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Crate Training for Cats?!

Lunas Mommy

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Hey everyone!

My little Luna has been with me for 3 days now. The first night she was with me went very smoothly considering the big move but I realized I didn't sleep and wouldn't be getting any sleep as long as she was out roaming around even with the door to my room closed. So the next day we got her a big crate, put her bed, blankets, soft animals and toys in and that is now her own little bedroom!

We keep the door to the crate open during the day, closing it only for a short time when we can't keep an eye on her.

At night I close the crate, and she doesn't mind at all. When she's ready for bed she'll run into it, sit and wait for me to tuck her in! Then she'll only wake me up at night if she needs the bathroom. Other than that she sleeps/lays around/plays patiently until I wake up in the morning and let her out first thing.

She even starts to purr when I lay down for bed at night! Her crate is right next to my bed, so it's almost as if we're sleeping together!

Anyway with how much she seems to enjoy it and how comfortable she is in it. Plus the piece of mind it gives me at night and times when I can't keep an eye on her, I started to wonder if there were any added benefits? She's safe, has her own little space and it makes going in her carrier a breeze!

I searched online for thoughts on this topic and found quite a few varied opinions on the matter.

So my question is... what do you think?! Would you ever try it?

(please don't tell me I'm being cruel to her (as I've seen people commenting) on some sites. She is free to roam around for most of the day, and is only confined for night/short periods of time. Plus she runs to it and loves it)
 

Catzzzmeow

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A big difference between this community and other sites is no bashing, so don't worry :) What is the ultimate goal you are hoping to accomplish by crating her? We have 4.cats that sleep with us. I am smothered, sandwiched and pinned to the bed every night and they trained me to accept it...lol.each baby has perfected the art of sleep and I move to accommodate them...lol. I tell people I sleep here and our cats live here. My boy has slept in my arms for 12 years. He purrs and is my lullaby.

Being as we do not crate them, I think my concerns would be is there a litter box in the crate? Also if you go on vacation and someone watches them, would they still be crated and for how long? They are creatures of habit and thrive on this. We just made sure we were their constant and things fell into place naturally. So when they are kittens it is important you think ahead as to what will benefit them in the future and not just now.

Patti
 

Lunas Mommy

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The goal is to keep her safe, especially at night. Once she's older I'll keep the crate open. My room is the coldest one in the apartment. Ive closed my window and covered the air vent. I put a big blanket over the crate (so no cold air goes on her when she sleeps on top of her blankets) and a heating pad under the crate where she sleeps. It's basically an area just for her. Her safe zone, you know?

There is no litter box in there. Only bed/blankets/stuffed animals simply because she's not in there very long (xpt for nights) she's very very good with going in her litter box which is in the bathroom right by my room. If she needs to go at night (like last night) she wakes me up and goes towards the door for me to open it. So I'm not worried about her going in there.

When we travel to relatives, we'll be taking the crate with us. So she'll be safe at night there/ at times where the place isn't kitty safe.

If someone is to watch them she would have the crate open. We won't be leaving her until she's older (at that time she'll already have the crate open) The door is only closed while she's new here and little.
 

JenFid

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I think it's a good idea. It's great for traveling, like you said it's become her safe spot and own little sleeping place, something she will recognize where ever you may take her. Mulder has a hooded bed like that too - it's next to my night stand and he sleeps there, meets me there at bedtime. I bring it with us when we go to the cabin (and our first hotel stay in a couple weeks) and he jumps right in there, happy as can be.
She obviously enjoys being in there, so I don't see the harm in it!
 

Toa and Ross

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@LokisMom what a good idea to give her her own bedroom in the crate. Wish I thought about it when my boys were little (they won and sleep in my bed now, I love it but it's actually nog good for my allergy). You say Luna likes, goes in the crate by herself and purrs while she's in it so I don't see a reason why it isn't good for her!

I'm only on sphynxlair since 8 months now but I noticed people here never bash or anything like that.
 

lealea

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It's a good idea when they are tiny. When I first had Rosie home, I was worried about squashing her, she was so tiny! But she insisted on being in the bed with us, we were just very aware and a little sleepless for a few nights until we realised she really was in no danger of being squished! I'm also pinned down by four cats when I'm sleeping at night and Rosie usually worms her way under the covers to sleep by my tummy.

Maybe once Luna is a little bigger she'll find her own place sleeping with you. Rosie doesn't use the litter tray at night, but will get up for a good drink, almost invariably wiggling back under the blankets when she's done.

Does Luna cry when she wants out for the litter tray or a drink at night? I'm sure she'd be fine in your room without the door being closed on the crate. They are little heat seekers and I'm sure she'd have no trouble finding her way back to her blankets if your room is on the chilly side. As long as you don't have small loose items that could be chewed or swallowed, being loose in your room would be fine.
 

Lunas Mommy

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It's a good idea when they are tiny. When I first had Rosie home, I was worried about squashing her, she was so tiny! But she insisted on being in the bed with us, we were just very aware and a little sleepless for a few nights until we realised she really was in no danger of being squished! I'm also pinned down by four cats when I'm sleeping at night and Rosie usually worms her way under the covers to sleep by my tummy.

Maybe once Luna is a little bigger she'll find her own place sleeping with you. Rosie doesn't use the litter tray at night, but will get up for a good drink, almost invariably wiggling back under the blankets when she's done.

Does Luna cry when she wants out for the litter tray or a drink at night? I'm sure she'd be fine in your room without the door being closed on the crate. They are little heat seekers and I'm sure she'd have no trouble finding her way back to her blankets if your room is on the chilly side. As long as you don't have small loose items that could be chewed or swallowed, being loose in your room would be fine.

