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How Much Space Does A Cat Need? Feline Necessities Explained

Written by: Adam Mann

Last Updated on February 7, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

European Shorthair

How Much Space Does A Cat Need? Feline Necessities Explained


Dr. Lauren Demos (DVM) Photo


Dr. Lauren Demos (DVM)


The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Before you bring a new pet into your home, you need to ensure you have enough space for them to be happy and healthy. And when it comes to ensuring you have enough space for a feline, there are quite a few factors to consider and no hard and fast rules, but usually, if you have 20 square feet available for their supplies and an apartment larger than 300 square feet, you may have enough space for a cat 1.

There’s more to it than that though, so keep reading and we’ll break down everything you need to know so you don’t run into any unexpected surprises when you bring home your new furry friend!

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How Much Space Does an Adult Cat Need?

When you’re trying to ensure your cat has enough space, there are two things you need to consider. First, ensure you have enough space for all their supplies. This includes a scratching post, a climbing tower, food and water bowls, a litter box, and more. Typically, you only need about 20 square feet of space spread out throughout various spaces in your home to fit in all the necessary supplies. However, this is only for the supplies your cat needs, and you still need to have enough living space for them throughout your home.

For a single cat, we recommend a living space with at least 300 square feet, but even then, ensure there’s enough space for your cat to run if they get the zoomies.

orange cats using scratching post
Image Credit: MarinaTr, Shutterstock

Indoor vs. Outdoor Cats

It makes sense that indoor and outdoor cats have different space requirements inside your home, but that doesn’t mean you can offer them less space.

Not only do you need to make sure you have enough storage for all their supplies, but you also need to guarantee you have enough space for them to roam around and exercise inside your home, even if they’re outdoor cats who spend a good chunk of time outside.

Whether it’s inclement weather or they just want to burn some energy inside, it’s important for you to have a space that is big enough for your cat when they’re fully grown. As we’ve mentioned before, 300 square feet is an absolute minimum.

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Space Considerations for Your Cat

Giving Them Vantage Points

Cats like to sit up high because they like to see what’s going on in the outside world, and who doesn’t like sitting in a sunny spot? Finding a way to incorporate these things into your cat’s environment leads to a happier cat, and it’s an important thing to consider when evaluating your space. Give them a few tall perches and a bed near a sunny window and they should be pretty happy.

Give Them Enough Litter Boxes

The general rule is to have one litter box per cat, plus one. But if your house has multiple levels, they really need a litter box on each floor as well. Ensure you have enough space in your home for a litter box and that it is in a place where it doesn’t interfere with your everyday life, and is also private for your cat.

Space for Supplies

From their food to their toys, you need to have a dedicated space for all of it. None of these things need to take up a ton of room, but you definitely should have a solution to keep their belongings clean and organized.

light colored cat looking at toys on table catnip wand
Image Credit: winni-design, Shutterstock

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Do You Have Enough Space for Multiple Cats?

Having enough space for one cat is one thing, but when considering bringing multiple cats into your home, you need to take it even more seriously. Not every cat likes to share their supplies, so you might need to have enough space for two of everything. Otherwise, territorial disputes could happen.

From litter boxes to food and water bowls, you’ll want to consider if you have enough space to double it all. Additionally, while your cats might like spending plenty of time with each other, sometimes they’ll want and need their own space to get away. Ensuring your cats aren’t always on top of each other can help keep them happy with each other. You can help this by giving them their own cat towers, beds, or rooms they can retreat to.

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Final Thoughts

Cats don’t need a lot of space, so there’s a pretty good chance you have enough space for one or two, but the last thing you want is to bring a cat into an environment that isn’t big enough for them, which could keep them from getting the mental and physical stimulation they need.

Whether you have an indoor or outdoor cat, ensure you can properly care for them and that you’re doing everything you need to in order to be a responsible pet owner.

Featured Image Credit: nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

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