How To Live With Cats in a Studio Apartment (3 Cats!?)

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This article is for anybody thinking of adding an extra cat or two but might be a little nervous if their accommodations can handle it.

So how do you live with 3 cats in a studio apartment? In a quick summary, living with multiple cats in an apartment is a combination of having a set schedule of food, play, and sleep to keep them busy. It is also habitually guiding your cats to have high energy when you want them to have high energy and be relaxed when you need to work and sleep. It’s a compromise between having a balance of cat spaces and human spaces.

studio apartment setup
It’s entirely possible to have a great experience with your cats in a studio apartment!

Trust me. My place is probably smaller than yours. So if you really want another cat, then you can definitely find a way to make it happen! Hopefully, this article will give you the confidence to try and adopt another cat to add to your family! There are just too many that need a home! Especially here in Korea, where street cats are all too common.

A little about me: I am Canadian but live and work here in Seoul, Korea. For most foreigners working in South Korea and Asia, in general, we live in super-small apartment spaces in Korea called office-tels (pretty much a studio apartment).

How to Live in an Studio Apartment With More Than One Cat

Ever since I started living in office-tels, I’ve become very aware of what I need and don’t need in my apartment. And now that I have cats that I love and take care of, I’ve become ultra-aware and always make sure that things I keep in my apartment bring value and are used daily.

Cat owners in small or studio apartments should have well specified areas of play, food, and have good litterbox management, in addition to having good routines.

People always think 3 cats in this type of space is too much, but if you’re creative and willing to think about how you/your pets use the space, it can be very stimulating and rewarding!

Useful Cat Furniture and Things to Avoid To Live With Cats in a Studio Apartment

Before I purchase anything in my apartment, such as furniture for my place, I always think about how the cats will react. Some furniture might enrich the area and provide a place for play, and some might cause the cats to feel trapped and nervous.

Many people will notice that I don’t have a typical cat tower. That’s simply because I felt that the only thing the average cat tower provided was another place to sleep and as a mediocre scratching post. The thing is, in a multi-cat home, average cat towers aren’t going to cut it.

Cat Furniture

Typical cat towers take up too much floor space and are generally not great at the things they provide for our cats (that is, a scratching and playing space). Instead, choosing a high-quality scratching post and a more specialized cat tower (see the recommended section) is more effective/efficient for smaller spaces.

Like many cat owners, I want to do more for my cats and nail in some cat perches, but unfortunately for many people in rented apartments, to do modifications or any drilling/nailing is generally asking for trouble. So to catify my apartment, I used a lot of suction cup perches and hammocks.

Litterbox Management is Important When Living With Cats in a Studio Apartment

When living with cats in a studio apartment, litterbox management is crucial. This is because there are a lot of different aspects when it comes to the litter box. This includes:

I’ve boiled it down to a science for anyone that wants a complete solutions guide for litter box concerns in apartments.

There’s a general rule out there that you should have the same number of litter boxes as you do cats plus one. This is crazy in a studio apartment. I discovered that if your cats have a good relationship with each other, they can easily share litter boxes.

In my previous, even smaller apartment – I used one litterbox for all 3 cats. The room was so small, but all the cats were able to use it without a problem. I obviously had to clean the litter box quite often. But it was a small sacrifice for saving space!

Set Schedule for Food and Play When Living With Cats in a Studio Apartment

Food and mealtimes play a large part in managing my cats’ energy levels. I want them to be energetic when I’m active and calm when I’m resting or asleep. Therefore, I plan my cat’s meals around my lifestyle.

I feed my cats 3 times a day, and they all eat together. Morning, evening (when I get home from work), and right before bed are their meal-times. I avoid free-feeding my cats because:

So if you are feeding them 3 times a day daily, you’ll be able to create a stronger bond with your pets, and the added benefit is that they’re more likely to get along because they’re all eating together and associating each other with the good ‘feeling’ of eating.

Scheduled playtime is equally important when living with cats in a studio apartment because:

  • It tires out your cats. Tired out cats give butlers time to relax, work, or sleep.
  • Satisfies cats instinctually. Cats need to play and simulate hunting activities to develop into well-rounded cats.
  • Another weight management tool and keeps them healthy physically.

