Cats are naturally curious creatures and love getting their noses into trouble. My cat is the perfect example of this. He is rather laid back but when he has made up his made to enter a room, nothing can hold him back.
There are instances where we may want to keep our cats out of certain rooms. This could be for their safety, to protect valuable items or maintain a pet-free zone.
Thankfully, I have used a few methods that have worked over the years to stop my cat from entering a room without a door.
This article will provide practical and humane strategies to help manage your cat’s access to rooms without resorting to closing or having a room door.
How To Keep Cats Out Of A Room?
It can be a challenging endeavor for trying to keep your little kitty out of a specific room.
It gets even more frustrating when the room has no doors hence closing the door is no longer an option.
That being said, even a closed-door is no match for a cat.
Cats can spend hours just scratching and meowing outside your door just to get you to open up.
Not sure about you but that sounds more like mental torture for me.
How to keep your cat out of a room is a matter of using the right techniques and methods.
1. Block Off All Access To The Room
In order to stop a certain unwanted behavior that you don’t like, it helps to get into the mindset of a cat.
Even if you are able to block off the most obvious and noticeable entrance a.k.a the door, your cat is still determined and smart enough to look for alternative ways in.
Are there any windows in the room? Make sure they are closed tight. Cats are able to open windows with their paws.
Are there hiding spaces in the room that the cat enjoys hiding in?
Make sure to remove them to not give the cat a good reason to enter the room.
What about openings in the wall or ceilings that can unknowingly give your cat access to the restricted room?
If you think that a hole or opening is too small for your cat, think again.
Cats can squeeze into openings or gaps that are just as wide as their whiskers!
There are a few interesting reasons why your cat’s whiskers are so long as they are multi-functional.
I doubt many humans can achieve such a feat, even if it’s sideways.
2. Use A Pet Gate Or Baby Gate
This will be your next line of defense.
There are a few considerations before installing a pet gate or a baby gate.
Cats are awesome and accomplished jumpers. Just because your cat is old or chunky doesn’t mean it has lost its ability to jump high.
A cat jumps on average about 5-6x their height. This would be about 4-5 feet high.
Some cat breeds like the Bengal, Savannah or Siamese can jump a lot higher than the average cat.
The highest recorded vertical jump by a cat is at 11.5 feet!
It is safe to say that many of us are blessed with cats with such a jumping ability. So at least make sure the gate is at least 5 feet high to deter jumping attempts.
It might be much but it is decent enough to act as a physical barrier to keep your cat out.
3. Installing A Screen Door
Maybe you really do have a cat that can jump 11.5 feet or higher.
If that’s the case, using a pet gate will seem like a road bump for your cat.
What you actually need now is a full-length partition that can block the doorway from top to bottom.
There are a few options for this.
You can install a wooden screen door that is cheaper and more ventilated than an actual door.
This is good if you want to block off an area of your home for a baby room.
Another option is to use bi-fold doors or partitions that can be placed across the doorway.
There’s no installation involved and can be removed or placed at your disposal.
Just make sure that the door or partition is flush with the door entrance to keep your cat from getting through the gaps.
4. Train The Cat Properly
Let’s address the elephant in the room here.
Cats can be trained but it can make you pull your hair out if you are not patient enough.
Unlike dogs who are pack animals and are seasoned at taking orders easily, cats are solitary animals who lead fiercely independent lives.
Cats are said to have the intelligence of a 2year old kid hence they should be trained like one with lots of positive reinforcement.
Whenever you notice your cat coming close to the room, tell it “No” in a firm voice and carry your naughty cat to the area that you prefer it to be in.
Keep doing this over a period of time and your cat will start to get the idea.
One downside to this method is that you need to be watching your feline friend very closely.
For days that you are unable to, a motion detector placed at the doorway that emit a loud unpleasant sound or compressed air will do the trick to scare most cats away.
Do not in any way scream or shout at your get to scare it away. Doing so will cause it to be very fearful and will make training more difficult.
Your aim is to deter, not strike the fear of death into your cat’s soul.
5. Use A Vinegar Spray
Cats have a power powerful sense of smell which helps them communicate with other cats via pheromones.
You might have seen your cat make a sneer or a weird face after smelling a scent. This is actually called a Flehmen Response and there’s a scientific explanation behind it.
Cats hate the smell of vinegar as is too powerful for their acute sense of smell. Any pungent smell will keep your cat out of the room.
You can start to use this to your advantage by making a simple vinegar spray at home. Just mix one part vinegar and three parts water into a spray bottle.
Give it a good shake and spray generously at the doorway entrance and after it.
Once the cat associates the room with the unpleasant smell it won’t be too keen to enter it.
You can also use this method to keep your cat off an air mattress by spraying around it.
Remember to refresh the ‘scent’ at the doorway every few hours.
The downside to this is that your room will also smell strongly for a few hours but the smell will dissipate after a while.
