Whether you’re moving to a small apartment or bringing a new pet into your home, you should keep a few tips in mind. If you have a dog, consider creating a doggy door so you’re not constantly getting up and opening the door to let them out. For felines, keep in mind that your guests don’t want to smell its litter box, so you might want to find creative ways to hide it. Keep reading to learn about some more suggestions on how to make your small apartment pet-friendly.
Create a Doggy Door
It may seem like your canine enjoys having you get up, open the door, and sit down, especially when you need to get up, open the door, and let your dog back in again. You can break this vicious cycle by installing a doggy door.
When your dog is standing on all four legs, measure his height from the top of his back down to the floor. Add an inch or two to the number so he doesn’t have to bend to get through the door. Trace a rectangular doggy door on your real door, with it centered near the bottom.
If you’re confident in your cutting abilities, leave the door on its hinges and cut the hole. Otherwise, remove it. Be sure to sand the opening so it’s safe for your pup. You don’t want your dog to get cut from any wooden splinters.
Install the doggie door flap. Rubber is the best option, and you can make your own using a mud flap or floor mat from an old car. You can paint the piece of rubber whatever color you’d like. Use a strong adhesive to attach the flap above the hole on the inside. The rubber shouldn’t reach past the bottom of the hole, otherwise your dog might have a difficult time pushing it in and out.
Tip: Since you live in an apartment, you might want to check with your landlord to see if you can cut holes in the door to avoid facing a fine or losing your security deposit.
Establish a Litter Box Area
In general, you should place litter boxes in a private spot far away from areas where you eat. You don’t want the boxes to feel too isolated, though, otherwise your feline might not want to use them. You should also have the same number of boxes as the number of cats, plus one extra. Scatter the boxes throughout the apartment, if possible.
When you have guests over, the last thing you want is to draw attention to your cat’s litter boxes. Get creative and find hidden spots for the boxes. You can turn an old toy box into a litter box area. Cut out a hole on the side, so your cat can come and go. You can also convert a plastic storage tub into a litter box hideaway. Whatever option you choose, make sure there’s enough ventilation.
Tip: The boxes might be out of sight, but don’t forget to clean them regularly. Cat behavior specialist Pam Johnson-Bennett recommends scooping out the litter boxes twice daily.
Eliminate Pet Odors
Admit it: sometimes when you visit a friend’s house you can immediately detect that distinctive pet odor. And then you wonder if your friends feel the same about your apartment. If you have pet urine on the carpet, use a carpet steamer and enzymatic cleaners. For urine on tile or grout, use a scrub brush and hydrogen peroxide. Avoid using bleach or ammonia to clean up the smell or mess.
Examine Your Flooring Choices
Although it may seem like people are especially hard on their floors, pets can treat the floors even harder, particularly if your pet has claws. If you’re building or remodeling your space, consider different flooring options to accommodate your furry creature. Take the time to weigh your options. It’s easy to select the cheapest choice, but then you might end up replacing the flooring shortly due to your pet ruining it.
Carpet: For pet owners, carpet is the worst option because pets damage it very easily. Even though it’s a cost-effective choice, carpet experiences normal wear and tear even without pets. If you have no other option than carpet, select one without loops. Pet nails have a tendency to snag on the loops and unravel part of the carpet. Also look for a carpet that matches your pet’s coloring since it will mask pet hair.
Cork: A green flooring choice, cork is good for the environment and occupants living in the house. It’s an antimicrobial type of flooring, which means it reduces mold and other allergen growth. In addition, it’s a scratch-resistant and sound-absorbing choice. Although cork is water-resistant, you should still clean up spills quickly.
Hardwood: Although this is a popular option, it doesn’t work well with pets due to scratching and staining. Pet urine stains hardwood floors and leaves a spot and smell. Even if you’re quick and clean up the spill immediately, the urine may seep and cause damage. You may need to sand and refinish the floor to get rid of the stains and smell.
Laminate: Another popular choice is laminate. Pets, particularly dogs, have difficulty on this type of flooring because they tend to slip as they walk or run in the home. If you insist on laminate, choose one with a textured finish or place rugs throughout the home. A benefit of this type of flooring is that it doesn’t show scratches as easily as hardwood does.
Tile: Porcelain or ceramic tile is a scratch-resistant choice with minimal wear and tear. It’s easy to clean up if your pet has an accident, and urine will not ruin its condition. Add rugs to the floor so your pet can lie comfortably since tile’s surface is a bit hard for your pet.
The Bottom Line
Your pet is a member of your family, so take the time to consider the options to make sure your four-legged friends feel at home in your small apartment. At the end of the day, who doesn’t love to have a dog wagging its tail happily or cat purring its contentment?