Cats have furniture tastes too. If you think getting a cat is the end of it, then oh boy, you might have a surprise coming! The right furniture or the lack of furniture might make or break your experience of owning a cat!
There is a purpose to every piece of furniture, cat or otherwise. Most furniture comes into one of these categories for a cat:
I made these words up, but you probably get the idea. The key in a small apartment is to have these different types of furniture to serve multiple purposes but still be small and compact enough to be manageable in an apartment.
Ranking The Best Furniture For Small Apartments
What cat furniture/items are the most appropriate for a small studio apartment? Great cat pieces of furniture do not take up precious floor space and have multiple functions/purposes. Additionally, they keep your cats off of the floor for safety and places to perch/play.
For those that are short on time, here are the top 3 best cat furniture for studios or small apartments:
1. SmartCat Pioneer Ultimate Scratching Post
It’s not just a scratching post – it really is a piece of furniture. It’s sturdy, lasts forever, acts as a great perch for catification & other activities, and is super easy to assemble. My ultimate cat scratching post has been with me for multiple apartments now, and my four cats use it daily!
An appropriate name for this cat scratcher. Durable, stable, and tall enough for our cats to stretch out. It really is the best vertical scratching post. I've used this cat scratcher for years and it's still being used daily today.
2. D.Jane Circle Window Hammock
Small enough to fit most sized windows. Once on, it never comes off. It sticks on most glossy surfaces easily. It’s one of the staple items in my apartment to let the cats navigate around quickly and safely. Also, if you put it in a really high place – it’s a great place for your cats to get away from noisy or stressful situations.
Easy to mount and almost never pops off. This is the staple in my apartment for easy catification. Put it on any glossy surface and it can create a highway for your cats without drilling or damaging walls!
3. Frisco Floor-to-Ceiling Cat Tower
Many average cat towers can’t take the brunt of the daily play of adult cats in a multi-cat home. This is why I love floor-to-ceiling cat towers. They’re designed to be climbed on, perched, and stable enough for even the roughest of play.
Give your feline fun from top to bottom with the Frisco 3 Level Floor to Ceiling Heavy Duty Cat Tower. That's three tiers of furry fun for climbing, stretching, and relaxing. The sisal wrapped post encourage healthy scratching so you don't have to worry about claws on the furniture. Plus the bolster bed perch is the perfect place for your kitty to rest their head during those cat naps. This tower is secured to the ceiling with a tension rod, so you can feel good knowing your cat can play all day on this sturdy, durable structure.
4. PetFusion Ultimate Window/Wall Mounted Perch
Another great heavy-duty, multi-functional cat climbing tower that can fit the needs of all cats. Owners can choose whether or not they like a wall-mounted or window-mounted tower. This tower would be great to use in conjunction with cat suction cup items!
What’s better than scratching, climbing, lounging, and having a commanding view of all her realm? All that and a special place to be one with the outside world. Why not have it all? The wide-base and suction cups make sure the tower is stable enough for any sized cat.
A lot of tall pole cat towers are too flimsy (I've tried a lot of them) - this one has rave reviews and every time I recommend it, my friends and family always tell me they love it for their cats. It lasts years and promotes a lot of activity and climbing.
Cat Furniture Category 1: Scratchables
Things your cat likes to scratch. This includes even stuff you don’t want your cat to scratch, like your leather computer chair (the horror!). Because there’s lots of pain associated with cats scratching furniture, it’s best to redirect their claws onto something else, but how do cat owners do this consistently? Provide better options to scratch!
Most cat owners probably already have some scratchables. However, how many times has it been when you buy something for them to scratch, but in the end, they still end up scratching the couch or bed?
With a proper cat post, our cats rarely scratch anything that they’re not supposed to. Providing a scratching area for the cats is important as they enjoy leaving their scent in key areas of the house. That’s why scratchables shouldn’t be put in the corner but rather maybe somewhere closer to the center of the action. Somewhere where the cats can visibly see it and leave their scent for other cats to notice.
Scratchables such as scratching posts or good cat towers should be stable and sturdy.
What is a proper cat scratching post? It is a post with a wide, stable base, where it doesn’t move even if the cats put their full body weight on it. It also needs to be tall enough for large cats to get a full stretch to the top of their bodies. That’s a good scratching post.
Cats are careful animals that prefer things to be secure and stable. If not, they’ll likely go back to the sofa. Because what’s better to scratch? A sturdy sofa or wobbly scratching post/cat tower that might fall over and hurt them?
Cat owners might say that their cat towers have areas to scratch! However, scratching spots on cat towers are usually added as an afterthought. Usually, the material, height, or stability of the scratching spots on cat towers will be lacking.
The next problem is that cat towers are huge, take up a bunch of space on the floor, and the material sheds whenever the cats scratch. As a result, it looks really raggedy after a couple of weeks of use!
Cat-towers are nice as jack-of-all-trades furniture for the short term, but they tend to not last long for long-term use (even less so in a multi-cat home). That isn’t to say that I dislike all cat towers. Keep reading below to see what type of cat tower is one of the best furniture pieces in small apartments!
Cat Furniture Category 2: Climbables
Cat owners will discover that cats will find out how to get to the top of everything. It’s instinctual for cats to always seek the highest point in the room. So, the easiest way to enrich our cat environment is the provide them with a lot of vertical space in the room. Focus especially on the underused areas of your room!
