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Is my apartment too small for a cat?

If you are wondering what is the right cat for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about purring and learning.

  
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Yogi

1270160
 
 
Purred: Fri Jun 7, '13 7:54am PST 
I apologize in advance if this is the wrong forum - it seemed like the best place to post it.
I'm moving into a single apartment at the end of the month - I've had enough of roommates. But because of my limited budget, the apartment is tiny. It's enough for me, but it's only 30 square meters - one room with a tiny kitchen and bathroom. I've wanted to adopt a cat for a long time, and now I finally can - my apartment allows pets, even though because of that it costs a little more than other apartments of the same size I visited, and it's a price I'll pay gladly.
But here's the thing - the apartment is very very small, and has no garden, and while I plan to add vertical space using shelves, and attach a shelve to the large window, I can't help but wonder if despite of that, it will be cruel to raise a cat in it. I know that logically, it's still better than living in a cage or being euthanized, but I don't want my prospective cat to suffer.
I plan on taking an older cat, not a kitten, and choose one that has more of a mellow character; I also thought of trying to see if she will get used to a harness and then maybe I can take her outside once or twice a day. But I will probably be gone most of the day because of work, and I'm worried the cat will get bored and unhappy very quickly (at first I thought of taking two so they'll keep each other company but that's out of the question).
Bottom line is - I really really want a cat, but I don't want to be selfish and get one if it's going to suffer. What do you guys think?
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Monster

It's all about- me.
 
 
Purred: Fri Jun 7, '13 8:25am PST 
All really good ideas on how to keep a kitty happy in a small space. Vertical space is far more important than horizontal, so your shelves (and perhaps a cat tree) will work beautifully. An older, more settled cat would be ideal. Just be sure to leave lots of interactive toys around for him/her to play with while you're away, and give her lots of playtime when you're home.
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Yogi

1270160
 
 
Purred: Fri Jun 7, '13 12:01pm PST 
Using a converter - the apartment is 323 square ft. I doubt I'll have room for a cat tree. I'm not even sure how many shelves I can fit in there, although maybe if I play with the height I can use the lower ones for books and stuff and the higher ones for the cat. What kind of toys would you recommend for such a small place? I plan on getting a little pot to grow grass in, and one of those birdie toys, and maybe a catnip mouse, but do you have another idea? I've seen people suggest hiding their food in different places so they can hunt while I'm out, but I think it'll probably just make a mess.
Also, regarding the litter - I plan on scooping it once a day, but do you think washing it and completely changing the litter once a week will be enough to prevent the smell?
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Monster

It's all about- me.
 
 
Purred: Fri Jun 7, '13 1:31pm PST 
That certainly is small! Using clumping litter and washing box once a week should keep the odor down. As for toys, my cats love milk jug rings, crumpled paper, aluminum foil balls, and a toy called Cat Dancer, which is basically a long wire with little rolls of cardboard on the end. it must look like a moth to them, because they go nuts when i bring it out. One cat also loves the laser pointer.
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Yogi

1270160
 
 
Purred: Fri Jun 7, '13 2:47pm PST 
Too small? or was that "small but ok for one cat"?
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Beep

Butt-kicker of- all other cats
 
 
Purred: Fri Jun 7, '13 8:07pm PST 
Yes, get a cat! laugh out loud The cat you bring home will be so happy to have a home, he or she will not care one little bit that your place is tiny, but will be so happy to have a lap to sit on. I probably would not get a tiny kitten....maybe, or maybe I would. A kitten is going to go bananas in there, like all kittens do. Have you thought about adopting an adult cat that has a more sedate personality? There are so many cats that come into rescue that are already past that pain the butt stage and happy doing their sleeping 22 out of 24 hours. But even my 10 month old kitten, yeah, he has some funny play time where he zooms around for a bit, but he is already turning into the typical cat that sleeps almost all day long, so maybe a kitten would be ok. It would be for me anyway. Maybe for some it would be too much, but I'd be fine with it. Even if you can't fit a cat tree, a cat window shelf would be nice. If they have a window they can look out of and lounge in, that is great.

I think a cat would be a great companion for you. It was the first thing I did when I got my own apartment on my own and I never regretted it. I can't imagine not having a cat with me. Good luck finding your special little fur baby, you will not regret it smile
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Delyte, Dark- Angel, at- Bridge

Me and my- person, together- against all
 
 
Purred: Fri Jun 7, '13 9:39pm PST 
This is Delyte. Long long ago, before me, my person lived in an apt exactly the size you describe. She had one kitty, who had previously lived in a 4-bedroom apt with my person and roommates, so this was new to her. There was a large window almost the width of the apt and she could spend all her time sitting there looking out. She seemed happy, and they even added another cat for a few months until they moved to a slightly larger apt. Cats are very adaptable.

If you can, you can train the kitty to a harness and leash and take him/her out for walks so the world is not so limited.

Four of us now live in a 980 square foot trailer and we don't even have access to all of the space. [After someone, younger than me, got up on the bureau and dumped a jewelry tree all over! shock ] We have big windows, including one that looks out to the road and another that has a bird feeder in it. Very fascinating! We also got a very small two-shelf cat tree from Wal-Mart that only takes up 36 square inches of floor space, and putting that by the window is endlessly entertaining to the young cats who race up and down it and even sleep on the shelves that are really very small.

At least when you need to find the kitty to take him to the vet, you won't have far to look. Better to have a kitty and enrich both of your lives, and you can always move later. We're trying to talk her into a 3-story Victorian with full attic and basement, screen porch and fenced yard! big grin We can always dream ... cat on moon
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Lady

1289590
 
 
Purred: Sat Jun 8, '13 4:07pm PST 
I don't know about meters, but I currently live in a 300 sq foot studio apartment and it works out fine with my one cat. =] no litter box smell or anything like that, you just have to clean up a lot and I scoop the box like twice a day.
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Yogi

1270160
 
 
Purred: Mon Jun 10, '13 3:10pm PST 
Do you let your cat out? Mine is 323 sq ft, but no garden. How do you keep your cat happy? Toys, vertical space, are you at home a lot? Anything you say will be a big help.
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Dean

1301375
 
 
Purred: Tue Jul 9, '13 1:18am PST 
Just wanted to thank everyone and update you guys that I got my new cat almost a week ago, and so far he seems okay with the size of the place. His name is Dean and he's two and a half years old.
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