Petkeen is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commision. Learn More

How to Keep Cats Out of a Room (8 Proven Methods)

Oliver Jones

Just because you have a cat in your home doesn’t mean you want a cat in every part of your home. It’s perfectly fine to want to maintain a pet-free part of your house, but sometimes that’s easier said than done.

The good news is that there are tried-and-proven tricks that you can use. Here, we highlighted eight different methods that you can use to keep your cat out of certain rooms. A few of them will even walk you through how to keep cats out of a room without doors!

For the best results, try to implement as many of these tips and tricks as possible.

1. Shut the Door

It might sound oversimplified because many cats dart into rooms at the first opening, but it still stands that the easiest way to keep a cat out of a room is to close the door.

It may be easier said than done, but the only foolproof way to keep your cat out of a room is to keep the door shut so they can’t get in.

cat near closed door
Image Credit: JMoreira93, Shutterstock

2. Use Secondary Barriers

Maybe you can’t always keep the door shut. Or perhaps you have a cat that seems to dart out of nowhere every time you open a door. If this is what’s happening to you, a secondary barrier might be just what you need.

Baby gates work well if the cat can’t squeeze through, but anything that your cat can’t get around should do the trick.

3. Ignore Scratching

If you’re shutting the door and your cat is scratching to try to get in, the last thing that you can do is let them in or even give them negative attention to get them away from the door. That’s because your cat typically enjoys attention, even if it’s negative.

If you’re worried about your cat scratching up your door, there are a few things you can do about that. Cats don’t like to scratch sticky substances, so you can put double-sided tape on the bottom of the door.

You can also use aluminum foil because cats don’t like the feeling or the sound that aluminum foil makes. If you are worried about the look of the tape or aluminum foil, keep in mind that this should only be a temporary thing.

Once your cat gets used to the fact that they can’t enter that room, you should be able to remove the tape or the foil, and your cat shouldn’t scratch at the door.

cat scratching post
Image Credit: EbneRol, Shutterstock

4. Don’t Make It a Game

If your cat starts to get attention whenever they scratch at the door, or you chase after them to get them to leave the door alone, your cat is getting the attention that they want.

In the same way, if the cat gets into the room and it becomes a game to chase them around to get them out, your cat now has an incentive to enter the room. It can be challenging because you’re trying to get your cat out of the room, but you need to do whatever you can to keep it from becoming a game.

5. Use Scent Deterrents

If you can make it so your cat doesn’t want to enter the room in the first place, then you don’t have to worry about fighting to keep them out. One of the easiest and best ways that you can do this is through scents.

Citrus and vinegar are two scents that your cat can’t handle, so if you keep these odors around the room, they can be extremely effective at keeping your cat out.

orange peel
Image Credit: Pixabay

6. Use Orange and Citrus Rinds

Not only can you use artificial scents to keep the cat out of a room, but you can also use the real things! While you will need to swap out orange and citrus rinds before they start to deteriorate and grow bacteria, rinds are a completely natural way to help keep your cat out of a specific room.

Just ensure that you spread them throughout the entire room; otherwise, your cat will just avoid specific areas!

7. Use Redirection

If you see that your cat is trying to head into the restricted room, one of the best things that you can do is redirect them to something different. You can do this is by playing with your cat or doing something else to redirect them away from the restricted room.

While this might not work as a long-term strategy, it can help keep your cat happy.

Red Cat playing with a bow on a string
Image Credit: Alexander Sobol, Shutterstock

8. Add Noise

While scents are one way to keep your cat from wanting to enter a specific room, another way you can accomplish the same task is to add a bunch of noise. Just like dogs, cats have sensitive ears. This means if you’re playing loud music or making a bunch of noise another way, your cat will likely want to leave the room.

If the room is quiet while the rest of the house is noisy, the cat might want to head in there to get away from everything.

Related Read: How to Keep Cats Off Outdoor Furniture (14 Proven Methods)

Final Thoughts

While one of the best ways to keep a cat out of a room is to shut the door, that’s not always an option. The good news is that if you follow the other tips, you can make certain rooms less hospitable for your cats.

Just keep in mind that it’s a process, so you can’t expect your cat to change their habits overnight!


Featured Image Credit: StockSnap, Pixabay

Oliver Jones

Oliver (Ollie) Jones - A zoologist and freelance writer living in South Australia with his partner Alex, their dog Pepper, and their cat Steve (who declined to be pictured). Ollie, originally from the USA, holds his master's degree in wildlife biology and moved to Australia to pursue his career and passion but has found a new love for working online and writing about animals of all types.