Post # 1
New to the forum but I’ve been reading it for a while. I am trying to convince my SO to get on board with getting a kitty. Our living arrangements aren’t really conducive to having an indoor/ outdoor cat (live in a terraced house close to the centre of the city with no garden) and it’s less common in Ireland to have just indoor cats so I’m not as familiar with how things work.
My SO loves cats, btw, and ideally would like one (or two!) he’s just not sure it’s a feasible option at the moment. We’ve both only ever had indoor/outdoor cats in our parents’ houses.
So, as I said, we live in a teeny terraced house. I’m not sure there is enough room for having a fully indoor cat. Also, as we are out at work for 6-7 hours, 4-5 days a week I would sort of like to get 2 cats to keep each other company. Is a small house enough room for them?!
I see people here posting about having a few cats in small apartments. Does it work ok? Do they have enough room to run around and not get too bored?
If you don’t live in an apartment, how do you avoid things like the cat running out when you open the front door? Do you restrict what rooms they stay in while you’re out at work etc?
Any input/ reassurance would be much appreciated.
Post # 3
I live in a small top floor flat in London with two cats. As you pointed out it is much rarer to keep cats indoors in the UK and IRE than in the US and you may find alot of people start lecturing you on how “keeping cats indoors is cruel, cats should be allowed to roam free etc etc”. They soon shut up when you point out the average ifespan of an outdoor cat is only 2 years.
The cats are perfectly content and play with each other all day and night which prevents them from getting bored (this was my biggest worry as I am at work all day). They sometimes go onto the balcony in the summer but don’t show a great deal of curiosity to going outside. I have lots of things for them to play with too but they mainly entertain themselves.
Make sure you also buy them decent dry food which has a good meat quantity, this can be expensive but will make sure they stay healthy and strong.
I hope this helps and if you have any questions just send me a message.
Post # 4
@fortuna: Hey there! I know how you feel. My FI and I live in a fairly tiny 2-bedroom apartment. We also have two cats! We started with just the one, but I know she was lonely all day while I was work. I think she actually has seperation anxiety because she would often come to the door when we got home and would cry desperately until one of us picked her up. So our first solution was to get her a hamster, and I do think that helped somewhat. It gave her something to watch while we were gone. BUt she was still pretty pitiful. So, we made the leap and got her a kitten. So to answer your questions.
1. Cats really don’t even need that much room to be happy. So long as there is some room to run a little bit, they will be fine. But if that isn’t the case, then you need to think of getting them cat-trees and other things to climb on to provide enrichement. And, you will have to make the effort to play with them for at least 15 min. a day to get their energy out.
2. So long as they have each other, cats are fine by themselves for long periods of time. Mine are alone from 7:30 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon, and they usually just sleep during that time and are more active in the evening (which is usual for cats, anyways).
3. Becuase my cats have never been outside, they have no interest in going outside. Neither of mine every try to dash out the door.
4. During the day, I do keep the bedroom doors and bathroom door closed, so they have the living room, hallway, kitchen, and dining room to themselves. But honestly, they just curl up in the cattree or on the couch all day so they don’t need the extra room to run. And I only close off the bedrooms because my one cat has been known to pee on the bed >:(
I hope that helps! I would definitely suggest getting two cats so that they can keep each other company!!
Post # 5
@fortuna: Hello! We have two cats and live in a small apartment! It works out just fine! I definitely recommend getting 2 cats as they keep each other company! Ours are two brothers and they love each other, so we don’t feel as bad when we have to leave them for a day or two.
The only rooms we every close off from them are the bathrooms because they tend to go crazy in there and play in the bathtubs (although they have calmed down over the last year).They are perfectly content to run/hang around the 2 bedrooms and living/dining room. They love sitting by the windows and my one cat naps either under my bed or in my closet.
We do take them to my parent’s house every few weekends where the house is bigger and they can run around. They also get to hang out in the fenced-in garden, which they love(but under supervision!).
