Cat looking grumpy sitting in a box

Crating a Cat

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Many of us are familiar with crate training for dogs, but you may be less aware of cat crating.

Some owners believe crating a cat is unnecessary, and it can be a controversial subject. 

Cat looking grumpy sitting in a box

There are several reasons why someone might choose to put a cat in a crate, but if you’re doing it for behavioral reasons, then we’d encourage you to get to the root of the problem rather than relying on the cage itself.

Cats aren’t meant to be locked up and you may find that they become distressed or anxious at any lengthy or unnecessary confinement. 

In a hurry? Here are our top two crates and cages for cats.  Keep reading for more information and buying suggestions.

These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission from any qualifying purchase (at no cost to you) – thanks 🙂

Last update on 2024-06-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Reasons why people crate cats

·        If your pet is ill or injured and needs to rest

·        If you’re quarantining a pet

·        If it is recovering from an operation or procedure

·        If a female is in heat

·        If you’re litter box training your cat

·        If you’re introducing a new feline to the household

·        If you have kittens and need to leave the house for a short period

·        If you have a senior cat or a cat with a disability or chronic illness that can’t be left unsupervised

·        You might also use a cage to help reacclimatize a stray cat who hasn’t had much human contact.

We also know a local cat sanctuary that has a huge walk-in cage that houses feral cats who are too wild to ever be domesticated

There are several reasons why someone might choose to put a cat in a crate, but if you’re doing it for behavioral reasons, then we’d encourage you to get to the root of the problem rather than relying on the cage itself. 

Cats aren’t meant to be locked up and you may find that they become distressed or anxious at any lengthy or unnecessary confinement. 

What’s the difference between a crate, a cage and a carrier?

It sounds like the introduction to a really bad joke.

A lot of people use the terms interchangeably but there are some differences.

A carrier is a temporary way of transporting a cat from one place to another, for example, from your home to the vet’s office.  Often, it’s a plastic or soft-sided box with a carry handle or shoulder strap.

You’ll find that some cat strollers come with detachable carriers and you can even use a cat backpack to carry your cat around.

Crates are larger and usually made of wire.  If you’re familiar with dog crates, then you’re on the right track.

Cages are similar to crates but some have multiple levels allowing the cat to climb onto perches or shelves and others have wheels or castors.

Online search results can mix carriers in with cages and crates but remember they’re not suitable for anything other than temporary transportation. 

What Size Crate for a Cat?

For carriers, it’s straightforward – 1.5 times the size of the cat but it doesn’t work like that with crates and cages. 

The measurements don’t just depend on your pet but also on what you need to put inside with them: litter box, bedding, food and water bowls, etc.  You need there to be ample room for the cat to comfortably move around in.

If you’re looking for a crate to put your cat in the baggage or cargo hold of an aircraft, then you’ll need to follow airline regulations.  We’ve written about carriers for airline travel before or you can jump to a product on Amazon that comes highly recommended.

How long can a cat stay in a crate?

It’s a tricky question without knowing why your crating a cat. 

If he’s recovering from a broken bone or illness and the vet’s advice is to keep him in a cage, then it’s okay to do it for however long it takes him to recuperate. Sometimes, this can take weeks.

If you’re correcting behavior, then the time in the crate should be minimized to what is strictly necessary.  You shouldn’t use the crate as a cat-sitter but rather as a way to keep your pet safe and out of trouble when you’re not there to supervise them.

Cats can become depressed and anxious from long spells in confined spaces.  If you have a spare room that could be used as a temporary holding area for your pet, this would be better.

calico in a cardboard box

Is it ok to crate cats at night?

We know a few owners who crate their kittens at night – just while they’re still so small and curious.  If there are danger areas in your house, then a comfortable crate will stop them from exploring places that could be harmful to them but it would be better if you cat-proof your home (or at least part of it), so that you don’t have to rely on crating them at night for very long. 

Cat Crates for Sale

We’re picked out a selection of cat crates for sale to give you an idea of the different models and brands you can buy online.

If you make a purchase, then we may earn a small commission from it at no additional cost to you 

Single-Door & Double-Door Folding Metal Pet Crate with Tray

We like how it comes in multiple sizes and with a single and double-door option.  It’s affordable and has a very high online rating.

It’s popular with dog owners, too, so it’s worth trying ‘cats’ into the search bar above the Q&A section to see the experience of other cat owners. 


  • Wide range of sizes available and a single or double-door option.
  • Extra security with a two slide-bolt door
  • Durable metal wire
  • Good ventilation
  • Divider panel included to reduce the size of the carrier
  • Easy to store
  • Really quick and easy to set up, too

No products found.

Midwest Cat Cage with 3 Adjustable Perching Shelves

This folds right down so is ideal if you don’t have much storage. The castors make it easy to move the cage from room-to-room and it includes shelves so for your cat has somewhere to climb up to and perch. 

