How Much Space Does A Cat Need? Here’s The Answer

Cats are ideal companions for people with all kinds of houses, including apartments and small suburban and urban areas.

They are indoor creatures and spend most of their lives within the walls of their home. Therefore, a cat needs a specific amount of space to lead a comfortable life with its owner.

Although cats can even live in a box for some time, they need areas more extensive than that for their day-to-day routines.

How much space does a cat need?

A cat does not need plenty of space to lead a happy and comfortable life. It can even adjust to small areas like a studio apartment as it spends most of its life curled up into a furball.

However, space should not have too many obstructions to the cat’s movement and should provide them ample room to move around.

The layout of the house should be appropriate to accommodate the cat.

The space required by a cat also depends on their size and their lifestyle. Playful cats with lots of energy need more space to run and play around the house.

How many square feet do cats need?

Cats need some personal space that they can claim as their own. Cats are usually comfortable in a house with an area above 300 sq. feet.

They need about 20 square feet of the area within the home for their own needs. They need this space to play around and lay comfortably during their naps.

Cat’s required space might be scattered throughout different rooms in the house, or the cat might claim a large area in a specific location as its own.

Your house’s total square feet do not hold much importance as long as it has ample free indoor spaces that lack furniture or other items of use.

Usually, cats who are socialized from an early age do not mind living together with another cat in the same house, but they are not very fond of sharing their individual spaces.

Cats like to claim territories of their own. Therefore, if you choose to adopt more than one cat into your home, you should ensure that all the cats should have their own spaces.

If you have two cats, you will need about 40 square feet of space for your pets. Similarly, the critical area increases with an increase in the number of cats.

How much space does a cat need in a shelter?


Earlier, cats that were brought into shelters were put in cages for display to potential adopters. Since shelters are not supposed to be the cat’s permanent home; their well-being and comfort are not given much importance.

But, in recent times, such a scenario has drastically improved, and utmost importance is given to the cat’s well-being in the shelters.

Shelters for cats need to follow specific criteria to ensure a happy and stress-free life for the rescued cat. It should be built so that all the cats have plenty of space to lead a private life and need not fight over resources.

The American Society for Protection of Animals (ASPCA) suggests that if the shelters opt for communal living, it needs to have at least 18 square feet of space for each cat.

They should be provided with comfortable beds and a feeding bowl. Litter boxes should also be adequate in number and need to be scattered in various locations within the shelter.

All the cats should be kept at a safe distance from each other and should not be allowed to mingle much to lead to territorial fights.

The cats should not be crammed into cages that are suffocative and unhygienic.

How do I know if my cat needs more space?

Household cats have a minimum space requirement that they need to lead a stress-free and healthy life.

Although cats can adjust to small spaces like flat, some of them might find it difficult to change within the space you provide to them.

If your cat cannot manage the amount of space provided to it, you will start to notice sure signs that will help you determine such a problem. These include:

  • Urinating and littering in areas outside their designated litter box.
  • Anxiety and stress-related symptoms
  • Ruining furniture and walls within the house with excessive scratching.
  • Constant staring through windows
  • Irritated and rude behavior towards humans
  • Excessively grooming and scratching themselves
  • Rushing into outdoor spaces as soon as they get a chance.


Besides its space requirement, a cat also needs proper love and care from its owner to lead a good life. Living in an apartment or a flat should not stop you from adopting these adorable creatures.

You could move your furniture around and get rid of unwanted items in the house to free up space for your cat.

With proper care, the cat would learn to adjust to your home without any difficulty.


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