Can You Keep Kittens in a Playpen?

Kitten in a playpen

When you’ve got kittens, you know they can be quite the handful! As soon as they learn to walk, no area is safe from their adventurous exploration of the world around them. While this is no issue for them, it may prove to be quite troublesome for you to deal with, especially if you don’t have the spare time to corral curious kittens all day and night. At this point, you may notice you have a leftover playpen, either from kids or a different animal and you may find yourself asking, “Can you keep kittens in a playpen?”

The answer is yes! You can absolutely use a playpen to keep those rambunctious kittens safely in check while you go about your business. Once you figure out this solution, you may find yourself asking some other questions from how long you can leave them in a playpen or if you can keep kittens in a playpen overnight and even what the basics of setting up a playpen involes.

How Long Can I Keep Kittens in a Playpen?

When you start using a playpen with your kittens, you may be worried about how long is safe for you to leave them in the playpen and find yourself hesitant to leave them alone for longer times, or even just a short while. The truth is, your kittens will be just fine in a playpen whether you need to shower or you’re headed to work. As long as you provide them with what they need, you can rest easy knowing your kittens are contained and content in their playpen. Just make sure to clean up after any messes they may have made while you were gone!

Can I Leave Kittens in a Playpen Overnight?

Sometimes, you may have to go away for the night and can’t line up a kitten-sitter to watch them or a place for them to stay elsewhere. You may ask yourself, “Can I leave kittens in a playpen overnight? Is that safe?” and the answer is yes! You can leave your kittens in a playpen overnight, provided you have given them access to all the necessities they need overnight. If you want to provide your kittens with a safe space for them to sleep at night, you can absolutely use a playpen during the night and your kittens may actually choose to continue using the playpen to sleep and lounge in during their adult years as they recognize it as their safe space.

How Can I Keep Kittens from Escaping the Playpen?

When you start the task of setting up a playpen for your kittens, you may start envisioning all the ways it could go wrong and all the ways those determined kittens could escape. If you’re worried about them escaping, there are a few playpen styles you could invest in to help eliminate problem before it happens.

While the kittens are still tiny or with their mom, you could get a playpen with solid walls that are higher, allowing the momma cat to come and go as she pleases while keeping your kittens contained. There are other options that provide you with the ability to fully seal them in using wire grating or a zippable mesh fabric. This allows you to keep them safe without the worry of them getting out through the top.

If you have some extra determined or extra crafty kittens, a playpen with a zipper may not provide much of a challenge or deterent to them. In the case where your kitten, or kittens, figure out how to push the zipper open, you can easily solve this new issue by placing a cat trap in front of the zipper so that when they leave, they end up in a differnt area they can’t escape from or you can tie the zipper down to a different object so it can’t budge.

What Should You have in the Playpen?

When you’re putting together a playpen for your kitten to spend either half an hour in while you take a shower or for them to spend their day in while you go off to work, you need to make sure you equip the area with everything your kitten needs.


Once your kitten is at least three weeks old, you need to provide them with access to a litterbox, as they will no longer be relying on their mother for their bathroom needs and will be learning to take care of their needs themself. Unless you plan on diligently watching your kitten and cleaning up after them immediately every time they go to the bathroom, you give them access to a litterbox within the playpen.

Access to Food and Water

Unless your kitten will be in the playpen for a short time, give them access to food and water. It’s recommended to have dishes your kitten cannot tip over, as kittens can be rambunctious and playful, making a mess for you to clean up otherwise.

A Comfy Bed

Always make sure to provide your kitten with a comfortable bed to nap in, as kittens spend most of their time napping. Giving them a comfortable place to sleep will make them much happier in the playpen.

A Few Toys to Play With

Kittens are very playful creatures who need stimulation and exercise and what better way to provide them with that than toys. These can range from your typical floor toys such as stuffed mice or yarn balls all the way to toys that hang from the ceiling of the playpen for your kitten to jump and swat at.

A Place for Them to Hide In

Kittens can be shy or they may just want a place to hide and get away from everything, so you should give them a smaller enclosed area within the playpen for them to take a break and hide in.

A Heating Pad (Optional)

While a heating pad isn’t necessary, it’s something your kittens love, as they love warm surfaces to curl up on to nap.