Caging Cats: When and Why It's Sometimes Necessary

Updated on August 1, 2017

Introduction

I have had cats bless my life almost from the time of my own birth. In those days I lived in a rural agricultural community and cats were often seen as great pest control for barns or were sometimes kept as pets but even the pets rarely got to see the luxury of living full time in the house. Boy, things have changed! In those early years I would have said the idea of caging a cat was cruel and unnecessary and pretty much everyone would have agreed with me. The only caged cats I'd ever seen were at shelters or kitten mills but I am not talking about cramming a free range beastie into a crate and making it live there for the rest of its miserable days. I'd never be in support of that, but as I had to deal with more and more cat problems I learned that temporary caging can be a very effective and useful tool for all sorts of reasons and shouldn't be an idea immediately discarded by caring pet owners. I hope to illuminate some of these uses below.

Caging kittens for the first few weeks of their life is the best way to ensure good litter box habits later on in life.
Caging kittens for the first few weeks of their life is the best way to ensure good litter box habits later on in life.

Litterbox Training

To most cats the litter box is instinctual and even a cat whose never seen one will use it... others aren't so easy and this is often because they've learned bad litter box habits from another cat, usually their mother. I learned this the hard way when I had a litter of three kittens who were not caged at any point. They followed mama cat around and learned that litter boxes were decorational items and the best bathroom was behind all the furniture. This problem could have been so easily prevented if I had just known to cage the mother during their infancy. The idea is to have a cage just big enough for food, water, a nesting box (not on a shelf! Don't want those babies toppling off!) and a litter box. This forces even the dirtiest of cats to use the litter box and reinforces the behavior in the kittens. Usually by six to eight weeks of age the kittens are all ready from this experience to go live an ordinairy life within the house. And in the meantime you can let mama out from time to time to exercise as well as the kittens as they get older so no one suffers from being cooped up for too long.

Feral cats can be tamed easier when temporary caging is employed as a tool for re-domestication.
Feral cats can be tamed easier when temporary caging is employed as a tool for re-domestication.

Taming Ferals

Feral cats tug at the heartstring of anyone who loves felines. Some of them have been abandoned by their people while others have been born on the streets never knowing what it's like to have a home. It is the latter which are the hardest to reintroduce to domestic life but people do this every day. The first and obvious use for caging in feral cats is to keep mothers and kittens confined - not just for litter box training but also to make them easier to physically catch and socialize. Generally kittens born into this environment will turn out to be human friendly but be careful - if you don't separate the mother from the kittens at the age of weaning they may pick up on her fear of you and revert back to wild behaviors. Cages can also be used in ferals to tame older cats but expect this to be a process and take quite a bit of time. The cage will be to keep the cat in one area forcing it to be in contact with you. Hopefully over time it'll learn you're not there to hurt it and trust can be established - keep in mind adult ferals rarely tame down completely. They may trust one individual and remain aloof or never tame down but it's worth a try! And finally caging ferals is super useful if you're catching them for a spay and neuter program. It is much easier to house them in cages and wait for a vet appointment than hope to catch them on the day of surgery. They also can recover in the cages where they can't move around too much - hopefully preventing any after surgery accidents.

A luxury suite as far as quarantine cages go! This enclosure is made by www.cats-on-line.com
A luxury suite as far as quarantine cages go! This enclosure is made by www.cats-on-line.com

Quarantining

Quarantining is a super beneficial practice to anyone who has a more than one pet, especially if they're the same species. Sadly I don't see it being practiced enough for my liking but this is your first line of defense against contagious disease. Of course if you are bringing a new cat into an already established household you should always make sure they have been tested and come up negative for FIV/FeLV (feline leukemia and feline AIDS respectively.) Both these diseases are very contagious and fatal so you don't want this in your house if you can prevent it! From there cages are a great way to keep a new cat away from any resident cats for a period of time when you should be keeping an eye out for boogery noses or eyes, parasites, skin irritations, lethargy, diarrhea, or any other signs of sickness. During this time the cat should preferably be somewhere where there's no shared air between the other felines - this means a garage, a shed, a barn, a friend or neighbor's house but I realize this can't always be accomplished so keeping it in a separate room away from the other cats is better than nothing. Quarantine should last at the very minimum two weeks, only if no symptoms have shown up, but preferably should last 4-6 weeks. This includes both cats from rescues and from breeders!

