Confining a Cat to a Room at Night: 6 Important Factors to Consider

Imagine this; you want to get a decent night’s sleep so you can wake up energized, but your cat keeps meowing, scratching on objects, and snoring loudly throughout the night. Instead of letting your cat roam freely, you think about confining it in a room at night. But before doing this, you’re wondering if confining a cat to a room at night is safe, and if so, what to consider.

It’s inhumane to confine your cat to a room at night because felines need freedom to move. However, if you must confine your cat to a room overnight for whatever reason, ensure the room is prepared to accommodate the feline’s needs. Consider its size, ventilation, temperature, and the cat’s personality and needs for safety overnight.

In the rest of this article, I’ll discuss in detail what to consider when confining a cat to a room at night. I’ll also talk about situations that may warrant confining your feline friend to a room at night. Let’s get started!

What to Consider Before Confining a Cat to a Room at Night (6 Factors)

Therefore, confining them to a room can cause stress, depression, and anxiety. Like humans, cats love freedom; these animals enjoy playing and sharing with their human companions.So, when considering confining a cat to a room at night, ensure that the room is comfortable for your feline friend.

Here are the factors to consider while confining a cat to a room at night;

1. The Room’s Size

confining a cat to a room at night
Cat at night

Cats are playful creatures with hunting instincts like pouncing, raking, and batting. They need sufficient space to engage in activities and explore the environment. Therefore, when confining your cat to a room at night, ensure that the room is large enough to move around comfortably.

Keeping a cat in one room at night is only okay when the room is spacious enough for your pet. A cat with sufficient space to move around will be less likely to get stressed. A happy cat secretes oxytocin, a hormone that helps reduce anxiety-related behaviours.

There is no single formula to calculate the amount of space your feline needs. Moreover, cat breeds have different needs in terms of space and size. Therefore, a rule of thumb is to ensure the cat has an absolute minimum of 18 square feet of space in the confinement room.

Also Read: How to Comfort a Dying Cat

2. The Room’s Ventilation

Besides breathing in and out, ventilation helps keep the cat comfortable in a confined room. It also provides a cooling breeze that helps to cool down the cat and prevent heatstroke.

It’s worth noting that confining a cat to a room at night with poor ventilation impacts the respiratory health of your feline friend.The quality of air your cat breathes influences its health to a greater extent. For instance, concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the room can lead to respiratory problems. You can correct such issues by ensuring sufficient ventilation in the room.

Confining a cat in a room can hinder ventilation if, for instance, the room has no windows. Therefore, ensure that the room is well-ventilated so your cat can breathe in fresh air and have access to a cooling breeze.

Here are some tips to help you keep the confinement room well-ventilated:

  • Open the windows for a few minutes in the morning and evening.
  • Install an air purifier to keep the air fresh.
  • Use an exhaust fan in the bathroom and kitchen if possible.
  • Ensure there is no build-up of moisture or dampness near your cat’s bedding materials.

3. The Room’s Temperature

Just like humans, cats are sensitive to extreme temperature changes.

Confining a cat to a room at night can expose it to extreme temperatures depending on the room’s size, location, and weather.

A smaller room in summer accumulates more heat, while in winter, it becomes cold faster. Moreover, underground rooms or those within the walls can be extremely cold in winter.

Extremely hot temperatures will expose your cat to heatstroke, a condition that causes confusion, fatigue, vomiting, and breathing problems. The last thing you want is to open the room’s door only to find your feline friend panting excessively on the floor.

On the other hand, cold temperatures can expose your cat to hypothermia. Hypothermia is a situation whereby the cat’s body temperature drops below 100° F (37.78°C). When this happens, the cat can suffer from organ damage, depression, and shock.

The best way to ward off hypothermia and prevent heatstroke in your cat is to ensure the room’s temperature is between 65 and 75° F (18.33 and 23.89° C). This is the optimum temperature for cats.

Before keeping cat in one room at night you should monitor the temperature to ensure the feline will be safe. It’s advisable to install air conditioners or heaters if you live in an area with temperature extremities. In such a case, when the temperature drops below the recommended threshold, the air conditioner will automatically kick in to raise the temperature.

The following tips will also help you maintain the room’s temperature at the right level:

  • Open the curtains if the temperature is extremely high.
  • Ensure the cat has a comfy bed with enough blankets when it gets cold.
  • Install an exhaust fan to help regulate the temperature.
  • Put a fan in the room if there is no air conditioning.
  • Use a thermometer to monitor the room’s temperature and ensure it’s within the recommended range.

4. The Cat’s Personality

Some cats will not tolerate being confined in a room for hours at night.

Most cats are active, curious creatures who love exploring their environment or wandering around the house. Confining them in a closed room can cause distress, boredom, and depression – common behavioral problems in cats.

