Not every cat lover has the luxury of a garden or a big house for a kitty to wander around. So what should cat lovers who live in an apartment consider when getting a kitty? And are some cat breeds better suited to apartment living than others? Cat in a Flat finds out.

Can cats live in an apartment?

Our furry friends have a lot of energy. And cats’ natural curiosity indeed means that most kitties seem to enjoy exploring the outside world. But that doesn’t mean cats can’t be kept in an apartment. So what are the most important factors to consider if you live in a flat and want a cat?

Top tips for keeping a cat in an apartment

All cats love looking out of the window
  • As well as some cat breeds being better suited to living in an apartment than others (something we explore below), some kitty personalities lend themselves more to living in a flat. Try and find a cat whose personality makes them a perfect apartment dweller. Adaptable, quiet, relaxed and calm cats will fair better in flats. 
  • Many cat adoption centres and charities prefer households with outside space — but rules, regulations and policy changes from centre to centre and country to county. There are still opportunities for apartment dwellers to adopt a cat. Get in touch with your local centre to see what their policies are and discuss your living situation. Even centres with stricter policies will adopt older and more timid cats, and cats with health conditions including Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) into apartment homes.
  • Cats who live in apartments need a lot of entertainment and stimulation, including regular playtime. Make sure to get a range of toys for your cat to enjoy and spend time playing with them every day to wear them out and keep them active and happy.
  • Kitties love to have a range of perching spots throughout a house. No matter what kind of home you live in, most cats enjoy staring out of the window from a sill. For cats who don’t go outside this can be particularly important as a form of entertainment. If you live in a smaller apartment make sure your furry friend has a range of levels and perches. These should keep your cat stimulated and give them some space of their own too. A multi-platform cat tree or dedicated shelves should help keep kitty happy. 
A range of perches to sit on will keep apartment cats happy

Important: many flowers and house plants are dangerous for kitties. Make sure to do your research and don’t bring any dangerous plant varieties into your home.

  • Cat grass might be a wise addition to your home if your kitty can’t go outside. Our fur babies love to chew on some greenery to aid digestion and help stomach upsets. Cat grass can also be an excellent distraction for kitties who would otherwise chew on your house plants. 
  • As well as a range of toys, a dedicated place to scratch is essential for indoor cats. Without the option of a tree or fence post to drag their claws across, cats will seek out another surface to keep their claws healthy, and most owners would prefer for it not to be their furniture. A vast range of cat scratching posts and pads exist to keep cats’ paws and claws happy, and it’s worth investing in one for your kitty. Read Cat in a Flat‘s tips on which scratching post to pick and how to get your furry friend to use it here
  • Organising a smaller space to make it cat-friendly can be a challenge. Ideally, you would place Mr Whiskers’ water, food, and litter tray far away from each other. In an apartment, this might not be easy, but try and arrange your cat’s essentials to give them the space they need. A cat water fountain that filters out smells and keeps water moving might help entice kitty to drink.
  • Feeling and sniffing fresh air keeps cats happy. If your budget and building regulations allow for it, you might want to consider placing pet-safe screens over your windows to allow you to open them up without risk to your kitty. Screens might be essential in summers when you’ll want the window open to provide ventilation.

Important: Keep cats away from open windows and balconies at all times. Vets report many accidents each year from cats falling out of windows, or off balconies. 

The best cat breeds for apartment living

Find out which cat breeds are best for apartment living

Although all cats are different, adaptable, quiet and relaxed cats will be best suited to living in a flat. And some breeds are more likely to have these characteristics than others. Find out which cat breeds are best suited to apartment living in Cat in a Flat’s list below. 

Ragdoll

The relaxed and calm nature of these fluffy cats makes them well suited to living in an apartment. Ragdolls are real lap cats and will be content living in an apartment as long as they can cosy up to their favourite human. 

Sphynx

These hairless beauties are real snugglers too. Sphynx cats prefer being warm and with their humans to anything else and are less inclined to explore than other breeds, especially when it’s cold. 

Persian

These majestic and fluffy cats are lazy and relaxed kitties. Persians are, in general, less curious about the world and more tolerant of sharing their space than other cat breeds. You can leave Persians to happily nap on their own when you go out to work too.  

Maine Coon

Although one of the larger domestic cat breeds, apartment living suits Maine Coons. Their gentle and tolerant nature makes these big cats content to live anywhere with their favourite human, although they will need frequent playtime and attention. Maine Coons are also fantastic with children due to their placid and curious nature.  

Birman

These fluffy kitties are affectionate and relaxed, making them ideal apartment cats. They love attention and spending time with their humans but don’t spend all day seeking it out, perfect for a harmonious living environment. 

British shorthair

Plush and regal-looking British shorthairs are laid back and adaptable, so won’t be phased by apartment living. They are a quieter cat breed too, ideal for living in an apartment block. However, British shorthairs are intelligent cats who will need the stimulation of daily interaction with a human or another cat.

Russian Blue

Russian blues are quiet and relaxed. These cats are independent enough to be left for the day but still enjoy playtime when you get home. Russian Blues are tranquil and a little withdrawn, making them perfect companions for a cosy and calm apartment.

Cats unsuited to apartment living

Although all cats are different in character and personality, some breeds are less suited to apartment living by their nature. Bengals, Abyssinians, Siberians and Siamese are all a bit too energetic for smaller spaces. Siamese and Bengals can be quite vocal, which might cause problems in an apartment block if the walls or floors are thin. 

Whatever your living situation, we hope there’s a cat for you. If you’re still wondering about getting a kitty, read Cat in a Flat’s article on whether to adopt a cat here. And find out which cat breeds cause the least allergies here.