How do I cat-proof my 1 bedroom apartment?

Mr_Kitty

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Hello good people!

I am a music producer with a lot of expensive electronics which are super attractive to a young kitten or even an adult cat. I wish I had another room so I could lock the cat out of it and know that unless I leave the room open, all the contents of that room are safe from the cat.

I thought of getting room dividers and cordoning off the computer desk with all of the electronics on it as well as my $700 Secretlab chair which I am worried about as well. I thought I would find a very smooth surface divider which he wouldn't be able to climb but I learned they can jump as high as 6-7 feet if they must... Let alone there is a sofa right next to the possible divider location. I found a couple dividers but I would have to buy 3 and they're like 150-250 dollars EACH let alone they are climbable.

I have a beautiful new Faux Leather sofa bed as well as a beautiful Real Leather recliner and separate leather foot rest and I am worried my kitten will scratch it all... I found some furniture protectors but they won't protect the sides and corners and technically the kitten can remove it or claw through it.

I know I can think about all of those valuables and knickknacks which should be removed from counters and other high spots where the kitten can knock it off of but I can't start moving and removing everything. What do you do in my situation?

I think I am going to get some decent plastic boxes for my hard drives and other electronics. I am going to have to cover my laptop every time I finish using it and put my musical instruments away. I am afraid my kitten might pee/poop on something or just knock it over or chew the wires or something... So I am also going to do some cable management and bunch all the cables together however possible and wrap them in cable protectors.

Maybe I can get some cheap but durable blankets and cover the sofa and recliner but how long will I have to live like that cause the furniture is real nice and I want to continue enjoying it and displaying it the way it should be displayed.

I am watching a lot of professional cat videos on YouTube and one of the people I started following is Jackson Galaxy. Let me know how I can safely cat-proof my apartment and also what do I do in terms of my new bed/mattress? I am afraid my kitten will pee on it and then it will stink so bad, let alone it's gross lol. My friend's cat peed on their bed and they had to buy a new mattress.

When is all this craziness over and I can just trust my kitten will be safe to be left alone unsupervised without ruining something? This is giving me anxiety and I want to make sure I am prepared for the day it gets here. Also the idea of the cat walking around on hygienic surfaces like where my clean dishes are or where I eat kind of grosses me out (I never had a cat or a dog before so I never got used to this) and I feel like I should be grossed out by it considering it walks all over its poop in the litter-box and then walking on all of those surfaces which I would clean MYSELF before I approach, so I obviously don't want a cat to make me eat his own feces lol.

I know I probably just need to grow up and be okay with most of this cause this is the reality of owning a cat but MAYBE JUST MAYBE there is a solutions so I am posting here.
 

game misconduct

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well at lowes they sell plastic tubing made to cover wires, cable,spower cords etc.in 6 foot lengths they work i use em the scratching furniture etc. few good cat trees and scratching posts would help :lol:but with all your music gear your apartments gonna look like a hoarder living there. after the cat gear is added. the jumping on counters will take time and patience on your part to teach the cat its not allowed to climb there(keep in mind all bets are off when your not around) but a good cleaning before and after your meal prep and eating hopefully will take care of the anxiety but it sounds like your gonna have all sorts of valuable electronics your cats going to want to climb onto its in their nature to explore ,get in your way while busy might be better to hold off on getting a cat until you have more space unless you can keep all your recording stuff in the bedroom and just not allow the cat bedroom access i do that with my cat in the single bedroom apartment i live in she gets free run of the apartment and climbs all over my tarantula collection.4:lol:actually a tarantula might be the best pet for your living situation to a storage container is all the space they need. a cricket or two once a week to eat a full water dish your all good. best of luck man
 

4horses

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Are you certain you want a kitten or cat? You have to decide now whether you are willing to sacrifice your furniture or whether it would be better not to get a cat.

I have never been able to protect my furniture. The recliners always get clawed. Always. The carpeting gets clawed but it's an old carpet and I plan on replacing it with vinyl plank flooring.

