Last Updated: 2 months ago
It’s easy to see why keeping a cat in a garage at night would seem like a good idea.
But I’ve found some severe dangers to this setup.
You’ll soon see why garages are a last resort for an effective animal shelter.
Just keep reading to learn more!
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Is it ok to Let Your Cat Sleep in the Garage?
Keeping a cat in garage areas isn’t particularly safe. These areas often feature equipment and products that could be harmful to our favorite felines.
But I’ve found the following three factors to be the most problematic. You’ll need to account for them before ever letting your cat into the garage.
Most people assume cats can tolerate cold because of their fur coats. It does help generate body heat but doesn’t keep them protected in certain zip codes.
Your cat needs a shelter where it can feel warm and safe. Meanwhile, many garages are insulated poorly and become ineffective places to keep cats warm on cold nights.
Antifreeze & Oil
Antifreeze and oil are both dangerous substances found in most garages. A cat ingesting either of them can result in serious medical issues.
Sadly, it’s not uncommon. Antifreeze has a sweet taste that attracts animals, while oil is often spilled from cars and other equipment.
According to PetMd, antifreeze ingestion can be “fatally toxic to the body’s organs, including the brain, kidneys and liver.” Oil doesn’t cause organ failure, but it can produce other issues like vomiting or weight loss. 
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Poorly Stored Equipment
Cats are mischievous by nature. They like to explore and cause trouble when confined into a single area.
If your garage is anything like mine, it’s filled with unstable tools and equipment. A cat roaming around the area is only asking for trouble and for something to fall over.
It’ll likely end up with my cat injured from the falling debris and broken tools. As a result, I find it better to avoid the situation altogether.
Honestly, the cleanest garages still represent a dangerous space for cats. There are still shelves and other potential areas for them to cause trouble or equipment to tip over.
What Could Be The Reasons for Keeping a Cat In a Garage at night?
Of course, there are many reasons why you would want to keep a cat in the garage at night. But most people end up rationalizing the decision with one of these following reasons:
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Separate Them From Other Animals
The garage represents an easy way to keep a cat away from other pets. You can easily confine them and not worry about any interactions with dogs who might find cats delicious.
Furthermore, a person who owns hamsters probably doesn’t want their cat roaming at night. An unsupervised cat is a nightmare for any hamster enclosure.
So it would make sense to keep them contained in an area like a garage. But again, a traditional garage represents a massive danger in itself.
Don’t Want Your Cat to Mess Up Your Furniture
If left unchecked, cats can do a number on furniture and other parts of a home’s decor. I’ve woken up to my blinds being torn apart on several occasions.
It’s easy to see how this issue could make some pet owners look at alternatives. Keeping the cat in a garage would stop them from messing with furniture when you aren’t there.
Someone in Your Home’s Allergic
Many people are allergic to cats, which is a shame because cats are awesome. It’s why a lot of people with this affliction still try to have cats as pets.
Cat allergic individuals don’t want their families to miss out on having one. But it leads to them thinking they can confine the cat to a garage or make them an outdoor kitty.
Of course, there are better alternatives to managing cat allergies (medication). It’s a much better idea to go that route or avoid getting a cat.
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How to Keep Your Cat Warm in a Garage (if you have no other choice than to keep a cat in the garage)
If you have no other choice, there are ways to keep cats happy and warm in the garage. I’d start by doing some serious preparation for their stay.
Removing all potential issues from the garage is a good starting point. Place your antifreeze, oil, and improperly stored tools somewhere else for the night.
From there, purchase a well-insulated cat tower to work as a shelter for cats. I’d suggest buying a cat igloo as these are fully insulated and offer the best protection from cold weather and wind chill.
Make sure to place it near a wall and off the ground, such as on top of some blankets. It’ll keep it protected from any breezes and wind chill coming into the garage.
You can then buy a heating pad, a space heater, or both. A heating pad is your safest bet to keep cats warm as dangerous space heaters, such as portable ones, can be problematic. 
Finally, provide a regular supply of water/cat food, litter boxes, and some extra insulation. Add some blankets and layers of towels into the cat tower to provide additional warmth.
Is it cruel to keep a cat in the garage?
Keeping a cat in the garage isn’t entirely cruel, depending on the situation. But they’re often way too cold to be adequate cat shelters and keep cats warm.
Why does my cat want in the garage so bad?
Your cat wants to go into the garage because it’s unfamiliar territory. It represents a new area to explore and often is closer to outside where most cats want to go.
How cold is too cold for cats in the garage?
Cold becomes too cold for cats in the garage when it’s below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.  If it reaches this temperature for extended periods, your cats are in real trouble.
Is keeping your cat inside the garage at night a good idea? No, it’s not, unless you can account for the dangerous equipment and tools inside these areas.
It’s best to find a more effective alternative to keep them cozy and warm at night. Don’t forget to let us know what you think about this topic in our comment section.
- 1. PetMD Editorial. Antifreeze Poisoning in Cats [Internet]. Petmd.com. PetMD; 2010 [cited 2021 Dec 6]. Available from: https://www.petmd.com/cat/conditions/urinary/c_ct_antifreeze_poisoning
- 2. Kerr M. Cat Allergies [Internet]. Healthline. Healthline Media; 2017 [cited 2021 Dec 6]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/allergies/cats
- 3. Home Air Plus Inc [Internet]. Home Air Plus. 2018 [cited 2021 Dec 6]. Available from: https://www.homeairplus.com/2018/02/space-heaters-the-good-the-bad-the-ugly/#:~:text=Space%20heaters%20cause%20around%2032,and%20fatalities%20than%20central%20heating.
- 4. How Cold is Too Cold [Internet]. CVMBS News. 2009 [cited 2021 Dec 6]. Available from: https://vetmed.tamu.edu/news/pet-talk/how-cold-is-too-cold/
Is keeping a cat in a garage at night safe or not? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!