Why Do Cats Like Basements – The Interesting Reason

Does your kitty hideout in the basement – perhaps a little too much? Is that his preferred space most of the time? Some cats are just drawn to this space in the house, but it certainly is odd (even for a cat!). So, why do cats like basements?

Cats like basements because they can hide in them. Basements solitude, darkness, and privacy for cats that may not be available in other areas of the home.

Simply put, cats love small, isolated spaces to curl up in. And basements provide that perfect hiding spot for them, especially since, likely, your basement is one of the least visited places in your home. In a basement, Kitty is much less likely to get bothered by his essential daily tasks, like long, leisurely naps. Let’s find out if it’s actually okay to keep them there though. 

Is It OK To Keep A Cat In The Basement

Depending on the basement type in your home, it should be sufficient to keep your cat in the basement.

If your basement is finished, temperature-controlled, and has at least one or two spots with sunlight, it’s okay to keep your furry feline friend down there; especially if you want to keep the rest of your home free from scratches, fur, and dander (or perhaps other pets who aren’t as cat-friendly).

However, is your basement solely used for storage? Is it merely the “holiday decorations and scarcely used gardening tools” kind of place? Bottom line: if your basement is cold, damp, musty, and unclean – it’s best not to keep your cat down there.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t let her explore it and hide out when she wants to; with all of the nooks and crannies, she likely enjoys the space for solitude naps (and hey, she might even help you tackle a rodent problem!). But if she’s there too much, it may get too cold, too hot, or too moldy.

Just like humans, cats need a comfortable, sunny, temperate place to nestle every once in a while – and somewhere with plenty of love, too!

Why Does My Cat Go To The Basement And Meow

There are various reasons that your cat may go down to the basement to meow; one of the main reasons is attention!

Why does she need attention, however? It all depends on a lot of factors.

Is your feline friend getting older? She might go down to the basement and suddenly become disoriented because of how dark it is; or, she might forget her whereabouts altogether.

Alternatively, is your kitty spayed or neutered? If not, this could easily be a mating call.

Or, hey – the basement is a lonely place; maybe she wants some company while she’s hanging out in her favorite spot!

Next time you hear her meowing in the basement, go check it out. She might be meowing at something (got a rodent problem you didn’t know about?).

Also, if this is a recent development, keep an eye on her health and other habits. She could be trying to get your attention because of a recent illness or injury. And she doesn’t have any other way of telling you.

Why Does My Cat Stay In The Basement

If your cat stays in the basement all the time, he may like the quiet solidarity of the space.

Do you have many people and/or pets in your home, or just a lot of activity happening throughout the day? If you have a mostly introverted feline, he may have found the basement to be the perfect respite from the chaos; it’s peaceful, it’s dark, and he has free reign to explore and rest wherever he chooses.

However, this could be a sign that he’s distressed over something in your home environment. Is there another cat in the house that he doesn’t get along with? Or is there a person he doesn’t particularly gel with?

Or – staying in the basement may be a sign of illness; often, cats try to find solitude and respite when they’re unwell and remain there until they feel better.

Suppose this is a relatively recent development with no apparent reasons why it could be worth taking him to the vet, just in case.

Why Is My Cat Sleeping In The Basement

Your cat might go down to the basement to sleep because he’s deemed it as a quiet, cozy place to rest his small head.

Ever notice him taking a cat nap under a piece of furniture, tucked into a closet shelf, or anywhere else small, snug, and still? Cats prefer peaceful places for their naps, and your basement might be just the ticket for some relaxing Z’s.

Set him up a cozy cat bed, so he has a warm place to nap if you feel so inclined!

Just be aware: especially if this is a new habit, and/or it becomes harder to get him out of the basement, this may be a sign of illness or distress.

Can I Put a Litter Box in the Basement?

If your basement is cold, damp, and unfinished, don’t put your cat’s litter box down there.

Just like how you wouldn’t want to have to make the chilly, inhospitable journey to the basement whenever you need to use the bathroom – neither does your cat!

However, if your basement is finished and just another part of the house, it’s a totally fine spot for a litter box!

Is It Cruel To Keep My Cat In The Basement

Depending on the state of your basement, it may be cruel to keep your cat down there.

If your basement is the standard unfinished, cold, concrete space filled with storage and spider webs – don’t keep your cat down there. It’s chilly, it’s unfriendly, and it’s simply not a good place for an animal to reside. Plus, if your basement contains mold, it could have many effects on her health (and keep in mind, it might have mold even without your knowledge!).

However, if your basement is finished and another branch of the house – for example, if you’d hang out there for hours at a time – it’s okay to keep your cat down there. Just make sure it’s warm and hospitable, and, most importantly, make sure she’s still getting plenty of attention.

How Do You Get A Cat Out Of The Basement

Some cats love to spend time in basements, but you might still want or need to get him out. The best way to lure your kitty out of hiding is through kindness, coercion, and food.

Many cats are food-motivated; try luring him upstairs with cat treats, wet food, or even canned tuna. Toys or catnip may work as well.

This may take some time, but above all, be patient! Especially if he’s a new cat, he may need some time to warm up to you.

Final Thoughts

Even for non-basement cats: do you ever see your feline hiding out in a closed-off space in the house? Underneath the bed, for example, in the closet, under a table, or any other surprising place that’s cozy, dark, and quiet (I once found mine hiding out in a paper bag …!).

Sometimes, however, basement-loving felines are the shy, skittish types that prefer to be on their own – nearly, well, all the time. Especially if you own a rescue cat, he may be more inclined to shyness and fear of other people and pets.

If you have a basement lover on your hands, you may wonder: is it okay to keep your cat in the basement? It definitely is, but be sure your cat is comfortable and that they have everything they need such as food, water, and attention. 


Welcome to FAQCats! We are a team of cat owners and writers who love to write about everything related to cats. We strive to provide the most accurate and helpful information about cats through extensive research and caring for our own fur-pals!

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