Sometimes even the introduction of a kitten can be stressful to resident cats. Temporary caging of the new cat often eases them into the territory with less problems.
Sometimes even the introduction of a kitten can be stressful to resident cats. Temporary caging of the new cat often eases them into the territory with less problems.

Introducing a New Cat into the Household

One of the main themes of this article is going to be prevention. Trust me, when it comes to cats, prevention is always better than trying to solve a problem after the fact. One of the most common problems in cats is spraying and this is frequently caused with the introduction of a new cat. Can you really blame them? I mean I wouldn't be terribly happy if I came home from the grocery store and found Bob on my couch - a complete stranger whose now been forced to live with me. I can't say my first reaction wouldn't be, "Get out Bob! This is MY house! Who do you think you are?!" Cats aren't any different. That's why using a cage to introduce them is always an attractive option. The new cat should be kept in the cage somewhere in the house where the resident cat can come up and sniff it through the bars. This is a far gentler less territorially threatening introduction. Depending how they respond to each other you can move forward and let the new cat have play time outside of the cage one room at a time, slowly expanding its territory until it shares it completely with the resident cat. At the first sign of distress from either cat you should back up a step and try again. Patience is key.

Wabbitat cages work well for diagnostic cages - they're very small but the cat won't be in it for more than a day (and if no urine and/or stool is produced in that time consult your vet!)
Wabbitat cages work well for diagnostic cages - they're very small but the cat won't be in it for more than a day (and if no urine and/or stool is produced in that time consult your vet!)

Using a Cage to Help Diagnose Ailments

Cages can be intensely useful, especially in the muti-cat household, to pinpoint which cat is having a problem. Let's say one of your cats has diarrhea but you don't know which one. By using a cage you can determine who is having the problem by taking them one at a time and waiting for them to show you what you need. Other times cages can be useful if you know something is wrong but you're not quite sure what... These cages can be used to figure everything from common constipation to crystals or blood in the urine, runny or bloody stools, or even internal parasites. Did I mention it makes it very easy for you and your vet? Now you know which cat left which pile of pee or poo and take it in accordingly to be tested properly. This is also great to use with cats who have chronic issues like bladder stones or UTIs to figure out if that is what is currently causing them to show symptoms or if it's something else.

If you need to collect urine (to see stones, crystals, blood, strange coloration, or PH levels for diabetes testing) then you can use a litter box with no litter in it and hope you cat will use it or you can use the old school method of keeping them in a cage with a grated bottom and waiting for them to pee so that it can be collected by the tray underneath. The first option is less stressful for the cat involved but some cats are less than cooperative. Make sure they have food and water either way!

Cat carriers are a must for anyone who wants to safely travel with their kitty. Cats can become spooked easily and a carrier will ensure they can't scratch you up and get away.
Cat carriers are a must for anyone who wants to safely travel with their kitty. Cats can become spooked easily and a carrier will ensure they can't scratch you up and get away.

Very Short Term Penning & Crating

If you have a cat that likes to disappear into the black hole that every feline-friendly household has, then temporary crating and penning may be useful to you at some point in the future! If you have a vet appointment or are moving then gather the cat the night or week before and then you won’t have to scramble around the morning of trying to find the missing beastie! Temporary caging can also be used wonderfully if you are having a gathering of some sort and can’t trust your visitors not to let your cat outside or in an area of the house it’s not supposed to be. This is more for the cat’s safety and for your own peace of mind then anything. Also please crate your cats when you bring them anywhere. It doesn’t matter how mellow the cat appears to be if it’s suddenly spooked it’ll only take a second for it to leap out of your arms or out of the car. I have heard so many cats permanently lost in this manner so pleeeease, if you are travelling with your cat make sure to crate them! (And I don’t want to hear “well you can leash them” because certain cats can wriggle out of harnesses and leashes in the bat of an eye, and most can if they’re panicked.)

