A cat playpen provides your furry friend with a cozy space to escape to when they get stressed out. You can also use the playpen to keep Fluffy confined for her own safety, whether indoors or out, without having to put her into a small, cramped cat carrier.
Cat playpens come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some playpens are light and portable, made from fabric and mesh, while others are more permanent structures made from metal; many pens even have wheels for easy transport. If you plan to use the pen temporarily, choose a portable, collapsible version made of fabric. For a playpen that you will use for an extended period of time, purchase a sturdier metal version. Of course, the version you choose also depends on how many kitties you plan to house in the playpen at once. Some playpens are meant for only one or two feline friends but others may house more.
The Progressive Animal Welfare Society recommends exposing your kitty to the sights and sounds of the outdoors from within a safe enclosure, to protect her from becoming lost or injured. If you can't build a screened-in enclosure for your indoor kitty, use a cat playpen for this purpose instead. Set up a sturdy metal playpen in your yard or on your balcony with direct access to your kitty through a pet door to create an instant "catio," without any extensive remodeling to your home. You can even set up a temporary playpen made of fabric mesh for this purpose. Simply tempt Fluffy into the mesh playpen and roll or carry it outdoors so she can enjoy some sunshine.
While a cat carrier gives you a way to transport your kitty during short, local trips, if you plan on taking Fluffy on an extended road trip, secure her in a large cat playpen instead. This gives her more room to stretch out and relax. Choose a portable pen that fits in your car's backseat. Secure the playpen down with your vehicle's seat belts and include a litter box so your kitty has a place to go potty during the trip to avoid accidents. You can also use the playpen as a safe place to keep your furry friend in a pet-friendly hotel room without having to worry about her escaping if any of the hotel staff come into your room.
Introductions of New Cats
If you add a new kitty to your home, use a cat playpen to help ease the introduction of the new arrival to your resident kitty. Put a litter box, toys, food, water and a comfy bed into the playpen for your new kitty to enjoy. While he's in the playpen, let him interact with Fluffy through the bars or mesh for a short period of time. Extend the interaction period daily until neither pet reacts to the other with aggressive behavior like hissing.
- Progressive Animal Welfare Society: Outdoor Enclosures for Cats
- The Cat Whisperer: Why Cats Do What They Do -- and How to Get Them to Do What You Want; Mieshelle Nagelschneider
- The Humane Society of the United States Complete Guide to Cat Care; Wendy Christensen
- Messy Beast: Living Together -- Introducing a New Cat
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Outdoor Cats
- The Humane Society of the United States: Introducing a New Cat to Other Pets
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.