Published: April 30th, 2017 | Jeremy Feldman

How to Find Cat-Friendly Apartments in Brooklyn, New York

THE REAL ESTATE MARKET

New Yorkers know that in the real estate race to earn a coveted Brooklyn home a person needs the stamina of Olympic proportion. According to StreetEasy’s NYC’s Hottest Neighborhoods in 2017 list; 6 out of 10 of the hottest areas in NYC are, you guessed it, in Brooklyn. And while it might be difficult for humans to find the Brooklyn apartment of their dreams, imagine how hard it is for the pets of NYC! Dogs looking for garden floor homes are in for a struggle, cats who want to invest in houses with bay windows (essential for sunbathing) will be hard on their luck, and we can’t even imagine how difficult it is for the reptiles of NYC to find the ultimate sauna/bathroom. But not to worry! Because PetYen is dedicated to serving the pets of New York City we have scouted for the perfect solution for (at least) the cats of NYC. Welcome to Famous Oto’s Brooklyn House for Cats, the most sought after home for the hip urban cat. In cardboard form. And smaller than a real apartment. And lacking running water, heat or electricity. But any true NYC cat knows that those are frivolous amenities when faced with the prospect of skylights and well-proportioned spaces.

Famous OTO Brooklyn Cat House

THE BUILDING

Famous Oto’s Brooklyn House is that coveted brownstone every savvy NYC cat deserves. As the designer Måns Swanberg claims, the Brooklyn House is expertly modeled on apartments, “typical of Carroll Gardens, Gowanus, Prospect Heights, Bed-Stuy, Williamsburg, Greenpoint,” replete with “lots of haphazard repairs, hand painted signs, randomly spared 19th-century details.” We’re not exaggerating when we say that Famous Oto has not spared any attention to detail. It’s very literally a little slice of Brooklyn real estate heaven, just in pet-sized form. Was it scaled to human proportions, no doubt we’d be buying as well.

famous oto brooklyn cat house train view

TRANSIT

When looking for a new home proximity to public transportation is an essential piece of the real estate puzzle. And on this point, the Brooklyn House does not disappoint. For the NYC cat on the go, this place is a total winner as it is located directly above a train station! This is like the holy grail of convenience. Nevermind that is on the G, a line not known for reliability per se, but subway proximity is everything for the cat with places to go and people to see. So having a train right under their paws is an outstanding selling point for any NYC cat.

famous oto brooklyn cat house bistro view

THE NEIGHBORHOOD

Important considerations for the NYC cat include: is it close to a bodega? Are there dumpsters within walking distance? Is there a farmer’s market nearby? Well, it just so happens that the Brooklyn House is located right above Le Petit Coin, a chic French bistro. For the busy urban cat with many windows to watch from, noises to escape, and roaches to kill, there is little time to prepare mouse meat. So the fact that Brooklyn House is conveniently located above a brasserie means easy access to high-quality food scraps, intoxicating smells, trash cans galore, and an ample supply of rodents at all times of the day.famous oto brooklyn cat house tree view

AMENITIES

No self-respecting NYC cat would deign to live in a building that is not within jumping distance to foliage. Greenery is essential to the NYC cat’s very existence. Without greenery, they would have little access to prime bird watching spots. That’s why the Brooklyn House comes replete with ivy growing alongside the building, making for the perfect bird perch. And light?! Don’t even get us started on the light. There is light pouring in from every angle! The Brooklyn House comes with one hefty egress (accessible to cats of varying weight), one escape hatch on the roof (excellent for letting the sun in), a row of windows on the top floor and a side door perfect for stealthy exits.

THE CONTRACT

The purchasing agreement works for the tenant. Honestly, it’s a real estate jackpot at the unbeatable price of $39/ unit!! However, all transactions are to be made upfront. There are no mortgaging options available, sales are final, and the contract is binding. The good news is that since payment is paid directly to the seller, there are no broker fees, monthly maintenance charges or carrying costs!

THE LOWDOWN

Since PetYen is invested in making the life for NYC pets as convenient as possible, Famous Oto sent us our unit so we could test a) the ease of construction and b) overall livability. Read our written review below, but even better check out our video review to see how we assembled the building and how NYC kitties reacted to it.

  • Ease of Construction: It is the responsibility of the buyer to assemble their home. The written contract makes it clear that each house is sold pre-fabricated and must be assembled upon purchase. The unit was delivered in two separate cardboard pieces to be “welded” together. Each tab was labeled with corresponding numbers, taking out the guesswork of construction. Since the unit is made of cardboard, no hammers, nails or lumber were required, making fabrication a relatively easy process! Truth be told, we fumbled a bit in figuring out which elements needed to be molded or bent into shape, but once the building was underway, the house was erected quickly and efficiently.
  • Livability: To truly gauge how NYC cat’s feel about purchasing the Brooklyn House we brought our unit to the Brooklyn Cat Cafe to test it amongst the local adoptees. And let’s just say it did not disappoint. Once the unit was placed in a central location, the line to preview the apartment made itself! Cats from all corners of the cafe crawled from the woodwork to inspect the house for themselves. Some cats chose to perch on top of the unit and survey the neighborhood, while other potential buyers took their time to inspect the interior fully. By the end, we had a long list of prospective buyers who were putting in their application along with their adoption papers.

So as it turned out, our visit to the Brooklyn Cat Cafe confirmed what we already suspected, that the Famous Oto Brooklyn House for Cats is the hot place to be if you’re a NYC cat in the know. You won’t be able to find the listing on Zillow, but can purchase a unit directly from the Famous Oto website. And if you’re looking for more residents to fill the unit, please consider adopting from the Brooklyn Cat Cafe! It is an incredible organization run by the Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition with so many purrfect (and vetted!) tenants looking for their space in a Brooklyn House in your home.

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