Comfortably Living with Cats in One Room


After adopting the perfect cat from the animal shelter, you come home with all the necessary supplies, including a litter box, a 20-pound box of litter, and food. Now, the important decision is where your new furry friend will live. Will you allow her to roam freely throughout the entire house, or would you prefer to confine her to a specific room, floor, or area?

Yes, it is possible for a cat to comfortably live in a single room as long as the room is at least eighteen square feet. The size of the room is not as important to cats as what is inside the room. If you have multiple cats, you will need to provide double the space.

Deciding to keep a cat in one room can be challenging. There are various reasons for confining a cat, but it doesn’t automatically mean that your cat will be negatively impacted just because they are separated from the rest of the house. Here are the reasons and methods for keeping a cat in one room, and whether or not it’s advisable to do so.

Why Do Some People Keep a Cat in One Room

There are many reasons why people choose to have their cat confined to one room. It could be a temporary arrangement or a permanent choice. Some of the reasons for this include:

  1. New CatFighting
  2. Illness
  3. Social anxiety
  4. Containment

1.New Cat

Bringing a new cat into a group of cats can sometimes be a distressing experience. Put the new cat in a separate room and ensure that she has all the necessary items, such as her own:

  • Food
  • Water
  • Kitty litter
  • Toys

Providing a small space will create a safe area for the new cat, allowing her to become familiar with the scents and noises of the house. It will also give the existing pets an opportunity to adjust to their new companion. Ensure that the door is firmly closed. It is acceptable and encouraged for the cats to sniff under the door or play footsie. Typically, the separation period lasts for about two to three days.

2. Fighting

At times, cats may not get along, possibly due to a lack of socialization when they were young. However, it is important to address this issue promptly. In such situations, separating the cats by placing them in different rooms is the safest and most sensible approach. With the use of appropriate training methods, it is possible for this situation to improve over time. Alternatively, it may be necessary for the cats to permanently live in separate rooms.

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3. Illness

If you have a sick cat and other pets, it’s crucial to keep them apart. Animals can naturally be hostile towards a sick animal, so you don’t want to add any more stress to your sick cat. Your sick cat will likely prefer to be alone, so keeping her in a separate room is the best way for her to get better.

Sickness affects everyone. There could be someone in your house who realizes they are allergic to cats or that their respiratory issues worsen when the cat is around. If you don’t want to give away your cat, you might have to keep her in one room.

4. Social Anxiety

Some animals, like cats, are extremely anxious and prefer to have their own space in the house. They are scared of everything and feel safer in a small, private area. It’s important to respect their need for space while also showering them with love.

5. Containment

There are individuals who desire to have a cat but prefer to limit its access to only one room in their house or apartment. Whether their decision is justified or not, they may have different motives for doing so, such as:

  • If you don’t want your furniture to get scratched, there are some things you can do.
  • Breakable valuables
  • Don’t want cat fur spread all around the house
  • If you don’t want the cat to pee all over the house

How to Keep a Cat in One Room

Animal shelters often house groups of cats together in a single room because it is believed to be more beneficial than keeping them in separate cages, and it also allows potential adopters to easily view all the cats. Typically, these rooms accommodate around eight to ten cats. Reputable shelters prioritize cleanliness and have strict standards in place. Staff members and volunteers diligently clean the floors and litter boxes on a daily basis. If you are considering keeping a cat in a single room, it is important to maintain the same level of cleanliness.

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Make sure to clean the litter box once or twice daily. Cats prefer a tidy spot to do their business, or else they’ll choose a different place. To prevent the room from smelling bad, it’s important to keep the litter box clean. Also, remember to sweep up any scattered litter in the room and regularly wash all bedding.

Because you have limited space, try utilizing vertical space. Cats enjoy being elevated, a behavior that dates back centuries when they would spend time in trees. They prefer being in high places in order to:

  • Make sure to monitor their living space
  • Feel safe
  • Check out who’s coming into their territory
  • Discover any type of prey (even if it’s a toy mouse)

To make sure your cats have plenty of choices, you can place trees and shelves in the room. This way, they can have different places to explore and play. If there isn’t enough space on the floor, they can also get exercise by climbing up a cat tree.

Make sure to have enjoyable things for your cat to do. It’s important to have toys available for them to play with. You should also join in on the fun by playing with string or throwing a ping pong ball. The goal is to keep your cat engaged and entertained.

Give your cat furniture or, if not furniture, boxes to hide in. Cats don’t enjoy open spaces. They prefer having a shelter to both hide and sleep in.

Should You Keep a Cat in One Room?

If you’re thinking about getting a cat and confining it to just one room away from the rest of the house, you might want to reconsider. A lot of cat lovers believe it’s not a good idea and can be quite unfair in certain ways.

Cats require space to roam around and opportunities to interact with others. Despite the belief that cats prefer to be alone, they actually enjoy the company of humans and the excitement it brings. However, this interaction is limited when they are isolated from the rest of the household.

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If you leave a cat alone for long periods of time in a single room, it may experience mental issues and feel distressed. It may experience emotions such as:

  • Loneliness
  • Anxiety
  • Fear

And if there are no cats in the room, it’s even scarier. An empty space can make cats very afraid.

What About Keeping A Cat In A One-Bedroom Apartment?

The real question is whether a one-bedroom apartment has sufficient space. It’s not the same as confining a cat to her own room. You’re sharing the room with her. She will become familiar with your daily routine and appreciate your presence. Being involved in the everyday household activities should offer enough stimulation.

Make sure to have a closed litter box for your cat and clean it daily. Give your cat good food, which not only benefits their health but also reduces the smell in the litter box. If you have space, consider getting or creating a cat tree. Alternatively, place a stool or shelf near a window so your cat can perch high and enjoy watching birds and the outside world.

Final Thoughts

Keeping a cat confined to a single room is not ideal for either the cat or yourself. After all, what’s the point of having a cat if you can’t fully enjoy their company? However, if there are special circumstances that require this arrangement, make the most of it by giving your beloved furry friend the affection and mental stimulation they crave.

Don’t stress if you reside in a small one-bedroom apartment, having less space doesn’t mean you’ll receive less affection.

You can also check this YouTube video about this topic:

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