Although dogs might have a better PR team -- "Man's Best Friend" is hands-down the best motto in the animal kingdom -- cats are, arguably, the perfect apartment pet. They're low-noise, self-cleaning, and that whole pooping-in-a-box trick pretty much sews up the title.
You may claim you're not a "cat person," but there's a cat-advantage for almost every personality type. And with an estimated 4 million cats ending up in shelters each year, there's sure to be an ideal match for you out there. The Humane Society's Adopt-a-Cat Month is the perfect time to find out:
The Teacher - It wasn't just clever movie magic that had Robert DeNiro's cat, Jinx, squatting on the toilet in "Meet the Parents" -- you can seriously train your cat to use the loo! It takes patience (up to a year), and a spare toilet, but you'll live litter-free once Kitty gets the, um, "hang" of it.
The DIY'er - If the mental picture of your cat retreating to the guest bath with the Sunday paper is just a little too weird for your taste, you can still co-exist peacefully -- even in the smallest rental space -- with a litter box. DIY website Ikea Hacker is filled with ideas about how to turn everyday furniture into stylish (and discreet) cat bathrooms.
The Decorator - If the thought of cluttering up your living space with a carpet-covered "cat condo" is holding you back, have no fear: the new generation of kitty entertainment systems will keep your space looking more Architectural Digest than Cat Fancy.
The Busy Bee - While any pet requires a certain time commitment, cats tend to be the more low-maintenance species when compared to their canine counterparts. If you need the flexibility to be away from home during the day, or even an occasional night or weekend, cats are generally cool with staying home alone -- though a companion kitty would help.
The Nurturer - Just think of the 4 million cats and kittens who will pass through the doors of animal shelters this year, and imagine the love and loyalty that will be coming your way when you take one home to a better life in your cozy apartment. June may be Adpot-a-Cat month, but is there ever a bad time to rescue a furry friend? Check shelters in your area for your own purr-fect match.
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