These rubber-tipped pillers are gentle on the cats' mouth/throat and just as effective as the completely plastic ones. I highly suggest them.
These rubber-tipped pillers are gentle on the cats' mouth/throat and just as effective as the completely plastic ones. I highly suggest them.

Doling Out Medcation

Lets face it, most cats hate to be medicated! Unfortunately sometimes it’s necessary for their health. If you have a cat with an infection or something else that needs to be medicated in the short term a cage can be your best friend. I had to treat my felines for coccidia, a nasty disease if there ever was one, and it took me 21 days worth of medication with the 21 days having to be reset if they missed even a single dose! If I did not use cages during this time I would have never solved the problem! They would have all hidden around the house in avoidance of me! Caging also is great in the sense they’re cornered which means they generally don’t struggle too much. If you have to give them pills try investing in a piller. Most pet stores and feed stores sell them and some vets might as well. Otherwise some medications might be able to be hidden in food or eased down the throat with a generous coating of butter. Make sure to ask you vet about the medication and if it is OK to mix with food or crush into food because some are not! Also if you are a cattery or rescue that has a vet that does home visits for inoculations and whatnot please have pity on the vet and cage the cats that need to be treated. It’ll take much less time and will be less stressful on both the cats and humans involved!

Cages and crates can become sources of comfort for a cat in a new environment. The quiet and safety of someplace familiar can have a calming effect.
Cages and crates can become sources of comfort for a cat in a new environment. The quiet and safety of someplace familiar can have a calming effect.

Introduction Into a New Enviroment

 If you are planning a move please consider caging your kitty or kitties to ease their transition into the new environment. A lot of cats will go missing, sometimes for a few weeks, when let out into a new house without a proper introduction! This can be a scary event for them and if your cat is particularly skittish or nervous then it may take a little while to get used to the sounds, sights, and smells before they feel safe enough to explore the world outside the cage. After the cage is opened make sure it stays open because it will be the cats own safe spot to be and it may retreat back to it from time to time until it gets settled in.

This tom cat was successfully introduced to three other unaltered toms with the use of crating as a training device. These "time out" periods worked with great effectiveness for me.
This tom cat was successfully introduced to three other unaltered toms with the use of crating as a training device. These "time out" periods worked with great effectiveness for me.

Caging as a Training Device

 Cages can be used as a weapon of peace. Sometimes even after proper introductions cats may start to squabble, perhaps when a kitten grows to maturity and challenges the status quo of the household, or perhaps there is no concrete reason us humans can see. Either way sometimes the resolution can be found by caging the offending cat for awhile until they cool down. Depending on the situation caging or crating may be necessary. I had unaltered males running around a stud room for a number of years. I always brought in new “studs” as kittens but sometimes when they grew to sexual maturity they would start squabbling. Whenever I caught them in the act I’d put each of the offenders in a crate/small carrier for an hour. If they started to squabble again after I let them out I’d stick them back in the crate. Generally after the first or second stretch they were ready to behave themselves again.  I think the record was four stints but that was it. After two months of this ritual everyone was living in harmony again, four unaltered adult males, who I was told before hand I’d never be able to accomplish!

