Crate training a dog is relatively common and essential to do. But have you ever heard of crate training a cat? Keep reading to learn the answer: Can you crate train a cat?
Why Would You Want To Crate Train Your Cat?
There are several reasons why you would crate train a dog. Those are similar to why you would want to crate train a cat. Of course, dogs and cats have vastly different personalities and temperaments, but crates can benefit cats and kittens.
Some reasons you’d want to crate train your kittens are as follows:
- First, a crate provides a safe space for your cat or kitten.
- Second, crate training offers a less-stressful travel time for the vet.
- Third, crates make traveling by car or airplane easier.
- Finally, crating your cat is ideal for emergency evacuations or situations.
Cats are often seen as independent but enjoy their family’s company. However, they can be social and playful in many ways.
Kittens can also get into trouble if they’re alone for too long. Adult cats can as well if they have separation anxiety or get bored.
This is where crate training comes in. The crate should never be used as a punishment or time-out. Instead, it should create a safe space for your cat to enjoy when they need alone time or want to nap.
If your kitty is used to their crate, you won’t need to chase them around the house for their vet appointment, causing stress for all parties involved.
Why Type Of Crate Should You Get For Your Feline Friend?
The type of crate you decide to get for your kitty is up to you and your cat’s personality. You might buy several types to see which one they prefer.
For example, there are the following types of crates:
- Metal Box
Before you buy one, ensure that you know the pros and cons of each one. Also, keep in mind your cat’s comfort levels. For instance, they’ll most likely feel more at home in a fabric crate than in a metal one.
A wire crate is easy to move and is often foldable, so you can easily store it somewhere. However, if your cat tries to break free, it may break the crate or harm itself. Also, you can easily see inside the crate, and your cat can see out.
On the other hand, plastic crates have less visibility. So you’ll still be able to see your kitty a little, but it’ll be harder for them to see out. This might be a good thing if your cat gets overstimulated visually.
Plastic crates are also medium-weight and easy to clean.
Metal boxes are the most expensive, but they’re also the most sturdy. However, they’re heavy and difficult to store since you can fold them.
Finally, fabric crates are lightweight but more sturdy to hold your cat. Unfortunately, they can’t be folded to store easily and can be challenging to clean. However, they’re soft, so they should provide more comfort to your cat.
What Size Crate Should You Get?
The bigger, the better. If you have a kitten, you’ll want a crate that fits them well as an adult. It’ll be huge at first, but you won’t need to worry about buying upgraded crates in the future.
If you have an adult cat, you’ll still want to give them plenty of room. Buy a crate that allows them to stand up and turn around. Otherwise, they’ll be too cramped.
If you’re at the store and a crate looks too small, then it probably is. Try picking out one that’s the next size up.
How To Crate Train A Cat
Crate training a cat resembles how you would train a dog. Every cat is different. They have unique personalities and breed temperaments. Some cats may be easier to train, but they’ll catch on with patience.
Introduce The Crate
Curiosity never killed the cat. So the first step to crate training your cat is introducing the crate to them. Place the crate in an area that your cat frequents in the house. You can even place it beside their toys or climbing tree.
Let your cat sniff around the crate. They might poke their head inside to see what it’s all about. Give them a treat and praise.
You can add your cat’s favorite blanket to the inside during this step. This will make the crate smell somewhat familiar to them.
Put Treats Or Their Favorite Toy Inside
Once your cat is used to the crate’s presence, it’s time to get them inside. This is a relatively simple step, but it may take some time. You can put treats or their favorite toy inside the crate.
Whenever they go inside to retrieve their toy, give them another treat and plenty of praise. Over time, they’ll go farther inside the crate.
Feed Meals In The Crate
When your kitty seems comfortable going all the way inside the crate, you can begin feeding their meals inside. This action is temporary, just a way to familiarize your cat with the crate and recognize it as their space.
At this point, your feline friend should be okay going inside the crate. So, place their dinner in the back of the crate to get them fully inside.
Trying Closing The Door
When it seems like your cat seamlessly gets in and out of their crate comfortably, it’s time to close the door. At first, close the door for a moment and see how they react. They may panic at first and, if they do, open the crate again.
Over time, you’ll be able to close the door for longer. Eventually, you’ll be able to walk away and leave the room for short periods.
Teach Your Cat “Crate”
Remember to use the word “crate” or whatever cue you’d like during this process. The word will become familiar to your cat. They may even obey sometime when you ask them to get into their crate on cue.
FAQs About Crate Training A Cat
If you’re eager to learn more about crate training your cat, read through the frequently asked questions below.
Will My Cat Enter Its Crate On Cue?
Cats are more challenging to train than dogs, but they are trainable. You can certainly teach your cat the word “crate.” Over time, they may go in when you ask them to. However, cats can be stubborn. Even if they know what you want them to do, they may choose not to listen.
When Should I Start Crate Training My Cat?
You can begin your cat crate training whenever you want. If you have a kitten, it’ll be easier if they grow up with it. However, if you have an adult cat, you can teach them over time.
How Long Can A Cat Stay In Its Crate?
Your cat should be in its crate for a short amount of time. If you’re going to work and need to confine your kitten, ensure you can get someone to check on them throughout the day. If you’re running an errand and will be gone for an hour or two, your cat will be okay.
Can I Crate My Cat Overnight?
Yes, you can. With kittens, overnight crating is a good idea. It’ll keep them out of trouble at night and teach them to settle down and sleep. Ensure the crate is visible to monitor your cat throughout the night.
Can You Crate Train A Cat?
The short answer is yes. You can successfully crate train a cat. Even if you don’t use the crate daily, it’s still good for your cat to know in case you need to travel somewhere or take your cat to the vet.
Rachel Poli is a content writer and author, but her real job is being a stay-at-home pet mom. Her zoo currently consists of a dog, a cat, two turtles, and two fish tanks. She’s also an avid pet sitter for a few local families, caring for various animals.
After realizing how little information there is for pet sitters on the internet, Rachel decided to start her own animal website. She strives to educate pet parents and pet sitters about the overall care of our furry friends.