For many of our feline friends, adjusting to life inside an apartment is simple. If you have an escape artist on your hands, pay close attention when coming or going through the front door, and be very careful when using any balconies.
One of the toughest adjustments for a cat that used to roam freely outdoors, is not having access to all the grass and plants they could eat. You may want to consider getting a cat grass plant for your apartment – or try growing your own with this handy DIY.
If your apartment is on a high floor, your cat may not have the same people-watching vantage point that they’re used to. If your cat longs to spend a lazy afternoon watching the world unfold around them, you may want to invest in a window perch or tall cat tree to offer the best views possible.
Perhaps the most obvious consideration when living in a smaller space with one or more cats, is the constant reminder of the importance of litter box maintenance. Apartments or condos often offer a more compact living space, meaning there is less distance between you and the litter box. It is recommended that your litter box be cleaned daily but, with a smaller space, you may want to scoop a couple times a day.
Many dogs around the world call an apartment or condo, “home”. While manageable for a lot of dogs and their owners, it is not without its challenges. Without easy access to a backyard or fenced area, it is very important that dogs that live in apartments are given ample opportunities to exercise. The number of walks and the duration will vary from one dog to the next, take care in finding what is right for your pet. In addition to regular walks, search your neighborhood for dog parks or secure off-leash areas to give your pup a chance for freedom and the room to get out a little extra energy.
For dogs that require a little more exercise, you may want to consider hiring a dog walker or using doggy daycare services when you will be away from home for a longer stretch of time. We did a helpful interview with a professional dog walker that may give you some pointers. With a smaller space, you’ll likely notice that dog hair seems to accumulate a lot faster. While it may result in more frequent cleaning of your home, you can help slow down the process with a grooming and brushing routine.
Speak to your veterinarian about behavioral training if your dog has a tendency to bark or get anxious when they are left alone. Being in close quarters with your neighbors make it especially important that you break these habits as quickly as possible. Some dogs are perfectly content being in a crate when home alone. Whether you choose to use a crate or not, make sure that your dog has a comfortable place to rest, has access to a favorite toy or two, and perhaps even a brain stimulating dog puzzle, like this one.