A fairly small outside run produced by www.kittywalksystems.com
A fairly small outside run produced by www.kittywalksystems.com

Outdoor Runs

Some people feel that cats should have access to the outdoors. However the outdoors are a very dangerous place for a cat to be. There have been studies that suggest indoor/outdoor and exclusively outdoor cats live drastically shorter lives on average then housecats. This is because of the cars, stray dogs, various wildlife, and the possibility of getting into poisons and toxins you wouldn’t ordinarily have in your house. Take for instance you cat catches a mouse that just previously had ingested rodent poison. If your cat eats the mouse, or a few drops of sweet tasting antifreeze in a neighbors open garage, then the likelihood of it surviving isn’t very good. Most cats raised exclusively indoors won’t bother to try getting outside, where it may be some other cat’s territory. Some cats will still try and other cats who were previously indoor/outdoor cats may be impossible to keep exclusively indoors. This is when outdoor runs become a nice way to deal with the safety issues while still allowing your cat fresh air and sunshine. Some outdoor runs are just outdoor cages or tunnels, just big enough to sunbathe or enjoy the outside without too much room to exercise and play. Other outdoor runs can be much larger, and are often home made. They can resemble chicken coops, roofed dog runs, or even outdoor aviaries. Be creative in looking around as there doesn’t appear to be any large outdoor runs being marketed for cats. If this is an option you wish to look into please make note that whatever you choose needs both a roof and a wire, concrete, or other solid bottom. Cats can easily dig their way out if they want to and there’s nothing to stop them.

Sometimes "honeymoon suites" can be created for a breeding pair by using a small cage that reduces the ability for the female to roll out of position for the tom.
Sometimes "honeymoon suites" can be created for a breeding pair by using a small cage that reduces the ability for the female to roll out of position for the tom.

Breeding Issues

Sometimes caging can be used to aid breeders. Some females are hard to breed in an open area, either because they roll before the male can properly mount them, or because they like to tease the male and stay just out of reach. In these cases a breeding cage is often used. This is a very small cage, just big enough for two cats with no food, water, or litter box. Females need to be bred by the males five times before she starts to ovulate. This means the cats must couple numerous times over the span of at least an hour, usually several. After they are done they should be allowed out to continue their normal lives. Also the female cat should be caged a week or two before her due date. This is so you know she won’t have her kittens in some inappropriate area of your house where you can’t reach them or where they might be in danger.

Conclusion

I hope this article has cleared up any misconceptions people have about the caging of cats. Really it's for the benefit of the cats, their health and social stability. I know there are catteries and rescues out there that rely only on small cages and nothing else for the entirety of the cat's life and I think both the humans and the cats are missing out on a lot in these situations. That being said I know there are also catteries, rescues, and owners who have made enormous elaborate enclosures both indoors and out and I think this can't be a bad thing. All and all most cats should be kept in the home, with it's owner, where both are free to bond and enjoy each other. If anyone has read this article and decided perhaps to invest in a cage for future use then please continue onto my Photographic Guide to Proper Cat Cages.

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      NANA GYASI .D. YAW 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much,I'm having hardtime with mine,With this sweet advice on them,will put me therr

    • profile image

      ya ya 4 weeks ago

      That was grateful of that

    • profile image

      Sienna 5 weeks ago

      My neutered male cat gets very aggressive for no reason. One second he wants me to pet him the next he is attacking me, literally running at me with ears back biting my legs and scratching my arms.. I end up getting a blanket and putting him in a kennel until he calms down. I have two other cats that he then goes after if I do not do this. Been doing this for a week. I have seen some improvement. I just worry he isnt getting enough play time and it will make it worse..

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      Judith 3 months ago

      My male cat around (3 yrs. old, mixed Himalyan) poops outside the box...when he wants to. He will use it for urinating but randomly poops outside the box. I limit his space for a few days and when I let him out I never know when he will do it again. When he is "free" he comes to sit near me while reading, he can be very sweet. Anything you can offer is appreciated.