  • Multiple levels to stimulate a cat’s attention
  • Easy to get into Easy to store when not in use
  • Easy to move around a home
  • Suitable for multiple cats
MidWest Homes for Pets Cat Playpen / Cat Cage Includes 3 Adjustable Resting Platforms, Removable Leak-Proof Pan, Easy 2-Door Top / Bottom Access & 4-locking Wheel Casters, 36"L x 23.5"W x 50.5"H
  • FUN & SECURE | Cat Playpen provides a large hangout area for your cat | Cat cage measures 36L x 23.5W x 50.50H Inches & is ideal for 1 to 3 cats
  • Cat Playpen includes a FREE cat bed, an easy to remove leak-proof plastic pan, 3 adjustable cat resting platforms & 4 locking wheel casters for easy positioning in your house
  • EASY ACCESS & CLEANING | Two large cabinet style front doors (top & bottom) w/ secure door latches provide easy access to your cat & maintenance of the cat's litter box, plastic tray slides-out for cleaning
  • BUILT to LAST | Cat Playpen is made w/ strong metal wire featuring a black E-coat finish to prevent rust | Wire gauge includes 3, 5, 12 w/ 1W x 5.5 inches wire spacing, weighs 40 lbs. when assembled
  • Cat playpen is designed to fully fold down for convenient storage & portability when not in use | Includes MidWest Quality Guarantee 1-Year Manufacturer's Warranty

Last update on 2024-06-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Ruff ‘n Ruffus Portable Foldable Pet Playpen

This is more for people who don’t want to crate train or use a cage but just need something to contain a cat for a short time.  It can be taken outdoors too so could be useful for an outdoor cat that’s recuperating.  We love that it comes with a carry case and a collapsible bowl. 

  • Easy to store
  • Water resistant
  • Suitable for camping or traveling
Ruff 'N Ruffus Portable Foldable Pet Playpen + Carrying Case & Collapsible Travel Bowl | Indoor/Outdoor use | Water Resistant | Removable Shade Cover (Medium)
  • ★ Available in 3 Sizes Medium (29x29x17 inches Dogs up To 10LBS) Large (36x36x23 inches Dogs Up To 25 Lbs ) Extra Large (48x48x23.5 inches Dogs 50+ LBS
  • ★ BONUS INCLUDED! The Portable Pet Play Pen comes along with a convenient carry case and a collapsible 16 oz. food bowl. Ideal for Travel.
  • ★ SUPERIOR DESIGN Roomy 8-Panel design with protected seams and reinforced corners. Made from durable water-resistant materials. Removable zippered top can be removed easily removed for indoor use & closed for outdoor use to provide shade. Zippered door provides easy in/out access for your pet. Close the door to keep your pet safely inside.
  • ★ BUY WITH CONFIDENCE We’ve got your back with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Reach out to us in case of any issues with your pet grooming accessories and we’ll do all we can to make it right. Click ‘Add to Cart’ now and get your kit completely risk-free!

Last update on 2024-06-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Mid West Homes for Pets Crate

This is another typical crate.

Going for a larger size could make it a nice space for a feline to live in.  We like that it has feet to help protect the floor.  A few reviewers have suggested that it’s quite easy for a curious cat to open the latch so it’s worth looking into a lock or another way of securing it.

For more specific reviews from cat owners, type ‘cat’ into the search box in the Q&A section.

  • Divides into a smaller section
  • Secure lock
  • Protects hardwood floors
  • Easy to reposition
MidWest Homes for Pets Newly Enhanced Single Door iCrate Dog Crate, Includes Leak-Proof Pan, Floor Protecting Feet , Divider Pane l & New Patented Features
  • Newly enhanced with added security features to keep your pet safe | Slide-bolt door latch now feature patented Paw Block and locking tip s to create a safer, more secure home for your pet
  • iCrate single door dog crate measures 30L x 19 x 21 inches and is suitable for medium dog breeds with an adult weight of 25 to 40 pounds. If your dog’s weight or measurements are on the higher side for this crate, we recommend buying the next crate size up
  • Dog crate includes a divider panel, durable & leak-proof plastic pan, protective rubber feet, carrying handle, and customer support team based in Indiana
  • Easy to assemble & portable | Dog crate sets up in seconds with no tools required and conveniently folds flat for travel
  • Durable & strong, quality construction creates a secure place for your dog to fulfill their natural instinct to den. Proper ventilation, large door openings with low thresholds, and rounded corner clips make iCrate a safer crate experience for your dog

Last update on 2024-06-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

ProSelect Foldable Cat Cages

Most cages and crates come in black but this one has white wires which may blend into your décor more easily.  There are dual doors for easy access and plastic perches for your cat to climb up onto.  We also like the removable castors.