If you have a leather couch, I would sell it now and buy something you don't mind throwing out later on. I've lost a couple recliners and a futon bed to cat pee. My elderly cat started having accidents towards the end and he preferred the futon or recliners. It's okay with me to lose furniture. I don't care about my furniture that much.

As for computer wires, we have 14 desktops in this house (more or less). A certain member of this family likes to work on computers, so we always have plenty of computers... Wires are placed behind the computer desk, zip tied in place and wood boards are cut to size and screwed in place, just touching the walls. It keeps the cats out of the wires.

My office has a cat tower next to my desk. They get fed on top of the tower to keep the dogs out of the cat food. The litter box goes in the corner of my office room. I put down a vinyl mat under the box. This particular litter box is a top entry box which reduces litter tracking. For cleaning, I pull the vinyl mat outside, hose it off, let dry and replace. I clean litter boxes twice daily - first thing in the morning and right before bed. Sometimes I clean it after work or whenever I expect to be in the office for a few hours.

The office gets vacuumed 2-3x weekly... I spend about 5 minutes vacuuming just to prevent litter tracking through the house.

I plan to eliminate all carpeting - cats love to claw carpeting and they will eat it. No carpeting allowed. Rubber bands are extremely dangerous and have been banned as well. Rubber bands taste extremely good to cats for some reason. Certain types of plastic like shower curtains get chewed on, as do plastic bags and bubble envelopes - those are also banned (or safely stored in my desk drawer).

You might be okay with carpeting but I worry about them eating it and don't want to risk it. Newer throw carpets or carpets without frayed ends are usually okay.

As for the bed mattress, a waterproof protector is a good idea. There's one on every bed in the house, the couch is covered with a waterproof picnic blanket, and the recliners are covered as well since they are newish. This isn't foul proof but it certainly helps.

The safest place for storage is in a closet. I added latches to my closet so the cats can't get in there. Kitchen cabinets have bungees holding them shut...some do the bathroom cabinets.

It is a lot more cleaning... Cat hair gets everywhere - you clean the bathroom and the next day there is hair on the counter. Consider non-toxic cleaners because they may ingest it while grooming.

If you have doubts, it may be better not to get a cat. It's a 17 year commitment. Like raising a child. I love my cats and don't mind the sacrifice but I don't care about having a pristine house either. Things stay mostly clean, within reasonable limits.

Some cats will eat paper- tissues, letters, books, newspaper. I had one like that. For a while paper was banned from the counter... Most cats start out with very good litter box habits. It only becomes a problem when medical issues show up or you have aggression between cats.
 

Dave2006

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Once you get a cat all belongings become the cats, you are just there to feed, clean and play with it, when it commands.
Nothing is cat proof, things will get scratched, bitten, chewed, pooped on, peed on and puked on.

You will be hoovering up cat hair and 'your' home will be filled with cat toys, litter trays, scratching posts, cat beds and perches.

You will have cat hair on your clothes and scratched hands.

You will become expert in what your new master wants, what the best food is, what litter works best.

Your life will not be the same again.

But you will smile at its antics and the love it gives.

Who needs nice furniture
 

ladytimedramon

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A lot of it depends on the cat. I'm in a 1 bedroom apartment as well. I'm a first time cat owner, and I've had Delilah since April.

The most damage I have on any furniture is a couple of small marks on my sofa from when Delilah jumped up and had a claw tip that was at dagger length. She has a cat tree where she can see and supervise everything. She will walk past the electronics, will sit and watch cat tv, play with pipe cleaners and springs, and only the bathroom counter seems to interest her (the kitchen counters seem to be out of her preferred jumping height. She also has a cat tree in my bedroom, and we reached an agreement where she has her own little bed on my bed for napping instead of my pillow. For the most part she understands that she can be in the bedroom during the day, but at lights out she has the whole apartment for herself. I have a litterbox cabinet in the bathroom. It's located in the little area designed for putting a stool so women can "sit and put on makeup" (who actually uses that anymore?).

