Last year I adopted a cat from a local shelter and brought him home to my apartment. Since then I’ve spend a lot time figuring out how to make the perfect living environment for me, my cat, Fox, and my roommate.

Meet Fox!

Here’s what you need (and one thing you really don’t) plus some tips I picked up over the past few months of having a pet in a rented space.

LITTERBOX – I looked at a lot of options and ended up getting a Modkat litterbox. At first I just had normal box and was vacuuming the floor around it every day, but this one has a screen on top to clean the litter off and it looks cooler than most litterboxes I’ve seen.

🐱 Your litterbox should be 1.5x bigger than the cat.
🐱 Put the litterbox where there’s people or stuff going on. Most cat owners hide it because it’s a litterbox, but cats like it near people. I keep it in my room.
🐱 Scoop everyday. I do it twice a day, morning and night. Since I live in an apartment, that ensures there’s no mess or smell.
🐱 Don’t put your cat’s food near the litter box. They’re not into mixing the two.
🐱 If you switch litterboxes, take some of the old litter and put it in the new box so they know where to go.
🐱 Even though cats can navigate the dark well, I still have a light near the litterbox so my cat can find it easily.

PET WIPES – The first couple times cats use their new litterbox it’s probably going to be messy and they’ll probably step in it. You can either bathe them with a pet shampoo or use pet wipes. My cat learned pretty quickly that I check him when he’s done and eventually they figure it out.

SOMETHING TO SCRATCH – If you want to save your furniture, you’ll also want something they can scratch. At first I just bought a normal-sized scratching post, but my cat didn’t like it so I bought an infinity shaped one (like this) that seems to be working well.

TIP: Even if you have something for your cat to scratch, I found out the hard way that you need to watch out for things with little holes- like the dust cover on your computer, etc. because cats love putting their claws in there and can get stuck.

ENTERTAINMENT – If you’re not at home all day, cats get bored. Especially if they’re in a small space. I subscribe to Meowbox, which is a monthly box filled with cat treats and toys. The company does research and figures out what cats like best. It’s nice because you can get a variety of toys and figure out what your cat likes best.

TIP: I also buy dental treats since gum disease is common in cats.

SMARTFEEDER – I talked to a vet who told me that you’re supposed to feed a cat 4x a day because it’s better for their health. Since I work all day, I decided to get a smartfeeder and I really like it. I have one that tells you the quality of the cat food and when the food is running low.

🐱 When you feed your cat or program a feeder, keep the schedule consistent so your cat is not asking for food at random times.

🐱 Make sure any wires on your feeder are super strong. My cat is really into biting wires and has so far ruined a laptop cord and a phone charger. Alternately, you can pick up a special spray for wires the keep cats away.

TRASH CANS – If you have open trash bins, cats will always knock them over and jump in. You should either put it in a cabinet or get one with a closed top (that isn’t easy to push open).

Things you don’t need:

A BED – It’s not necessary to have a special cat bed for your pet to sleep on. A box and a towel is just fine for most cats. My cat sleeps everywhere and loves one certain chair in particular.