Is this $1,500 San Jose apartment for 2 cats really a good idea?

It is a cat story which went viral. A landlord, David Callish, rents out his 400 square foot studio apartment to 2 cats owned by Victoria Amith a student. Her father, Tory Good, pays the rent.

Apartment for 2 cats in San Jose
Apartment for 2 cats in San Jose
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

I don’t need to go over the circumstances which led to this state of affairs but I would like to discuss whether this is a good idea in terms of cat welfare (for background see Elisa’s report).

The cats are stuck indoors full-time in a 400 square foot apartment as I understand it. They are visited by Callish daily to ‘feed and play with the cats’. Good stops by ‘regularly’ and Amith visits when she has a break from school.

We don’t know how regularly Good visits but I’d suspect not that often. Amith can’t visit that often. So the main contact the cats have with people is from Callish.

He is a businessman. He won’t be staying long. I’d be certain of that. I’d give him 30 minutes tops at the apartment once a day.

The point I am making is that the arrangement is nice and newsworthy because of the $1,500 cost of renting an apartment for 2 cats. But the other story which has not been discussed is how often the cats interact with people they are relaxed with. The answer looks like: not much and not enough – no where near enough.

The apartment is not kitted out with stuff which makes it ideal for cats. Therefore if they are visited for 30 mins daily on average they have human interaction for around 2% of their day. If it’s twice that at one hour per day that’s 4.2% of the day.

For domestic cats that’s not enough. People will say I don’t know the length and frequency of the visits. True, but I can speculate as judged by the arrangement which is what I am entitled to do and have done. It looks wrong to me from a domestic cat welfare point of view.

The story is focused on the human element, the perceived extravagance of renting an expensive flat for 2 cats. The other story – how do the cats like it? – needs to be discussed too. It would not surprise me if the cats become stressed and start peeing out of the litter box. If that happens the arrangement will end.

Is it cruel to keep a cat in one room?

4 thoughts on “Is this $1,500 San Jose apartment for 2 cats really a good idea?”

  1. Excellent point, Michael. I do not think leaving any animal in this situation is healthy physically, psychologically or emotionally. I bet this decision was not well thought out from these angles. ☹️

  2. I would think that there are many cat lovers who could use housing, and would be happy to care for the cats, and the apt. And still have the owners come when they could.

    As a businessman, I can’t imagine that he would be doing the necessary things that are needed, such as feeding, scooping the litter box, playing and petting the cats.

    Much more could be done to enhance the lives of these cats, such as toys, climbing structures, music, cat videos, and paying someone to spend more time with them. Is there an outside view?

    I’m curious how this all came about, and what their vet thinks.

  3. I agree that the cats need someone around; someone with them who they can make personal connections to, to cuddle to and follow around. They like knowing a human lives in the same abode with them, which these cats don’t have. They aren’t fancy living toys you can keep in a box to visit just when you feel like it. It’s better than some other fates but It’s not enough, oddly enough. Yeah, it’s just a weird story and I bet it’s getting much the same feedback.

    • Thanks for you thoughts on this Albert. It’s hard to be critical of the owner because she’s trying to do the right and she loves her cats but I don’t see it being enough. It looks wrong to me. I don’t believe a person can park their cats in a small flat for months and rely on others to feed them and play occasionally.


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