Many people wonder whether it is possible to crate train a cat, and if so, how it is done. It’s really not that hard, but it does take patience. So, how is it done?
Can You Crate Train a Cat?
The easy answer here is yes, you can crate train a cat. Something to note is that if you have experience crate training a dog, the methods are more or less the same, but be aware that dogs are a bit easier to do this with than cats. It will take some time, patience, and a lot of coaxing to train your cat to the point where they not only feel comfortable in the crate, but they actually like going in there. So, let’s move on and talk about some of the best and most useful tips for crate training your cat.
How to Crate Train Your Cat – Some Simple Tips and Rules
Ok, so yes, it is possible to crate train your cat, but be aware that there are differences between dogs and cats. Simply put, crate training a dog is a bit easier than doing the same with a cat. However, we have some general rules, tips, and methods for you to follow in order to make the kitty crate training process as fast, easy, and pain-free as possible.
Encourage a bit of exploration
One of the biggest tips we can give you in terms of crate training your cat is to always leave the crate out in the home. Do not put the crate away and store it in a closet when it is not in use. This is a great way to get your cat to hate the crate.
This is because if the crate only makes an appearance whenever the cat has to go inside of it, when it has to be locked in there, the cat is going to view the crate as a punishment or something to be feared. You want the crate to always be in plain view, leave the door open, and encourage your cat to explore it. Put some bedding, some treats, and maybe some toys in there — anything to encourage your cat to explore the crate, and thus slowly grow accustomed to it.
Put meals in the crate
As should be clear by now, you cannot just pop a cat in a crate the very first time and expect the kitty to be comfortable and happy. Placing your cat’s meals inside of the cat crate is a good way to get it accustomed to the crate. Now, in the beginning, your cat may be wary of eating their meals inside of the crate, and they may neglect their food due to the fear of being locked and trapped inside of it.
However, a good way around this is to slowly move your cat’s food dish from its original area towards the crate. Keep moving the food dish, and maybe some treats, towards the crate, closer and closer, until the food is right in front of the door. Leave it there for a few days so your cat just gets used to it, then eventually you should be able to get your cat to go into the crate for food and snacks.
Create the crate as a fun experience
Something else you want to ensure is that your cat likes the crate and has fun inside of it. You need to make sure that the cat views the crate in a good, positive, and fun light. It should be a place where your cat enjoys being a whole lot. It should not be a place of punishment or an area of solitude where your cat feels bad for being locked up. Therefore, another good way to crate train your cat is to put some toys and fun activities inside of it.
Eventually, your cat should work up the courage to go inside of the crate to play with the toys. It’s another good method for crate training your cat, besides using food that is.
Leave the lid off and the door open in the beginning
Something else to keep in mind is that you cannot rush into putting your cat in the crate, at least not with the lid on and the door closed. Many cat crates come with removable top halves, so in order to get your cat accustomed to the crate, a good idea is to do all of the things which we have discussed above, but just with the bottom half of the crate. Eventually, as your cat gets used to the bottom half, you can then put the top half on.
Furthermore, don’t close the crate door on your cat immediately. The first couple of weeks should be all doors open. If you close the door too soon, your cat will get nervous and fearful of being trapped. Remember, this takes time and patience. Eventually, when you see that your cat is fairly comfortable in the crate, you can then start closing the door, just for a few minutes in the beginning, then keep closing it for slightly longer periods of time.
Create cues and provide rewards
The other thing that you can do to help make crate training your cat much easier is to provide it with cues and commands to go inside of the crate.
Now, cats are not quite as focused with pleasing their owners as dogs are, but they still are to a certain extent, especially when treats and rewards are involved. So, just like you would with a dog, use treats and rewards in combination with cues and commands to get the cat to go into the crate. If you can get the cat to go into the crate on its own, you know you have a crate-trained cat.
As you can see, although it may take some time, patience, and a lot of coaxing to crate train a cat, it is still possible.