How Long Can A Cat Stay In A Crate?

How Long Can A Cat Stay In A Crate

Crates are large pet-safe enclosures that are a bit larger than carriers. Ideally, its size should be twice as big as a litter box and at least 1.5 times the size of your cat. This will allow your cat to have enough room to move around and to have the essential resources around like her food and water bowl,  sleeping bed, and toys. 

How long can a cat stay in a crate?

Cat experts recommend that a cat should stay no more than six hours in a crate. If you see the need to let your cat stay for a longer period, make sure that she has enough food and water with her.  Your cat should also have access to her litter box during such time.

Why is it necessary for cats to stay in crates?

While a crate should not be used often there are instances when it is useful. Here are some of the reasons why crates are necessary for cats:

To restrain your cat during nighttime.

Cats are crepuscular by nature which means that they are at their most active state during dusk and dawn. However, this may not sit well with owners since humans are asleep during nighttime.  So, to avoid being awakened by your cat, you may keep her in a crate so you can sleep in peace. Make sure to put cat food in it as well as fresh and clean water. 

When your cat has an illness. 

Sometimes you need to put your cat in a crate especially if she is suffering from a disease or disorder and she has trouble with taking medication. Being in a crate will help your unwell cat to become calm and obedient. 

Your cat conflicts with a new pet. 

If you have a new cat in your household, there is a big possibility that there will be tension and conflict between your resident cat and the newbie cat. Thus, to avoid any further aggression you may opt to keep the new cat in a crate. This way, your resident cat will realize that the new cat is not violating her territory and will make it easier to build a relationship between them in the next few days. 

Here are other reasons why a crate is necessary for cats:

  • if you are introducing your cat to a new surrounding
  • to control your cat during mating season 
  • to restrict your cat  if she becomes too active 
  • if you are planning to travel 
  • to tame stray cats 
  • to train cats to use the litter box 

Types of cat crates 

There are various types of crates based on the kind of materials used. Here are the common options:

  • plastic –  it is durable and comes in various cute designs and cats will be comfortable when using it, it also comes at an affordable price.
  • wood –  this type of crate is also a good choice but make sure that it is made with waterproof and moisture-proof layers. An example is the Merry Pet Configurable Pet Crate.
  • stainless steel –  this type is durable and easy to clean and maintain, it is foldable, airy, affordable, and not harmful to pets’ health. A good option is the AmazonBasics Playpen Box Crate Kennel. 

What to do if you let your cat stay in a crate?

If you intend to let your cat stay in a crate for a few hours, make sure that you do the following steps:

Check if your cat is hungry 

If your cat is staying in a crate for a few hours, you should see to it that her scheduled meals are still followed. Cats usually have two meals in a day while kittens may need to eat at least three times in one day. You may opt to give kibbles or dry cat food for her to snack on.

Check if she has to pee or poop 

Cats are very particular when it comes to eliminating waste so make sure that there is a litter box inside the crate.  If not, you have to check once in a while if they need to be let out to do their business.

Check if she is bored

Make sure that your cat is engrossed while she is inside the crate to avoid boredom.  Provide cat toys like to keep her busy and engaged. 


As a doting pet parent, you want the best for your cat and will do anything to make her comfortable, happy, and content.  However, there are times when you have to keep her inside a crate for at least six hours to a day for reasons such as to restrain her from being too active or as part of her recovery phase if she has a health issue.

Image: / Jevtic