Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of owning a cottage in the countryside or a large garden these days. Nevertheless, the need for animal companies is also high among city dwellers. The cat, thanks to its great adaptability, turns out to be the ideal pet for animal lovers who live in an apartment. In contrast to the dog, the cat does not have to be taken for a walk, its maintenance costs are manageable, it can occupy itself for hours on its own and the cuddling factor is high. But what does species-appropriate housing look like from the perspective of the velvet paw? You will find out in this article.
If possible, you should also plan to have a cat of your own species – provided, of course, that your cat is social and compatible with other animals. Then they can engage with each other when you’re away.
Can I keep a cat in the rented apartment?
Before you bring a cat into your house as a tenant in a rented apartment or move into a new apartment as a cat owner: study the rental agreement and pay attention to the exact wording. Because cats are not tolerated as roommates everywhere. If the rental agreement expressly states that dogs and cats may not be kept, this regulation is binding.
The situation is different if the lease prohibits all animal husbandry. This would then also affect animals such as ornamental fish or budgerigars – that would be an inadmissible impairment of a tenant’s personal rights. If the keeping of cats is not explicitly excluded in the rental agreement, it is permitted according to the current legal opinion. The most common wording in leases is that keeping a cat requires the landlord’s permission; however, keeping a cat can only be prohibited in justified cases. What a reasonable justification would depend on the individual case. Keeping more than two cats in a rented apartment can also be problematic; not just for legal reasons.
If you share your rented apartment with velvet paws, the size of the apartment naturally plays a role. A minimum living space of 60 square meters is recommended for a two-cat household. Also keep in mind that you need a litter box per cat plus an additional toilet and a sufficiently large scratching post: things that take up floor space. In a small bathroom, setting up the litter box can be a problem. However, from a cat’s point of view, the size of the apartment is less important than the quality of the apartment. If you give the animals enough incentives to exercise and explore, indoor-only cats can lead a balanced life in the rented apartment.
The prerequisite for this is that the animal has enough activity or, in the case of a sociable cat, a cat friend to play with: Boredom leads to mental atrophy, which in turn can lead to bad habits. Give the cats ample hours of play and cuddling. It is important that the animals can participate in what is happening outdoors.
All cats find it exciting to look out the window. It is not for nothing that the windowsill is the favorite place of many cats. Make sure there is at least one windowsill with an interesting view and not blocked by houseplants or knick-knacks. A comfortable cushion makes the cat box seat perfect. It is of course ideal if your apartment has a cat-proof balcony and this way the cat gets fresh air. Alternatively, you can secure a window with a protective net.
Outside balcony: What do I have to consider?
Cats that don’t go outside usually get along well in the apartment. Nevertheless, free access to the balcony or at least to a secure window that is occasionally open is a wonderful enrichment for the cat, which offers many exciting suggestions: noises, weather influences, smells, and, last but not least, exciting observations. However, the balcony must be cat-proof. This is also important with regard to the rental agreement: it may well be that keeping cats in the rented apartment is allowed, but the landlord forbids the installation of a cat protection net. A cat protection net or grid is essential for free access to the balcony. It quickly happened that a cat wasn’t careful and fell off the balcony, perhaps because it was distracted by a fluttering butterfly. The cats must not be able to squeeze through, climb or jump over a balcony railing. The path to the neighboring balcony must also be blocked so that the animals do not expand their territory to the neighboring apartment.