – you can use any leash (a classic dog leash will do) though specialized leashes and harnesses for cats do exist. That way, they can explore the yard to their heart’s content and you do not need to worry about them running off and getting lost.
If you do not have a back yard but you live in a safe neighborhood away from from busy roads, you could always take them out a little on the leash as you get them accustomed to their new neighborhood. Just be prepared to experience a few raised eyebrows from your new neighbors…At least it’s a good way to start a conversation with them!
Growing catnip in a tub beside your door or in some part of your garden is another way to ensure that your cats do not stray too far from home. Cats absolutely adore the smell of this happiness inducing herb! Just be aware that doing so may attract other people’s cats as well! Make sure to reward your feline friend with plenty of cuddles and maybe a cat treat or two when they return home after a trip out doors. That way, they know that they have a loving home (and some delicious foods) to return to.
Of course, if your cat is solely an indoor cat, you can skip this step.
That’s it. With some preparation, and the willingness to take the time to get your cat accustomed to its new living space, moving house with a cat will be a breeze. We wish you well in your new place!
If you have had to manage a move with a cat we would love to hear your experiences in the comments!
I bet you think you own your cat, don’t you? Well, according to your cat, it is them that owns you! And, they demonstrate this by licking you.
Taking ownership, taking a bath.
When her kittens are born, a mother cat will lick them, and this is a way of marking them out as belonging to her. The same principle applies when your cat licks you: they are establishing a connection with you and claiming you as their own! Cats lick their kittens to stimulate their breathing, as well as to clean them. Washing is a caring, social activity in the feline world so when your cat gives you a bath with their tongue they are trying to do something nice for you! So make sure to thank them with a stroke (before heading off to wash at the faucet!).
Your cat’s way of stroking you.
When you stroke your cat, they may well want to return the favor. Cats tend to enjoy the slightly rough feel of their own and other cats’ tongues on their fur – though this can feel pretty ticklish on human skin! So, licking your skin is also your kitty’s way of petting and stroking you: they are taking what feels good to a cat and transferring it to you. Again, they are kind of treating you as an honorary cat at this moment.
Human skin can often taste salty to a cat, and you may notice that your kitty licks you most often when your skin is not slathered in moisturizing creams or aftershave (which taste pretty gross to a feline). So, another reason that your cat licks you could simply be that you taste good. In particular, if you have been sweating and have salt on your skin as a result, you may find that your cat is interested in licking you.
Should I be worried about my cat’s licking behavior?
As we can see from the above, your cat licking you is usually a very positive sign of their affection (and their design to own your soul). However, if your kitty is demonstrating excessive licking behavior then you may want to investigate the cause. If your cat has fleas or a skin infection, they might use their tongue to try and scratch itches on their skin. And, once they have developed compulsive licking habits they can transfer that onto you as well. One tell tale sign that your cat’s usual grooming routine has got out of hand is bald patches anywhere on their fur that are due to excessive licking. Make sure to treat your cat regularly for fleas, and to get any skin infections dealt with as soon as possible.
So, in short, why does my cat lick me?
Any number of reasons! When it is not caused by compulsive grooming behavior, a cat licking you is something affectionate and caring. If your cat starts licking you, then you can pat yourself on the head because you have truly made it in cat society. Or, it could simply be that your skin tastes good.
Should you lick your cat back?
Whether you should or shouldn’t is up to you to decide. But if you want to, now you can with the new Licki Brush. The Licki Brush is a synthetic cat tongue for humans to use on their pets. You stick it in your mouth, much like a baby’s pacifier, and use the extended brush to simulate the act of feline grooming. All this, of course, brings you closer to your pet. We won’t be trying it out anytime soon… but if you do, drop by and let us know!
Stray cats can pop up in any neighborhood, and they can be a real menace. Fighting, food stealing and multiple litters of kittens can all be a result of a stray cat ‘problem’ in your back garden. Perhaps you are wondering how to get rid of stray cats? Well, if we want to know how to get rid of them, first of all we need to know why they visit your backyard in the first place.
The reason: food
If you feed your own cats in dishes outside (which is a common way of avoiding the smell of cat food in your kitchen – yummy – or just keeping the floor clear in your home), then stray cats can find this mighty tempting. As a result, you may find stray cats creeping up to your back step in search of some cat food they can pilfer.
