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Cat Crate Buyer's Guide
The cat crate isn't a cruelty, in actual fact if you
have a new cat that is nervous and frightened, and you
have other cats and/or dogs, not having a crate or cage
for its refuge can be a cruelty. Cats, when they become
stressed, can damage property, themselves, and you.
Having a cat crate where the cat can feel comfortable
and secure will dramatically cut down on any damaging
Cat crates are meant to be used for your cat's safety
and health. Of course, if the cat is stressed by being
in the crate and it doesn't adjust within a couple of
days then you may need to try something else, but most
cats will adjust well. The crate should make it
comfortable and protect it from its own destructive
behavior and keep it safe and out of the way when
dangerous things are going on in the household.
You want to get a crate that is large enough to allow
your cat to move around. Some crates are big enough
that you can fit in a cat house, cat litter pan, cat
food bowl and a cat water bowl so it has all the
amenities right at hand. You can even put some toys in
the crate for your cat to play with. The point is to
make it a haven where the cat can stay for a stretch of
time and be comfortable.
Ideally you want your cat to be comfortable with the
crate from staying in it as a kitten. This way the
crate is a home to it and not a cage. You can also get
it used to the crate and then take the cat in the crate
for short car rides so it will be comfortable and not
get upset riding in the car when you take a real
The crate isn't a permanent place for your cat to stay,
of course. But if you need to confine your cat at night
to eliminate nighttime destructive habits or you travel
often then the crate begins to show its worth.
Some people recommend getting a crate that is big
enough just for the cat and no other amenities. But if
you intend to crate your cat for an extended period of
time then get a bigger one so you can put some
necessary objects into the crate with the cat. For just
short periods of time like a couple of hours you need
only a small one with some padding like old towels.
When you bring your cat home, put its food, water and
bed into the crate and give it some time to adjust.
After that, letting it go in and out of the crate to
explore is good practice. That way it can return to its
familiar crate when it is tired and feel happy and
secure. Gradually your new cat will become more
familiar with your home and spend more and more time
out of the crate. The point is to allow the cat to come
and go as it pleases when it doesn't matter if it is
confined. This is ideal for you and your cat.