How To Make A Safe Room For Your Cats
When it comes to adopting a cat, one of the most important things that you need to prepare for your new kitten is to make sure they have a safe room ready for your cat.
A safe room is important for your new kitty for get used to their new environment for a few days and contain all the necessities a cat would need to survive and feel comfortable. (Hence the name “safe room”)
And while a safe room is ideal for a multi-cat household, it is beneficial to give even a single-cat home a room that is all their own.
It’s not difficult to set up a safe room and only requires some minimal supplies, but the process will help your cat feel at home.
Before You Begin
Before you even begin to think about a safe room, you want to make sure your cat room is cat-proof.
This room should be closed off from the rest of the house and completely safe for your new kitten to be left alone for hours on end.
For us, when we were in an apartment and when we moved to the house, we used the extra bedroom. It was create because we could keep the cats in there and they could smell the other cats and still feel safe.
What You Need
Spend some time to gather these supplies for your safe room:
- Litter box and scoop
- Cat Bed
- Cat Food and Cat Bowls
- Scratching post
- Plenty of cat toys
- A dividing screen or two if you have to “make do” with a corner of a room (You can also use a baby gate)
- Something that smells like you (I like to use a sweatshirt or blanket)
Set up Your Safe Room
Once you have established the best place, it’s time to set up the safe room.
If a separate room is not used for the safe room, place one or two tall screens to create a private section in an unused corner of a room.
Be sure that everyone in your house is aware that this area is for the new kitten and all items have been thoughtfully placed there (and no other animals should be allowed in).
I always like to start out with the food placement. I place the food in a place where they need to venture out of hiding, but it is close enough to where they can hide if they feel the need to.
As an example, we had a bed in our extra bedroom. We placed the food on the corner to the right of our bed where we knew the kittens would hide. To the right of the bed was in perfect sight of the door. So the new kitties could see the door open and hear what was going on behind the door.
Litter Box Placement
The next supply to consider would be the placements of the litter box.
Place the litter box in one corner of the room, well away from the food and water bowls. It doesn’t need to be fancy.
The one thing you want to consider is getting a litter box that is big enough for your cat to feel comfortable in.
If you have a young kitten, you want to get a litter box that they can easily climb in and out of. (If you have a young kitten, I would not spend a lot of money on a litter box until they are around 6 months old. You can always “upgrade” later on, you always have the option to).
I also like to recommend getting a hood for your cat litter box. Some people like it, others don’t. I like that it keeps any stray peeing from getting out on the floor and causing any potential territorial issues.
As always, you want to make sure you have enough litter for the box, and a scoop to removed the dirty litter as your cat does its business.
Adding a Scratching Post
Next, you want to make sure you have a scratching post.
I will go against popular comments and say that it doesn’t really matter where you initially put the scratching post.
As you learn about your cat, you will learn where they like to go to scratch and be able to move it to the right location.
In my cats, for instance, they like to look out the window on the cat tree. So we moved the cat tree from its original location to a place right by the window.
A Place to Sleep
One of my favorite investments that I have made has been to get my kitties a calming cat bed. Do I think this cat bed actually calms them down? No.
But it is a big, soft bed that all four of my cats have enjoyed sleeping on at one point or another.
And to me, that is a huge win.
If you want to read about my favorite cat bed, you can do so here.
But a safe place for your new cat to sleep and call their own is a huge step in the right direction. You can even place your sweatshirt or article of your clothing on or near the cat bed to help them get used to your scent.
Finally, a few toys complete your new cat’s safe room.
You’ll want at least one interactive cat toy to use as a bonding tool and one or two play-alone toys, for the times you are not in the room.
Plush toys can be a great way to help comfort your cat as they are getting used to their new environment.
But it is always important to know that each cat is unique and some will like toys and others will not.
Don’t think there is something wrong with your cat if they don’t like the first toys you buy for them.
Preventing Problems During the Safe Room Setup
The goal of the safe room is to keep your new cat contained in a safe space.
If your new cat gets out and is roaming around your house, it is not terrible but you want to make sure your home is safe for your cat.
To pet proof your house, make sure you read How to Pet Proof Your Home.
Houses have a lot of hazards and as soon as you realize the cat is loose, try to return it to the safe room.
And with that, you are ready to move onto the next step of Introducing a New Cat to Your Home!