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      Thank you for this article 4 months ago

      I've been searching for where to have my 13 month old kitty, we got him today and didn't have any other place that he could sleep plus since we just got him means that he just got a new home. But thank you very much

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      DJ Bleam 4 months ago

      Thank you soooooo much for this article. I just got a new kitten and she must not have been litter trained by her Mother. She was going on my bed (peeing) and on my laundry piles. I was distressed to think that I would have to get rid of her until I thought of buying a dog fence. I bought a dog fence at a pet store and put a large piece of wood on top for a roof (she climbed the fence and got out until I did this). She has lots of toys, a scratching post, a sweater of mine for her bed and her potty box. It is in my sunroom and my other cat can lay in the sun on her cushion and get to know the new tenant. I have noticed that my older cat has calmed down and the kitten is being forced to use the litter box for both needs. She is only let out when I am at home. I also put her in the pen while I sleep. I am hoping this will only last a couple of weeks and then I can let the kitten out when I'm not at home and at night.

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      Noni 7 months ago

      I have a mom and 5 kittens that are 3wks. We started in a kennel and then i let her move them after she had tried several times. I let her keep them in a corner of the dining room that had an extra coffee table in the corner behind some boxes that worked for 10 days. She is trying to move them again, so i put her back in the kennel. The mom is spilling the food and water everywhere and pawing at the door. If i let her out to walk around she tries to move the kittens under my bed or in another room. Any tips for a mom with anxiety in the kennel?

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      Paula Ginther 10 months ago

      My 15 pound cat HATED his vet. Every visit was stressful for him, me, the vet and all of his technicians. A squeeze cage helped tremendously, and he was able to get his shots safely, while keeping everyone else safe.

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      Epithode 10 months ago

      Thank you very much for these clarifications. This helped me decide to re-cage my new cat. He's too aggressive with the resident cat. I'm too quick I think, so I'll have to recage. /:

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      Allison Jenkins 12 months ago

      So, caging them to make it so they can't spray your walls and ruin your furniture anymore to regain the peace and joyful environment your home always had before your cat went insane is not cool?

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      Jane Ehrlich 14 months ago

      Outrageous. As a cat behaviorist--accredited with the IAABC--I cannot condone cageing cats, outside of transport. There are kinder ways of introducing, or altering a cat's way. Read Prof Tony Buffington of Ohio State on the physical damages of stress that comes from using cages, and Beth Adelman's data--not opinion, but researched--on the cat's 'learned helplessness' response. I do not know of any respected vet-behaviorist or behaviorist that approves of cageing cats for the reasons suggested here, including Nick Dodman, emeritus of Cummings School of Vet. Medicine at Tufts and former Director, the Behavior Dept. there. Jane Ehrlich, Cattitude Feline Behavior

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      Maitreyi 19 months ago

      I have 2 male cats from the same litter which started getting rough and aggressive towards each other around 1 year. And that didn't stop even after getting them neutered. Caging was the only solution to keep them safe and give us some peace of mind while we were away at work. It worked out really well since we didn't have a spare room to separate cats before reintroducing. Now we have a cat being fostered, and not tested for any illnesses yet. So having a cage is helping us manage pretty well. I don't think it is cruel to keep cats in cage as long as they are large enough for them to move around (usually a big dog crate works well) plus enough place for their food bowl just in case. After all you want them to be healthy, safe and happy! :) I have spent many weeks feeling guilty for caging the cats but I am over it now ...such a good article..makes so much sense..esp for concerned cat parents!

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      Kramer451 19 months ago

      We rescued a litter of 4 kittens who are almost 1 year o!d now. They have been crated, at night and when we are not home, since we got them. The crate is huge, has a ledge and litter box as well as food, etc. They can look out the French doors into the garden. They are crated for their safety. One eats hair ties, etc. One chews wires. And 4 kittens playing and climbing on tables with no supervision can be destructive. We allow one kitten at a time to run at night (not either of the ones who eat things). The kittens and, their cage and most importantly are safe. We block toddlers from harm, either with gates, playpens, or bouncy seats, why not kittens?