Other Helpful Tips & Guides

Here are some other points to consider when living with cats in a small living space such as an apartment (clicking through the links will bring you to my in-depth guides to help you further!):

Recommended Products For An Apartment With Cats

PetFusion Ultimate Cat Climbing Tower & Activity Tree PetFusion Ultimate Cat Climbing Tower & Activity Tree

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.

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My Pick
Pure Clean Smart Robot Vacuum W/ Remote Control Pure Clean Smart Robot Vacuum W/ Remote Control

Keep your home free of dust, dirt, and pet hair with the Smart Robot Cleaning Vacuum with Remote Control from Pure Clean. It has dual spinning side brushes that capture dirt and lift debris into the bagless waste bin and an integrated dust filter for easy disposal. This self-programmed system features gyroscope technology to optimize cleaning routes and clean up in areas where your furry friend hangs out with anti-fall and anti-collision sensors for protection. Great for lazy butlers and has great reviews!

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My Pick
Frisco 3 Level Floor to Ceiling Heavy Duty Cat Tower Frisco 3 Level Floor to Ceiling Heavy Duty Cat Tower

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.

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With a science background and years of experience including learning, observing, and training cats - increasing our beloved feline's welfare and wellbeing is the priority and passion.

15 thoughts on “How To Live With Cats in a Studio Apartment (3 Cats!?)

  1. Great article! Did you find that the cats had issues sharing when they had only the one box? I have a four year old cat and I’m considering getting him a companion kitten, but with my tiny apartment the litter situation may become a problem if multiple boxes are needed. I’ve read that some cats get territorial. Did you find that happened at all with yours? Did you get them staggered or did you have all three at once? Any insights would be greatly appreciated!

    1. That’s exactly what I was worried about – generally cats can always share litter boxes – they take turns without any problems. I had no problems have one litter box with 3 cats. Even 1 litter box for 4 cats was okay – however, I would have to scoop more often so I opted for 2 and scooping once per day.

      2 cats for one litter box should be no problem at all! However, in the beginning, I would recommend a temporary second litter box – a cardboard box or something during the introduction process. Since one cat might block access to the litter box in the first couple days of introduction – after they tolerate each other you can remove the second litter box and go back to one litter box!

  2. This is such a thoughtful article! Thank you! I had two cats in my small apartment (not a studio, but a teeny tiny one-bedroom) and they did great with one single litter box and all. They were not to ‘play’ much with each other because my older kitty was 15 when we introduced Toki (he was 7) and she was a bit territorial. She tolerated him and even groomed him… while he was asleep, but neva-eva while he was awake. No, sir!
    Unfortunatelly my elder kitty passed last month at the age 18, and I am on the process of adopting a new family member (a cat, of course). Thinking about kittens, it is common that shelters encourage you to adopt two siblings. So I thought “why not?” Then I looked around to the small space here and thought “oh… that’s why not.” But now I feel reinvigorated by your article! Of course it IS possible. I already clean the litter box at least twice/daily and try to keep everything tidy, they have toys and all, and I am around often enough to cover them with love, so… three kitties that is!
    Thank you, thank you. I needed this. 🙂

    1. Your comment makes me very happy that I made this website! I wanted to just go through my experiences with my cats and maybe help people along the way. Thanks so much for your comment!

  3. Hiii from another Income School follower! Love the content and youtube channel! I write about cats as well, but in another language. I like your “subscribe to my channel” button. Copied your design a little, i hope you don’t mind. eheh

    1. Welcome! Thanks for visiting my website and enjoying my content! Of course, I don’t mind. I hope you continue to visit and feel free to comment/ask whatever anytime!