  • Perches for cats to climb onto
  • Easy to reposition
  • Spacious interior
ProSelect White Foldable Cat Cage – 8- and 12-Gauge Wire with Dimensions of 35.5” x 22.25” and 48” Height With Casters
  • Plenty of Room – The interior of the cage offers plenty of room for multiple cats or small pets to play
  • White Colored Cage – This cat cage includes 8- and 12-gage white wire with powder coating; other colors available include purple and black
  • Adjustable Plastic Perches – The plastic perches inside the cage can be moved to different locations
  • Dual Doors – The two doors on the front of the cage allow for easy access
  • Removable Casters – You can attach casters to the cage to move it easily or remove them for a sturdier design

Last update on 2024-06-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

AmazonBasics Large 3-Tier Cat Cage

This has a leak-proof plastic floor pan at the bottom which is handy if your cat isn’t litter box trained.

  • Its three-tiered too which makes it great for climbing
  • Lots of space for cats to play
  • Easy to assemble and store
Amazon Basics Large 3-Tier Cat Durable,Pliable Cage Playpen Box Crate Kennel - 35.8"L x 22.4"W x 50.6"H, Black
  • Tall 3-tier indoor cat cage playpen provides cats or kittens with a safe place to rest or play
  • Durable rust-resistant steel wire construction with secure-locking door latches and 1.36 inch bar spacing for safety
  • Sets up quickly; 4 locking wheels for smooth maneuvering and secure placement; folds down flat for easy carrying and compact storage
  • 2 swing-open doors for easy upper and lower interior access; 3 interior shelves offer vertical space for perching or napping; Removable leak-proof plastic floor pan for easy cleaning
  • Product Dimensions: 35.8 x 22.4 x 50.6 inches (LxWxH)

Last update on 2024-06-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Crate training: buying a cat litter box

One of the biggest differences between a cat carrier and a cat crate is that you’ll need to include a litter box in your crate or cage.

It’s especially important if your cat is recovering from an injury or illness as they won’t be able to go outside to use the toilet.

When buying a crate or cage, you’ll need to make sure there’s enough room to include a litter tray. You should also remember that a cat is unlikely to eat if the litter tray is too close.

Fortunately, buying a litter box for crate training is straightforward enough.  You can just a regular box or you can use a disposable one. 

Kitty's Wonderbox Disposable Litter Box, 2-in-1 Functionality, Disposable Cat Litter Box And Liner , 3 count
  • 2-IN-1 SOLUTION: WonderBox Disposable Litter Box can be used as a stand-alone litter box or as a litter pan liner.
  • CONTROLS ODOR: Disposable Litter Box gives you a clean, fresh litter box every time.
  • DISPOSABLE: One-step cleaning process makes changing the litter box easy and convenient – just throw away and replace with a new one.
  • MADE OF RECYCLED PAPER: Made of recycled paper, the durable pan is leakproof and tearproof.
  • CONVENIENT: Suited for use with all litter types.

Last update on 2024-06-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Cat crate for travel

We’ve already written about cat crates for cars so just follow the link.

If you’re looking to travel by airplane with your cat, then you need to check the airline’s regulations about the sizing and specifications of the container. Chances are you’ll need a soft-sided carrier for the cabin. If your cat is traveling in the hold of an aircraft, you’ll need a cat crate that’s airline approved.  We have a previous post on the best cat carrier for airline travel that you might find useful

How to get a cat used to its crate

We’d take the same approach as a carrier.  The sooner you can acclimatize them the better. You want to make the crate as comfortable and as enticing as possible.  You should make a comfortable bed for them away from the litter tray.

You should add toys as well and anything that smells familiar.

Some owners have found a lot of success with (affiliate link) spraying a cat calming spray on the inside of the crate and on any bedding or toys. Synthetic pheromones don’t work for every cat but they may be worth a try if you’re cat is particularly anxious. 

Encouraging the cat to explore the crate on its own terms can help, too. Open the door and put a couple of treats down.  You could also start feeding them inside.  If the crate was second-hand, then give it a good clean before introducing your cat as you don’t want them getting the scent of other cats. 

What to do with a kitten while at work

You can confine a kitten to a comfortable crate if you need to but it’s much better to secure them inside a room where they’ll be safe and secure. Cat-proofing a room is easier than doing it for an entire house and a spare bedroom is ideal. You should put bedding, toys, food, a litter box and a scratching post in with the kitten.  It can help if the things smell familiar or if they smell of you (or who the cat is most bonded to) or the mother cat.  Scent helps felines feel secure in their environment. 

Many people do leave kittens in cages when they’re working and this may be your only option if leaving them otherwise would be unsafe.  We’d always advise that you cat-proof your home rather than rely on a crate, though.  Kittens do need more attention than older cats so if it’s possible pop in at lunchtimes to give them some interaction or ask a friend or neighbor to do it for you. 

Should kittens be kennelled at night?

We do know people who do this, but we’d much rather cat-proof a room in the house for kittens so that they can move freely and feel safe that putting them in a kennel.

Crating a cat after surgery

Your cat probably isn’t going to like its time in lockup but it’s for her own good.  You’ll want to make the crate as comfortable as possible with lots of bedding and enough space to add a litter box.  It can help if you can set it up near a window so that they have something to look at and near where there’s plenty of foot traffic so people can interact with the cat.  Your veterinarian will have plenty of advice and tips. 

Last update on 2024-06-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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