The 7 Best Apartment Cats

The 7 Best Apartment Cats

Cats make the perfect housemate. Cats can easily adapt to indoor living and will quickly form a routine, such as following the sun via the various apartment windows.


They are independent creatures, so they can cope with your busy life. They will see you off with an affectionate blink in the morning and be happy to welcome you home in the evening, having spent a day of sleeping, eating, observation and thought.

What Qualities Does A Cat Need To Be The Best Apartment Cat?

Cats are like people; they’re all different. Like people, cats can be excitable or relaxed, outgoing or shy, you get the idea. What qualities should you look for in a good apartment cat?


A sweet-natured cat, such as the Ragdoll is a pleasure to come home to. You and your cat be living in close quarters, so a gentle presence, I think, would be the best choice.


With the smaller space, you need to get on well with both the humans and the pets in your apartment. A cat who loves human company, such as the dog-like Manx Cat, will also be an asset when your friends drop over.

Not Active

In smaller spaces and without the outside world to let off steam, a less active homebody cat would be a good choice, such as the British Shorthair.


Consider potential shedding; a shorthair cat or one that does not shed, such as the Scottish Fold might be a good choice.

Not Clingy

Consider how long the cat will generally be alone; you could choose a Russian Blue or a Persian, who can amuse himself, or you could consider adopting two cats, preferably littermates.

But A Specific Breed Is Not Necessary

The qualities listed above are the ideal combination of characteristics for good apartment cats, but I know from experience that the right rescue cat will be thrilled to be adopted and will adapt. AND an older cat will be worldly, more able to adapt and possibly less active.

Can Cats Live In Apartments?

Cats can live in apartments very successfully, but you need to take the following items into account:

  • Your cat needs to be kept stimulated; boredom can cause unhappiness and behavorial problems.
  • The window will be the most important spot for your cat; it’s the cat TV! Is the sill wide enough for a cat to sit on comfortably? Do you need to add a perch? I’m sorry, but you won’t be able to keep your treasures on the windowsill.
  • Where will you put the cat tree? The square footage of the apartment is much less important than the height that your cat can climb to.
  • If a cat tree is not an option, consider shelves at strategic places on the wall. They should lead to a high perch for kitty to look down from.
  • Consider toys that your cat can play with without you.
  • Cats love to hide, and will often come up with their own creative hiding spots. Consider your cat’s habits when you are placing the furniture. Get down on your hands and knees to see your apartment from your cat’s point of view.
  • Where will you put the feeding station?
  • Where will you put the litter box?
  • What about scratching posts?  Better a scratching post than your couch.
  • Your cat’s bed should be enclosed to provide privacy and somewhere to hide.
  • If you are fortunate enough to have a balcony, invest in a cat harness and leash. Always keep your cat restrained on the balcony.
  • Windows need to have heavy-duty screens fitted.
  • You’ll need to commit to cleaning your apartment every day. Sweep the floor, wipe the surfaces that your cat likes to sit on and check their feeding station.
  • Keep your treasures in cupboards with reliable locks. Invest in some containers with lids. Underbed storage containers are a great choice for a small apartment.
  • Consider the change of seasons. In summer, you need to think about ventilation and shades on the windows. In winter, a blanket on the windowsill and in favorite spots would be appreciated.
  • Even though your cat is an indoor cat, collar ID and microchipping are still essential, just in case.

Cat Proof Your Apartment

  • Keep anything toxic to your cat locked up. This includes items containing chemicals:
  • Medications
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Makeup (yes, makeup has chemicals in it!)
  • Tie up blind cords or anything with strings as far as you can reach.
  • Is your cat attracted by electrical cords? Unplug electrical appliances, tie up electrical cords, don’t leave electrical cords on the floor.
  • Most plants are toxic to cats.

How To Keep Your Cat From Going Outside

You need a plan to keep your cat from running out the door. If you’re really lucky, there will be a vestibule area at your front door that can be closed when you’re answering the door.

It’s more likely that the front door will be part of the open area of your apartment. You’ll get to know your own cat and the behavior when they are plotting an escape.