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      LauraPalka 2 years ago

      This article was helpful to me in so many ways! 1) I will be moving soon 1-1/2 hours away and have been concerned as to how to best move my 4 cats with the least amount of stress on us all. I was going to use pet carriers but crates will be much better. 2) Two of my cats fight so I have to keep them separated so I have been desperately looking for a way to re-introduce them. Nothing has worked (they are currently separated as basement vs. main floor cats). Putting them in crates when they fight will work great. 3) When I move I am going to set up a kitten fostering room and your explanation of how a cage will come in handy, particularly for litterbox training, is amazing. I can't thank you enough!!

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      Kristen 2 years ago

      I have a about 10 week old kitten who was dumped at our house by an unknown party. Some people in my house are highly allergic to cats. I have been looking at keeping her in a outdoor ca

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      Bella 2 years ago

      hey my mom wants my kitten Roco outside, but we have other wild cats that aren't nice to each other, so i keep her in a nice square door cage. im not around all the time to let her out, so how much should i let her out of the cage. ps i have a dog and it kee nuzzlings the kitten is that ok

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      soon.to.be.bengal.owner 2 years ago

      Great article's!! Thank you!

      You mention a lot about introducing kittens to new homes, feral cats and cats to multi cat homes, but what about a 2 yr old bengal that is used to 2 dogs to a new owners home with no other pets?

      Any tips please :)

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      Robyn 2 years ago

      Thanks but you forgot a major reason, the main reason I've had to cage cats, and that's for the end of life. At some point, cats can no longer control their bodily functions, require constant care, sometimes can barely move or instead hide, and/or don't get along with the other animals, and spending the end of life in a cage is the only option. My cat, GK, had an abscess lanced today so she can no longer be outside. My father has dementia so he'll open doors even if I tell him not too so no bathroom for GK. GK won't use a litter pan either. She's 16, 4 pounds, and on the way out. She hates being touched. I hate to cage her but what other option do I have.

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      Liam 2 years ago

      What do you do when two cats don't stop the squabbling even after doing what you advised? What if it keeps continuing for months and they only behave when caged, yet misbehave and purposely fight after being out of the cages for so long? What then? Please help!

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      Rissaroo 2 years ago

      What do you do if your parents won't let you let your cat roam around and keeping him in the cage??

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      Michelle 2 years ago

      My poor kitty needs to be crated for 8 weeks after surgery on a broken femur! Non. Stop. Meowing It's only day 2....

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      Charlie 2 years ago

      I have a 16/17 year old cat who seems to be leaving no option other than caging her at night. We bought a large rabbit hutch with two rooms (she is very small too) and this worked well for a while with her litter box in another room.

      Lately however she has been completely trashing the inside of the box pooing and weeing everywhere, completely missing the litter tray. It gets up the walls, in her bed, in the water bowl and then drips onto the floor through gaps in it. It can take an hour a day to clean it up.

      Recently she was left loose at night a few times and behaved perfectly well for a while until today when she urinated all over the kitchen table despite having access to a clean litter tray. My father is threatening to put her down. I feel this is a shame as there is nothing else wrong with her.

      The only solution I can think of is to construct some kind of entirely waterproof and easily removable version of the hutch she has now so that if she makes a terrible mess of it, it stays contained and can be easily lifted outside and cleaned on the grass with a hosepipe and then some bleach solution.

      Has anyone had a cat problem like this before?! If I didn't know better I would say that she deliberately makes as much mess as possible!

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      Author

      Theophanes 3 years ago from New England

      Poweranni - I hadn't thought about the destructive aspect but I have had animals before that fit that category! Animals can be weird sometimes. It's a shame when you have to take such measures but sadly sometimes it's the best thing to do.

      dave g - Just make sure they have a place to hide within the cage as well as some entertainment (toys) and they should be fine in temporary kenneling. :)

      hellovictoria - You've probably moved in by now. I hope you had good luck with it! Thanks you for commenting, I am sorry for my slothful reply.

    • poweranni profile image

      Anne Gillingham 3 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      I love my kitty so much that it hurts. He has his own "condo" outfitted with an "indoor toilet" and a "kitchen" and "running water." It is also carpeted and has two stories.