If you are planning to have a pet or baby in that room, it would be best to start this method way before the occupant arrives.
No one really likes smelling vinegar for hours on end.
Whatever you do, don’t directly spray the mixture on your cat. It can sting their eyes and cause serious damage.
6. Make The Room ‘Cat-Unfriendly’
Maybe you have a cat that can leap like Superman and loves the smell of vinegar.
It is time to not only discourage the cat from entering but also make staying in the room uncomfortable.
Cats hate walking on certain kinds of materials like aluminum foil, hard plastic and double-sided tape.
You can lay out these materials around the room to make it really uncomfortable for your cat to be in the room.
Just don’t use any material that is sharp or that can cause damage to your cat’s paws.
A cat’s paw is highly sensitive and serves many important functions.
You can also play loud music in the room will also make it uncomfortable as cats have a more acute sense of hearing and their ears can magnify sounds.
Thus they aren’t fond of loud noises.
Just be prepared for your neighbors to give you a dirty look for disturbing the peace.
7. Tire Your Cat Out
Although cats can sleep 18-20 hours a day, it’s during their waking hours that they tend to roam and start getting up to no good.
What you can do is make sure that your cat gets a lot of playtime during this period to keep them occupied.
Toys like a red laser pointer or something that your cat can chase, stalk and go crazy after are good options to have.
The aim is to tire your cat out and make it expand all its restless energy.
8. Give Your Cat An Area Of Its Own
You might not be able to give your cat a room on its own but most cats are happy with just having their little private corner.
You don’t need to provide an entire room just for your cat unless you have like 5 of them.
A private area would suffice for one or two cats.
In this area, make it as comfortable as possible for your cat as possible.
Set up this area away from noise and human traffic where your cat can spend the day relaxing and sleeping.
A couple of items that would be good to have in this area:
Many cats like sitting or spending time at the window watching the world go by. Some even like to bird-watch and get excited when they see one.
The main idea is to grab your cat’s attention with whatever is happening outside the window.
Just make sure the window is closed too.
Hammocks Or High Perches
Nothing like lying down in a hammock at the beach and gently swaying yourself to a peaceful slumber.
Cats are fans of hammocks too especially those near a window or high above the ground.
Many cat owners fail to make use of vertical space at home for their cats.
This gives them a nice resting spot and a vantage point of what’s happening around them.
Scratching Post And Toys
A scratching post is a must-have for any cat owner. It helps your cat to keep its claws healthy and trimmed.
Cats also get a good workout by using the post as it helps stretch and exercise their muscles and tendons.
Having a scratching post for your cat will also prevent it from scratching your furniture.
Keep a few of your cat’s favorite toys in the area that can help to keep him busy when he’s awake.
Consistency Is Key To Success
If you want to succeed, you need to be consistent with training your cat.
You can’t just expect your cat to not try and enter the room even with everything properly set up.
Don’t confuse your cat by allowing it in the room one day and angrily chasing it out the next.
Your cat needs to know that the room is out of bounds from the get go.
How To Keep My Cat Out Of The Bedroom At Night?
Here’s a special tip for cat owners that don’t enjoy having their little feline friend snuggle up in bed with you.
Consider yourself lucky if your cat likes spending the night in your bed.
There are many cat owners who feel sad when their cats stop sleeping with them at night.
Keep Your Bedroom Door Close
Don’t sleep with your room door open and expect your kitty to not want to hop on your bed when you’re fast asleep.
Your cat is capable of spending hours at night scratching and meowing at your bedroom door for you to let it in.
And believe me when I say that the sound of your cat scratching your door in the middle of the night is not a pleasant sound at all.
As difficult as it might be, it’s times like this when you have to be a bit cold-hearted and not succumb to your cat’s persuasion.
Your cat will eventually stop and go sleep somewhere else.
Don’t Bring Your Cat Into The Bedroom
If you know from the start that you don’t want your cat in the bedroom due to your cat allergies, then it would be wise to not bring your cat into the bedroom at all.
Once you let your cat in the bedroom, it will start marking its scent on the walls and sheets.
A room marked by your cat signifies that it’s your cat’s territory and that it is a safe place to be in.
Is It OK To Lock My Cat Out Of The Bedroom?
You might feel that it is cruel or bad of you to lock your cat out of the bedroom.
But from one cat owner to another cat owner, it is more than ok to do so.
There was a period of time when my cat was just being too disruptive in my bedroom at night and that was messing up my sleep.
I had no choice but to lock him out of my bedroom or I can forget about sleeping that night.
Your cat will meow and cry for you to open the door but you need to be tough and not give in.
As iron-willed as cats are, they will get bored after a while and move on to something else.
It isn’t too difficult trying to keep a room or area ‘cat free’.
You just have to be firm and quick to clamp down on any bad and unwanted behaviors by your cat. Remember also to use a lot of positive training to make better progress.
Stick to the above-suggested methods and you and your cat will be able to live harmoniously under the same roof.