Have you ever tried to keep your cat out of a room without closing the door? Even if you close AND lock the doors, your cat’s scratching and meowing at them may become unbearable after a short time. So what do you do? We’ve found that it is possible to keep a cat out of a room and keep them happy.
In this article you’ll learn can you keep your cat out of your bedroom, how to keep your cat out of a room without stress, 4 proven ways to keep your cat out of your room, and the 6 steps to train your cat to keep out of a room.
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Table of contents
- Can I keep my cat out of my bedroom?
- Keeping your cat out of the room without unnecessary stress
- How do you keep your cat out of a room:4 proven ways
- 6 Steps to train your cat to keep out of a room
Can I keep my cat out of my bedroom?
Yes ! Many a cat owner (us included) want to keep our feline friends out of a specific room. That room is probably the same one you want to keep your cat out of, your bedroom. Yes, we love our cats. We also need our sleep and privacy too. Like you, we don’t want our cats bothering us while we are trying to sleep, especially when the cat decides he wants to eat at 4 a.m.
In many cases, like if you have allergies, you may reduce your allergy symptoms by keeping your bedroom free of cats and most specifically cat hair. Babies rooms and kitchens are also spaces where many people would like to keep kitty free.
So how do you keep cats out of your bedroom at night? Your pet cat likely wants to be with you and doesn’t understand how you could possibly not want to be with them. So what are the downsides of this?
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Keeping your cat out of the room without unnecessary stress
Some say that keeping a cat out of certain areas is not possible unless a human is present to give a negative cue. This means that shooing away your cat, making a loud noise, or punishing them by spraying them with a spray bottle is needed. While that may keep your indoor cat out of a certain area of the house, they may connect you with those negative actions. That’s not what you want. Why?
The problem is that negative reinforcement always includes stress for your cat. Punishing your cat whenever they try to enter a room may make them fearful of you. Worse, negative training actions from you may trigger other unwanted negative behaviors, such as urine spraying, litter box avoidance, kicking kitty litter everywhere, and just going nuts. So what can you do?
How do I keep my cat out of one room: 4 proven ways
There are several humane ways for repelling a cat from your bedroom door that does not associate the unpleasant event with you and won’t trigger bad behaviors. They’ll teach your pets where they shouldn’t go while preserving your loving relationship:
1. Electronic cat repellents
These are what we recommend to our pet owner patients most often as we have found they work well. A pet training aid sssCat sprays air whenever your cat approaches it. You put it on the floor in front of your door and when your cat approaches, the device’s motion detector senses them and releases a burst of air. This doesn’t hurt your cat but they won’t like it. This forces them to retreat. Yes, it works every single time. You can check out the reviews and buy sssCat here. Here’s our in depth look at the sssCat pet repellent. We use this in our own home and our veterinary clinic. They work from about 3 feet away, have an adjustable nozzle (up, straight, and down), and best of all, replaceable air canisters. They work great to keep our feline friends off our kitchen countertops. Another electronic pet repellent is the PetSafe ScatMat.
Electronic mats are what we’ve found work very well. They come in various sizes, are battery powered (9 volt battery but it’s not included like the 4 AAA batteries that came with the sssCat), have 3 levels of static pulse that discourage your pet from that area, and come with a 1 year warranty. They have 9 settings of correction. 3 levels of Tone only (it’s a beep which isn’t that loud, but your pets will definitely hear it), 3 levels of static pulse, and 3 levels of tone and static pulse. We found that starting with just the tone first may work for kittens or skittish kitties. If you have a kitten, the first level of static pulse works well. Our older dogs and cats needed medium and high as their pads are a lot tougher. Your cat (or cats) will associate the area with that funny feeling under their paws and will stay away from the area. We found the Medium sized one was big enough to keep them away from the door. Once trained, you can use this mat in other areas of your home like your couch or favorite chair. We put these in front of our bedroom door and our cats stopped scratching the door all night. We also have them on our couches to keep our dogs off of them. It helps reduce the amount of pet hair we have on us at all times. The picture from Amazon shows them as white, but they are pretty clear and you can see the little wires inside.
The PetSafe ScatMat Indoor Pet Training Mat safely teaches your dog or cat which areas in your home are off-limits. We found that uses both the sssCat and ScatMat together worked perfectly to teach our cats and dogs where in the house to stay away from. Even our most curious kitty stayed away when they encountered the secondary barrier (spray and mat together).
