10 Design Ideas For Cats In Small Apartments [2023]


10 Design Ideas For Cats In Small Apartments [2023]


If you’re a cat lover living in a small space, you know the struggle of finding ways to keep your furry friend happy without sacrificing precious square footage. This post is all about design ideas for cats in small apartments.

Whether you’re living in an apartment or a tiny home, there are many design techniques that can help you create a comfortable and stimulating environment for your feline companion. In this blog post, we will explore some creative design ideas that are perfect for small spaces and will keep your cat purring with delight.

RELEVANT: Crochet Cat Couch

Is It Okay To Have A Cat In A Small Apartment?

Modern Furniture For Cats

The short answer is yes. If you adopted a kitty cat from a rescue, a small apartment could now be a mansion to that feline in a cage. So don’t worry; there are plenty of ways to keep your furry friends happy in tiny spaces. It just takes a little bit of extra thinking. 

How To Make Your Small Home Cat-Friendly

Grab your notepad and be ready to jot some stuff down, because here are a handful of ideas for cats in small apartments!

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Furniture Solutions For Cats In Small Places

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The Ideal Scratching Post For Cats: Cat Approved

Ideas For Cats In Small Apartments

Ideas for Cats in Small ApartmentsIdeas for Type, Designing, and Styling
Vertical space utilizationWall-mounted shelves for climbing and perching
Tall cat trees with multiple levels and scratching posts
Cat wall climbing systems with various platforms
Window perches or hammocks for bird-watching
Hanging toys or feather wands for interactive play
Space-saving furnitureCat-friendly shelves integrated into bookshelves or wall units
Ottoman or storage benches with hidden cat beds or hiding spots
Modular cat furniture that can be rearranged or stacked
Cat tunnels or hideaways that can be folded or collapsed for storage
Cat hammocks attached to the underside of chairs or tables
Interactive toys and puzzlesTreat-dispensing puzzle toys for mental stimulation
Automated laser pointers or interactive electronic toys
Interactive puzzle feeders for food or treats
Motion-activated toys that trigger movement or sound
Catnip-filled plush toys or balls for independent play
Vertical scratching optionsVertical sisal scratching posts or mats attached to walls
Tall scratching poles with different textures or materials
Cardboard scratching surfaces mounted on walls or furniture
Cat scratching pads or loungers that can be hung on doors
Wall-mounted scratching panels or boards
Safe and comfortable resting areasCat beds with integrated hiding spots or elevated platforms
Cozy and compact cat caves or igloos
Soft and washable window sill cushions or perches
Radiator beds or hammocks for warmth during winter
Cat-friendly window seats or shelves for lounging
Vertical play opportunitiesCat tunnels or tubes attached to walls or ceilings
Hanging ropes or bungee cords for climbing or swinging
Wall-mounted interactive toys with dangling objects
Perches or platforms near windows for vertical play
Feather toys or fishing pole toys hung from above

These ideas can help provide cats in small apartments with ample opportunities for play, exercise, and relaxation while optimizing the use of limited space. Remember to prioritize safety and ensure that any climbing apparatus or furniture is securely anchored. Additionally, consider your cat’s preferences and behavior when choosing toys and designing the space to create an environment that suits their needs.

1. Take advantage of vertical space!

If you live in a house or an apartment with limited square footage, it is easy to get overwhelmed when considering bringing an animal into the mix. One easy way to overcome this stress is to take advantage of any vertical space your new home offers. 

One thing people need to understand about cats is that they are instinctually drawn to higher places. Cats love to be in an area that allows them to survey the land below them to keep an eye out for any possible threats and potential food sources. (Although the food sources part is mostly for cats still living in the wild.)

This is why I am such a fan of cat wall furniture, like cat shelves. Not only is it eye candy for your home decor, but it is also ideal for small spaces with limited floor space. And the most important factor, your cat loves wall shelves and climbing apparatus!

An absolute favorite here at Kritter Kommunity is Tuft and Paw’s Vista cat shelf. I love it because it is the perfect size for a cat to lie comfortably and relax on the wall.

Lined with beautiful grey fur, this cat shelf provides hours of observation time for an indoor cat.


2. Ideas for Cats in Small Apartments: Unique Litter Box Designs

There is one thing that is almost entirely unavoidable when owning a cat, and that is having to have a litter box. Litter boxes can be stinky, take up a lot of space, and can be pretty ugly in most cases. All of these things can make people living in small spaces not want a cat, and if you’re one of those people, don’t be discouraged! There are so many other options out there!