Therefore, it’s important to check your cat’s personality before confining it to a room. If your cat is calm and relaxed, it will likely sleep in the confinement room without much fuss. However, if you notice signs of distress when leaving them in the room, they may not be comfortable being confined to one place for hours at night.

In such cases, exploring other options like keeping the cat in an outdoor place or finding a safe area in the house where they can spend their nights is advisable.

Find Out: How to Euthanize a Cat With Over-the-Counter Drugs

5. The Cat’s Basic Needs

Confining a cat in a room where it doesn’t have access to basic needs is like putting them in solitary confinement.

Cats need food, water, litter boxes, and stimulating activities to stay healthy and happy. When confining them to a room at night, ensure they have access to all these things.

You should also make the room comfortable with fresh bedding materials and familiar toys that can keep your cat entertained throughout the night.

Setting up a scratching post or two in the room is also advisable. Cats love to scratch their claws for emotional stimulation and exercise. Additionally, the room needs a window where the cat can see outside or watch birds from the comfort of its bed.

The intention of providing all these is to mimic the cat’s natural environment and provide the creature with a sense of freedom even when confined.

6. The Room’s State

Sleeping cat
Sleeping cat

Your cat’s safety is paramount when confining it in a room.

Cats are playful creatures; they will explore any nooks and crannies they can find. Therefore, before confining your cat to a room, make sure there are no exposed wires or other items that could be dangerous. Secure all electrical outlets and replace rickety furniture with sturdier ones.

Also, keep the floor clean of objects such as paper clips or coins your cat may swallow.

If you have other animals in the house that are hostile towards cats, ensure they cannot access the confinement room.

Do Cats Enjoy Being Confined in a Room?

Confining a cat to a room at night is  not something they enjoy being as theywill always want freedom. This explains why cats love being taken for walks outside. However, if done correctly, your cat can enjoy its time in the room and have a good night’s sleep.

The best way to understand a cat’s confinement situation is by comparing it to yourself. It’s natural to feel excited when you get outside for a walk.

A relatable example is when your parents once denied you permission to go out. You felt confined, but when you got outside, you enjoyed it more than ever.

The same applies to cats – they don’t enjoy being confined to a room, but once they get out, they experience the pleasure of freedom.

Situations That Warrant Confining a Cat

As a feline parent, you may feel uncomfortable confining your lovely friend in a room. You understand that the cat needs freedom to roam and explore its environment.

However, there are cases when it’s inevitable that you have to keep the cat confined in a room at night. Some of these situations include:

  • Safety: If you live in an area with many wild animals or other cats who may harm your cat while outside, confining it to a safe space at night is one of the best ways to protect it.
  • Health: If your cat has an illness or is recovering from surgery, confining it in a room can be helpful. Generally, cats should be kept indoors when they are sick so they can rest and heal without stressors from the outside environment.
  • The presence of an allergic person: While most cats are not hypoallergenic, some breeds produce less dander and are likely to cause allergy symptoms. Thus, confining the cat to a room in the presence of a person with allergies is a good idea.

These are just some reasons you may need to confine your cat in a room at night. Ultimately, it all boils down to safety, health, and comfort for your feline friend.

The Don’ts When Confining a Cat in a Room

Confining a cat to a room at night is not just a matter of locking the door and leaving. The experience of being confined can be stressful for cats if done wrong.

Here are some don’ts when confining a cat in a room:

  • Don’t confine the cat for a full night at once: You should start by first training the cat when confining it. Locking up your kitty all at once in a room can trigger severe anxiety and traumatic experience. When this happens, the cat will develop trust issues with you, which can be hard to fix.
  • Don’t ignore the cat: Once confined in a room, cats may meow loudly or claw at the door as they try to escape. If this happens, don’t ignore your feline companion; respond and acknowledge it with soothing words to let them know that you haven’t forgotten about them.
  • Don’t keep the same daily routine: Cats get bored easily and can quickly become distressed if confined too frequently or for too long. Change up your routine to keep things interesting; this could be by changing the location of their confinement or altering their playtime.

Final Thoughts

Confining a cat to a room at night is not always the best option for cats, especially if it makes them uncomfortable.

However, with the right temperature and access to basic needs, you can make the confinement comfortable for your cat and ensure a good night’s rest.

Ultimately, the decision to confine your cat is yours to make. Weigh all options, consider what’s best for your feline friend, and provide them with the best care possible.


Can you lock a cat in a room at night?

You can lock your cat in a room at night only if the room is spacious enough and is cat-proofed so it does it injure itself while playing.

are cats nocturnal?

Contrary to popular belioef, cats sare not nocturnal animals. They are crepuscular. Which means that they are most active during dusk and dawn but they sleep throughout the day.

can i keep my cat in one room at night?

It’s inhumane to confine your cat to a room at night because felines need freedom to move. However, if you must confine your cat to a room overnight for whatever reason, ensure the room is prepared to accommodate the feline’s needs.

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