If your cat is an escape artist, a spray deterrent will be helpful. It has a motion detector and when the cat gets to within 3 feet, it will give a short and sudden spray of non-toxic unscented mist.

Is There A Cat Proof Balcony?

You want the best for your cat, and a breath of fresh air seems like an essential part of life. However, your cat’s safety is infinitely more important than a breath of fresh air. They will still thrive even if all of their time is spent indoors, so don’t stress about it.

  • You could enclose your balcony in wire mesh. If you are renting, you’ll need to get the owner’s permission, and even if you own your apartment, you need to check the rules of the building.
  • You could construct or purchase a cat enclosure that is accessed by a cat door. You would need to always look for where your cat is when you open the people door to the balcony.

An alternative to the balcony is taking your cat for a walk on leash, as long as your cat is leash-trained, and your area is safe in terms of roaming dogs.

Even if you have taken all precautions, remember your cat is very intelligent and wily. Supervise their outside trips and keep them restrained.

Is It Cruel To Keep A Cat Indoors?

If a cat is born to be indoors, or if it is a rescue cat that is used to being indoors, then that is all they know. When adopting a rescue cat, consult the shelter staff about finding a cat that is suited to living indoors.

There are many advantages to keeping your cat inside:

  • Safety from cars, dogs, cruel humans and other cats
  • Safety from catching diseases from other cats
  • Less chance of contracting fleas or ticks

Pay attention to your cat and consider your cat when you’re decking out your apartment, they will live a happy and longer life indoors.

The Best Cat Breeds For Apartments

Cats in general are great apartment dwellers, but some cats are more suited than others. Here are the 7 most suited for sharing your apartment life.

1. Ragdoll

The Ragdoll is a sweet cat and very people oriented, especially with children. They enjoy playtime, but also are a loving lap cat. They are sociable with other pets. Keep in mind that their coat needs to be groomed every second day.

2. Russian Blue

The Russian Blue is a gentle, quiet and intelligent cat who prefers an indoor life. They like a tranquil life and will not appreciate boisterous cats, dogs or children. I imagine them whiling away their time listening to classical music.

3. Persian

The placid Persian cat doesn’t mind being by themselves, although they will welcome you home. They require daily grooming and like most cats, they thrive with a play session at the end of the working day.

4. Manx

Manx cats are intelligent, fun loving and get on well with children. They are very security conscious and make great “watch cats.”

5. Scottish Fold

The sweet-tempered Scottish Fold is ideal for singles, as they usually bond to one person in the household. They are not clingy cats and prefer to be in your vicinity rather than on your lap.

6. British Shorthair

The undemanding British Shorthair is the perfect household companion. Not an active cat, they are happy to live an indoor life. The British Shorthair likes to settle down beside you rather than on your lap and is loving and affectionate.

7. Rescue Cat

There are many shelter cats out there that would be grateful for a serene and secure apartment life. In my experience, shelter cats make the most affectionate and thoughtful cats because they so appreciate having a loving home.

Look for an adult cat whose personality is already locked in. The shelter staff will be able to point out the perfect cat, or two, for this indoor life. Look at that face!

Leave a Comment:

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Ron says

Scottish fold is so oh cute.! Lovely apartment cat indeed. Thanks for sharing this info.
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    Deb says

    Thanks for your comment Ron!
    I have known a couple of Scottish Folds, and the one I knew best was smart and funny and a true friend.
    Anybody living in an apartment would benefit from these lovely cats!
    PS Your website is very helpful, pity I’m in Australia.

Tessa says

You are so right about Ragdolls making great apartment cats. I have never owned on myself but a friend has a rescue organization and the rag dolls always seem the happiest even in a small room with other cats. She allows them to roam with the other cats so that they all can have a bit more space. Thanks for the great article, Tessa
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    Deb says

    Hi Tessa.
    Thanks so much for leaving your comment.
    Yep, I think “laid back” definitely describes the Ragdoll!

Kathleen Calado says

Great advice there! Been thinking lately of adopting a cat since I’m all alone in my condo right now and you my friend had listed down every single detail that I need to know. Thanks for sharing this! Keep up the great work!

    Deb says

    You’re so sweet! I’m really glad my post was helpful!
    I hope you find your furry housemate really soon.

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