Apartment Story: Finding My “Cat Soulmate”
I have been wanting a pet for almost two years now, but I always thought I was a dog person since I have never had a cat before. However, cats are best for the working girl lifestyle, so I had to weigh my options.
I have had mixed experiences with cats – in part because their body language is much different than that of dogs; I think some negative experiences may have been a product of miscommunication. Lately, I have been meeting really endearing cats. It seems fairly trendy to have a cat especially if you live in a city so I have become acquainted with a number of my friend’s cats. These experiences certainly upped my desire to have one of my own and also proved the feasibility of working full time and taking in an animal.
But how do you pick the right cat though? I fall in love with dogs every day, but I feared I wouldn’t know it if I connected with a cat. Would a cat destroy my house (I’ve heard of many cats from hell ripping up couches and carpeting)? As I started looking into adoption, I still had many questions, fears, and concerns about how a new furry friend might fit into my lifestyle or alter my routines.
Then a fateful opportunity came to light. A friend of a friend was going out of town for a month and needed someone to watch her cat. It was the perfect opportunity to have a trial run with a feline. I could get the answers to my questions without making a huge commitment up front.
Three days in, I fell in love with the cat (his name is Rajah).
Knowing I was sure it was time to adopt one of my own, I got pre-approved with a ton of rescue groups so I could bring a kitty home pretty much as soon as Raj’s owner picked him up. I was almost afraid to be in an empty apartment again without a furry friend to keep me company. It was so much fun coming home to meows and cuddles. I met with a few cats in foster care. I was very close to adopting a sweet domestic long haired kitty, but couldn’t stop comparing her and the other potential adoptees to Rajah, the cat who has been living with me all of January. He’s got all the attributes I could want in a cat (no scratching, good litter habits, affectionate and loving, decently dog friendly, and adorable).
When the owner got back, it made it through the grapevine that I was in love with her cat and was interested in keeping him. It turned out she was thinking of re-homing him due to some career changes and the fact that the cat and her dog were not getting along great. So she offered to give him to me.
I was thrilled. It all fell into place at the right time and with the right cat. Ultimately, I think it was a huge weight lifted off the former owner’s shoulders, too. It all felt meant to be, he is the perfect match for me and now he has a definite forever home!
The whole experience taught me several lessons on cat ownership in an apartment. Here are a few quick tips:
Before you consider adopting an animal be familiar with your apartment’s pet policy
Some apartments have breed restrictions on dogs or limit pets to one per household. Read up on your lease. Having a new, fluffy tenant also may incur a monthly fee (pet rent) AND/OR a deposit to cover potential damages – it’s important to consider the financial implications of adopting a pet. In addition to apartment or condo fees related to having a pet, pets require supplies, food, in a cat’s case, litter, and yearly vet appointments. Be sure to consider these costs and responsibilities before taking home a buddy.
Speaking of litter: Use flushable litter
I was concerned having a cat might cause my apartment to get smelly. Not so! There’s World’s Best Litter which is biodegradable and thus flushable. Use this so you don’t have to scoop litter from box to trash – just flush it away. It makes it easier to scoop litter twice per day and keep my apartment smelling nice. I also recommend using companies like Chewy to order litter and food for your pet and get it delivered right at your door – there’s no reason to lug pet supplies around the city if you don’t have to.
If you are new to cats, learn their body language
You are about to be living in close quarters with a critter, so you need to learn to understand them. The Jackson Galaxy videos are great for this! Or read a book. There are plenty great titles on how to build a relationship on cats and how to take proper care of one.
Like with any other major commitment, don’t forget to do you research. Be sure you understand what is required of you as the owner of your pet before adopting an animal and if you are in the market for a new pet and a new apartment, Apartment Showcase can help you find pet friendly places to live!