If you live in a flat rather than a house, keeping a cat can definitely be more challenging, although the cat generally suits apartment-dwelling better than most dogs will! While some people who would really like to own a cat ultimately decide that their flat is not the right sort of environment for a pet, many others manage it quite successfully, with a little extra consideration and attention paid to some of the additional challenges that come with apartment life.
In this article, we will look at some of the key factors that you will need to bear in mind if you live in a flat and want to keep a cat, or if you already own a cat and are planning to move into a flat in the future. Read on to learn more.
First of all, if you are renting, you will need to get permission from your landlord before you can consider keeping a cat. Even if you own your flat or are considering buying one, most apartment buildings are overseen by a managing agent, which may place restrictions on the type or number of pets that the residents can keep.
Read through your paperwork or check with the company directly to ensure that you don’t fall foul of the rules.
It is also a good idea to talk to the neighbours on either side of your flat before getting a cat, to ensure that they do not have any objections in principle, and to address any concerns that they may have.
Some people are very allergic to cats, and this might even affect your neighbours, so checking first can save you problems further down the line.
One of the big questions that challenge many flat-dwellers who either do not live on the ground floor or do not have their own outside door, is what to do about providing the cat access to the outside world.
Some cats can live as indoor-only cats quite comfortably and happily-for instance, cats or kittens that have never been given access to the outdoors, hairless breeds like the Sphynx, and immune-compromised cats, such as those with FIV.
However, if your cat is used to going out or if being able to allow your cat to go outside is a must for you, you will have to look at ways to enable this working with what you have.
If other people in the building own cats too, there might even be a cat flap in the communal lobby door, and installing a flap in your own door will permit your cat to find their way out-bearing in mind that they may also pass other cats doing the same thing, which can lead to potential rows until they all get used to each other! If this is not possible, ground floor flats can usually have a cat flap installed in a window, but higher floors will of course be more challenging-you may have to let your cat in and out and keep going out to find them, or work out a way to get a walkway installed to a lower level!
If your building has shared or private gardens attached to it, or faces onto a park or green, this will likely be the first port of call for your cat when they go out. Ensure that your cat does not make a mess of any flowerbeds when they go out, and bear in mind that if the gardens are privately owned, the owners may not be cat lovers themselves!
Additionally, think about the potential presence of dogs in communal gardens, and establish whether or not your cat would be able to go out safely.
Cats are fastidiously clean animals that spend a lot of time grooming and washing themselves, and so, cats are highly unlikely to smell-but if you have a litter tray for your cat to use and neglect to clean it often enough, this can soon become funky and create unpleasant smells!
Ensure that you clean and dispose of used litter regularly and thoughtfully, to avoid annoying your neighbours with bad smells.
Finally, cats are rarely thought of as being noisy pets, particularly when compared to dogs-but some cats are a lot more vocal than others, and often, these are the cats with the loudest and most piercing voices, such as the Siamese and the Bengal!
Some cats will chat away almost constantly, or become particularly vocal if they want food or feel that they are not getting enough attention-so bear this in mind in combination with the thickness of your walls and your immediate neighbours’ views on cats, in order to ensure that you don’t end up falling out with the people next door!