  4. Hi! I love your writings and your furbabies! I just need a little help with my 2 year old tabby and my recent rescue which is a 12 month old ginger cat. They seem to get along fine, though there are a lot of chasing and rough playing (we kinda assume that this is because the ginger is still a kitten and not yet neutered). They still have calm times together. But, it seems that the ginger cat is marking its territories around the house. Pooping, and peeing on the bed and the sofas. He was cleared from the vet, and I’ve been reading about behavioral problems that he might be insecure and exerting dominance over the older cat, plus we noticed that the older cat is using his litter box too! So we’re looking for ways on maybe how to keep them from using each other’s litter box or how to peacefully share each other litter boxes. Can you share some tips on how you managed yours?

    1. Hi! Thanks for your comment and questions. It seems that for some kittens it takes awhile for them to realize where the appropriate places are for them to eliminate.

      It’s also okay for the other cat to use the kitten’s litter box.

      What I would say is that some cats have strange associations/habits with what and where they might eliminate. The key is to observe and take note so we can make the appropriate changes to break their habits:

      – if the kitten is pooping or peeing on the bed/sofa it could be a matter of feeling and material (take note if the sofa/bed is the same type of material or cushioning. My youngest cat Loki, use to have a habit of eliminating on very soft feeling materials blankets, sofas, beds etc. What I did was try to change the type of material that I was using temporarily.

      -> Changed blanket to a thinner type of blanket
      -> Put a covering over the sofa or sometimes even some sticky coverings to the seat of the sofa when I go to bed.
      -> Watched him like a hawk whenever he would enter the bedroom

      – Some cats are quite picky about where the litter box is placed. So the second thing to do is to put the litter box near those places that he’s marking or inappropriately eliminating on. The litter box acts as a scent marker for cats and it’s true that when cats feel stressed they might mark places. So if they mark certain areas of the house – take note of what common factors those places have and then work from there.

      This article might help: Importance of Litterbox Placement

  5. My partner and I currently have one very active cat in a studio apartment and have been thinking about adopting a friend for her since she is a Balinese and they are generally a very social breed. I feel bad sometimes that she doesn’t have a lot of space to run around in, and I was afraid that getting another cat would make things worse, but this post has spurred some hope in me that it can not just be done but actually can be a very positive experience for both the cats and the owners, so thank you for that! I just have one question: I’ve been wanting to get one of those suction cup perches but I’m wondering how it would work for someone who has to close the blinds every night to go to sleep? Would you have to take the perch down every night and put it back up in the morning? Thanks again!

  6. Thanks so much for your comment! I’m glad the article was helpful!

    To answer your question – double hammock suction perch can be flipped up so that it lays sort of flat on the window. The only problem is there’s no way to lock it in place. However, I’m sure it won’t be too hard to figure out! Maybe some tape or the blinds might be heavy enough to keep it in place!

  7. Just found + love your website! I sometimes joke my place is really my cat’s and I happen to live there but seriously what you’ve described is entirely doable. And yes, being tidy, clutter free and clean are a real bonus. One of my cat’s siblings live in a big house with four people – parent works long hours, the two teenagers don’t like cats (?!) while the youngest child always, ALWAYS wants to play with the cat…house is messy etc. So I think it’s fully worth letting people know like so many things, it’s about balance and being smart/savvy. I think your site really helps people realise that and what a big difference we, as human companions (ahem, butlers) can make.

    1. Absolutely! While I know people can be busy and have things to do in their personal lives – the animals that live with them also deserves some attention in terms of their environment and stimulation! Thanks for your comment!

  8. I came across this article because I was doing a bit of searching about cats due to me getting my 3rd (and hopefully last) cat. I have a female 15 month old cat, a male 9 month old, and the my new kitty is a 7 month old male (all fixed). My male resident cat did really well upon introduction, the first day they met he wanted to play with the newly added cat, however, my female was not so happy. It is currently the 4th day of them all being together and like i mentioned my male resident doesn’t mind him they even started playing together, my female is working on it, slowly but surly getting to the point where she plays with her new brother. I used to free feed my 2 resident cats because i’ve never had a problem with them overeating but now that i got the 3rd cat, i schedule feed them now so that my cats can better adapt to each others presence. I watch a lot of Jackson Galaxy on youtube and followed a lot of his steps and they’ve helped out. To anyone seeking a boost to get a new cat or a first cat, DO IT!!! It’s worth it!

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