You probably wonder how to keep an outdoor cat inside at night. You might have a cat who loves to explore the great outdoors during the day but keeps you up at night with their nocturnal escapades.

Many cat owners face this dilemma. Keeping an outdoor cat inside at night is safer for your furry companion and can bring you peace of mind. This guide will explore practical and humane ways to ensure your outdoor cat stays indoors during nighttime.

Understanding the Need: Why Keep Your Outdoor Cat Inside at Night

Before diving into the methods, let’s briefly discuss why keeping your outdoor cat indoors at night is essential. Cats are crepuscular creatures, meaning they are most active during the dawn and dusk.

They may encounter various risks at night, such as traffic, predators, and territorial disputes with other cats. By keeping them inside at night, you can protect them from these dangers and ensure their safety.

Another crucial reason to keep your outdoor cat inside at night is to protect local wildlife. Cats are natural hunters, and when they roam freely at night, they can pose a significant threat to birds and small mammals.

This predation can disrupt the local ecosystem and contribute to the decline of certain species. By keeping your cat indoors during nighttime hours, you’re safeguarding your pet and helping preserve the delicate balance of your local wildlife population. It’s a responsible choice that benefits your feline friend and the environment.

Creating a Comfortable Indoor Environment

Designate a Safe Space:

Start by designating a specific area where your cat can spend the night comfortably inside your home. This space should include their bed, toys, food, and water dishes. Cats love routine, so establishing a dedicated area will make them feel secure.

Interactive Playtime:

Engage your cat in fun play sessions during the evening. Use toys that mimic prey animals to stimulate their hunting instincts. Usually, a tired cat is more likely to settle down for the night.

Adjusting the Outdoor Routine

Gradual Transition:

Transitioning from outdoor to indoor life may be challenging for your cat. Start by reducing outdoor time gradually. This can help them get used to the idea of spending nights indoors.

Feeding Schedule:

Adjust your cat’s feeding schedule to coincide with their nighttime return. Providing a meal when they come inside can encourage them to stay in for the night.

Safety Measures

Install Cat-Proof Fencing:

If you have a yard or garden in your house, then consider installing cat-proof fencing. With this, your cat can enjoy the outdoors safely during the day without risking wandering off at night.

Use a Leash and Harness:

If your cat enjoys being outside, you can take them for walks using a leash and harness. This way, you maintain control over their movements and can bring them inside at night quickly.

Cat-Friendly Deterrents

Motion-Activated Sprinklers:

Use motion-activated sprinklers in your yard to discourage your cat from venturing outside at night. Cats dislike water spraying and may associate this discomfort with nighttime outings.

Scent Deterrents:

Cats are susceptible to smells. Use scent deterrents, such as citrus or coffee grounds, around windows and doors to discourage them from trying to escape.

Consult with a Veterinarian


Ensure your cat has a microchip with up-to-date contact information. This can be invaluable in reuniting you with your furry friend if they manage to sneak out at night.


Consult a veterinarian if you face persistent challenges keeping your outdoor cat inside at night. They can provide personalized advice and discuss options like behavioral training or medication.

Conclusion: How to Keep an Outdoor Cat Inside at Night

In conclusion, making the conscious decision to keep your outdoor cat indoors at night is a responsible and loving choice that prioritizes their safety and well-being.

By thoughtfully creating a cozy indoor haven, gradually adjusting their outdoor habits, and putting safety measures and cat-friendly deterrents in place, you can ensure that your beloved feline companion enjoys a peaceful night’s rest while staying protected from the potential dangers lurking in the darkness.

Remember, this transition may require patience and persistence, as every cat is unique and may take varying amounts of time to adapt to their new routine. However, your effort in their safety and comfort will undoubtedly contribute to your cherished indoor dweller’s happier and healthier life.