Can I Leave My Cat In A Carrier Overnight? (Get A Cage)

Keeping your cat in a carrier overnight may seem like an inhumane thing to do. It’s not, it can be a great way to protect your tiny kitten, or keep your adult cat out of trouble when you have company over. Regardless of why you’re considering leaving your cat in the carrier overnight, I’ll share some tips to help you out.

Can I Leave My Cat In A Carrier Overnight?

It depends, as long as your cat doesn’t mind being in the carrier, it is big enough, and you only plan on doing it for one night. If you plan on making it their permanent sleeping place, you will want to invest in a crate that will be more comfortable for your pet. Keep reading as we’ll provide some tips on making the carrier more comfortable as well as the difference between a crate and a carrier.

Read this page, if you’re in the market for a new cat carrier or just have some questions before you purchase one.

The Purpose Of A Cat Carrier

can a kitten sleep in a carrier overnight
Cat carriers are small and cramped and should not be used as a cat bedroom

A cat carrier is temporary housing unit that is meant to be used for transporting your cat. They are small and cramped and shouldn’t be used as a permanent sleeping place for your cat or kitten.

Related: Can I Leave My Cats In The Dark When I Go Away?

That being said, many cat’s will get used to being in their carrier and may want to spend time in it, even when the are not traveling. If your cat loves being in the carrier, there’s nothing wrong with letting them sleep in it.

You can even put it in another room at night to give them more privacy, especially, if you have other pets.

Many people leave the carrier out when they are trying to get their cat used to it. Once a cat gets used to it, they may want to spend more time in it, especially, if you put treats, toys, and their favorite blanket in it.

Just make sure you make it as comfortable as possible for them. So how do you do this?

Making It Comfortable For Your Cat

Here are some things to ensure your cat is comfortable for the night while sleeping in their carrier. Some cats will love sleeping in a carrier.

Make Sure It’s Big Enough

Just as a good night’s sleep is important for you, your cat requires a good night’s sleep. As long as they have enough room to stretch out without issues, your cat should be fine sleeping in the carrier.

Make sure you’ve invested in the right size carrier for your cat. Making your cat sleep in a carrier that is too small, will be uncomfortable for your kitty. A carrier that is too cramped can make your kitty hate the carrier.

Leave The Door Open

If you’re in a safe environment where you cat can’t run away, it’s best to leave the door open. This gives kitty the freedom to move to a more comfortable spot during the night if she decides to.

Keeping your cat locked in a small, cramped carrier can traumatize your cat.

Line The Bottom With A Blanket

If your cat has a hard-plastic carrier, you’ll want to line the bottom with a soft blanket, towel, or something soft for your cat to lie down on.

Just like you, your cat needs something soft to lie on to protect their joints throughout the night.

Respect Your Cat’s Wishes

Take your cat’s feelings into consideration before leaving her in the carrier overnight. If your cat hates it and every time you put her in it, she cries, yells, or just runs away, you shouldn’t make her sleep in it.

Not only will she end up crying all night, but the experience will also make her even more fearful of it. If you have no other option but to use the carrier for the night to keep your cat safe, you’ll want to spray it with some Feliway, which is a synthetic feline pheromone that will help make your cat feel more secure and comfortable.

Make Sure It’s Clean

If you have been traveling throughout the day make sure you clean the carrier out before making your kitty’s bed.

There’s a good chance that it’s gotten messy from the trip. Take the blanket out and shake it really well or replace it with a clean one.

If it’s been in storage since it’s last use, make sure you wipe it down and remove all the dust. Like humans, cats can be allergic to dust pollen.

Can A Kitten Sleep In A Carrier Overnight?

Like a full grown cat, a kitten can be kept in a carrier overnight. As long they are not fearful of it and you make it comfortable, they should be fine to sleep in it.

Just make sure you take them out in the morning so they can stretch their legs and eat breakfast.

If you’re planning on creating a special room or space for your cat, you may want to consider investing in a bigger cage. That said, don’t be surprised if your cat meows even when they can’t see you.

Cats are social creatures and want to be around other people, instead of being locked up in a room by themselves.

Cage vs Carrier

cat cage vs carrier
A cat cage will provide more room and can be turned into a special place for your cat.

The biggest difference between a cage and a carrier is the size. Let’s take a look at the differences so you understand which one your cat will enjoy more.

Cat Carrier

A cat carrier is a small, dark, and cramped space that is meant to be used while transporting your cat. They are not designed for your cat to sleep in.

It can be used to keep your cat safe for one night. If your cat loves sleeping in the carrier, you want to consider investing in a crate or cage. This will provide them more space and you can turn the cage into a space of their own.


Like a dog crate, it is a large, heavy-duty, cage consists of aluminum and is meant to keep your cat cozy and safe. They can be found in several different sizes, designs, and styles that both you and your cat will love.

Most new pet owners have no clue that they can train their cat to like cages. Once your cat gets used to it, they will love sleeping in their cage. The best part is you won’t have to worry about having them stay overnight in their cramped carrier.

When Should I Get A Cage?

If you have to lock your cat up at night, then it’s time to invest in a cage. Maybe your cat loves sleeping in their carrier, but it’s too small for them.

You’ve noticed that your cat is always looking for a quiet space to get away from the other pets in the household.

Bottom Line

If your cat doesn’t mind being in their crate, it’s okay to leave them in the carrier. Just don’t make it a habit of leaving them in the cramped carrier.

I’d highly recommend getting a bigger cage that will be more cozy and comfortable for your feline friend!

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References And Further Reading

PetHelpful – Theophanes Avery – Caging Cats: When and Why It’s Sometimes Necessary