Is It Cruel To Keep A Cat In A Studio Apartment?

Studio apartments are common in today’s fast-paced world. Big cities like New York and Seoul are especially filled with them.

 They offer a cheap alternative to housing in an otherwise expensive geographical region.

All areas in a studio apartment—dining, bedroom, kitchen, and living room—are contained in one room meaning it uses less space and is thus cheaper.

Utility bills are also lower than in larger homes since there are no separate rooms to heat, light, and cool.

With minimal square footage of a studio apartment, some cat lovers express concern about keeping cats in it.

Pets need space to explore, hunt, play, sleep, and do more on a daily basis.

Cats particularly enjoy wide spaces to hunt, hide, and retreat to when they need some peace and quiet.

Can a tiny macro-apartment make them feel content?

Well, to some degree, cats can still stay active by playing indoors. However, in studio apartments, their activity levels will be considerably lower, especially when compared to bigger homes with more space.

Again, in most home settings, it is important to allow cats to venture outdoors so that they have more opportunities for physical activity.

However, in studio apartments, especially those located in densely populated areas with heavy traffic, this may not be feasible as it can be quite unsafe to let your kitty go outside regularly.

So, is it cruel to keep a cat in a studio apartment?

The General Answer

Keeping a cat in a studio apartment is not cruel if you cater to her physical, instinctual, and social needs.

As long as your kitty gets all the three requirements, she will be happy to belong.

If anything:

A. Boring Spaces Are Worse To Cats than Small Spaces

Many people worry about their cats living in studio apartments because they think that studio settings may be too boring for their kitties.

However, the fact that the space is small doesn’t mean that it is boring.

We understand that cats living in spacious environments hunt, hide, and climb. Any serious cat parent can ensure that all these things are available in a studio apartment as well.

All you need to do is to find ways that you can mimic the stimulation that cats get when they are outside—climbing trees, scampering under bushes, chasing bugs, etc—to satisfy your kitty’s predatory behaviors and keep her content. 

For instance, by allowing them to chase and catch wand or ball toys, you will have fulfilled their urge to hunt small creatures like insects or rodents.

B. Attention That You Give Your Cat Is More Important Than Space

If you are a cat parent, you’ve probably realized that your kitty spends most of her time sleeping or snoozing next to you, which indicates that one of the most important things for a cat is the feeling of love and safety.

Whether you live with your cat in a studio apartment or a more spacious environment, what she cares about is how much attention you give her.

Well, cats can’t be compared to dogs when it comes to the need for attention but they also get bored, lonely, and discontent, especially if they don’t get the needed attention.

There are also cats that enjoy being alone but it doesn’t mean that they don’t need attention from their owners.

Though they may sit away from you, they are content and take comfort from the fact that you are around.

So, if you have all the space in the world but cannot spend enough time with your cat, you are definitely doing her more injustice than if you were to live with her in her studio apartment and be around her most of the time.

C. Cats Don’t Need a Lot of Space

By and large, our feline friends don’t mind the lack of legroom the same way we humans do. To begin with, cats are small in size. This means they don’t need as much space as bigger pets.

Secondly, many cats purposely squeeze themselves in small crevices for stress relief and privacy. For starters, cats are liquid in nature meaning they can flex and stretch their bodies to fit into extremely small spaces.

So, no matter how small your studio apartment is, your kitty will view it as a giant space.

Additionally, cats generally feel more comfortable in small enclosed spaces than in bigger expansive ones. This explains why kittens prefer a bathroom with walls to an empty larger room when they come home for the first time.

D. Studio Apartments Are Better Than Living in the Streets

If you look at it critically, the comfort and safety that a cat living in a studio apartment gets can’t be compared to life on the streets.

A cat in a studio apartment is healthier and happier than her counterparts living in the streets and facing all manner of dangers.

The Verdict:

Cruelty is failing to give the cat what she needs and hoping she will be healthy and happy somehow.

So, it is not cruel if you can create a conducive environment for instinctual satisfaction, social interaction, and physically beneficial for your feline friend.

The love and attention that you give to your cat are much more important than the size of your apartment.

What might be considered cruel is living with a cat without thinking and catering to her needs. Because then, you are blatantly interfering with her developmental process.

To this end, we can deduce that any cat can be happy and content in a studio apartment. On the flip side, any cat can be lonely and miserable in 10,000 square foot home if she is ignored by her human companion.

Anyway, long story short, the size of an apartment doesn’t matter much if we are looking for things that impact a cat’s life or that can determine whether or not a cat is suffering from cruelty.

Things You Can Do To Make Your Studio Apartment Great For Your Cat

Naturally, your small room will make her feel secure and happy.

However, as earlier mentioned, your feline friend needs more than a sense of security for her health and wellbeing.

Here are some of the things you can do to make your studio apartment great for your cat.

Here are some of the things you can do to make your studio apartment great for your cat.

1. The Right Amount of Attention

While not all cat breeds are affectionate, most still need love and attention.

To ensure that your kitty lives happily and comfortably in your studio apartment, strive to always give her the right amount of attention that she deserves.

 Never leave your kitty alone in the apartment for more than 24 hours otherwise she will feel lonely and become stressed.

