We reveal how suitable your home is for keeping cats

Molnár Enikő

2024. January 23 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary

There are two questions that people ask most when it comes to cat housing: whether it's bad for them to stay indoors, and how much room they'll be happier in.


In this article we are talking about indoor cats who don’t have the opportunity to roam outside. Surely, every (indoor) cat owner has wondered whether they have enough space for their beloved feline. Many fear that they might be doing harm by keeping them in a relatively small apartment. Moreover, some even feel guilty about their circumstances, especially when it comes to moving and relocating their lives to a smaller space. However, we want to reassure everyone that a cat’s happiness is not directly proportional to the square footage of the living space. The key to a cat-friendly home lies more in the setup.

Limited space vs. lots of care

Cats can be completely happy in a small area. The important thing is not how much space you have but what you do with it – expressed by Jackson Galaxy, the renowned cat behavior analyst.

What is the minimum?

Cats also have their needs, especially since they have to share the space with their beloved owner. While many good souls can fit into a small space, realistically speaking, living with a cat under 18 square meters can be quite uncomfortable for both parties. Even if the apartment is cat-friendly. However, above 18 square meters, with adequate play opportunities, most cats don’t have much of an issue.

But if two cats share the space, a more careful arrangement is required for a carefree life.

It doesn’t have to look like this, but you can use it as inspiration for a cat-friendly home.

At 30 square meters, everyone can comfortably fit, and even a third cat can join the family with a little attention. The key is to provide every creature with the opportunity to retreat when they feel like it.

We would like to emphasize that we do not encourage “collecting cats”. Each individual cat has its needs that go beyond feeding. And we haven’t even talked about veterinary visits and other responsibilities. But theoretically, with the right preparations, time, and care, a cat can fit into the house every 10 square meters.

It should also be noted that even with one cat, it’s worth being aware of the cat’s behavior, habits, and body language. And if there are several furry beings in the house, conflicts can arise, making background knowledge even more important.

One of the things cats need is to be able to rest undisturbed. Therefore, a cat-friendly home should also provide this.

Requirements for a cat-friendly home

A cat-friendly home, or a “catified” apartment, offers the cat the opportunity to play, hide, climb. Everything needed for a balanced, full life. This can be achieved, among other things, by utilizing the vertical dimensions of the space. This means extending the cat’s realm up to the ceiling so this way, on the one hand, there will be much more opportunity for physical activity, and on the other hand, the cat can explore and observe everyone from above. As we know, every cat loves the elevated air.

Speaking of physical activity: many owners complement the furnishings with a cat wheel so that their cat can run. Place some beds and pillows in the apartment where your pet can sunbathe or “watch TV,” i.e., supervise the outside world. Provide enough toys, and dedicate time to playing together (though the latter is not a requirement for the apartment, it is important for your cat.)

A little natural light is good for everyone.

Cats like it when their scent spreads throughout the apartment. Often, they scratch furniture and rub against everything for this reason. Therefore, it may be worth placing scratching posts in several locations, and the location of the litter box is crucial. Be creative with the furnishings and keep in mind your cat’s needs, so indoor life can be complete and full of excitement.

The lesson is that even if someone has a large apartment, it doesn’t matter if it’s not made cat-friendly. If the environment is not rich enough, then space is not worth more than 18 square meters. At least the latter provides safety for the animal because it can easily hide and “snuggle in.”

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