They are smug and happy, believe me. haha! We are moving in a month to our first home, however, which is a bit bigger than our apartment, has an outdoor space, and has multiple floors, so I’m curious to see how they will adjust!
Good luck! Kitties are so fun!
EDIT: We also have one of those cat tree things for them, and they LOVE it. They hang out and play on in all the time. I would definitely recommend one.
Post # 6
Thanks to you all for the responses. It really does seem that they can be perfectly happy inside.
@PimmsBride: yes, you’re exactly right. I have already met with this sort of attitude (tbh, I had that attitude in the past until I read up on the benefits of indoor living). I can get past it, though, once I know they’re happy kitties.
I check out the local animal shelter sites all the time and have my eyes on 2 little fuzzy kittens at the moment. Not sure why I do this to myself LOL.
Another question, if anyone can answer, is what do you do when you’re going away? Do you have someone pop in to feed and play with them or put them in catteries?
Post # 7
@fortuna: When I can I travel with my cats, they’re used to it and enjoy their little trips to my parents house in Wales. Otherwise I get a cat sitter in which costs less than putting them in a cattery and I know they are happy at home. The lady I use is wonderful and really cares about them.
It is well worth looking into cat sitters but make sure you meet with them and check their references etc as you are trusting them with your home.
I’m not sure what the shelters are like in Ireland but here they won’t (or very rarely) let you adopt unless you are going to let the cats live outdoors. Don’t worry though, there are loads of kittens being given away from farmers etc who would otherwise drown them so you will find your perfect ones.
Good luck and post some pictures when you get some! Here are my two when they were still little…
Post # 8
aaah look at them there! They are so adorable. I wanted to ask but felt a bit cheeky to request some gratuitous kitty shots. Thanks!
I like the idea of a cat sitter much more than moving them into a cattery. I must see if there are people offering these services nearby.
Some shelters are coming round to the idea of indoor cats here. It’s a recent development so hopefully it’ll continue to change for the better
Cheers, you’ve been very helpful. If and when I get the fuzzballs I will be sure to post some pics 🙂
Post # 9
- Wedding: October 2014 - Disney
I have 3 cats in a largish town house. I got the third because the 2nd was pestering the first to no end, so now he has a willing playmate. We have 3 cat trees right now and plan on getting a 4th after christmas. We have a couple of large boxes that are converted to cat houses as well and our cats also enjoy packing paper when we get packages. I provide a lot of toys as well. We also have fish for them to watch, and feed the neighborhood birds too so they have something to look at through the window. Our cats never run to the door unless they think they will get free pets from someone talking there. They are very content to be inside with warmth, love, free flowing food, toys, etc.
Post # 10
We live in a one bedroom apartment and my cat is healthy and happy. I wouldn’t dream of letting him go outside… I mean it’s not possible where I live, but I’d be terrified he’d be hit by a car or something! I know it’s more common in the UK to let your cat out, though. He has lots of toys, we give him a lot of attention, and he has a couple of those big cat tree things to climb/scratch on.
When we’re not home, we close the bedroom and bathroom doors, but other than that, he can roam around where he wants.
You have to be on top of litter duty in a small place, so we basically scoop it as soon as he does his business.
When we go on holiday, we either pay my sister to feed him/play with him once a day, or we have a “cat lady” who was recommended by our vet come in to do the same.
Post # 11
Well we live in a fairly big house, but my cat sleeps pretty much all day while we are gone anyway. Having two is great to keep each other company – sometimes I wish we had another to tire out Luke during the day playing so he would actually sleep at night! Get them at the same time so they grow up together, and a male/female pair would be best. My aunt has a boy and girl she adopted a couple years ago and they absolutely adore each other. It’s incredibly cute.
As to your other questions, Luke has the entire 2400 sq ft house to roam in at all times. We don’t really have any restrictions for him except he’s not supposed to be on the kitchen counter. He is pretty good about not running outside, he gets curious if the door is open long enough (like paying a pizza delivery guy) but he doesn’t dash out.
