Tips for Living with a Cat in a Small Philly Apartment

At first glance, Philly might seem more amenable to dog lovers. There are dog parks and dog-friendly restaurants. But, if you’re a cat person, the city can be great for you, too. It’s often easier to live in a smaller space with a cat than with a dog.

Philadelphia has established itself as a dog-friendly city, with restaurants that let you bring your pet and plenty of parks and dog runs. Philly is also a great place for cats and living with a cat in a small space can be easier than living with a dog. After all, the primary hobbies of most cats are taking naps, sitting on a ledge, and eating.

That’s not to say that living with a cat in a Philadelphia home won’t be without its challenges. There are a few things you can do to keep your cat’s fur, odor, and boredom from taking over your smaller space.

Tackle the Litter Issue

One of the biggest drawbacks of living in a smaller home or apartment with a cat is finding a place to put the litter box. It’s often best to find a dedicated spot for the box, one that is out-of-the-way. Ideal locations for your cat’s litter box in a tiny apartment include the bathroom, or a little-used closet, if one is available.

But if you’re in a studio or one-bedroom, space is at a premium. If you have to keep the box in your bedroom or living space, one way to keep it from taking over your apartment is to commit to cleaning it regularly. Scoop twice a day, or more, if you have multiple cats. You can also try to get your cat to use a covered box, which helps contain the odor a bit better, or invest in a self-cleaning box.

Make Your Own Cat Scratching Post

Store-bought scratching posts tend to have a large footprint and don’t have much to recommend them in the design department. But if you don’t give your cat something to scratch, you can rest assured he’ll put his claws to use on your furniture. A simple way to give your cat something to scratch that isn’t too unpleasant looking and that doesn’t take up too much space is to wrap a 3-foot, 4-by-4 post in sisal or rope. You can even paint the rope to make the post more visually appealing.

The Constant Battle Against Cat Hair

Being diligent is the best way to keep up against the constant onslaught of cat hair. Even shorter haired breeds shed, and that shedding seems to get worse in the spring and early summer. A vacuum or Roomba can be a great tool in the fight against cat hair. You might find yourself vacuuming every day to keep your space clean. Packing tape is great for removing fur from upholstery and even some clothing.

If you’re in the market for new furniture or throw blankets, pick your fabrics carefully. Leather can be ideal, since you can brush the hair right off it, while knit or nubby fabrics, such as tweeds, can be a nightmare, as individual pieces of cat hair can get caught in the weave and can be difficult to remove. You’ll want to pick throws made from smooth fabrics, instead of knits or fleeces, for the same reason.

Pick a Cat that Matches Your Space

Some cats are better suited to apartment life than others. For example, some cats don’t shed as much and older cats tend to be less active than kittens.

If you’ve recently decided to adopt a cat, visit a place such as the Kawaii Kitty Cafe in South Philly or the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society. You’ll have a chance to socialize with the cats available for adoption and learn more about them before you decide which one to bring home with you.


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