If you are going to be away for long, have a friend check in on your kitty once a day to provide her with food, fresh water, and enough attention.

2. Install Elevated Spots

Cats are passionate about heights. They love high perches from where they can look over their surroundings.

Some theories suggest that cats fancy high areas because of their size compared to that of their predators such as big dogs, coyotes, and wolves.

By being on top of trees, they can perceive danger before it reaches them. Being elevated also ensures that they can see prey easier.

To make your kitty happy, install some elevated points in your studio apartment.

Purchase a cat tree with several perches from where the cat can climb and chill.

If possible, place it near the window so she can look over and admire what lies beyond.

Cat trees come with other features such as scratching posts and hideaway spots – both of which are important for a cat.

If you virtually have no space for a cat tree, ensure you have vertical shelves and elevated furniture.  She will use these to satisfy her instinct to climb.

3. Venture Outdoors Once In A While

As aforementioned, any cat can live a long and perfect happy life as an indoor-only cat provided that she gets the exercise that she needs.

Besides playing with your kitty in your apartment, giving her a small dose of the outdoors can go a long way in fulfilling her exercise needs.

Consider taking your fur baby for a harness-and-leash walk around a local park. This will ensure that she not only gets the exercise that she needs but will also give her a good opportunity to connect with her ancestral instincts.

If you have an elderly cat or one with special needs, we recommend using a kitty stroller like BestPet 3 Wheel Cat Stroller to enable her to see and experience the outdoors without much physical hassle.

4. Hiding Spots

Cats are independent creatures.

Granted, they crave human company but they enjoy being alone as well.

When the noise is too much in the house, they like to hide away in private and confined areas.

 In a big house, getting a hiding spot is easy. However, in a studio apartment, the options are limited.

It is up to you to create perfect spots from where the cat can hide.

You don’t have to break the budget while at it. Just get your creative juices flowing.

A makeshift carton box under the bed is one example that is effective and inexpensive.

You may also add some pillows and blankets to a bookshelf to make it cozy for your kitty.

The area under the closet is also great for the cat. Get a cubby and line it with plush fabric for the cat’s comfort.

If you are going for a cat tower, purchase one with multiple hideaway spots especially if you have more than one cat at home.

 Other towers have differently-sized spots for different levels of comfort.  This is perfect for a cat with minimal space.

5. Invest In Multi-Functional Furniture

Furniture that is designed with pets in mind can go a long way in helping you save space and still create a cat-friendly and beautiful home.

There are numerous modern pet furniture that comes with such designs, including hammock glass coffee tables and litter boxes disguised as cabinets among others.

If you don’t get a specific design that can help you maximize space in your studio apartment, you can go the DIY route.

6. Toys

In the wild or in vast spaces, cats like to engage in physically-demanding activities.

They enjoy stalking and killing prey, playing with other cats, and just walking/running around.

When space is limited, you can help your kitty to burn off some energy and kill boredom with cat toys. You need the kind that will keep her attention for a long time.

 For parents who work outside the home for a long time, automated toys are perfect. These will keep the cat entertained for hours without you being physically present at home.

Automated cat toys are available in many varieties. Some are faster and others slower.

 Kittens like the former while senior cats prefer slower but engaging toys.

 Some toys have a timer that goes off after 30 minutes of play. These are great for making sure your cat is not overstimulated.

Laser cat toys are especially good as they fulfill the need for a cat to hunt.

7. Window Seats

The window provides endless entertainment for a cat. If you’ve owned cats before, you can attest to this. They can spend hours sitting by the window looking at the outside world.

To make your studio apartment more appealing to your cat, you can install some kind of seat or hanging spot for her to perch on. It can be a cat tree or a bird feeder on the window.

If you have a balcony, you can cat-proof it and let the cat hang out there to get a view of the outside world.

8. Find Appropriate Space for the Litter Box

It can be a challenge to find a space for your fur baby’s litter box in a studio apartment. It is even more challenging if your cat craves privacy and prefers her litter box to be hidden.

Whatever space you decide to put the litter box, ensure that it is a quiet but accessible spot away from human traffic, food, and other pets.

If space is an issue and you have no choice but to put the litter box in the open, get products that can help you camouflage both the box and any offensive odor.  Litter Genie Plus Disposal System is the go-to solution for such situations. 

Related Post: How to Get Cat to Use Litter Box in New House (12+Tips)

9. Stock Catnip

If you are a kitty devotee like many people reading this post, you probably already know that catnip has a powerful effect on our feline friends. It not only stimulates and relaxes them but also makes them feel good.

To ensure that your kitty is relaxed and feels content staying inside your studio apartment, consider keeping it in sections that she frequents.

Related Post: 7 Best Refillable Catnip Toys for Cats

Final Thoughts

Want to keep a cat in a studio apartment? There’s no reason why you shouldn’t if you can make sure she is well-catered to.

Never allow the fear of sharing your considerably cramped studio apartment space to prevent you from enjoying the numerous benefits of feline companionship.

With some of the tips we’ve highlighted in this post, you can create a home where you can both live happily and cordially.

There are simply infinite ways of making small spaces elegant and comfortable while ensuring it is cat-friendly.