I have an almost one year old kitten I found on the street last labor day. I live alone in a studio apartment and I am a very busy law student who is often gone most of the day, and when I am home my nose is generally buried in a book. Obviously, I am concerned that my kitten is not getting enough attention. However, I am also concerned that she does not have enough space to run around, play, and stay occupied. So, I am tempted to get another kitten to help keep her company, but I am also worried that I have too little space for one kitten, much less two.
Also, I was curious if you have any advice about cat toys. My cat only seems to like the feather attached to a string toy, and maybe a stuffed bear to occasionally pounce on and wrestle with. All those jingly balls and catnip mice barely hold her attention for more than a few seconds, and then they get lost underneath my desk or the refrigerator.
Man with a cat
Normally, I advocate for people to adopt two cats at once – however, if your space is really that small, you would probably just have two not-so-happy-cats and one not-so-happy cat owner if you added another cat to the mix at this point. Later, when you have more space, you might want to consider another cat. But I would hold off at this point. In the meantime, is your kitty showing signs that he is unhappy or lonely? Exhibiting aggressive or self-destructive behavior? If so, you should consult with a vet on some things you can do to help your cat. But if it’s just your conscience bothering you, I have a few suggetions:
- Carve out some quality time for you and your cat each day. I know you are busy, but take a study break and have some uninteruppted cuddle and/or play time.
- Small spaces can be challenging, but do your best to maximize the space you have. Can you de-clutter your apartment to make more floor spacce? Could you have your bed in a loft? Check out apartment therapy for some inspiration and tips on small space living.
- Try to give your cat a special spot if he doesn’t already have one – a cat bed won’t take up too much room but will make your kitty feel special and cozy.
- Your cat likes the feather-and-string toys because it involves YOU playing with him. Every cat has a favorite toy or toys, so if your cat likes feather-and-wand toys, continue to get him those! Many catnip toys will charm a cat temporarily, as the catnip effect soons wears off – but some stores sell refillable catnip toys. Get one and give the toy a fresh ‘nip refill in the AM before you take off for school.
- If there’s any way you can take a break during the day, maybe you can have lunch at home and spend a few moments with your kitty. If your finances allow it, you might even want to consider hiring a pet-sitter to stop by a few times a week when you’re not around much. Or maybe you have a friend or neighbor who has roommates that he/she would love to escape, who also happens to love cats and wouldn’t mind hanging out in your apartment when you’re not there. Ask around!