      In other words, he has an all-you-can-eat feeder, a water bowl, litter box and a ledge that he can sit on.

      Why do I do it?

      Well he has this habit of chewing up wires, which could actually end up burning the house down.

      He also has this mild obsession with chewing plastic which I fear could get him an intestinal blockage.

      That is a harsh way to go. And no matter how much I clean, he manages to find some kind of plastic to chew on.

      That is why he lives in a condo, but he gets out of it, pretty much on request.

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      dave g 3 years ago

      I have been taking care of a feral cat and her two five WK old kittens . Last week when I let her out a waiting coyote got her . These little ones are great but they are getting into everything . I got a large dog cage to put in while at work and at night . Anything I need to do to make it Easter on them . The male is Sylvester and the female is Daisey .

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      ToriM 3 years ago from Atlanta

      this is a great article! I actually just bought a crate to put my cats in because I'm in the middle of moving. I haven't really thought about crating them for other reasons. Thank goodness when my cats were kittens I didn't have any litter box issues with them. I've had them for two years and never had a problem with them relieving themselves on the carpet or my furniture.

      I am working on getting them used to the crate so they won't be so stressed out come moving time, and it will help as I introduce them to the new place since they do get terrified when I have to take them out of the place they've grown up in.

      Voted up - thank you again!

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      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      well done article. I never quarantine my cat but i had seen my neighbor caged her cat because she had kittens-afraid other male cats to attack them.

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      rose-the planner 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      Great article! This is very insightful and you have provided some valuable information regarding caging cats. Thank you for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose

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      Elizabeth Parker 4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Great information. I have a friend who is looking to adopt a new cat into her household. Will share this with her!

    • Theophanes profile image
      Author

      Theophanes 4 years ago from New England

      Although I understand your concerns this article is about proper cat husbandry - not an excuse to cage things you deem annoying. I've had many cats both in and out of cages over the years for many reasons and let me tell you - it's actually harder to keep a caged cat clean then it is one running around! I've used cages for quarantine and somewhat long term medication routines.... and wow... given a confined environment they can surely mess both their habitat and themselves up right fast. I don't really worry about people inappropriately using cages for cats for this reason (did I mention when they're not happy they also have a tendency to be very very loud?) It's just not worth it for that.... if you're that annoyed by a cat you keep it penned up in a cage then chances are you won't have a cat for long or ever again.

      Right now the only abuses I've seen for cages are kitten mills.... which is the same story for any solely money-based animal breeding business and as much as I'd like to see these places not exist anymore I know there will always be new ones popping up to replace old ones for the simpler reason that money makes people do stupid things.

      Thank you for commenting. I do appreciate the insight and the fact you took the time to reply to my article. Hope your and your kitty have a good day. :)

    • CarolynEmerick profile image

      Carolyn Emerick 4 years ago

      My concern is that caging will become a trend for shallow people looking for convenience. Not that the reasons in the article or the comments were like that at all, far from it. However. I have seen the dog crating trend get out of control where people don't use it just for training, they use it so they can leave a dog home for 12 hours and when it inevitably relieves itself, he does it in the cage. I have seen and heard horrific situations where people abuse the crate regularly and make jokes about their dog being in his crate from 7am and it was then 7pm. Now we have vapid celebrities on TV shown tossing their dogs in their crates when they are home! Dogs and cats are social animals and for a dog to be left to rot alone in a tiny cage instead of being with the family is awful. Believe me I understand the reasons described here, but I'm just worried we'll have people who don't want to deal with cat hair or the occasional hairball and resort to the cage. So i think its important to be very careful when talking about caging dogs and cats to be very clear to spell out the right and wring way to do it. For every intelligent, rational, compassionate person out there, there is also a dimwit who will abuse it and not even realize... I have seen these people often.

      And by the way, one of my cats does the howling thing. No I can't stop him from doing it so I shut the hallway door, run a fan by my bed for white noise, and sleep with earplugs.

