With the urbanisation of society literally on the rise, coupled with the increased number of Australians choosing to live in apartments and townhouses, it is no wonder apartment pets are also on the rise.
Numerous studies have proven that living with a pet can positively contribute to good mental health.
Who wouldn’t enjoy unconditional love from a four-legged bundle of fur when you open the door after a long day in the office or at school? By-laws permitting of course.
Choose a pet-friendly apartment
First check that pets are permitted within your strata property and if there are any restrictions such as breed, size, type of pet and how many you can own.
Does the property have its own balcony or courtyard? That will need to be pet-proofed to ensure it is safe and secure for your pet.
Choose your pet carefully
Cats can be excellent apartment companions. Research tips for a happy, healthy cat and how much exercise and play time you can provide. Then find a suitable match. You may consider adopting an adult cat, rather than choosing an active kitten, to suit your lifestyle.
Room with a view
We all enjoy a good view and pets are no different. Especially cats, they love a view. A nice big window ledge, or a table or bookshelf next to a window would be perfect for them.
Internal views are just as exciting. Cats like to sit up high and watch life go by, even if its within their own home. Bookshelves and high storage cabinets are great, just don’t keep precious treasures there that could be knocked down.
Bring it back to eye level
It’s a great idea to get down to the same level as your pet to consider what life looks like within your apartment from their level. Are there cozy places to sleep? To hide or to climb? Where are toys kept and where is the designated private place to um, use the bathroom?
Cats and dogs enjoy a sunny spot to snooze, especially in winter. But in summer they will need a cool place to retreat. Ensure ventilation within the apartment or townhouse is suitable and secure with no chance of an escape.
Essential toileting area
Pets should be trained to use their own designated toileting area, ideally in the laundry or bathroom. For cats this would be a litter box or tray. Make sure your pet is able to reach their designated toileting area at all times, and keep it clean so they will continue to use that area and not look for an alternative… like in the kitchen!
Toys for your fur child
Pets, just like their two-legged cousin, like to play and they love toys. Keep a variety of toys readily available to challenged them. Rotate toys to prevent boredom and consequently any destructive or undesirable behaviour such as nuisance noise as a result of anxiety.
When you’re at home take the time to interact with your pet. Play with them, cuddle up with them, show them you love them unconditionally too.
Know your responsibilities
Be mindful that your pet’s behaviour, at some stage, may impact on your neighbour. There is value in training your pet, not dissimilar to teaching manners to a child.
You must abide by the rules of your apartment complex. This will include keeping your pet on a leash while in common areas and always, ALWAYS, clean up after your pet. That is your responsibility.
Be considerate of your neighbours
Pets are a great way to meet new people, a purrfect conversation generator.
Why not consider introducing your pet to your neighbours? They could help break down the barriers between neighbours who could end up being a future trusted feeder or companion.
You never know where it may lead… setting up a pet community within your apartment community perhaps? Sounds like bliss to us.