HomeHuman to cat relationshipenvironmentIs it cruel to keep my cat in the basement?

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Is it cruel to keep my cat in the basement? — 2 Comments

  1. Completely agree! We turn down people for adoption when they try to bend a cat to their needs or wants. I have ran into this situation a few times. The answer is never that straight forward as one would expect. It is a very thought provoking question. In the past, a ton of focus was put on the amount of space a cat had accessible to them.

    While space is awesome, it is not the main player in if a cat would do well or not do well in a small area like a basement in my opinion. We are now finding that enrichment and availability of fun things to do are even more important.

    I think every cat should have at least 15 square feet in a shelter or rescue environment – in the home environment I want to see at least 100 square feet For the first cat plus like 50 per additional cat at the minimum.

    Two of my cats live mostly in my room which is roughly 200 square feet. I spend a lot of my time after work in my room doing administrative work. I provide puzzle feeders, play time, and other essentials like scratching postS. They are quite content.

    The people I have a problem with are the individuals who sequester a cat away in the basement with minimal human interaction or very few opportunities to engage in species typical behavior. That is never okay because that often leads to chronic stress which leads the way to illness and unhappiness.

    These situations where the cat is isolated away usually are the result of a family member having allergies, cat disputes or maybe the cat is spraying. In these circumstances I think the owner should re-evaluate quality of life and consider rehoming or solving the behavior problems at hand.

    The average basement is cold, boring, and sometimes they are ripe with mold, water damage and structural damage. Not a great place for a cat to be in many circumstances unless that room is being used in the short term for acclimating a new cat to the household.

    • I agree. If there is excellent interaction with other cats and a person a smallish area is acceptable but a basement strongly implies that the cat is shut away without good interaction.

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