When you rent an apartment, you pay a damage deposit to your landlord as an incentive for you to keep the apartment in good condition. However, this becomes more challenging when you keep a pet. If you want to make sure that your cat does not end up causing you to lose your damage deposit, you should make sure you implement some strategies to minimize or eliminate the risk of damage.
1. Keep the little box clean and changed.
This first suggestion sounds simple, but many cat owners are not aware of the best conditions for a litter-box-trained cat. In general, litter boxes should be cleaned daily, and litter itself should be changed frequently. Cats are extraordinarily clean animals, so if they are being forced to use a dirty litter box, they start "littering" elsewhere, like under the bed or in the closet. If your apartment has two levels, you should have a litter box on each level. It is rare for a cat with a litter box to have "accidents" if the litter box is well-maintained. You can save the carpets of your apartment and eliminate the smell simply by staying on top of litter cleanliness.
2. Don't allow your cat to scratch.
Cats mark their territory by rubbing their heads and scratching their paws against surfaces. If your cat is not declawed, the scratching can be a problem. Cats will scratch against couches, carpets, window screens, and beds. If your apartment came furnished, the scratching can permanently ruin apartment furniture. Window screens are easily shredded by a cat's claws. To prevent these problems:
- replace standard window screens with stronger screening that is designed to withstand scratching.
- provide a scratching post for your cat to deter them from scratching furniture.
- keep your cat active by encouraging them to play with toys or with you. Bored cats may scratch more often, just as something to do.
3. Brush your cat frequently.
Cats, even cats with short hair, will leave a furry mess on carpets. In order to prevent a clean-up nightmare for your landlord after you move out, you can prevent shedding by brushing your cat on a daily basis. Also, use lint rollers frequently to remove deposited hair so that it doesn't build up. Finally, you should invest in a powerful vacuum cleaner to lift cat hair out of carpeted surfaces.
Pets present a problem for landlords, so if you are lucky enough to find an apartment that lets you keep your cat, you should everything you can to make sure you minimize the damage your pet can do.