As to my electronics, she will sniff something, she will rub against it, but that's it. I have a big screen tv, cable wires, a laptop computer, and a desktop computer. If I'm using the computer at my desk no problem - she's not interested in climbing on my desk. The only time she messes with a computer if it's on my bed or my lap.

Right now I'm getting ready to teach online from home because of the weather. She's alternating between chasing a plastic spring, watching the window from her cat tree, and trying to convince me that this morning's breakfast wasn't her choice and could she please have something else? As soon as I start Zoom she will either park herself in the cat tree, my recliner, or the old comforter that she has claimed on my sofa.
 

Dave2006

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A lot of it depends on the cat. I'm in a 1 bedroom apartment as well. I'm a first time cat owner, and I've had Delilah since April.

The most damage I have on any furniture is a couple of small marks on my sofa from when Delilah jumped up and had a claw tip that was at dagger length. She has a cat tree where she can see and supervise everything. She will walk past the electronics, will sit and watch cat tv, play with pipe cleaners and springs, and only the bathroom counter seems to interest her (the kitchen counters seem to be out of her preferred jumping height. She also has a cat tree in my bedroom, and we reached an agreement where she has her own little bed on my bed for napping instead of my pillow. For the most part she understands that she can be in the bedroom during the day, but at lights out she has the whole apartment for herself. I have a litterbox cabinet in the bathroom. It's located in the little area designed for putting a stool so women can "sit and put on makeup" (who actually uses that anymore?).

As to my electronics, she will sniff something, she will rub against it, but that's it. I have a big screen tv, cable wires, a laptop computer, and a desktop computer. If I'm using the computer at my desk no problem - she's not interested in climbing on my desk. The only time she messes with a computer if it's on my bed or my lap.

Right now I'm getting ready to teach online from home because of the weather. She's alternating between chasing a plastic spring, watching the window from her cat tree, and trying to convince me that this morning's breakfast wasn't her choice and could she please have something else? As soon as I start Zoom she will either park herself in the cat tree, my recliner, or the old comforter that she has claimed on my sofa.
Sounds like a very calm cat, Tiggy is a real joy but she is into everything.
She is 15 months old and showing signs of calming down.
 

ladytimedramon

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Sounds like a very calm cat, Tiggy is a real joy but she is into everything.
She is 15 months old and showing signs of calming down.
Delilah was 2 1/2 when I adopted her. An older cat helps.

I was also very specific about my needs when I went to adopt at the humane society. Delilah has her kitty crazies but when I'm on zoom she settles down and supervises.

She and I connected right off the bat. It took us a couple of weeks to settle into routines. But she is a well behaved kitty and I was very lucky.

Here she in her cat trees and her overall favorite place, my chest.

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Dave2006

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Delilah was 2 1/2 when I adopted her. An older cat helps.

I was also very specific about my needs when I went to adopt at the humane society. Delilah has her kitty crazies but when I'm on zoom she settles down and supervises.

She and I connected right off the bat. It took us a couple of weeks to settle into routines. But she is a well behaved kitty and I was very lucky.

Here she in her cat trees and her overall favorite place, my chest.

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She is a lovely looking cat.

Tiggy is a real character she cries to let me know she has used her litter tray, its always cleaned after use.
She cries and jumps on the bed for a fight, kicking, scratching and biting, never a drop of blood is drawn but comes to me 2 or 3 times a day for a real fuss.
Its the way she is and wouldn't change her for the world.
 
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Juniper_Junebug

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When I adopted my kitten, I mentally let go of pretty much all my nice stuff, and that's made it easier when my cat puked on my rug and broke an irreplaceable vase (I didn't realize she could jump onto the counter at that point).

I do have a leather chair (without arms), but it's covered with a sheepskin rug, which has kept her from scratching it so far. I also covered my nice Room & Board sofa with a blanket. I originally thought it would be temporary, since the sofa was in her safe room and I wasn't sure she'd have good litter habits, but now that I know how easily she could ruin it with one bout of upset tummy, I'm keeping it covered. It looks a hot mess but I can always uncover it when I have company.

I coated cords with dish soap to discourage biting.

