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Big Changes for Small Spaces

Small homes or apartments can be challenging for life with a cat. Here are some home design ideas to keep your cat occupied and happy and you sane.

Kate Benjamin  |  Sep 14th 2019


Living in a small space with a cat can be a big design challenge. How do you give your cat everything she needs to live a happy, healthy life while also finding room for all your things? Sure, you’d love to buy one of those giant cat trees, but where will it go? And how about the litter box? A small home can make you feel like your cat’s things have taken over.

There are lots of creative ways to maximize a small space in order to design an enriched environment for your cat while keeping your style — and your sanity — intact. Integrate climbing, scratching, playing, resting and even litter for your cat with your own living needs. Here’s how.

Go vertical

The most important thing to do when living in a small space with a cat is maximize the vertical space for climbing. You can essentially create a second floor for your cat by building a walkway that she can easily access and giving her lounging and perching spots overhead.

Look around your home for existing surfaces that can be converted for climbing — tops of bookshelves, kitchen cabinets, nooks, windowsills or ledges that you can easily designate for cat use. Clear off the clutter and add apiece of carpet or a yoga mat so kitty won’t slip when she jumps on and off. Now, rearrange the furniture as needed to make it easy for your cat to get up and down to her newfound territory.

Cat Climber

The Cat Climber from Smart Cat is designed to hang on any standard door.

PurrShelf cat furniture

The PurrShelf integrates climbing and scratching with bookshelf storage.

You don’t have to add a big, cumbersome cat tree that takes up a lot of room. Look for cat climbers that hang over the back of a door. These are great for maximizing vertical terrain without sacrificing floor space.

Take advantage of unused space

In a small home you have to make the most of every square inch. Look for small spaces that are otherwise unusable for you, like under a table or a chair, where you can create something for your cat. That’s the perfect place for a scratcher or a comfy bed.

Hauspanther Scratch Pole

The Hauspanther Scratch Pole adjusts to fit under any table or desk, creating a sturdy scratching surface that’s out of the way.

cat scratching post

cat scratching post

Make an easy DIY scratcher by wrapping a table leg with sisal rope.

Make it multi-function

Another great way to maximize space is to find items that serve multiple purposes. Look for furniture that integrates cat functions with human functions, like a litter box hider that doubles as a bench or a cat hideaway that’s also aside table. How about a climbing shelf that has space for your book collection? Multi-functional designs bring together the best of both worlds.

Cat Washroom

The Cat Washroom is a litterbox hider that doubles as bathroom storage.

Igloo cat bed

The Igloo Cat Bed can also be used as a side table.

Storage secret

Small homes are often short on storage space so you may not have a place to keep the cat carrier when it’s not in use. Instead, keep the carrier out and let your cat use it as a bed. This way the carrier will be a familiar place when it is time to go out plus you won’t have to find a spot to stash it.

Sleepypod carrier

The Sleepypod carrier is designed to be used as a comfy bed between uses. Simply remove the top and let kitty use the base for lounging.

 

Cat Climber – pioneerpet.com

Hauspanther Scratch Pole – primetimepetz.com

Cat Washroom – merryproducts.com

Igloo Cat Bed – therefinedfeline.com

Sleepypod carrier – sleepypod.com

PurrShelf – purrproducts.com