Can I Have an Indoor Cat In a Studio Apartment?

Adopting a cat was one of the first things I wanted to do when I moved into my first studio apartment. I know that lots of other pet lovers who have started to live by themselves are in the same position now.

Assuming that your landlord gives you permission, your studio apartment can be an excellent place to cohabitate with one or even more cats. Cats can live happily indoors even in small spaces as long as their needs are catered for. However, sharing one room and bathroom with cats can have some unique challenges that you need to consider before deciding to take one in. Make

Is keeping a cat in a studio apartment cruel?

Cats are often thought of as low maintenance pets, but they may suffer if you don’t make the environment suitable for them. Cats need to be able to fulfil their natural instincts to be happy at home. This means that they need to be able to claim territory, fulfil their need to hunt, and be mentally stimulated. We’ve gone over these topics in detail before. You would address your indoor cat’s needs the same way in a studio apartment as you would in a mansion. Giving them interesting spaces to make their own, providing interesting things to play and interact with, and most importantly through regular play.

A lot of people who are considering getting a cat for their studio apartment will be concerned that the limited space will be a cruel permanent living environment for their cat. The ASPCA has stated that cats need a minimum of 18 square feet of living space per cat. To help you visualise this, the average parking space is over 100 square feet. Unless you live in a closet you will have enough space for this. Many cat behaviourists would also agree on this. Cats will be okay in a small space, as long as that space has been made interesting and comforting for them. If you are renting, buying at least one cat tree is a good start to making your cat happy in your home.

Aside from managing your limited living space, keeping a cat happy in a studio apartment will rely on your keeping them entertained throughout the day the same way you would any other indoor cat. Although they can act aloof cats will be upset when you aren’t around. If you have a schedule which means that you are away for more than a normal working day or can’t provide regular play time, you should consider if you are able to give a cat a good life. Cat sitters and passive pay toys are options but not long-term solutions to your cat’s happiness.

A lot of people will consider adopting a pair of cats to address some of the behavioural issues that can develop from a single cat being left alone during the day. We generally think that this is a good idea and there isn’t any reason why a pair of cats can’t comfortably live along with you in a studio apartment. Keeping two cats in a studio apartment won’t be too different from keeping one cat in the same space. You just need to be prepared to deal with the benefits and difficulties of having cats which we have covered in this article.

Is keeping a cat in a studio apartment difficult?

We think that the most difficult thing about living with a cat in a studio apartment is the fact that you won’t ever be able to escape from them. If you are looking forward to having your own cat this can seem like a good problem to have but we recommend thinking about the real problems you are going to face from this.

Living with a cat in an open plan studio apartment will mean no privacy ever. If you are planning on keeping a litter tray in the bathroom you will need to make sure that the door is always open so they can access it. You will also need to be very consistent with cleaning littery trays to prevent smells from taking over your apartment. If you have a balcony that you regularly use you will need to either install some cat netting or risk your cat escaping. Unless you have a particularly large closet, you won’t have a spare room to safely put dangerous or delicate objects away from your cat. This is going to be essential if you have any hobbies with items that your cat could damage or be injured from. Hobbies like embroidery or model making are constantly at the peril of your cat’s teeth and claws.

Most importantly, at night you won’t be able to lock them out of the bedroom while you want to sleep but they still want attention. We would usually deal with cats that are meowing at night by completely ignoring them. This will be a lot more difficult when you live in the same room and have the ability to paw at your face. Having no separation between your sleeping and living area will also mean that it will be difficult to keep your cat off of the bed, some people don’t like this for hygiene.  

We love our cats and always make sure that they have had enough attention for the day to be happy but sometimes we like our personal time away from them if they are being a bit too chaotic. If you are a light sleeper or regularly work from home in a studio apartment an energetic cat can be very disruptive to your life.

Indoor cats that aren’t properly cared for can develop behavioural problems and even depression. Poorly socialised cats may be aggressive to you and other people who come into your apartment. Cats with behavioural problems can make life at home a pain and things will be even more difficult if you are renting a small space. Some cats can start spraying in the house, when they urinate on objects, and cause serious permanent damage.


Its completely feasible to keep one or more cats in a studio apartment. You need to take steps to ensure their happiness while living indoors permanently but this isn’t any different from how you would take care of an indoor cat in a large house. If you are concerned that keeping a cat in a small apartment is cruel, many professionals recognise that its what you do with the space that really matters. A large empty room would be worse than a small one that has places where your cat can explore and feel at home in. Before deciding to get any pet, make sure that you have enough time to dedicate them to love them properly.

The main thing we think you should consider is if you think you could cope with constantly being with your cat while you are at home. Playful cats will likely mean that you will lose sleep as you and your cat acclimate to each other’s schedules. It can be difficult to keep small apartments tidy but you may be forced to remove objects that are dangerous to your cat and can’t fit into storage.

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