The best cats to own if you live in a flat
26th January, 2021
Living in a flat is the purr-fect excuse to get a cat as they make great apartment pets. They’re cute and they’re cuddly, and (unlike a certain other popular hairy species) they’re low maintenance, non-smelly and won’t slobber all over your best outfit. That said, some cat breeds do much better than others when it comes to living in the confines of an apartment.
From what breed to choose to what level of cat insurance you’ll need, there are many points to consider when setting up home with a feline. Purely Pets can help you find the level of protection you need, at a price that’s right for you.
Choosing your feline roommate
When thinking of whether a cat would be suited to your pad, it’s useful to look for the following temperament traits:
- An adaptable, easy going nature – A flat is not a cat’s natural habitat so you need one that will adapt.
- Doesn’t need to be highly active to be happy – A cat who’s happy to take it easy is a good option. Older cats can be more suited to this lifestyle.
- Softly spoken – Cats can be quite chatty. Constant loud meowing and calling will soon get you down when there’s nowhere else to go.
- Can be left alone – If you work or are out a lot during the day then some cats will get frustrated if left alone for hours on end.
- Sociable and not overly territorial – If you’re sharing a flat you need to get on with each other. And if you have visitors you don’t want your cat getting in a huff!
As well as taking their personality into account you also need to consider your own lifestyle. For example, if you love to entertain friends, be sure your cat will be able to tolerate so many other people and the potential noise and disruption they bring.
Best cats for flats
There are several breeds that are commonly considered to be good companions for those living in flats. Of course, even within each breed there will be variations in personalities and temperaments. So be sure to discuss this beforehand to ensure your feline friend will be a good fit for the living space.
Ragdoll cats got their name from the fact they love nothing more than to relax and go limp in their owner’s arms! Although a larger breed, because they’re so sociable, gentle, laidback and only moderately active, they’re a popular option for apartment dwellers. This breed likes to stay close to their owners and will demand all the love you can offer when you’re around. However, if you’re bothered by hair, the Ragdoll may not be for you as they require regular grooming.
Sometimes referred to as ‘furniture with hair’, adorably fluffy Persian cats love to nap and are tolerant and easy going towards visitors. However, while they make very relaxed roommates, they do need regular grooming and attention from their owners. So, someone who’s away a lot might not be the best fit.
With their stunning looks and independent approach to life, Russian Blue cats are ideal for working singles living alone. Their plush blue coat always looks great and requires little to no maintenance. Russian Blues are incredibly loyal to their human carers, but shy around strangers. But while they tend to be quiet observers, they do love to play so thrive more in a larger space.
Javanese cats are playful, very loving and a particularly vocal breed. So, if you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to chat with a cat, then the Javanese is for you! Although they will tolerate being left alone during the day, they really need a daily dose of one-to-one time to stay content. Because of their chatty nature, a larger living space works best to keep the noise to a manageable level.
Despite being full of typical British reserve, British Shorthair cats are the kings and queens of adaptability. Quiet and friendly, yet undemanding, they’ll happily cat nap through the day, and they won’t pester you with meows and pleas to play when you get home. However, while they aren’t the most active of cats, they are intelligent so require a fair amount of enrichment activities to keep them happy.
Whichever cat you settle on, you must always get familiar with the breed’s particular demands and health issues. By having suitable cat insurance in place, you’ll be able to give them the care they deserve without worrying about unexpected bills.
Don’t forget the dependable moggy
If you’re not looking for a pedigree puss then animal shelters are the perfect places to pick up a mellow, easy-going cat in need of a forever home. The benefit of adopting an adult cat from a rescue organisation is that the shelter staff will know which feline friend is suitable to your lifestyle.
Senior cats in particular should be considered as they tend to be especially calm and would appreciate a warm and loving home for their sunset years.
But why stop at just the one? Consider adopting two cats, either siblings or cats with compatible personalities. It’ll mean they always have company and can entertain each other while you’re away. You’ll also get double the love when you return!
Should you keep your cat indoors?
There are a whole range of advantages and disadvantages for cats who can roam freely outdoors just as there are for those kept safely inside.
Outdoors - pros and cons
- More room to exercise and be active.
- More places to explore and things to experience.
- Can exercise their innate hunting instincts.
- Unwanted pregnancies in female cats.
- Danger of injuries from fighting, disease and parasites.
- Risk of road accidents, poisoning or getting lost.
Indoors - pros and cons
- Basic needs of food, water and shelter are met at all times.
- Prevention of harm to cat’s health and local wildlife.
- Behavioural problems if the limited space causes frustration and stress.
- Can become overly reliant on you for fun, enrichment and company.