It’s just in their nature to always look for the higher ground and survey the area. When possible, we should give our cats their own places so that we humans can make room for our spaces. Whether it is a windowsill or a bookcase, if our cats have many different vertical spaces available, the more comfortable they’ll be. It gives them enough amount of space to get away from uncomfortable situations.
Cat towers are the first thing we think about when thinking about climbables. Most cat towers will be sufficient to climb to keep the cats satisfied, though going one step further as using window hammocks to add more levels to our windows is a great addition. For me, I really like floor-to-ceiling cat towers (seen below) – it’s durable, fun for the cats, and saves a lot of floor space!
It allows them to do all of the things we described above and have a view of the outside world. It’s also very efficient with space. Usually, in small apartments, the floor is quite congested. So anything we can hang or mount something on the wall for the cats will maximize space.
Again, cats love watching things around them without actually being involved directly. For example, having a perch near the kitchen would provide a place for the cat to safely watch your cooking without them being annoying and always jumping up on the counter.
Cat owners shouldn’t be surprised that their cat always jumps on the counter if there are no other perches around! This is how I keep my cats off of desks and counters. Read about it here!
Cat Furniture Category 3: Sleepables
Cats prefer more closed-off areas when they feel nervous and prefer open areas when they feel confident in their environment. They also like soft surfaces to sleep on as it’s usually quite warm. Take these factors into consideration when choosing something!
Have a combination of low and higher-ground places to sleep/rest/perch. It keeps things interesting, and it gives them well-defined boundary areas. Cats have their own ways of determining hierarchy, and it’s quite dynamic and changes day-to-day.
It’s also good to have a combination of closed-off sleeping areas and open areas to accommodate each cat’s personality. Like my white one or Russian Blue, some cats prefer quieter areas that are a bit more closed off from the rest of the room when things get rowdy or noisy.
On the floor, I have one closed-off sleeping area but more resting/sleeping areas on the higher ground because those spots are quite competitive, giving them many options that allow each their own space if they want.
Since I don’t have a cat tower in my place, I really enjoy having cat hammocks in my apartment as it provides all of the described above and takes up very little space. The cats can use it for play/climbing, allowing for a high, soft, and warm place. It also allows them to observe the outside and inside at the same time!
It’s quite a delight coming home from work and seeing every single cat just chilling there and enjoying the hammock time together. There are a lot of different styles of hammocks/window perches, so experiment! Some might enjoy the more closed-off versions, and some might enjoy open areas to sunbathe in.
Actually, it doesn’t even have to be on a window itself. It works on any glossy surface as it holds itself up by suction cups. There was a time when I had a couple of hammocks hanging on my glossy closet door! Anything you can do to provide more vertical spaces!
Again, knowing your cat’s personality is important here! Many cats enjoy scratch materials that are rough and scratchy. Such as leather or linen. So avoid those types of textures for sleeping items or furniture around your house.
I go into detail about the specific type of furniture that is resistant to cat scratches here! Rather, go the opposite with softer materials such as mesh and velvet.
Behavioral Benefits of Proper Cat Furniture
Cats are creatures of habit. Whatever they use when they’re young is what they’ll use when they become adults. And It’s tough to change them when they become adults. The sooner you start providing them with scratchables that they enjoy, the faster they will learn about what is acceptable or unacceptable to interact with.
After some time, eventually, you will know your cats so well that it becomes predictable what they will use or not use. Just be sure to continually use positive reinforcement whenever they do use the proper items in your home!
My Recommendation For Cat Furniture for Small Apartments and Homes
I would prefer to have exclusively window hammocks and one or two scratching posts around for smaller places. Cat towers take up too much floor space. Make use of human furniture to place it around creatively as perches/stepping spots for your cats.
Think about how your cats would use each part carefully! Your cat will appreciate it, and you might be surprised at how well these small things might help your cat’s behavior and energy levels.
My Recommendation For Cat Furniture for Larger Homes and Apartments
If you have room to spare in your house, then, by all means, get a cat tower! Of course, there are many different types, but I would recommend more of an activity cat tower than a sleeping cat tower! With more scratching and climbing features, I encourage a more active and stimulating lifestyle for my cats.
As such, I also invested in a cat wheel. I really like cat wheels. However, I would say it’s not a good idea to put in a studio apartment due to the size and noise that they make, but since I am a crazy cat-daddy, I just had to get one. Also, because my Bengal cat is full of energy, a cat wheel was crucial to get rid of excess energy.
It does take up a bit of room for sure, but it’s quite easy to work into a room layout. Indoor cats don’t really get a chance to go full-speed sprint, so having a cat wheel is a great tool to expend some extra energy from hyperactive cats.
Special note on the cat wheel! My place is super small, but I still invested in a cat wheel because of the above! It’s unnecessary and probably not feasible in a one-room apartment, especially if you don’t have an active breed like a Bengal. Again, it’s important to me that the environment I provide is a relatively active one.
Since I moved to a place with 2 rooms instead of one, a cat wheel for me was a good investment for my cats, and it’s a simple shape to organize into a room. At night time, I usually take it off the wheel and set it down on the floor. Or lock it down and prevent it from spinning!
A confident, healthy, happy cat is a product of its environment. Whether you live in a large home or a small home, the concepts are the same. With a little bit of effort and creativity, it’s easy to create the proper space for your cat and yourselves!
To see the full curated list of what I recommend and use in my apartment with my cats, click here!
For more tips about living with cats in an apartment: 6 Real Ideas for Living With Cats in an Apartment