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Discussion Starter #1
We just brought home a kitten this Saturday and she's settling in well, but I'm running into a bit of an issue today because I have things that I absolutely have to do around the house and that means I can't watch Stormy (the new kitten) like a hawk while I do them. We have two adult cats and a very sweet but very large golden retriever so I've been supervising Stormy and the other animals constantly.

Would it be okay to put Stormy in a large dog crate (I measured the bar spacing and there's no way she could get stuck between them) with her bed, a litter tray, and her bowls and leave her in there while I do housework and run errands? The crate is 48" x 30" x 35" tall and the wire spacing is 1". It wouldn't be for more than an hour, two at most, but I still feel bad about the idea of leaving her in there. On the flip side, I'd feel worse if she got into something or if one of the cats or the dog hurt her because I wasn't paying close enough attention. :?
 

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I'm a fairly new pet mommy myself, so I'm not speaking with a whole lot of expertise here, but I would think that would be fine. As you said, if she got hurt by one of the other animals or something fell on her, it would be worse.

Will the crate be somewhere the other animals can get too? My vets office has cats in the lobby who wander around, and every time I take Vala they all come over to sniff around and socialize through the bars. Vala loves it. I don't know how much interest the other animals have shown or if they're likely to stick around, but if they do hang around she might feel less lonely, but they couldn't really hurt her through the bars.

Plus, when I first got Vala, I got a lot of advice to introduce her to her kennel early and not just when she was going to the vet, so that she wouldn't develop a negative association with crates.
 

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I can't imagine that would do any harm. You should keep the kitten protected at all times so if you can't watch her, then you need to put her in the crate. If you had a room you could keep her seperated in that may be better...The crate is a good size though, I would put a small box in it so that she has somewhere to hide or feel hidden, also a few toys.
 

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Actually, according to the rescue lady I was talking to before about Captain Jack, a crate that's 48" is a good size to have a kitten in to begin (along with bed, litter tray, bowls etc). Since Stormy is new and you got 3 others in the house, that might be a good setup to have for a while so they can all get used to each other. The bars will allow them to smell each other scents and maybe bat around a bit.

For the beginning, I wouldn't worry about it. It works for them and it works for you too.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the quick responses, I feel better now. I was just feeling like a bit of a jerk over the idea of putting her in a crate so soon after bringing her home but I definitely don't want anything happening to her.

The two adult cats are doing fairly well when they get to smell the areas she's been in, but I don't trust everyone to meet face-to-face just yet so we've been keeping them in different areas of the house and then swapping "sides" from time to time. The problem I'm running into is that I can't reliably secure the separate areas of the house if I'm not there to supervise, the door doesn't latch 100% securely and one of the adult cats, if properly motivated, can open the door.

I put Stormy, her bed, the bowls, a litter pan, and a little cardboard postage box that she's been playing with in the crate just now, she went right to the bed and curled up and the dog laid down next to the crate to watch her, so I think she's going to be fine in there while I do dishes and vacuum and stuff. Thanks again for the reassurance!
 

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My Vet, who rescues kitties and has 12 at home now, uses a large cage to introduce new kitties. She said it's best to put one side of the cage against a wall so the new cat inside feels safe but it's a great way to get them used to each other without any fights.
 

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Placing the crate in a corner will also give the new kitty a protected area to fully retreat to and feel safe.
I used a super-large wire crate to intro a new cat into our home for the first time and it is now my method-of-choice. It is also perfectly fine to use a roomy crate to keep kitties safe when you cannot completely supervise interaction.

This is BooBoo looking in at Skippyjon Jones during his 1st night with us. There is a shelf along the back and I hung a sheet over the crate to shield two sides and give Skippyjon a large enough area to retreat to so he could decide how much interaction he wanted.


Skippyjon Jones chillaxin and watching the other kitties.


Three days later he was kicking butt and taking names!
(it looks terrible, but they are playing)
 

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Putting kitty in the crate for short periods, a few hours at a time or even overnite is fine. Think of it as crate training and something she should get used to. Usually at some time in their life, whether they're ill and just recovering from surgery at the vet's it's good to get them accustomed to being caged, then it's not so frightful or distressful. Or you just need to keep a sick or recovering cat quiet, the crate is a good thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This is awesome to know, thank you all. She spent about an hour and a half total in there yesterday and didn't seem the least bit upset or distressed, she just curled up in her little bed and napped. The big cats didn't venture close to the crate but it did give them a little bit of time to come sniff the blanket she's been napping on and stomp around the house a little.

The crate sits in the corner of our bedroom and I draped a quilt over about 3/4 of the side that's away from the wall, that left just the front and 1/4 of the long side open, I think that's going to work well for when she can't be directly supervised or maybe for quick little naps in the crate to allow some 100% undivided attention to be given to the adult cats.

Thank you all again!
 

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if you cut a 1x10or 12 flat board so it just fits crosswise across the kennel or crate bars, screw in some 1.5 in screws into the ends near the corners(so the ends of the screws rest on the frame), you now have a shelf that is easy to remove and will give the kitten a little more space,, our feral tammi cat spent several months in a cage like the one in the post..(was not going to tame without a fight)
 

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I'm late to this thread but I also use a large dog crate for protecting and integrating a new kitten. My baby was so tiny though I had to install fencing with tiny holes to line the crate because she could have poked her head through the bars.

Later she had to live in it a couple of weeks after a surgery, but by then I was able to remove the small hole fence.

The shelf idea is a good one, but for mine I just put the small litter box into a large tote, with the lid on (at first) and a hole cut in the side of the tote, that kept her from kicking the litter all over the crate, and at first she had the lid to get up on. But then she got too tall to use the litter box with the lid, so I had to remove the lid. The shelf idea would have come in handy then!
 

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We use a large dog crate when necessary, too. I've used it for a mama kitty to give birth and for a few weeks after, to introduce newbies to the household, to keep a cat n.p.o (nothing by mouth) the night before going for surgery, and recovery after surgery. We have a small litter box, food/water if they're allowed, and either a cardboard box or a small cat crate with the door removed for a bed/hiding hole. So, yes, I think it's fine to put a kitten in a dog crate. Very useful, in fact. :)
 

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You're not keeping your kitten in there long so they should be fine. Luna is strange she loves her carrier. She'll jump in on her own and go right to sleep. We have it cushioned inside for her. Lynxx hated his carrier. Midnight won't go in it on his own.
 
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