Most cat parents let their cats roam their entire home, whether they live in a one-bedroom apartment or a 16 bedroom house. But some will confine their cat to one room for some reason. Can cats live in only one room, or do they need the entire home to roam in?
Cats can live in one room as long as the room is about the size of a large living room, and their needs are provided for, such as a litter box, food, water, and entertaining cat toys. Cats can be happy in almost any space as long as they can access you and things to entertain them.
If you need to confine your cat to one room, make sure it has its needs met. If you want to know more, keep reading.
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Why Do Some People Keep Their Cat in Just One Room?
Most cat parents choose to let their cat roam throughout their entire home, so it seems strange that some keep their cat in one room only. But while you might think that the practice is cruel or strange, there are certain situations where cats might need to be contained in one room, even just temporarily.
A cat might be sick, and the pet parent wants to keep their other cat(s) from getting sick. Or the cats are fighting and need to be separated for a short time.
One Cat Is Sick
Animals can be aggressive to other sick animals, as it is the survival of the fittest mentality. When a cat is sick and has other cats or a dog, you will want to put the sick cat into another room to stay safe while recovering.
The other reason why a sick cat is separated is that the illness might be contagious to the other animals in the home. To keep your other animals from getting sick, you will need to put your sick cat in a separate room with food, water, and a litter box, as well as toys and a soft place to sleep.
Cats Are Fighting and Need to Be Separated
Cats often have small arguments that last maybe less than thirty seconds, but if the fights last longer than that, they may need to be separated into different rooms for a few minutes to let them “cool off.”
You could let the cats fight it out, but that causes anxiety and mental damage to the cats if they fight often enough and for long enough. If you have more than one cat, and they are prone to fighting, having one or both cats live in separate rooms for a while can help them calm down. Or, if you are introducing cats to each other, and they are anxious, one room for each cat can help them adjust to each other.
Some Cats Have Social Anxiety
Sometimes, rescue cats or cats that had a rough go at life tend to be more anxious in social situations than other cats. Even if a cat is the only cat in the home, they often hide when visitors enter their home. If you have more than one cat, and one cat tends to create problems, cat parents might either put the trouble-making cat in a room or the one with social anxiety in the room.
To Keep Cats Away From Valuables
Another reason that people will put a cat in one room is to protect their valuables. While some people see this as a shameful way to treat their pets and put their valuables above their cats, it is up to the pet parent.
But they don’t want to have cat fur over everything either, which might be due to certain allergies a family member has to cat fur. Or it could be to keep a cat from marking their territory over everything by peeing on it. Although you don’t want to keep your cat in one room permanently, it might be sufficient for a few hours during the day or night.
How Much Space Do Cats Need?
Cats can live in a room that gives them adequate space to run, pounce, sleep, and eat. While they may not need much space, one source suggests giving them an 18 square foot room for one cat. If you have more than one cat, you should double your space.
But if you live in an NYC apartment that is no bigger than one room, that is different. Because you will be in the room with your cat, there is less of a chance that your cat will get lonely.
Will a Cat Get Bored in One Room?
Like you, cats get bored if they are cooped up in one room for very long. They need stimulation and exercise to stay healthy, along with companionship. A cat sleeps for 12-14 hours per day so that they won’t need a lot of interaction most of the time.
You will want to put some toys and other items in the room with your cat so that it doesn’t get bored while being alone in the room.
If you don’t plan on playing with your cat or letting it out of the room at all, your cat will eventually get bored and lonely regardless of how many toys it has to play with. Keep in mind that your cat loves you and wants your attention more than anything else.
Provide for Your Cat’s Needs in That Room
Your cat will need access to a litter box, fresh food, and cold water while in the one room. Sometimes, cat parents will put their cat in one room while they are working for the day. If that describes you, make sure the litter box is cleaned before you leave. Make sure your cat has fresh food and water as well.
If you are separating your cat from other cats because of illness, make sure you are tending to its needs with medicine or other items your vet tells you to give your cat to help it feel better and recover.
Cats Don’t Necessarily Need Much Room to Explore
Cats don’t need a lot of space to explore, especially if you and your cat live in a small space. However, some sources say that a cat needs at least one acre to call their territory to explore and keep safe from imaginary predators.
If you don’t have that much space, cats can adapt and roam your home no matter how small or how large it is. As long as your cat has access to you at least part of the day, they are perfectly content to be in a room for the other part of the day. A 5,000 square foot home might not be big enough for your cat if you are nowhere to be found, while a studio apartment will be large enough if you’re there.
While it might be ideal to let your cat roam your entire home, there are several reasons why you might need to isolate it for a while.
If properly cared for and interacted with, your cat can be comfortable in one room temporarily. They can even thrive when given the correct mix of care.
A myth says that cats need outdoor time to be happy or properly stimulated for good health. However, a home with windows and space to hide or explore can be just as stimulating. If provided enough mental and physical stimulation, they won’t need to go outside.
- FAQ Cats: Can Cats Live In One Room? Everything You Need to Know!
- Pet Central: Can Cats Stay in One Room All Day?
- The Spruce Pets: Is Your Apartment Big Enough for a Cat?
- Pictures of Cats: Is It Cruel To Keep a Cat In One Room?
- Traveling With Your Cat: Avoiding Feline Fury: A One-Room Guide To a Happy Indoor Cat
Pam is a self-confessed cat lover and has experience of working with cats and owning cats for as long as she can remember. This website is where she gets to share her knowledge and interact with other cat lovers.