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Home > Cats > Can a Cat Be Crated During the Day? Vet-Reviewed Facts and Advice

Can a Cat Be Crated During the Day? Vet-Reviewed Facts and Advice

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Dr. Lauren Demos

Veterinarian, DVM

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It’s incredibly common for pet owners to crate their dogs during the day either while they are either working or out running errands, but you don’t often hear of crating your cat. If you are worried about leaving your cat free to roam while you aren’t home, you may be wondering if your cat can be crated during the day.

The answer is that for short periods, or in rare instances, you can crate your cat. But for most cats, it is not enjoyable for them, and generally not recommended. Keep reading to learn more about what circumstances warrant crating your kitty, the benefits, and some tips on how to successfully introduce them to a crate.


The 2 Unique Reasons to Crate Your Cat During the Day

1. Allow Time to Adjust to a New Home

When you either move to a new home or bring a new cat into your home, it is an adjustment for everyone, especially your cat. Keeping them crated during the first hour in the new home, or when movers are present, can be beneficial and allow them time to adjust in a safe, secure area.

If they are given full access to the entire household, they will be more likely to hide away in fear. Keeping them crated while you are away until they become more comfortable in their new environment can help ease their stress. If they are a brand-new cat, this will also allow them a chance to be safely introduced to any other pets in the home.

Woman riding a car with cat
Image By: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

2. Your Cat Is Ill, Injured, or Recovering from Surgery

In cases where your cat has suffered an injury, illness, or needs some down time to recover from a recent surgery, crating them during the day can be very beneficial when restoring their health. It’s also a great way to keep them quarantined from other pets in the event of a transmissible sickness. Keeping them locked safely in the crate can ensure they don’t get into anything, reinjure, or overexert themselves.


What Size Crate Does My Cat Need?

The crate size for your cat will depend on your cat’s size, what you are using the crate for, and how long they will be kept in the crate. If they will be in there for hours, it’s a good idea to have one large enough for them to snuggle up onto a bed and snooze but also have a litter box available for when they must relieve themselves.

If you are only using a crate for very short periods of time or to take a quick trip to the veterinarian, then you can opt for a smaller crate that is large enough for them to stand up comfortably and turn around in. It should also be easy to open, and take apart, as many cats won’t easily use the door to go in or out!

woman carrying cat in a carrier
Image By: SpeedKingz, Shutterstock

Should I Put a Litter Box Inside the Crate?

You should put a litter box in the crate if you plan on keeping them crated for more than a couple of hours. You don’t want your cat to become uncomfortable when they are unable to go to the bathroom.

Essential Tips for Crate Training Your Cat

Any cat will benefit from crate training, as they will use their crate to travel to the vet, and as a safe space in the home, if left out. Below are some tips on crate training your cat, but as always, reach out to your veterinarian if you have any questions.

  • Find a size-appropriate crate for what you need it for. Always look for a crate that is spacious enough for your cat to stand up and turn around easily. For travel, make sure it’s not big enough for them to be jostled around by the movement of the car.
  • Place the crate on the floor near one of your cat’s favorite areas and put in their favorite bedding or blanket.
  • Place treats and toys at the back of the crate to encourage them to enter.
  • If your cat is reluctant to venture inside of the crate, spray the inside with Feliway, or another calming pheromone spray.
  • Leave the crate door open and allow your cat to go in and out whenever they please.
  • Praise your cat when they either enter the crate or get close enough to examine it. This provides a positive reinforcement of this strange new item.
  • Close the door gently when your cat ventures inside the new crate but make sure you don’t make them feel trapped. Open and close it to let them see how it works and become more comfortable with it.
  • Crate them for very short periods of time and gradually increase the duration. For travel crates, make sure you desensitize them to the movement of picking up the crate and carrying it little by little.
cat inside carrier
Image By: Pixabay



Cats can most certainly be crated during the day and there are plenty of reasons why this may be necessary. Crating during the day often isn’t a long-term need since cats often do well when left to roam the house. Owners should always make sure their home is pet proof before leaving any animals loose while unsupervised and always reach out to their veterinarian if they have any questions regarding the use of a crate.

Featured Image Credit: Best smile studio, Shutterstock

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