ScatMat What’s In The Box
I purchased a new ScatMat and here’s what it looks like:
2. Spray on repellents
These are chemicals that are supposed to be something that indoor kitties don’t like. They can be applied on the doorway of your bedroom or the room that you are trying to prevent access to. These repellents usually emit a scent that is unpleasant to your cat’s nose. Many use vinegar as the smell of vinegar isn’t the most pleasant. The trouble with these types of repellents is that cats usually ignore them. We found our furry friends avoided the area for a short while. Once the smells faded a little, they ignored it. To remain effective, they must be reapplied frequently. Check the label for proper usage.
3. Citrus rinds
We have also tried placing citrus fruit rinds (some say peels) at the door of our bedroom as citrus is one of the scents cats hate. They do work because your cats sense of smell is so much better than ours. Our cats really didn’t care for the strong smell of citrus. The problem we had is they dry out in less than a day so you will need to eat tons of oranges and lemons. Oddly, the biggest downside was they always prompted weird questions from people visiting.
Other cat repellents
We have heard and tried many other cat repellents. Some are funny, some are scary, but most of them rarely work as intended. We tried physical barrier like baby gates and a pet gate. Our cats cleared them in one jump. If you are curious, learn how high cats jump. Gates work well with our dogs as we barrier trained them when they were puppies. We did this by letting them get close to the gate and then tipping it over. The noise scared them so they don’t go near them. Our cats? They couldn’t care less, they just jumped right over them. One of our patients asked “What about a plastic mat with loaded mouse traps underneath it?”. We tried not to laugh. What about placing aluminum foil or double-sided tape at the entrance to the room? Our cat actually decided he wanted to play with the sheet of tin foil in the middle of the night. He thought it was better than his cat toys. We found a pile of it on the top of his scratching post. To prevent your cat from jumping over the foil or tape, you should cover at least half of the room with it. That would definitely keep the cat out. If you are interested, you can find more ways to deter cats here.
6 Steps to train your cat to keep out of a room
Now that you are familiar with most common cat repellents, here is the step-by-step procedure of training (yes, training) your cat not to enter the room:
1. Patience is a key
It is not going to happen overnight. Your cat will still be able to get in the room, and most likely will. Don’t shout or throw things at your cat. They may be stressed already and you do not want to add to that stress. Follow all of the steps below, and be patient.
2. Set up the cat repellent
Then leave. Maybe set up an old phone as a security cam so you can watch how your cat interacts with the repellent. You don’t want to be around when the correction occurs as we’ve talked about.
3. Redirect your cat’s attention
This of course, is possible only when you are present. If you see your cat approaching the unwanted room, call them to you. If they don’t respond, try throwing a cat toy in the opposite direction, drop a piece of cat food or kibble, or scratch the floor to get your cat’s attention.
4. Reward your cat if they respond before entering the room
By giving them treats, petting, or cheering them on. Positive reinforcement will help connect their last behavior with something good. Skip this step if your cat has already entered the room. Give the reward IMMEDIATELY (within one or two seconds) after they responded. If it’s not possible to treat immediately, you may use a clicker to bridge this gap.
5. Enrich the environment in all the other rooms
Make the rooms your feline friend is allowed to step in more attractive. There are plenty of ways to do this. Mental stimulation is something your cat will benefit from. Create several perches above the ground level (cat tree, cat shelves, window perches) to expand their vertical space. Create a hiding spot (boxes, niches, cat houses), introduce interaction objects (puzzle feeders, a scratching post, cat toys), and provide an outdoor view. All these modifications will improve your cat’s life and reduce their stress. At some point, the rest of your house may become so much fun for your cat that they don’t need to enter the undesired room because it’s not as much fun, even without a deterrent.
6. Entertain your cat
This is the hardest step for most owners. It requires playing, petting, grooming, kibble hunting, and other activities. The hardest part is that you are required to do it every day not just during the training period but for the rest of your cat’s life. Every cat will benefit from regular playing and other activities regardless of whether his owner is or isn’t trying to keep him out of a room
It’s really hard work, we know. Some might ask, can I skip it? Our answer would be yes.
In order to keep your cat out of the room, it is not necessary to do all the things listed above. A deterrent alone should work well enough like the sssCat and ScatMat .
You have learned can you keep your cat out of your bedroom, how to keep your cat out of a room without stress, 4 proven ways to keep your cat out of your room, and the 6 steps to train your cat to keep out of a room. These steps are necessary to keep your cat out of the room while making sure they are happy, behaving well, and healthy. You’ll be happier by getting better sleep and your cats will be happier. And keeping your Pet Happy is what we all want.