If you need some professional advice, cat insurance policyholders with Purely Pets can contact our free 24-hour Vet Helpline to speak to registered veterinary nurses.
Enrichment ideas for indoors
Whether or not you decide to keep your cat indoors, it’s vital to ensure they’re happy and comfortable whenever they’re at home. One of the key ways to do this is through environmental enrichment – this means providing adequate stimulation for their physical and mental wellbeing.
Cats are curious creatures and will become frustrated and anxious if there’s nothing for them to do. Here are some top tips to help provide much needed stimulation in your flat.
- Invest in some toys – Buying or even making objects for your cat to play with while you’re out is a great idea. Anything that makes a sound, moves or dispenses a treat are loved by cats. However, cats like variety so perhaps change the toys around regularly to keep things interesting. And don’t give too many treats in one day or you’ll risk them getting fat!
- Scratching posts – Sharpening their claws, stretching and marking their territory are all important parts of a cat's daily behaviour. There are many different types of scratching post available but they’ll all engage your cat and save your furniture!
- Opportunities to explore – When you watch a cat outside, you’ll see how much they like climbing, jumping and navigating different environments. If you have space you could mimic this. Install walkways, bridges and other structures on the walls to allow your cat to indulge its sense of adventure.
- Catnip – Some cats really enjoy the effects of catnip. It can help stimulate them, but also relaxes and makes them feel good. Rub some around the place to make them feel more relaxed about staying home.
- Show them some love – While cats are relatively solitary animals, they do require attention. As well as providing the necessities of fresh water and food always make time for some cuddles so they don’t feel lonely or stressed.
A cat who becomes unhappy or frustrated at home can soon start to display a number of behavioural problems including: destructive behaviour, over- or under-eating, toilet issues, repetitive or obsessive behaviour and attention seeking.
If your cat starts to show such issues, then consult your vet to make sure there isn't another underlying medical problem. By having the right cat insurance in place, you can get help early before problems become more serious.
Flat share health and safety risks for your pampered puss
While there are many benefits to you and your cat of living in an apartment, there are some significant dangers to their health and safety.
Unless you have a ground floor flat then one of the biggest dangers for your cat living in a high-rise home is falling from a balcony or open window. If you live in such a property then provide netting or other barriers around such areas. These can easily be camouflaged with plants or other decor. Do this even if your cat doesn’t normally have access to these areas as such a fall can lead to serious injury or even death.
And don’t ignore the inside of the home. Cats love to explore and despite their athleticism they’re still at risk of falling from a height. Staircases with open banisters, in particular, are a danger it’s easy to miss until it’s too late.
Small hidden areas such as the inside of washing machines and dryers or behind furniture are favourite places for cats to hang out. They might think they’re hiding in a safe place but if someone turns on the appliance or moves something without checking first it can cause serious injury.
A kitchen can be a dangerous place for a cat to roam. For example, it’s not difficult to leap up onto a kitchen counter and step onto an electric glass-topped stove to explore a delicious scent. This can lead to awful paw injuries in pet cats. And if your cat has a habit of getting under your feet in such a confined space an accident could easily occur.
With the quantity of chemicals and cleaning products regularly used in modern homes you need to make sure they’re kept in a cat-proof place. Some common house plants such as lilies, aloe vera, rubber plants and poinsettia are also toxic to cats.
Unfortunately, electric cords, cables and wires are a common source of interest for young cats who might have grown bored. If possible, tuck them away beneath a rug or other material to guard against an inquisitive feline chewing through them.
Small potentially edible objects, such as paper clips, safety pins and rubber bands, as well as thread and string, should always be stored in areas off-limits to cats.
Get a cat insurance quote with Purely Pets
Whether in a flat or a house, cats provide a great deal of companionship but also a range of challenges. If you want to ensure they always have the very best veterinary care it’s vital to arrange the most appropriate level of insurance cover. The caring team at Purely Pets are always working hard to find cover to suit all budgets and the needs of both cats and their owners.
When you take out award-winning cat insurance through Purely Pets, you’ll get cover for vet fees from £1,000 to £15,000 per year. You can even choose an excess level starting from just £60.
Our team of insurance specialists have carefully designed 15 levels of lifetime cover to give you the freedom to decide what’s right for you and your furry family members.
Our policies also provide added benefits such as:
- Cover for complementary treatments up to £1,000
- Cover for death from illness up to £2,000
- Cover for death from accident up to £2,000
- Cover for loss by theft or straying up to £2,000
Our online policy management portal gives you complete flexibility to manage your policy at a time to suit you.
Get a quick quote to insure your cat today.
Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.