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You just went to the animal shelter and you’re excited about the perfect cat you’ve adopted. You purchased the litter box, a 20-pound box of litter, and food. Everything is prepared. Once you get home, the big question will be where exactly your new fur baby is going to live. Will she have control of the house or do you want her to be limited to a room, floor or section of the house?
So, can cats live in one room? Yes, a cat can live in a room if it is at least eighteen square feet. Cats like what’s in a room, not necessarily the size of a room. If you have more than one cat, you will need to double the space.
Keeping a cat in a room can be a tough decision. There are several reasons to restrict a chat. But just because they’re somewhat separated from the rest of the house doesn’t mean your cat will necessarily be affected. Below are the whys and hows of keeping a cat in a room. And perhaps most importantly, you should keep a cat confined.
Why some people keep a cat in a room
There are several reasons why some people want to keep a cat in a room. Sometimes it’s a temporary situation, but sometimes it has to be a permanent decision. Reasons include:
- New cat fight
- social anxiety
1. New cat
Introducing a new cat to the group can sometimes be traumatic. Place the newcomer in her own room. Make sure she has everything she needs, including her own:
- The water
- kitty letter
A confined area will give the new cat a safe zone. This safe zone will allow the beginner to become familiar with the smells and sounds of the house. It will also give current pets a chance to acclimate to a new friend. Make sure the door is securely closed. Sniffing under the door or playing a game of soccer is acceptable and desired. The separation usually takes between two and three days.
Sometimes cats just don’t get along. This may be due to a lack of socialization at an early age. But regardless, you need to take care of it immediately. There are times when you have to separate them. Placing them in different rooms is the safest and healthiest way to deal with a volatile situation. There may come a time, with proper training techniques this can change. Or finally, you could have cats permanently living in different rooms.
If you have a sick cat and other pets, it’s important to keep them separate. Animals, by nature, can be aggressive towards a sick animal. You don’t want your sick cat to be under more stress than it already is. Either way, your sick cat will probably want some solitude, so keeping him alone in a room is the best way to heal.
The disease works both ways. You might have a human in the house who discovers they have cat allergies or other respiratory issues that are made worse by the cat’s presence. If you don’t want to find a new home for your kitten, you may need to confine it to a room.
4. Social anxiety
Some animals, including cats, are so anxious that they don’t want to be part of the household. They are afraid of everything. These cats feel safer and more secure confined to a small, private space. Give them their space. But don’t forget to give them lots of love.
Some people want a cat but don’t want it to have access to the whole house or apartment. True or false, they can have various reasons, including:
- I don’t want scratched furniture
- Breakable Valuables
- I don’t want cat hair all over the house
- I don’t want the cat spraying around the house
How to keep a cat in a room
Animal shelters often keep groups of cats in one room. The theory is that it’s better than separate cages and easier for adopters to see all the cats. They can have eight to ten cats in a room. Good shelters are meticulous about cleaning standards. Staff and volunteers mop and clean the kitty litter daily. If you plan to keep a cat in a room, you will need to be equally particular about how you keep it.
Change the litter box once or twice a day. Cats like to go to a clean place, otherwise they will find a new one. If you don’t want the room to smell like sewage, keep the box clean. Sweep up any litter that is dragged around the room. And make sure all bedding is cleaned periodically.
Since you don’t have a lot of square footage, go vertical. Cats like to be up high. It goes back centuries when they were hanging out in the trees. They like to get high for:
- Keep an eye on their territory
- To feel safe
- See who enters his kingdom
- Find any prey (even if it’s a stuffed mouse)
Place trees and shelves around the room, so they have different options. Running in a cat tree is also a good exercise when there is not enough floor space to run around.
Offer fun activities. Let’s face it, even if there is a window; boredom can set in. Have lots of toys around you. You also have to join the party. Play string or toss a ping pong ball, anything to keep your cat active and stimulated.
Provide furniture or, if not furniture, boxes for hiding. Cats don’t like wide open spaces. They like shelters to hide and sleep.
Should you keep a cat in one room?
If you are considering adopting a cat and keeping it in a separate room from the rest of the house, you probably shouldn’t adopt. Many cat lovers think this is a bad idea and, in some ways, downright cruel.
Cats need space to move and time to socialize. Although cats have a reputation for being solitary animals, they actually love the stimulation that comes with human companionship. This stimulation is limited when they are kept away from home.
A cat left alone for long periods in a room could develop mental problems. He survives but feels tormented. He may have feelings of:
And if the room is empty, it’s even worse. An open area can cause extreme fear.
What about keeping a cat in a one bedroom apartment?
The question really is whether a one bedroom apartment has enough space. It’s very different from locking a cat in its own room. You are in the room with her. She will learn your routine and enjoy your company. Participating in daily household activities should provide sufficient stimulation.
Keep a cat litter box closed and clean it at least once a day. Feed your cat quality food. Not only is it better for your cat, but it will reduce odor in the litter box. If you have the space, buy or make a cat tree. Better yet, place a stool or shelf in front of the window. Your cat will be in height and will be able to observe the birds and the passing world.
Keeping a cat isolated in a room is not the best case scenario for the cat or for you. What’s the point of having a cat if you don’t like it? But if there are extenuating circumstances, you may not have a choice. Make the most of it and give your fur baby the love and stimulation he needs and wants.
If you live in a one-bedroom apartment, don’t worry, less square footage doesn’t mean less love.