Many of us only cage, crate, or use a cat carrier when it’s time for a vet visit or trip. But are there times where you should cage your cat?
Actually, yes. There are certain circumstances where caging or crating a cat is needed. A cat recovering from a medical condition or procedure may need to be confined temporarily to help healing. A feral kitty may need to remain caged while being helped. Shelter cats may also be required their own cage until adoption – and most shelters understand the need to let cats free roam and allow time each for this freedom.
To cage a cat for an extended period of time for anything other than these reasons is… questionable. Honestly, a better word might be cruel.
But we’ve recently learned it’s being done. And this needs to be addressed.
The big excuse for doing this is for behavioral issues. Maybe the cat is scratching stuff, has accidents, or doesn’t get along with another pet or family member. These cat owners decide it’s a good idea to keep the cat caged while they’re at work – 8 to 16 hours per day. Then, since they can’t be sure the cat won’t do something inconvenient while they’re home sleeping, they cage the cat all night too.
The rationalization they usually use for doing this? Dogs are crate trained. Some dogs spend all day (while their owner’s at work) and all night (while their owner is sleeping) in a dog crate. But here’s the things. Dogs are den dwellers. Their crate is their den and they feel safe in it. And more importantly – Cats are not dogs!
If caging your cat is something you’ve considered – or done – please know there is a better way. Contact a feline behaviorist to better understand your cat and work through any issues you feel need to be addressed.