Crate training your cat is necessary and important for your cat’s health and safety. For the safety of you and your family, it makes sense to crate train your cat. You’ll be able to relax when you’re not home if you know your cat isn’t running around the house, causing destruction and mayhem. Plus, crate training can give the benefits of increasing exercise for your kitty by helping her get in shape, or lower stress levels because of anxiety caused by travel or a thunderstorm. Follow these steps to crate train your cat.
What is crate training?
Crate training is a style of home training your cat. It provides a safe and comfortable place for your cat to sleep, eat, and play. You can use a crate as a training tool for your cat to stay in one room or travel in the car safely.
What are the goals of crate training a cat?
Crating your cat can be done for several reasons. The most popular reason is, the cat feels safe in her den. Another reason is to keep them safe when you’re not home, so they don’t get into trouble while you’re away. Last, crate training can teach an anxious cat how to stay calm where she would normally feel panicky, like when it’s storming or when you’re traveling.
The goals of crate training are to train your cat to enjoy spending time in her crate by associating it with positive things, like food, fun toys, and treats; make sure the kitty doesn’t have an accident or escape; and help your indoor cat get exercise by safely encouraging her to play inside the crate.
When to start crate training a cat?
The best time to start crate training your cat is when she is young. There’s a good chance that your cat will eventually need to be crated, so it’s best to get her used to the idea early on.
Some people may think that kittens are too young to be crated, but they actually learn better with this type of training. Remember, they are still learning about their surroundings and habits at an earlier age, so this training will not only make things easier for you now but also in the future!
What do you need for crate training?
The most important thing you need during crate training your cat is the right size crate. Your cat will be confined to this space for most of her day, so it’s important that she can comfortably turn around and stand up. The general rule of thumb is 6-8 inches larger than the length of your cat.
Next, you need to put your cat inside the crate and allow her to explore it by herself. You can place a few treats or toys near the front area of the crate, so she learns that entering the crate isn’t always scary.
After about 4-5 minutes, invite her out of the crate with a treat or toy in your hand. Repeat this process 3 times per day until she gets used to moving in and out of the box on her own. As she becomes more comfortable, you can start closing the door while she’s inside for periods of time at first, escalating the time until she’s able to stay inside for extended periods of time without getting anxious.
Finding the right crate for your cat
The first step in crate training your cat is finding the right crate. Your cat should be able to easily move around and turn around inside of the crate. It’s important that the crate be large enough for your cat to comfortably stand up and turn around, but not too large or too small.
The right size crate depends on a few factors. The height of the cat, as well as how big it is, can affect what size your cat needs. There are a few things you can do to make sure you get the perfect size for your puddy tat:
Measure how tall your cat is from the floor to their shoulders, then measure from their shoulders to their tail
Find a cardboard box that is about four inches larger than your kitty from head-to-tail
Measure out a square on a cardboard box with one inch sides, giving yourself five inches on each side
If the square fits snugly inside of the box, touching no edges or corners, it’s a good fit for your cat!
Introduce the Crate to your cat
Introducing your cat to the crate is crucial. It needs to be a happy and calm experience for your pet.
Start by placing the crate in a room with minimal distractions and let your cat explore on its own time. A new, unknown environment can be very scary for animals, so this will help them feel more at ease.
The first few tries should only last about 10 minutes. Once each of those sessions goes well, you can escalate the time as long as it’s still going well.
Encourage your cat to enter the crate with treats or toys and try rubbing some of their favorite cat food on the front of the crate to entice them inside.
Make the crate comfortable, keep things fun
The first step to crate training your cat is to make the crate as comfortable as possible. Put a blanket inside of it and consider adding a favorite toy or treat to help make it more favorable for your kitty.
One way to make the crate more enjoyable for your feline friend is by playing games with him on the other side of the door. If he likes treats, put some of his favorite food and a few toys outside the crate and see if he goes in on his own after you leave. You can also toss some treats into the crate periodically to encourage him to go inside.
You want to stay away from punishment, so don’t close the door if he darts back out. You’ll just be teaching him that there’s something scary on the other side of those doors! Instead, wait for him to go in on his own before closing it behind him.
Pet parents should remember they have to keep things fun and interesting though, otherwise their cat will refuse going into any enclosed space, even a carrier! It’s important that pet owners mix up activities so their cat doesn’t get bored with being inside too long at a time.
Repeat the crate training sessions
Crate training your cat can take as little as two weeks to as long as six weeks. While you should be able to see progress within a week, it’s important that you don’t give up on the process too early.
Some cats will need repetition before they feel comfortable in their crate. The first time you place them in their crate, the animal will probably become extremely stressed and may even panic. However, if you continue to repeat these sessions with your cat, she’ll accept the crate as her own personal space.
In order to make the process less stressful for your cat, it’s important to use positive reinforcement methods during these training sessions. This means using treats and praise to help make the experience more enjoyable for her. By consistently repeating these sessions, your cat will grow accustomed to being in her crate and come to enjoy spending time there!
If you’ve never crate trained your cat before, it can be a little tricky. Here are some common problems and some solutions to those problems:
Burrowing: Cats like to feel safe and will often burrow into the back of their crates to get away from things. This is very easy to work on. Just set up a small space in the crate’s front with a towel or blanket and let your cat explore it first.
Noisy: If you have a noisy cat, this may be the most challenging problem with crate training. The most important thing for this problem is keeping them inside of the crate as much as possible. It’s important not to let them out of the crate until they’ve been quiet for a while. This will teach them that being in the crate means being quiet too, which will hopefully keep them from going nuts when they’re locked inside it.
Destructive: If your cat is destructive when she gets out of her crate, try putting a soft mat or towel over the crate bedding so they won’t rip up anything else when they come out. You can also put a scratching post next to their door so they have an appropriate place to scratch instead of furniture.
Crate training your cat does not differ from training any other pet. If you’re patient, consistent and follow the steps outlined in this guide, you should be able to train your cat to the point of being comfortable in the crate.
Crate training is an excellent way to keep your cat safe when you’re not home or when you’re traveling. It also provides an easy way to transport your cat to the veterinarian for a check-up.