Whenever we go away, my parents or my sister or grandmother will babysit him for us. I treat him like my child, so there’s only a few people I would trust to look after him properly and love him like I do. That makes it kind of a pain to plan trips and make sure a babysitter is available though, but it’s important to me.
And here’s a pic of the handsome devil!
Post # 12
Being from the UK, I totally understand your concerns about having a cat that doesn’t go outside, but we have 2 indoor kitties who are indoor. We live in a flat in the city and it’s the size of a terrace house – plenty of room for the two of them!
We have a scratcher/bed thing from Argos http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/8708294.htm that they sit on and watch birds through the windows – they love it!
They run around a lot but most of the time they are lazy so they don’t so much need the outdoors. Plus, we get no mice (which my parents cat brings in ALL THE TIME).
Litter tray is in the bathroom, and the door is just ajar most of the time for them. They are allowed in all the rooms even when we’re not home. We just make sure keep windows open to let out the stale air.
What kind of windows do you have? That would be my only concern. We have sash ones, so we can open them at the top where they can’t get out, and we also can open one a tiny bit so they can’t get out of that either. But I know friends who never open their windows and their house smells AWFUL!
We leave ours for weekends on their own (with bowls of food out and loads of different bowls of water) and they are fine. 2 days and they don’t bother. We’d put them in a cattery/have someone come in though if we go away for longer.
Ooooh and I put food for them in a treat ball! It makes them ‘hunt’ for their food which is good for them, and it also means they don’t eat huge amounts of food in one go and throw it up! 🙂 x
Post # 14
I live in a single level, no basement 1100 sq ft house with two cats. My only issue is keeping the cat smell at bay. I was keeping the litter box in our spare bathroom, but the space was too small so the smell wasn’t the greatest in the bathroom! I now have a “kitty city”. A room with a cat door, the litter boxes, food, and toys. They go in and out as they please. They really do love to have their own place away from the dogs! And having the kitty city really helps with the smell too! In the summer I can leave the window opened.
Post # 15
FI and I have two kitties, he was vehemently against getting cats, but I am hardheaded and went out and got one, then convinced him to get a second to keep her company when we moved out of my parents house. Now he is by far a better cat-dad than I am a cat-mom, his screen on his phone is a picture of the cats, and he is always taking and sending pics of them, he really loves them.
That being said both are strictly indoor cats. We got our first, Elena, when we were living with my parents, who insisted on letting her outside on the back deck. When we moved from a house to an apartment (I think its around 600 sq ft) we definitely thought she seemed off because she went from having 3 dog friends at my moms to being by herself, which was what pushed me to ask for a second cat. I do not think an apartment is too small for a cat, they are great apartment dwellers, and will run amock no matter how big the space, up and over couches, beds and other furniture, but then they also spend a LOT of time sleeping and hiding in little tiny spaces. Cats like confined areas, and I don’t think you would have trouble keeping them indoors so long as they have a friend.
Post # 16
- Wedding: April 2014 - Italian Villa
@fortuna: we have lived in various apartments with our two cats. If you have room for a litter box and food bowls, you have enough room for a kitty or two. We got a second for the reason you mentIoned- Didn’t want them to get lonely- but cats are very independent, so one is okay, too.
Our cats have always been indoors (with supervised outdoor time), and they don’t seem to get bored. Just be sure to give them access to windows and window sills (open the blinds) and have some toys around and they will entertain themselves while you are gone for the day.
ETA: your question about running out the door- our current apartment, the cats have had no supervised outdoor time, because we have no balcony, etc. I think they miss it, because one cat will occasionally make a run for it out the front door, but it has to be open for an extended time, and she never gets far because she gets scared and lays down for me to retrieve her. This is the only cat of 8 who has ever done this. It’s unlikely they’ll run out, at least more than once.