I have the luxury of keeping her out of my bedroom so I can stash nice things in there. Plus my bedroom has wildly expensive Hunter Douglas blinds-- the one thing I could not mentally prepare myself to see destroyed. So that helped tip the scales in favor of excluding her from my bedroom.

I love my kitty and certainly have adjusted aspects of my life to accommodate her, but I personally don't subscribe to the whole I-am-my-cat's-servant, my-cat-lets-me-live-here philosophy (even when it's mostly in jest). Rather, I think of it as adapting to the practical reality that cats are gonna cat. For me, that's mostly involved accepting that she might ruin some of my stuff. To my mind, that's better than preemptively getting rid of nice stuff and replacing it with junk. And better than no kitty at all.
 

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Unless you are adopting a senior cat who doesn't scratch or run around much, your furniture inventory sounds like a nightmare. And in a small apartment, your cat is going to need all the territory available. Nothing can be off limits. In fact, you'll need to create territory with wall shelves, window perches etc.

I think it will come down to a choice between the leather furniture and the cat. If it were just one piece you could cover it up and put a scratching post nearby, but there's no way you can protect all that stuff.

And please...don't even THINK about declawing!
 

Juniper_Junebug

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And in a small apartment, your cat is going to need all the territory available. Nothing can be off limits. In fact, you'll need to create territory with wall shelves, window perches etc.
My condo, though a 2 BR, still feels too small for cat trees and the like (also, I passionately hate the look of traditional cat trees). So I went with the wall shelves, perches, etc. and so far it seems great. I got an inexpensive cardboard perch on Chewy that suction cups to the window and it is so terrific. I have it above and to the right of my desk so my kitty has her designated place while I'm working. I've also got a suction cup bird feeder on the other side of the window, so doubly kitty friendly. If you spend a lot of time with your music equipment and have a nearby window, maybe something like that would work for you. (Happy to provide a link to the product).

I also recently installed multiple cat shelves purchased from Etsy so my kitty can get the same benefit of a cat tree without the enormous footprint. The shelves either blend in or look like art.

I think you can still have a fashionable home with a kitty. You just need to know that pretty much everything is fair game for your cat. You can try to teach them to stay off things but the results will be mixed (my kitty jumps on the stove whenever she thinks she'll get away with it, whereas she's learned to avoid my laptop keyboard).

When I adopted my Juno, I remember thinking that the one thing that I would be heartbroken if she destroyed (besides my blinds) was this vase I bought abroad that has sentimental value. And that's what she broke. And it was ok, and I wasn't even mad, because I'd gotten my mind used to the idea, and I know it was more my fault (for not having used the earthquake putty I had bought) than hers.

If you saw my place now, it looks a hot mess, with boxes and Chewy packing paper covering the floor and a fleece blanket obscuring my most fashionable sofa. But you know what, give me 15 minutes, and my place will look really nice.
 

Katy Perkins

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like you would for a toddler. Put breakables away. They climb on tables and knock things over. They hop into potted plants, dig, and go potty in them. They play with plants and chew on them. They scratch furniture with abandon so be prepared. That’s a toughie to stop. There is a double-sided tape you can buy at pet supply to put on locations they sharpen their claws on. The repellant sprays don’t work. Put scratching posts in front of where they repeatedly go. They eventually get it, but not fast. They really go after leather furniture. Curtains are fair game, including shower curtains. There is no way to sugar coat it. Kittens are rambunctious and destructive. I dislike the spray bottle, but finally resorted to it when they got onto the kitchen counters and dining table. Cat feet are unsanitary. There’s nothing cute about cat box feet around food areas. I squirt their behinds. Never the face. Now they just see the bottle and run. I scold them in a harsh voice. They want to please their owners no matter what people say. Cats just don’t automatically connect the dots between why you’re angry and what they did wrong. I am at the tail end of raising two kittens from 3 weeks to 10 months. If you have an adult cat, the kitten will want to be with it. Clean box often and always ultra fresh water. Kittens drink a lot of water. Kittens are pure joy and light. They test our patience, but we still love them. Have fun! esacarecom
 
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