Post # 1
Hey cat-owning, apartment-dwelling bees:
FI & I are seriously considering getting ourselves a kitty in our 1-bedroom apartment, and it looks like our landlord will be OK with it. Now that our landlord is on board, the reality is setting in- how on earth can we keep the apartment clean enough so that future tenants will have no idea there was ever a cat here? Is that even possible?
I am just getting all paranoid about the smell first of all, and also introducing allergens that could possibly affect a future tenant. Since we have a small apartment, and it is a basement apartment with no central air or even much ventilation to speak of, I am worried that bringing in a kitty would be irreversible. I have owned cats in the past so I know all about how important it is to keep up with the litter box- but I also remember how strong the pee smell can be if there ever is an accident.
Am I just worrying too much, or should we postpone feline ownership until we own a house of our own??
Post # 3
@kestane: I wouldnt worry about it. I have 3 full grown cats and they all share one litter box. I clean it every day and it is fine. I used to live in a 450 sq ft studio apartment with all 3 cats and it was totally fine, although I felt bad for the cats for the lack of space. Only thing is, you get cat hair on everything…but it’s totally worth it because cats are so great.
Post # 4
My cats have never had an accident… the only problem is if they spill their food over the side of the dish, or pick a piece from the dish and eat it on the floor, somewhere else. A wipe clean mat in that area should help.
Post # 5
One litter can per cat and an extra. I have 10 cats and 11 litter pans. A cheap rug in front of the litter pans will stop most of the litter tracking. A boot tray under the water and food dishes will confine messes to one area. Vaccum regularly and you should be set!
Post # 6
I will be honest. Every person who has a cat in an apartment has an apartment that ALWAYS smells like cat-box. No matter how clean it is, you can always smell it. I also had a cat in my 1 bedroom in college, and I’m pretty sure it smelled like cat-box then too. I wouldn’t do it.
Post # 7
We have 2 cats in ours. It’s totally fine–I have a friend with severe allergies who didn’t even know that I had cats until she saw one of them. We vacuum (we have a good vacuum) frequently, which helps a lot. One of our cats will pee outside of the box sometimes, but she has issues. Typically, she just does it right outside the box, which we try to clean up ASAP (with a carpet steamer and cleaning spray). They throw up occasionally, but if you feed them good quality food (we’re fans of Wellness dry food and Soulistic wet food), they shouldn’t have problems will hair balls, which will cut down on the puking.
They’re going to replace the carpet when we move out anyway (they always do that when someone here moves out who’s had cats). As long as you keep the place relatively clean/vacuumed and clean up any accidents ASAP, you should be okay (we love Folex Instant Spot Remover from Home Depot–no smells to irritate you or your cats).
Post # 8
@kestane: I live in a 700 sq ft one-bedroom apartment for FI and my two kitties. I will say I’ve been through a few different kinds of litter boxes to figure out how best to control odor…the Litter Robot is expensive but definitely worth it for our guys. They like always having fresh litter, I like not having to scoop 2-4 times a day. I’ve never had a cat that’s gone to the bathroom outside the litterbox so I can’t really comment on that except to say they do make pet-specific carpet cleaner that’s supposed to be really good. After a tenant leaves any apartment, the landlord/management company is supposed to deep clean the entire apartment, including the carpet, linoleum, baseboards, etc. so you shouldn’t worry about residual allergens, that’s not your worry. Now if your cat is peeing all over carpeting, that’s another story. But again, I’ve had cats all my life and never had that issue. These two are my first I’ve had that are completely inside cats and while I have no doubt they’d enjoy the outdoors, it’s not an option right now (we in a 3rd floor walk up!) and they seem totally happy and content. 🙂
Post # 9
Just keep the litter box(es) clean 🙂 I didn’t have a problem until my cat got older and started throwing up a lot (kidney disease). Stay on top of grooming, and buy Soft Paws for the claws.
If cats have litter box issues, it’s usually because they aren’t being kept clean or there are underlying health issues (like UTIs).
I had 2 cats in a 1,000 sq. foot apartment and you honestly couldn’t smell it. Even my mom who hates cats agreed.
Post # 10
The biggest issue we’ve had is the smell. In a small apartment the only place to put the litter box for us is in a small bathroom with no windows and it gets hard. I would be prepared to change it very often and spend extra on litter than normal. We have to tape down all corners of the carpet and really watch him to make sure he isent clawing the carpet. Also have some pet carpet cleaner and used immediately on unexpected vomiting (never had a problem with uninating because we got him spayed at 4 months). Also our cat had problems in a small apartment getting board, he gained aton of weight and constantly wanted outside. Now we have a larger space where he can run around and go outside a tiny bit and he is much happier so just my experience
Post # 11
I have 2 cat boxes for 1 cat! Doesn’t really smell, friends come over and don’t even notice.
Post # 12
We don’t live in an apartment, but a 2 bedroom house. We have three cats though so I guess that balances out. We use good cat litter that ISN’T scented. Our kitties won’t potty in litter that is scented. They have had one-two accidents but we caught them relatively quickley and used vinegar/water mix to clean it up and then left baking soda on the area for a few days it it is okay. If you smash your nose in the carpet you can smell it but otherwise you can’t.
You have to be sure to vaccuum a lot to keep the hair under control.
It’s really not a lot of upkeep it just sounds like it. I wouldn’t be too worried about future tenants as that isn’t really your problem. It would be a shame to not do something you wanted just because it may/may not affect someone else in the future. Carpet can be cleaned/replaced. Walls can be painted. Rooms can be aired out. Nothing you can’t fix, even if the kitty has potty issues.
Just don’t burn your house down and you will be fine 🙂
Post # 13
Thanks everybody who responded with their tips & experiences- I guess maybe I read too many horror stories on google about pet damage. Yeah, the vacuuming every day thing would be an adjustment for us, but I know it would be worth it!
I was also worried since FI & I were talking about adopting from a shelter, it would be a kitty we know nothing about and there’s always a chance he/she could have some behavioral issues… including spraying!
We’ll have to give it some more thought… maybe I should’ve put a poll up for this 🙂
Post # 14
Kanberra gel – it is a life saver. It is expensive but it does last a long time. You will not smell the litter box at all.
Post # 15
I would recommend 2 cats, even in a small apt. They keep each other company and play. We had a only cat that was 21lbs. We finally got another cat and he lost 1lbs. Then a few years later another cat and now he is 17lbs. Still a big guy, but playing and running around has really helped!
Make sure you have lots of different kinds of scratching posts. We have rug, cardboard and sisal rope.
If they do make a mess, use Simple Solution. I’m not a fan of Nature’s Miracle.
I also bought an air filter for the house. I’ve found it really helps with the cat hair. This one is nice because there is a two stage filter. It’s expensive and so are the filters, but I really love it and am very happy we spent the $$
Post # 16
@Sunflower–girl: I’ve never heard of that, will check it out!
Thanks for the recommendations- I remember we tried Nature’s Miracle with my previous cat and it didn’t seem to do too much. That was many years ago though, maybe the product has improved! The air filter is a great idea, I’ve been meaning to get one anyway since we live in a basement apartment.
Still going back and forth about getting a kitty or not… aaargh. We want one (or two) but not sure we’re ready!!