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Confining A Cat To A Room At Night – Is It Ok?

We have noticed more and more people reaching out with various questions about confining a cat to a room at night so we have decided to publish this dedicated article going over the best way to restrict your cat’s movement around your home at night.

Although some people may think that this practice is cruel when done correctly, most cats won’t even care. If you do have a cat that likes to scratch up your carpets or furniture at night when left alone this may be the best option for you too.

Depending on your specific situation, it can actually be better for your cat to keep in confined to a room at night rather than let it roam the streets.

For example, an un-spayed female cat can easily get pregnant if she is let out of the house at night or your cat may end up in an accident with a car due to the low light too.

There are plenty of cat owners all around the world who successfully confine their pet cats to a single room or a small number of rooms within their homes at night without issue.

Due to cats often being self-sufficient and independent, many of them won’t really care that they are in a room alone while you sleep either offering the advantage over a dog that may bark all night to try and be in the same room as you.

Confining A Cat To A Room At Night

Most people tend to overcomplicate the process of confining a cat to a room at night but it really is as simple as making sure your cat has food, water, a kitty litter tray, a bed, and something to keep it entertained if possible.

Depending on the size of the room and the temperament of your cat, you may not even need the bed or something to keep it entertained either and simply closing the door and letting your cat get on with what it want to do will be enough.

If you have multiple cats that you want to confine to rooms at night you may be able to put both cats in the same room depending on your situation.

If your cats have been introduced correctly and get along, are both the same sex or have been spayed, you can usually put both cats in the same room too.

Sometimes this is not suitable though and you will have to put different cats in different rooms but provided the room is a standard size room, you can follow the same steps we explained above and lock the cat in the room.

As most cats will only be in the room for eight to ten hours, this really isn’t a major issue provided the have food, water, and a kitty litter tray to meet their needs.

A Cat in the dark at night.

Requirements For A Confined Cat At Night

Although there are some obvious things that a cat confined to a room during the night will require such as food, water, and a kitty litter tray, there are a few additional things that you are able to add to make the time pass easier.

If you are confident that your cat will sleep most of the night then this is often not required though and a surprising number of cats will simply sleep through the night once put into their room for the night.

In our opinion, a programmable No products found. is one of the best simulation items that you can invest in for your pet cat if it does have to be confined to a room at night.

Setting it up to randomly shine its laser around the room for a few minutes every few hours can be a great way to add some mental stimulation for your cats throughout the night.

Over the last two years or so, there has a been a huge increase in the number of videos uploaded to YouTube designed for pets to watch such as birds in a tree with the sound of them tweeting and chirping.

Although the actual benefits of these videos is controversial with many people saying their cat ignores them completely, it may be something that you are able to try when your cat is confined to the room.

Is It Mean To Lock A Cat In A Room At Night?

Although some people do think that it is mean or cruel to lock a cat in a room at night, it can be for the cat’s own good.

Sometimes you can’t let your cat roam around your home at night due to it ripping furniture or carpets when not supervised, un-spayed female cats can’t really be let outside either due to the risk of them getting pregnant so keeping your cat in a room of your home while you sleep may be the only option.

The general consensus is that you should not leave your cat alone in your home for more than 24 hours but this is usually due to needing to replenish food and water for your cat.

There are plenty of house cats who never go outside and are happy enough to live in your home without issue.

That said though, when it comes to keeping your pet cat in a single room of your home, we would usually recommend that you try to let your cat out after a maximum of 12 hours.

As most people will sleep between eight and ten hours each night, this gives you plenty of time to let your cat out of the room that you confine it to during the night without issue.

In the age of smart homes, there are actually some smart locks for doors that you are able to set up to unlock and open the door at a specific time.

These tend not to be practical for most people when it comes to their cats though as at the time of writing, these locks can be as much as $200 per locking system.

Can I Leave My Cat In The Dark Overnight?

