Monday, April 15, 2013

Pets and Small Spaces

As you may remember, I am spending the week with a fluffy little monster named Pewter. This is not the first time I have watched him, nor is it the first time I have cat-sit in the condo (a few kitties have come to call his tiny condo their temporary home!). If there is one thing I have learned about sharing a studio apartment with a cat, it is that you both need to carve out your own space.

For instance, on Friday night I realized Pewter was sitting on my pillow with his dirty cat butt (eww- that's where my face goes when I sleep). This was more disturbing because I had just taken a nap and his butt might have been there all day. I should also note that I am mildly allergic to cats and my eyes do not like to lie in a pillow full of hair and pet dander. However, I cannot get mad at Pewter for sitting on my pillow. It is a comfy spot with a good view out to the city! Once I figured out that Pewter was just trying to look out the window, I cleared off half of my bedside table for his royal highness' butt and I haven't been able to get him off of it since!

Best seat in the house
I think the trick to living comfortably with a pet in a small condo is twofold:
1) Training the pet to respect your space (bed, countertops, sleep time!)
2) Giving the pet their own space

Believe or not, cats can be trained. People tend not to try with cats, but it is entirely possible. You can sternly tell them not to go somewhere and remove them from the situation they are in. You can ignore their crying so that they learn to be quiet (FYI- apparently cats do not meow to communicate with each other, it is something they use just for humans). Heck, some people have even trained their cats to use the toilet! There are lots of online tutorials and books on the subject.

Carving out Spaces
I already did a post on litterboxes for small condos, so go look there if you need some ideas for the area!

If you don't want to share some living spaces with your pet, you need to let the pet have it's own space. Cats are territorial and will appreciate feeling like they have the upper hand in ownership of the condo (Ok, I have no source for that, I just know from experience). Some cats go under the bed or behind the couch because they are scared, but some just like to chill in their own "spot". Pewter seems to really enjoy napping under my bed. If I had a full-time cat, I might buy a platform or slightly lofted bed so the cat could really get some space (and so I could access for cleaning). Other options for cats would be building shelves for the cat to hang out on, since cats like to climb and have good views of the living area. Or you could buy a cat hammock for your chair or coffee table!


I know lots of people who lives with pets in a small space, and I think it is really something that takes time and planning to co-exist harmoniously. Do you have pets in a small home? Any tips for living happily together?


  1. I do, I do! You already know - I have 2 dogs and a cat living in approximately 600 square feet. And we're all quite happy doing it! Pekoe is actually an indoor-outdoor cat, and happiest that way, as are we, though he lived completely indoors for the first year we were in the city as a condo kitty.

    These days, Pekoe gets a whole room to himself. He needs a little extra protection from the rough way the dogs play. His favourite place to sleep? My sock basket!

    1. haah I thought of you when i wrote this. Im sure Pekoe finds high perches and looks down on those pooches with contempt!

  2. While cats are semi-trainable, it is actually hard to get them to like things you buy specifically for them to lay on/live in. They love scratching posts, but apart from that, I've never been successful with any "cat beds" or the like. They want to lay where they want when they want and it is often your computer, warm towels, or suitcases. Just love having a friend to come home to while you can :)

    1. the trick is to pretend you dont want the cat to lay in the cat bed and they will ;)

      I often find it is placement too. Cats like to be in view of everything so putting the bed near where you hang out might entice them to lay in it.

      and I am enjoying being greeted when I get home!! even if it is only because he ate all his food and needs more!


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