I foster for a local cat rescue, primarily kittens. I have a litter of 3 6-7 week old kittens that were trapped yesterday. I don't think they've lived inside before but they aren't too feral yet. Two of the kittens hiss and hide, but then when we hold them they calm down. The third kitten is a completely laid back love bug.
The question is....should I keep these kittens in a crate? My husband and I always disagree about this. I want to crate them, but hubby thinks this is cruel and doesn't give them the space to run and play. He wants to keep them loose in our small-ish foster room. The problem is, they're not litter trained yet and so there are accidents. I'm guessing the crate with a litter box inside would help them learn to use the litter box? The crate is a decent size and has one shelf. I'd like a bigger crate, but this is the largest one the rescue has.
-less chance of accidents outside litter box (?)
-crate is in our living room so kittens can be more exposed to household activities
-kittens not as likely to get into trouble, especially hiding under our radiators
-easy to find them and pick them up for cuddling
-they seem a little less scared
-I can get hanging water bottle and food bowl, leading to hopefully less food messes
-crate is sort of cramped. The litter box (one of those cardboard boxes for canned food) takes up a lot of space and the kittens hang out in there and get dirty
-kittens could get bored all day with no space to jump and play
-kittens start meowing to be let out and it breaks my heart!
-our own cat can see the kittens, but all she does is hiss a little and walk away
What I really want to do is buy a larger, multilevel crate. I like some of the ferret crates I see on Amazon, and I figure kittens are about the same size (I wouldn't keep adult cats in there). But they're expensive ($125 or so) and I have the tendency to make impulse purchases that I later regret. It's possible I could get reimbursed by the rescue, but they're short on cash anyway. I'd probably want to just purchase it myself and do a charity tax write-off.