For starters, there are litter boxes that can be bought that are designed to look like fake potted plants. Your cat just walks into what looks like the pot of the plant to take care of business and walks right out, keeping the smell locked in while also not looking like a place an animal would go to relieve themselves.

There are also plenty of DIYs out there that show you how to create storage containers into cat litter boxes so you don’t have to worry about the smell getting all over your small apartment. Some of these DIYs can also double as furniture.

How cool!

No matter what you decide to go with, try to make your cat’s new litter box multifunctional by not only giving him a place to go that is hidden but by also giving him a place to perch on top of. 

3. Ideas for Cats in Small Apartments: Cat scratchers

If you have been seriously considering getting a cat as a pet, you know that having cat scratchers is very important. Cats love to keep their claws in tip-top shape, and they do so by scratching on things. No one wants the furniture they spent a lot of money on to get ruined by their new furry friend, so cat catchers are a must. But what do you do if you live in an apartment?

My cat’s favorite scratchers are here:

Finnegan’s on one of his favorite cat scratchers

Cat scratchers on the market seem to be made with the cat owners in small spaces in mind. Some cat scratchers have been designed and made to be attached to walls, so just like the suggestions in our first point, they take advantage of any vertical space you wouldn’t typically use.

Some cat scratchers have been designed to fit around the corners of furniture, so they won’t take up any extra space than the furniture you already have.

To understand more about your cat’s anatomy and why his claws need a scratcher, check out this blog post we wrote that should shed some light! 

RELEVANT: Why Do Cat Claws Have To Be So Sharp? Murder Mittens Explained

4. Cat Toys

No matter what kind of pet you have, you want to keep them spoiled and entertained. Cat owners love to buy their best friends all the new cool and fun colored toys they see while out and about, but where do you put them all if you live in a small space?

Well, if your cat is a fan of the toys on wands, you can hang them up on cat towers and walls so they aren’t laying all over the floor. Another option is to get a small basket to keep the toys in while they aren’t being played with. Keep this basket off in the corner or under a shelf; possibly even in the space, you have on your tv stand. 

It is also very important to set time out of your schedule each day to play with your cat. Remember, a tired cat is highly unlikely to go after and make a mess of things he shouldn’t.

One way I like to get Finnegan exercise and release some energy is using the famous Da Bird toy. He loves to chase it!

Even MORE than the Da Bird toy, he has been loving this rainbow felt wand toy.

I have no idea why he likes it so much, but it is has absolute favorite wand to right now. For bunny kicks, he likes plump YEOWWW toys. The catnip is one of the best cat attracting that I have found.


All of these products are available via Amazon.

5. Design Ideas for Cats in Small Apartments: Colors

Design ideas for cats in small apartments can be challenging, but with the right preparation, it can be done successfully.

One useful tip is to choose furniture and decor with light colors. This creates an illusion of a larger space and makes it less cluttered.

For cat lovers, this means considering light-colored litter boxes, cat towers, and toys. By incorporating light colors into the design, you can create a cozy and comfortable environment for your furry friend to play and relax in, without sacrificing your own living space. So, if you’re struggling to design a nice living space in a small apartment, consider using light colors to open up the space and create a welcoming atmosphere.

There are plenty of ideas for cats in small apartments for you to borrow from. These are just a handful!

6. Fake Plants

For cat owners in small places, adding greenery to your home can be a challenge. Cats have a notorious love of plants that often leads to destruction, leaving owners with no choice but to resort to fake plants. However, there is a solution that not only adds some much-needed greenery to your space but also enriches your cat’s life. Consider investing in some large potted fake plants! These eye-catching decorations add a touch of nature to your small room and provide your furry friend with a fun new addition to their daily routine.

But why stop at just one fake plant? Get creative and combine your love of cats and plants by searching for a cat tower that doubles as a fake plant.

This innovative piece of furniture not only provides your cat with a comfortable place to hang out but also adds a leafy decor piece to your home.

So, if you’re tired of sacrificing your love of plants for the sake of your cat, consider incorporating some large fake plants into your home decor. Your cat will thank you for the added enrichment, and you’ll enjoy a beautiful new addition to your space.

Using a cat tree is the perfect way to achieve combining a plant with a cat friendly piece of furniture.

7. Combine Needs

It’s no secret to cat lovers that cats enjoy having plenty of places to sneak off to and hide while also needing to scratch at things. The scratching, while sometimes annoying, is necessary to keep their nails sharp and healthy. But what do you do if you want to provide everything your cat needs if you live in a small space?

