As much as we might try, we can’t always be around for our pets. At one point or another, even the most devoted cat owner has to leave their furry friend alone. Despite their popular image as solitary animals, cats do enjoy our company and notice when we’re gone. A lot of cat owners then find themselves worried that their cats are missing them when they’re home alone. Since cats aren’t as high maintenance as dogs, they are even left alone for greater stretches of time. Some cats have to be left for a complete day without any interaction, so it is natural to worry about how they are in this time.
Cats might not exhibit signs of pining for their owners in the same way that a loyal dog does, but a cat is still concerned by your absences. Some cats are incredibly social and will miss their owners when they’re gone for a period of time. Despite worrying about them missing us, it is important to keep your cat’s welfare and happiness in mind when leaving them unattended. You shouldn’t leave them alone for longer than what is needed or without preparing for it.
If you take a few precautions and make sure your cat has enough to do while you’re gone, leaving them home alone doesn’t have to be difficult. Cats will still need activities for while you’re not home. Keeping your cat occupied while they are home alone is important if you want their time without you to go smoothly. These activities will keep their minds active and stop them from missing you too much.
Keeping Your Cat Entertained While Home Alone
Noone likes being alone, including cats
Most cats will get a bit bored without anyone around to play with. It isn’t really their fault; everyone gets a little bored in isolation. Outdoor cats have the open air with all of its smells and sensations to keep them occupied, but they can’t be left outside the house on their own for great stretches of time. After a little while, even outdoor cats need to come home and get some comfort. If you’re leaving your cat home alone for any stretch of time, you need to make sure that they’re not bored inside the house.
Choose cat toys that don’t require your participation in the game
You can keep your cat entertained while they are home alone with toys and activities. These are a great way of stimulating a cat and keeping them active. However, many cat toys require your input. A lot of them need you to be racing around with your cat and actively engaged in play to hold their attention. This isn’t much good when your cat is home alone. Because of this, you should look into toys that can keep your cat busy with less input from you.
There are toys you can buy that are capable of entertaining your cat in a way that is similar to how they would play with a person. These toys sustain themselves and move around to prompt your cat to play. A good example is the Mousr. This looks like a familiar feather toy for your cat to chase. However, it is attached to a mechanism that will roam your house and attract your cat’s attention. Toys like this can go a long way towards keeping your cat entertained and happy when they’re home alone.
Keeping Your Cat Happy While Home Alone
A busy cat won’t miss you as much as one who has nothing to do. However, if you’re leaving your cat for more than a few hours then loneliness does become a worry. Many pet owners believe that their animals are very lonely when they’re home alone and this often drives them to get more pets to keep them company. There are a few signs that a cat is lonely while you’re out of the house. You should watch out for these before assuming your cat is lonely when home alone.
Have you noticed any hairballs?
Hairballs can be a big sign of stress. This can often indicate that your cat is getting distressed from being left home alone.
Food stays untouched? Litter tray misbehaviour?
Your cat refusing to eat their food on their own is also a sign of stress. A cat that suffers from separation anxiety might also end up with stressed-out behaviour. This can include going to the toilet outside of their litter tray and being excessively excited when you do come home. If your cat is suffering from separation anxiety, then it is very likely that they’re lonely.
Things you can do to help your can when she’s home alone
You can help a lonely cat while they’re home alone in a few simple ways. The first is to give them a bit of background noise. Many cats find this soothing when they’re alone. Consider leaving the radio or TV on during the day. Your cat might not watch it, but the noises coming from it will be reassuring. Interactive toys like the Mousr or a Kong can also give them activities to keep them occupied. Bringing another cat home will also give them some company, but this is not a quick fix. They will need to be properly introduced and serious thought has to be given to if you’re ready for a second cat.
How Long Can a Cat Be Left Home Alone?
Sometimes cat owners need to get out of the house for more than a few hours. A longer period alone is necessary. Unlike a dog, cats can be left home alone for more than a few hours. While you should avoid doing this too often, it can go quite smoothly. How long you can leave a cat home alone will depend on their age and circumstances. If your cat is struggling with a health problem, it probably isn’t safe to leave them for very long. Equally, kittens shouldn’t be left unaccompanied for large stretches of time either.
A day, even two… but make sure your cat has everything she needs
Adult cats can manage for a little longer. Most will be okay when left home alone for anywhere up to two days. During this period, you need to make sure they have access to clean food and fresh water. This will have to be dry food since it is to last. You should also make sure that their litter box is changed just prior to leaving them and think about the heat or cold. If your house is particularly hot, you need to ensure you have plans for them keeping cool. Make sure areas of the house are in the shade and won’t be bringing too much heat in. You should also leave windows open for fresh air, provided they are secure against cat-acrobatics.
How often can you leave your cat home alone?
If you need to leave your cat alone for a day, most cats will cope. You should avoid doing this too often though. It will have an impact on your cat and while it is okay, it shouldn’t be a regular occurrence. You also need to take steps to keep your cat entertained while you’re out and occupied so they won’t become too lonely. This can go smoothly for most cats.
When Do You Need a Cat Sitter?
Cats can be left alone for up to two days, but sometimes that isn’t long enough. At one point or another most pet owners will have to leave their pets somewhere for more than two days. In these scenarios, you’re going to need a cat sitter. There are a few different options for cat sitting.
A friend in need is a cat sitter indeed
The easiest is often to leave your cat with a friend or family member. This would preferably be someone who your cat has met before and is comfortable with. If it is someone with an existing relationship, it will be a lot less stressful for your cat.
If your cat is going to stay somewhere over this period, you can do a few things to help them transition. You can make sure that they will be fed their normal food and that they have the same litter box. This can help ease a homesick cat.
If a friend or family member isn’t available to look after your cat, you can go for a commercial alternative. These can be cat sitters who come by your house to check up on your cat, change their litter, feed them, and give them some attention; many even send you regular pictures and videos of your furry friend. This choice can be nice for your cat since it doesn’t entail putting them in a new and strange environment. However, it also has its drawbacks: you won’t really know how much interaction your cat is getting.
Cat sitters also provide places where your cat can be boarded for a brief period of time. These options might not be right for your cat, but it is worth checking out your local facilities to see if they match your needs.
Leaving Your Cat Home Alone is Manageable When Done Right
Cats are fine to be left home alone without you worrying too much about them missing you as long as you try and keep them happy for this period. Your cat will miss you, but it will cope fine for a little while. Even longer stretches can be okay as long as you make the right preparations.
Leaving a cat home alone doesn’t have to be a traumatic experience. With a little care, it can be a nice break for your cat.