I love the name Rosie!

The first night she was home, I put her in her bed by mine (at that time we didn't have a crate) and she slept there for the most part. I know she didn't sleep much with the breeder, she had a room all to herself w the other cats. So she doesn't mind as long as I tuck her in and she sees me sleeping next to her.

My room is as kitten proofed as I could get it. With that being said, there are still some places she isn't allowed to be for the time being.

No she doesn't cry, she meows patiently until I'm up. She's going to the bathroom at night because we are having some stool issues (waiting on the fecal test to come back) I put her to bed around 9 and I go to bed around 12. When I go to bed, I let her out and she gets a drink and goes potty. Then we both go to bed. During the day she naps in there with the crate open :)

I'm glad others think it's a good idea too! There was another site I was looking at and everyone was bashing the person. I get it if its a small crate/you keep the cat there for long periods. They need to roam around.

I'm glad I found all of you and the lair :)
 

lealea

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That's good she likes the crate and is happy just napping in there during the day, too. Once she's grown up a bit and grown used to you and your house, she'll probably end up on your bed, especially once she realises how warm and toasty it is to snuggle up to a human!

Have you posted pictures of your new baby yet?
 

Lunas Mommy

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That's good she likes the crate and is happy just napping in there during the day, too. Once she's grown up a bit and grown used to you and your house, she'll probably end up on your bed, especially once she realises how warm and toasty it is to snuggle up to a human!

Have you posted pictures of your new baby yet?

Yes! I posted them on my other post :) She's stunning, pictures don't do her justice!

Luna is home! Now i need help..
 

Yoda mom

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@Lunas Mommy , head smooches to Luna - and I am glad you came her for non bashing brainstorming :)

I am a big advocate of dogs being crate trained even though they can free roam , they often take their toys and nap in the crate all on their own- I put rubber interlocking gym matting squares under the plastic crate tray for extra comfort -( if you have ever leaned in a crate to clean it - you can feel the metal bars under the tray-) I top it with a made to size bolstered crate bed- I always crate train dogs young or older- quick potty training and perfect they are comfy with crates in case of a natural disaster - with that being said, I move on to cat crating thoughts-

I commend you for wanting her safe :)

nothing wrong with a cat being comfy in a crate or carrier-
** I absolutely think she should have a litter tray in the crate - especially because it is being used for nights-
You want to set her up for success- one accident can lead to unwanted lifetime habits-
They sell small disposable plastic ones in the grocery store with litter in it you can dump and use your own-

* I personally would kitty proof the room and make your bedroom the safe room -
I have four bed hogs but I trained them to their throw blankets on the bed-
My man does not want to be pushed off the bed by kitties ;)

*I put theft throws on the end of the bed- train by praise and treats on that spot- or even a Small cat tree
Works like a charm- they come running at bedtime to their place much like you describe her going to her crate :)
Which you obviously made her little comfy palace with love to keep her safe and warm-

My two cents, you made a warm comfy bed time place for her - I would keep it there, leave the door open at all times-
Having the bedroom kitty proofed as safe room with a litter box available where it will be permanent
This way eliminating the need for a box in her crate if the door is always kept open and it is just her warm kitty cave :)
( lots of creative ikea hacks and litter benches etc)

You could train her with treats and praise to her to a spot to sleep on your bed or even a spot right next to you- Mine know to sleep on my side of the bed- you could get more sleep too not worrying about having to wake up to her wanting to go potty

Thanks for listening to my two cents :)
Hope to hear good news back on her fecal! Please keep us posted!
Fwiw, it sounds like her crate is a little warm palace to hang out in-
 

Annika Laybourn

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I dont think you are cruel, just a bit over protecting :) She's not a human baby, she won't fall of something and hurt herself. And she (in my opinion) needs to be able to roam free also at night - so I would keep the crate, but never close it.:):cat:
 

KitKat26

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I don't think it's cruel at all. When Piper got spayed and kept licking herself and we had to put a cone on her I was so afraid of her falling off the bed that we bought a big pop up crate from walmart for big dogs, put a heated bed in there with lots of blankets and she loved it. She slept right by our bed. I also took a tip from @Xandria and put a bed on my nightstand right next to my side of the bed and sometimes in the middle of the night she will leave the bed, go sleep on my nightstand or get in the pop up crate. I think it's more comfortable for her. Occasionally like last night she will come wake me up with purrs at 2:00 in the morning just to say hello and then she gets under the covers.
 

naomi

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I use a crate for feeding time in my house. I started doing this when I started Frida on a raw diet and she would try to drag her meat everywhere. She runs to her crate every morning and evening with tail straight in the air like a happy kitten (she is 2 now and not a kitten but when it is breakfast time she might as well be). Frida loves her crate too. I don't see any issues with doing this and there are many benefits.
 

Snapcrcklpop

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My furry cat was a holy terror when he was younger. He would spend the nights either keeping us awake whether the door was opened or closed and if ignored he would get into all of the cabinets and drawers and eat everything he could find. I was so worried he would eat something bad for him we crated him at night too. Our crate was one for a medium sized dog and had food, water, litter box, a comfy bed and blankets and a few toys. It did wonders, he was happy and safe and we rested easy knowing that. Since he has become a mature gentleman he prefers to spend his nights in bed with us now but I'm so glad we crated him when he was young to prevent a catastrophe.
 

naomi

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At the shelter I volunteer at they tie a blanket to the bars to create a raised area and the litter box goes underneath. This also creates a super comfy area to lie down. You can also get little water containers that attach to the sides of the crate so she doesn't have to go without water ever.
 
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