How Long Can a Cat Stay in a Crate?

Have you ever wondered how long a cat can stay in a crate?

This can be a common worry amongst cat owners and one that should be addressed with ease to ensure every cat owner has a better understanding of the issue.

Cats are very independent animals and are often left to explore freely. However, circumstances can arise whereby a cat may need to spend time in a crate.

How many hours can cats stay in crates?

Circumstances such as visits to the vets, traveling, sleeping in a different environment, or if the cat is going through a recovery process. So how long is too long for a cat to remain in a crate? Well, the short answer is simple.

Most experts recommend no longer than 6 hours at a time. Keeping a cat restrained in a crate for longer than 6 hours at a time can cause frustration and even cause panic and fear in the animal.

Despite being trained and domesticated animals, cats are often very independent and make use of open space. Being restrained to a crate for an extended period of time can be aggravating and even frightening.

If for whatever reason, your cat had to stay in a crate for longer than 6 hours, it is essential he or she has a sufficient supply of food and water.

The same applies to any period spent in a crate. It is simply inhumane to leave a cat in a hard plastic/metal crate without food, water, or a soft cushion to lie on.

Cats Need Space

It is also important that the cat has enough space to move around in.

The cat should have enough space to stand up and turn around, and even have space to take a couple of strides for added comfort and movement.

Not only should the cat have space to maneuver, but they should have access to some sort of designated litter tray to allow them to have as many toilet breaks as necessary.

If you are traveling and your cat is having to spend longer than desired in the crate, it is essential that you allow the cat a chance to leave the crate as many times as possible.

This will create more ease for the animal and ultimately reduce the stress of being in a crate or traveling in general.

It Depends on the Cat

Some cats have been known to find comfort in sleeping in crates.

This is often depending on the upbringing of the cat and how it has been raised. Sleeping in a crate shouldn’t really be an issue, especially if the crate is left unlocked allowing the cat to come and go freely as it so wishes. In many cases, cats will even sleep outside or move around during the night.

Depending on how often your cat will be spending time in the crate will ultimately determine how long the cat could spend in there at any given time.

If for instance, your cat spends a lot of time during the day in its crate, then taking it to the vets in the crate would seem normal to your cat.

Not All Cats Like It

However, some cats don’t respond so well to being cooped up and can in some cases behave aggressively. If a cat behaves aggressively when being approached with a crate, it can sometimes be advised that the cat be left out of the crate due to possible safety hazards.

As well as long-haul travel, the only other reason for keeping a cat in a crate for extended periods of time is if the cat is recovering from a particular surgical procedure, or if they are ill and you are keeping them separate from other animals or keeping them inside for their own safety.

In this case, the same guidelines apply, in that the cat should have sufficient space to maneuver, access to a litter tray, enough food and water, and be let out at certain intervals for added comfort.

As long as the conditions in the crate are suitable you shouldn’t have many issues. However, it is also just as important to consider the conditions outside the crate as well.

The crate must always be left in a safe environment, not too hot, too cold, or too wet. When a cat is kept in a crate it must be supervised at all times and inspected regularly to ensure the cat is still well and healthy.

Do not be put off by crates for handling and transporting cats. In many cases, the cat will fall straight to sleep and even find it relaxing.

It is just advisory that all cat owners are made aware of the necessities when spending the added time in the crates for the overall well-being of the cat itself. The same applies to all animals.

Cats however are said to be a lot calmer and more patient than other domesticated animals.

Before Buying a Crate

Before purchasing a crate for your cat, or any animals for that matter, it is always worth buying from a reputable company that produces a high quality branded product. Not only are you buying for the comfort of your pet, but the safety too.

It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to protecting your companions. Poor quality crates and containers can lead to injury and even leave your cat feeling emotionally stressed out from a bad experience.

Be sure to buy a good quality crate and add comforting features like cushions and pillows so that your cat has a decent enough space to lie down.

avatar Noah
I’m Noah, chief editor at VIVO Pets and the proud owner of a playful, energetic husky (Max). I’ve been a volunteer at Rex Animal Rescue for over 2 years. I love learning and writing about different animals that can be kept as pets. read more...

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