    • Theophanes profile image
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      Theophanes 4 years ago from New England

      I'd definitely try that ABoyer. Put the cage in a spot she likes open, and allow her to explore it herself. Maybe even feed her treats or canned food in there while it's open. Give her a bed and make her feel like it's a safe and secure place to be. It'll make eventually locking her in for a while a lot less stressful. Also try locking her in for a day or two while you're home to make sure she doesn't do anything crazy after you've done this introduction. Other than that she may or may not use the litter box in the cage (as it seems your absence is the stress factor causing this) but plastic tray bottoms are easier to clean than the floor if she is bad! I know how hard it can be to own elderly cats and animals with separation anxiety. I know none of us want to keep anyone in a cage but you never know... the cage might provide the security she's looking for when you're gone. You just don't know until you try. Best wishes!

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      ABoyer 4 years ago

      I have a 16-year-old cat. She was fine for years, but now when we leave town for the occasional weekend, she poops outside the litter box. At first, the lavender-scented calming collar sold in stores helped, but lately it doesn't. We don't want to board her because of the expense and because our younger cat (11) has never lived a day of her life completely alone in the house. The two of them aren't close, but they're companions of a sort. I'm wondering if we could cage the older one (we know she's the guilty party) while we're away for a three-day weekend--maybe put the cage in her favorite spot. She's never been caged before. Is it safe to leave her alone caged for 2-3 days (obviously, with plenty of food, water, and litter)? Should I try it for a day or two while we're home to see how she accepts it? Thank you so much--I'd really appreciate any advice!

    • Theophanes profile image
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      Theophanes 5 years ago from New England

      Marti: Post op caging is usually best at two weeks. Some vets say one but I always keep them in for two just to make certain and this is only if there's no problems. Sometimes if they get an infection or complication it can take longer but this is rare. Good luck!

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      Marti 5 years ago

      This article was very informative. I'm getting my last feral cat spayed and I will cage her for security and

      cleanliness reasons. She will be recovering in the garage with 8 other cats. I just wish I could find out how long I should cage her post op. Thanks, Marti

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      Eden 6 years ago

      Thank you for this article. I am getting ready to cage my cat for the first time in her life and I am really daunted thinking about it. However, she has a heart problem, can't be spayed (can't undergo anesthesia), and is marking everywhere. She did okay being confined to our bedroom/bath for two years, but now she marks on our bed. We have tried prozac, flower essences, feliway, etc. My husband and I have been kicked out of bedroom and live in separate rooms. The cage is the last resort for us and was recommended by our vet. We would hate for her to survive this heart problem that was supposed to kill her before her first birthday, only to have the marking do her in. I hope she takes to it okay.

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      AllTheseThoughts 6 years ago

      Just like you, I never thought a cat should be caged; that is,until we adopted a stray kitten. My youngest was concerned that the little orphan would be hit by a car, and since we already had three older cats we weren't sure they'd like him, so we put him in an extra-large dog crate in the house. Luckily the little guy (Shika) was so thankful to have a home that he gave us no qualms about being in a crate. After a few days we allowed him out but when the other cats chased him, he always ran to the safety of his crate.

      Three years later we have more cats and have used crates for their bedrooms,quarantining of the sickies or injured and also as 'time-out' when the playing gets way to rough.

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      becky 6 years ago

      The reason I am looking into caging my cats is because he meows very loudly at night and wakes us up over and over. It is actually causeing major issues with my relationship and with my ability to get enoug sleep. I have a baby on the way too and won't need any other reasons to be woken up at night. I am going to try to put my cat in the cage at night and if he meows at least he will be far enough from my bedroom that I won't hear it.

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      marcie plascencia 6 years ago

      thanks for the article. it was very helpful.

    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 8 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Great article. God Bless

    • Alexander A profile image

      Alexander A 8 years ago from Internet

      Very well done article :)

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      Bob in Florida 8 years ago

      I really enjoyed this article - very well done.

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