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How Small Of A Gap Can A Cat Fit Through

You know the scene too well if you live with a furry escape artist: there is a crack either between something or to get outside, and your cat somehow wedges through! You have no idea how your cat could fit because the hole is so small. In a moment of frustration and surprise, you’ll probably ask yourself how small of a gap can a cat fit through?

The gap that a cat can get through can be as small as the size of your cat’s head. Usually, if your cat can fit his head through a gap, then he can manage to get the rest of his body through too. 

Cats are escape artists and can fit into dozens of small spaces. The gap can be as small as your cat’s head, which isn’t very big! It can be surprising, but you need to pay attention to almost any gaps. To learn more about this, keep reading!

Can A Cat Squeeze Through Small Spaces

Cats are great at squeezing through small spaces.

We’re going to be talking about small spaces in this article and how cats can somehow manage to get through them.

Some people like to say that cats are like liquid because they’re able to fit inside some of the tiniest holes you’ll ever see.

Sometimes you can’t even fit your fist in a space that your cat manages to get through!

All of this is to say that, yes, cats are the perfect examples of an animal that can fit through small spaces, even though it might seem downright impossible. 

How Big Of A Hole Does A Cat Need

Your cat needs a hole at least the size of his head, but the size of the length of his whiskers is ideal.

When sizing up a hole to squeeze into, your cat is going to try to get his head through the hole. If his head fits, then the rest of his body will fit too.

Of course, it might be a tight fit to get his belly and hips through, but he will eventually be able to do it without little effort.

Ideally, your cat will look for holes that are as wide as the size of his whiskers if he wants to fit without squeezing.

You might have heard this before, but cats are usually as wide as their whiskers are long. 

A hole as big as your cat’s whiskers will fit his body easily.

How Can Cats Squeeze Through Small Spaces

Cats need to fit their heads into a space to squeeze through.

Now, this might sound strange, right? What does the cat’s head have to do with anything?

Well, let’s stop to think about the anatomy of a cat. Cats, overall, are pretty squishy, aren’t they? You can smoosh their belly and butts.

Their head, conversely, isn’t as malleable as the rest of your cat’s body. You can’t squish your cat’s head any smaller, can you? Don’t try – the answer is no!

As long as your cat can fit his head, which he can’t make any smaller, through a space, he can wiggle the rest of his body through, too, even though it might take some effort. 

Why Can Cats Fit Through An Opening The Size Of Their Head

Your cat’s head is the most solid part of his body.

As I’ve already said, cats can’t make their head fit through a small space if it just doesn’t fit.

Moreover, his head is usually the first part of his body that is going through an opening. Cats don’t walk backward very often; he is not going to back himself into a space.

If your cat were to get in butt first into spaces, his head might not fit, and then he would be in a bad position. 

Since your cat is almost always going to be walking forward, then his head is going to be the best indication of space limitations. 

What Gap Can A Cat Get Through

Cats can get through all kinds of gaps.

If you’re a cat mom or dad to a nosy cat, then you know all of the spaces, however tight, your cat can get into if he puts his mind to it.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but here are some of the more creative places your cat will try to get through:

  • Lattice, but we’ll talk more about that later
  • Doors as they are swinging closed
  • The space between and behind the washer and dryer units
  • Behind the fridge
  • Under couches, chairs, beds, dressers, and entertainment units

If you notice that your cat is eyeing up a place in your house, you know that he is eventually going to try to fit his little furry body in whatever gap he sees.

What Size Gap Can A Kitten Get Through

Kittens are going to follow the same rule as full-grown cats. They can fit through a gap the size of their head.

As with any cat, kittens also use their heads to judge the size gap they can fit into.

The unfortunate thing with kittens is that their heads are much smaller than full-grown cats.

Kittens grow quickly, but there are times that kittens’ heads will be half or even a third as big as the size of a full-grown cat’s head.

This means that kittens can fit into so many more places than a full-grown cat could, so you need to keep an eye on them.

Plus, kittens will get used to fitting into specific areas. This means that they will be more likely to get stuck as they grow up and need learn that they cannot fit into all the same places as they once did. 

Can Cats Fit Under Doors

Cats won’t be able to fit under doors unless the door is severely out of alignment.

Since cats can fit into so many spaces, you might start to wonder if your cat will be able to fit under doors too.

Thankfully, I don’t think you need to worry about your cat squeezing under the door, no matter how hard he might try.

Most cats are only going to get their nose and maybe their snout wedged under the door. There is no way the rest of his body will fit too.

Your cat might be obsessed with fitting under the door, but that’s one space that’s very unlikely your cat will ever fit.

Can A Cat Fit Through Lattice

Lattice is starting to push the envelope of what’s possible for cats and, unless your cat is a kitten, he probably won’t be able to fit through lattice.

The small squares of a lattice are going to be too small for a full-grown cat to fit through. You won’t see your cat squeezing between those.

On the other hand, Kittens can easily slip through the lattice for the first few weeks of their lives.

When kittens were born under the porch at my parents’ house, the kittens were using the lattice like a doorway. They were able to slide through with ease – that is, until they got too big.

The kittens were used to sliding through the lattice squares, but as their butts (or cabooses, as I like to say) got too big, the job wasn’t so easy!