How to Keep a Cat Out of a Room

cat outside door

Cats are curious creatures by nature, so keeping them out of a certain room can be a challenge.

There are, however, multiple ways of doing this that can work quite well.

1. Negative Reinforcement

Using negative reinforcement to keep a cat out of a room can work well, but you have to be careful. The last thing you want to do is to cause your pet any unnecessary stress.

A few safe and humane negative reinforcement methods include:

  • Spray repellent: There are various liquid spray repellents that you can use to discourage your cat from a specific behavior. Use the spray every time your cat goes into the room you are trying to keep it out of. The spray won’t cause your cat any harm—it is just very unpleasant for their strong sense of smell. You can also apply the spray to the door or around the frame to dissuade them from entering.
  • Water bottle: A good old fashioned spray bottle filled with water can also be very effective at training a cat not to enter a specific room. Simply give your cat a couple of squirts whenever it does this. This might be a problem if your cat actually likes water, as some of these animals do. You can also try mixing together some vinegar and lemon juice to use as an effective spray deterrent.
  • Electronic repellent device: You can also buy electronic devices that emit a high pitched squeal when the motion sensors are triggered. This could be enough to keep your cat from entering. It might take a couple of times for them to learn, but this method has the potential to work wonders. The invisible ultrasonic waves these devices emit should be enough to keep your cat away.
  • Make Some Noise: Just making some loud banging noises every time your cat comes into the room could keep them out. A lot of cats are sensitive to certain loud noises. You could try banging some silverware against a metal pot.
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cat door opening

2. Be Consistent

If you are using any of the methods listed above, you need to be consistent. Otherwise your pet will never do what you want them to. You also cannot hesitate when dolling out this punishment.

You want to doll out the negative reinforcement as soon as they walk into the room. Waiting even a few seconds can serious undermine your efforts.

3. You Need to be Patient

When you are trying to get your cat to stay out of a certain room, you will have to be patient. This is most likely going to require some time for your cat to get the hang of. You also never want to hit or yell at your cat while trying to do this.

Even the smartest cats can take a while to catch on to certain things that you are trying to get across with them. If it seems to be taking a really long time, you can always try using a different method. Not all cats respond to the same methods when it comes to this type of training.

4. Use Positive Reinforcement

The fact is that positive reinforcement can also be incredibly effective when training your cat to behave in a certain way. You should consider giving your cat a treat every time it stays out of the room. It is important that you do this right away so they know what they’re being rewarded for.

cat at balcony

5. Make Other Areas of the House Fun for Them

One of the best ways to discourage your cat from going in a certain room is to make other areas more fun for them. This could mean getting an intricate scratching post for them to hop around on, or just a few new small toys to play with.

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The more enticing you make other parts of the house, the less likely they will be to go into that one particular room. One of the biggest mistakes that people make with cats is not keeping them entertained. Your feline needs to have plenty of ways to keep themselves occupied at home.

6. Play with Them More

Sometimes just playing with your cat one on one a bit more each can keep them from wandering to places you don’t want them to go. It is very important for you to play with them on a daily basis to stave off boredom.

7. Take Away Any Hiding Places

A lot of cats will not want to spend much time in a room where there aren’t any places for it to hide. You will therefore want to go through the room and remove anything that your cat could curl up in or under.

8. Distract Your Cat

Another good way to keep your cat from going into a specific room is to distract them every time they walk in. You can throw a toy they really like away from the room. While they might just come right back, there is a good chance that they will enjoy their toy in a different area.


  • Negative reinforcement can work very well, but you should never hit or yell at your cat.
  • Try making another area of the house more attractive for them to spend time in.
  • Make sure that your cat has plenty of fun toys to play with so they are less likely to wander.
  • Distract your cat with a toy when it walks into the room that is off limits.
  • Spray your cat with water or a combination of vinegar and lemon juice.
  • You always want to reward your cat when it stays out of the room giving it a delicious treat.
  • Don’t leave any spots for your cat to hide in the room that you want it to stay out of.
  • You will need to be patient while your cat learns not to go in the room.
  • Be consistent in your efforts to get the best results.
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