Kittens love to explore. It’s all part of their instinctive nature. But this does come with dangers when they start roaming the house into places they shouldn’t. There’s also the risk of their destructive behavior, escaping the homes… not to mention the pooping and peeing indoors.
So, what is the best age you can let your kitten roam the house? It’s not actually as straightforward as you might hope, as I will explain in detail below.
When should I let my kitten roam the house? There is no one set age at which a kitten can be allowed to roam the house at night and during the day. Consider whether the kitten is toilet trained and how comfortable you would feel if they got out of the house.
What I mean by that is, are you convinced there are no dangers in your house that might harm a roaming kitten? Are you happy that your kitten won’t poop in the other rooms when roaming, or tear and bite things up?
Any possibly more importantly, do you think your kitten will return should she go through an open window or door?
Handy Hint: Here’s how you can keep a kitten or cat off your window sills to keep them safe from harm.
Kittens tend not to be allowed out of the house until 6 months, so that might be the right age you let your kitten roam the house too.
When should I let my kitten roam the house at night?
For me, night-time roaming is an even bigger consideration as you will be asleep with no opportunity to keep any eye on what they are up to. I would be waiting until the kitten is 6 months and has access to a litter tray before roaming the house at night.
When can kittens walk around the house?
Every little kitten is unique in its way and grows up at its own pace. However, you can allow your little furry friend to roam and walk around the house without any supervision once it has sufficient litter training and has a general understanding of the objects in the house.
But there is no one-fits-all answer to the question.
Naturally, cats are curious little creatures, and more so when they are much younger in kittenhood. They want to know what everything around the house is and crawl into every little crevice.
During the day, you can let your kitten roam freely while keeping an eye on it from time to time. However, it might be a little more difficult to protect it from the hazardous objects around the house at night.
Reasons to not let your kitten roam the house just yet
As a kitty owner, you need to understand all the risks of letting your kitten roam freely unsupervised. Below are some of the most common challenges you might encounter.
1. They will get outdoors and become lost
Kittens will use every opportunity they get to explore any ‘unexplored’ areas, and what better place to do this than the vast outdoors?
The problem is unlike older, experienced cats, the little kitten might quickly get into trouble when outside or even get lost – and it might be challenging to find your little buddy the following day.
2. They will make a mess around the house
Letting your kitten roam freely about the house without sufficient litter training will turn out to be disastrous.
The kitten will make a mess around the house, and the worst part is that it might take you some time to pinpoint where it made the mess – and might have to deal with a foul odor for a day or two before you find the offending poop spot.
Proper litter training helps you reduce the direct handling of your kitten’s waste, which significantly decreases your chances of contracting a zoonotic disease. Once your kitten has developed undesirable waste habits, it might be challenging to resolve the problem.
3. They get stuck in unusual places
When the kitten is out and about exploring new corners of the house, it might get the urge to get into a crevice that might be very difficult to get out of. When no one supervises the little kitten, they might squeeze into small places, and it might be challenging to find the kitten afterward.
Handy Hint: Young kittens are renowned for being sick. It’s perfectly normal most of the time, but here’s what to look for when the throwing up could mean something more serious.
Safety tips for kittens allowed to roam the house
Here are some precautions you might want to take to keep your kitten safe and secure before letting it roam the house without supervision.
1. Keep the kitten in a controlled area
It is always advisable to keep your little feline friend in a confiner and controlled space until they are well familiarized with their new environment. Gradually expand the area as you continue settling in until you no longer have to keep them confined. When your kitten misbehaves, you can give it a little more time to adjust to its surroundings.
2. Identify the possible spots your kitten can hide or get stuck
Kittens tend to get into just about anything. Mapping out all the potential hiding spots will make it easier to locate your kitten once it goes missing.
Cats love climbing, and they have a habit of climbing on top of cabinets, curtains, cupboards, etc. you must ensure that your cat has no access to any high spots around your home.
Childproof latches can be used to keep the kitten out of cabinets where you store your utensils, hazardous supplies, and food. Medication, poisonous plants, beauty products, cleaners, and other chemicals can pose a significant health risk to your little buddy.
3. Keep valuables out of the kitten’s reach
Keep all your precious rugs and furniture in a safe space. Cats enjoy sharpening their claws on sofas, tables, and carpets.
It might be an idea to temporarily moved your precious pieces to a safe place that your kitten can’t get access to. Protective covers can also save your beloved pillows and sofa.
Keep your treasured antics and décor pieces away from the kitten’s reach. Once kittens are on top of cabinets and window seals, they will play with just about anything they can get their little paws on. And the last thing you want is your kitty dropping your cherished vase.
4. Lock all potential escape points
Find every possible exit your kitten can access and completely seal it off. If you have frames in your home, make sure they fit perfectly into their structures.
5. Protect all exposed electrical wires
Chewing is another habit that is synonymous with cats. You should wind up or encase all cables at the reach of your kitten, and these may include phone chargers, computer, and console cables. Kittens can easily get electrocuted when chewing on these wires.
Kittens love vertical spaces and things to scratch. Cat trees fulfil both of these needs, and a good piece will last for years to come. Place the cat tree in the living room or any other high traffic to make it more enticing than your sofa or coffee table.
6. Vacuum up any possible small and hazardous items
Make a point of making your house a tidier environment. Clean your home regularly to scan for small plastics, glass, coins, and needles. Your kitten can get serious health complications from ingesting these items. Also, make a habit of locking all your closets and cabinets in the house.
7. Introduce your kitten to your kids and pets
As your kitten is exploring and learning about its new environment, you should also get it accustomed to the other members of the household – friends, family, and pets (here’s how they get along with ferrets).
However, you should ensure that you keep a close eye when introducing the kitten to babies and other pets. A few hours every day will give the kitten time to get ultimately used to them.
8. Get your kitty a collar bell
Kittens can be highly energetic, running and jumping all over the place, and they can quickly get stuck in a tight space they can’t get themselves out of – here’s a good one on Amazon (which is a safe “breakaway” one too).
A small kitty bell can save you a lot of trouble by letting you keep close tabs on the location of your little kitty when they get lost roaming the house. On top of being very functional, collar bells make your kitten even cuter.
Further tips on kittens roaming your house
You can leave your kitty in their enclosed space when you are popping out. However, it is more advisable to get someone to look after it, especially if you will be away for more than a few hours.
Can I let my cat sleep in my room?
However, it is essential to note that kittens are sensitive to change, and you should not switch up their sleeping arrangement frequently.
Ultimately you need to consider your individual kittens training, development, and character before letting her walk around the house or roam the home at night.
They are all individuals, but as a broad opinion, the age of 6 months might be the best age to let them roam your house independently.
You might also like…
- The reasons why your kitten keeps biting your chin
- Why your kitten licking your ears could be down to something very odd!
- The correct age at which you can pick up a newborn kitten
Image in header via https://pixabay.com/photos/cat-pet-kitten-cute-4912211/