The simple solution is to remove that appetizing smell of food from the stray cats’ noses! So, why not start feeding your own cats indoors? You can buy some feeders with lids if you are worried about the smell. If your cats are inveterate outdoor kitties, then try feeding them at a set time and removing the dishes once they have left them so that strays do not come sniffing around after scraps.
The reason: territorial battles
Stray cats often have larger territories than domestic cats, particularly if they are un-neutered tom cats (which have the largest territories of all cats). They may encroach onto your backyard in order to claim it as an extension of their territory – or they may always have seen it as part of their territory in the first place and they may see your own cats as invaders.
You can decrease your own cat’s territory if they are a tom by having them neutered: neutered toms require smaller territories than non-neutered toms. Female cats have smaller territories anyway. That way, your cat will be less likely to invite stray cats to fight with them in a battle over territory near your home. In addition, you can make your yard unappetizing territory for stray cats by spraying them lightly with plain water (a well rinsed out squirty bottle is great for this) or simply by banging a saucepan and shouting at them to scram whenever they visit.
The reason: love is in the air
Strays may visit your home to mate with your female cat.
Keep female cats indoors when they are in heat, unless you are prepared to care for a litter of kittens. And, spay your female cats as soon as possible as then they will give off fewer ‘come and get me’ hormones to the strays in the region!
Caring for stray cats
Stray cats are gorgeous felines, too, so why not help the ‘problem’ of stray cats by helping the stray cat population out? There are various charities that work with stray cats, providing them with vaccinations, food and neutering and spaying services. Donating to one of these charities is a great way to ensure that strays get the love and care they need.
How to Make an Emergency Evacuation Plan for Your Cat
Keeping everyone safe in an emergency is a top priority – and that includes your feline friends! Whether it’s a fire alarm or a flood warning, an emergency can strike at any time, and so it is best to be prepared beforehand so that you have a plan that you can calmly put into action. Below, you will find some handy practical tips for putting together a cat evacuation plan in an emergency.
Cat behaviour in emergencies
When planning your cat evacuation plan, it is worthwhile understanding how your cat might behave. If they hear a loud noise such as a fire alarm or if they feel heat from a house fire cats tend to panic and run for safety. Wherever their safe place in the house or yard is, you can count on it that they will probably run there. If it is safe to do so, you can use this behaviour to your cat’s advantage. Rather than trying to put your panicked kitty into their box during a fire drill – if they are an outdoor cat – you can simply open a lower window and let them jump to safety.
However, in an emergency, it is always better to have your cat with you so that you can keep an eye on them and know that they are safe. So, below you will find some simple steps to ensure that you can implement the very best cat evacuation plan in an emergency.
Right now: get your cat accustomed to their cat box
Purchase a cat carry box and get your kitty used to spending time in it. Owners very often only use their carry box to take their cats to the vet with the result that their cats start to associate going in the box with something unpleasant. And, in turn, when there is an emergency, getting the cat into the box can involve a lot of yowling, scratching and general frenzy – not ideal when you need to get out fast! Break this habit by encouraging your kitty to spend time in the box at other times, too. Put some treats and their favorite catnip toys in the back of the box and add some comfy bedding. Hopefully, they will then start to see it as a place where they can wander in and chill out. If there is an emergency, this will make it much easier to get your cat into their carry box and off to safety.
Right now: know where your exits are
Take a look around your home and plan how you would exit in an emergency. Do not just have one exit, in case this exit becomes blocked. Think about how to move safely and swiftly to safety. You can create exits, too, for example by purchasing a retractable ladder and keeping it beside a bedroom window. That way, if there is an emergency and you need to evacuate your house but your front door is out of action for whatever reason, you can evacuate from a higher level without having to jump!
When an emergency happens: Keep Calm
If you panic during an emergency, your kitty will pick up on this and panic themselves, making it harder for you to stick to your evacuation plan. So, just take some deep breaths, stay calm and act normal. Speak to your cat calmly and gently to ensure that they feel reassured and ready to evacuate with you!
Evacuation need not be difficult
Obviously, I hope that you and your cat never need to face any emergencies. But, the important thing to remember is that if an emergency does happen there is no need to panic. You can get yourself and your cat out safely. Your local fire service may well tell you that rushing into a burning building to rescue a pet that you have left behind is extremely risky and not to be advised at all. But, you can make sure that all the family – animals and all – leaves the building together. All that it takes is a little preparation to ensure that your cat gets into their carry box calmly and quickly in the event of an emergency.
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