First thing’s first, you don’t want to have too many pieces of furniture meant for your cat. Try to pick pieces that are meant to accomplish multiple needs that your cat may have at once such as cat towers. They are created so that your cat can perch up high, hide in small places, and claw away at the posts!

In some pet stores across the world and even online, you can find cat beds that are in the shape of teepees. These are not only functional but also attractive, especially for people trying to make the most of their small living spaces. Some of these stores may even sell these cat bed teepees with cat scratchers attached to them on the sides, and if they don’t, then get to DIYing! 

If you don’t like the look of the cat bed teepees, it is also fairly easy to take an old box and customize that to whatever you need. Just get to thinking what exactly your cat is needing in his environment, and craft it! 

8. Get Creative

We get it, you want your living space to be functional and beautiful. Cat scratchers just don’t look right with your decor and you’re starting to get worried about how you’re going to keep your cat from going after your furniture. So what should you do?

Well, to put it very simply, there is no way around having a designated place for your cat to relieve its scratching urges. However, there are some fun and unique looking scratchers designed to keep cat lovers and their pets happy at the same time! It may take some diving into internet searches, but there are some sunflowers, cactus, wall art, and many other fun designs for cat scratchers that can easily be included in your home decor theme!

9. Take Your Time

Since you are living in a small space, your cat may likely get bored at some point in his life. Because this is the case, you’re going to want to be very mindful when choosing the textiles and materials of any furniture, blankets, and curtains that you buy. 

When people are in a smaller space, it is much easier to pick out and notice flaws. If your cat has been clawing at your furniture or snagging his claws on the throw blankets and curtains, your guests are going to be sure to notice. That being said, keep in mind to pick out very simple and smooth fabrics, and be sure to invest in quality! More things to avoid are going to be wooden and wicker furniture. Your cat is going to have a hard time damaging any metal or chrome furniture! You want to know that the products that you have purchased are going to stand the test of time, along with everything your pet is going to  put them through!

10. Hide Bowls and Bags

Many pet owners choose to have a designated space for their furry friends to eat every day, and that is perfectly fine! However, if you are living in a smaller apartment and are looking for ways to conserve space while also owning a cat, one easy way to clear up some space is by storing food bowls and food when they’re not in use. 

Try to keep your cat’s bag of food hidden in a cabinet or a pantry/closet so that it is out of sight. Another thing you could do to keep clutter off the floor is to keep your cat’s food bowl hidden inside the bag of food when it is not eating. This, unfortunately, is not a tip that can apply to water bowls as your cat is going to need access to water all day, but even just keeping the food bags out of the way makes for a much cleaner-looking living space. 

Design Ideas for Cats in Small Places Concluding Thoughts

To sum up, designing a living space for a cat in a small apartment can be challenging, but it’s definitely possible with some creativity. Here are some ideas to make the most of small spaces for your feline friend:

  • Provide vertical space with cat trees and shelves that can also serve as scratching posts
  • Create a designated cat room or corner with a cozy bed, toys, and a litter box solution that works for small spaces
  • Incorporate cat-friendly design elements like wall perches and play walls that keep your cat entertained
  • Consider a catio (outdoor cat enclosure) that can be installed on a balcony or patio for fresh air and exercise
  • Opt for multi-functional furniture that can also serve as a cat bed or hiding spot 

Remember to keep your cat’s safety and comfort in mind when designing their living space. And don’t forget to provide plenty of love and attention to keep them happy and content in their small home.

We hope these tips will help you in your journey and showed you that a cat in small places can be very doable! Your cat can be happy while also keeping your living space comfortable and stylish.

This post is all about design ideas for cats in small apartments.

Lisa Illman is the Founder of Kritter Kommunity, LLC. She has a tuxedo adult cat and has had him since he was a baby kitten. Before her cat Finnegan, Lisa had had two FIV-positive cats for over a decade. They inspired Lisa to invent a cat enclosure and a portable catio so they could safely sit outside and enjoy fresh air and sunshine. Lisa had a Poodle and a parakeet growing up. She currently loves to pet-sit for her neighbors’ dogs and cats.

Why is Kritter Kommunity Your Trusted Partner?

Our mission at Kritter Kommunity is to promote happy and healthy lives for pets and their owners. We specialize in Barkitecture and designing tips for pet-friendly homes, utilizing the natural instincts of cats, dogs, and small critters to create a home life that pets and people love. From tips on pet care to reviews on pet toys and furniture, we are a go-to source for all things cats, dogs and small critters. Join us in celebrating the joys of pet ownership and providing the best possible lives for our furry friends.