Although some cats are totally fine being left in the dark overnight, some cats can have issues and will constantly meow if left in total darkness.

You will know your cat better than anyone and be able to make the best decision possible on what type of lighting your pet cat needs at night.

Keep in mind that it does not have to be lights on or lights off either, you can get some excellent quality nightlights for around $10 to leave in the room with your cat during the night to add some light.

These night lights are cheap to purchase and cheap to run often working out to be considerably cheaper than leaving the light on in your home.

Cats are able to see in both light and dark as well as sleep in light and dark with ease too so this is not really an issue for them.

If your cat is young or is still a kitten then the chances of it being scare of the dark when alone is higher but most kittens will still be totally fine when left alone with the lights out but make sure they have food, water, and a clean litter box.

Is It Cruel To Lock Cats Out At Night?

A cat out at night in front of some street lights.

Some cats will be totally fine out of the house at night and be able to fend from themselves with most people not considering this to be cruel due to cats usually being considerably more independent than dogs.

That said though, there is always a chance that your cat may be involved in an accident if you do leave it outside all night as well as a number of other potential risks.

Our recommendation is to try and keep your cat indoors if possible at night but we know that this is not an option for everyone. On top of that, some cats should not be let out unattended at all due to them being at risk.

For example, an un-spayed female cat may end up pregnant, young kittens will usually be more enthusiasts for things they potentially shouldn’t be resulting in an accident, and your cat may also end up with ticks or flees due to being close to other cats too.

When you look at the positives and negatives of letting your cat outside at night, most people usually conclude that it is better to keep their cats in their home.

If you have issues with your pet cat ripping your carpet or furniture at night then a portable pet playpen may be the best option with many people keeping their cats in the larger ones overnight without issue.

Is It Ok To Put My Cat In The Bathroom At Night?

Some people do choose to keep their pet cats in their bathroom at night due to their cat ripping their carpet up or ruining their furniture if left in any other rooms.

Although the bathroom is often a smaller room of the house, if you can train your cat to sleep through most of the night then it usually is not an issue to confine your cat to the bathroom during the night.

The majority of people tend to let their cats do what they want but it is easier than most people think to train a cat. The cat whisperer is an excellent book going over some quick and easy whats that you are able to train your cat for different things.

One of the easiest ways to get your cat to sleep through the night is to stop free-feeding them throughout the day and offer a large meal just before bedtime to encourage sleep.

The “hunt eat sleep” method is the most commonly used system to train your pet cat to sleep during the night and usually has a high success rate.

The idea is that you will play with your cat for around 20 minutes each night, usually with something that will burn its energy off so getting it to chase a No products found. around the room.

Then you give it a large meal to fill its stomach, and then you would put it in the bathroom ready for sleep.

Should I Let My Cat Roam The House At Night?

Most cats are left to roam the house at night as they tend not to damage the property while you are sleeping.

That said though, some cats will relentlessly claw up the carpets, particularly near doors or scratch your furniture if left to roam your home.This is why some people have no other option but to confine their cat to a single room of their house during the night.

If your cat does not display and destructive behaviour then you should be fine to leave your cat to roam freely around your home during the night though and not have to worry.

That said though, it is often advisable that you keep your bedroom door closes so your cat does not come and pay you a visit during the night and wake you up.

If your cat does have some destructive behaviors then letting your cat out for the night or getting yourself one of the larger portable pet playpen to keep your cat in during the night may be your only options.

Most people do opt for the playpen though and if you do try to train your cat to sleep during the night, many cats will simply curl up and go to sleep when you put them in their playpen for the night once they are used to it anyway.


That brings our article going over confining a cat to a room at night to an end. We hope that you have found it helpful and that we have been able to help you understand the various options that you have open to you at night for your cat. Thankfully, most cats tend to be able to roam your home at night without issue but some will need to be confined to a single room at night and following our advice above will offer you and your cat the best experience possible.