Leaving Cats Home Alone

Leaving Cats Home Alone

Leaving cats home alone seems natural to us. We see cats as very independent creatures, but just how independent are they? Can they be left home alone for a day, three days, a week? Do cats get lonely?

Cats are known for being independent, but you still feel guilty leaving them alone during the day while you’re at work. But thanks to remote interactive tools like Petcube pet cameras, you can check in on them anytime.

As independent as they are, cats still crave attention and interaction. Plus, they can get in all kinds of trouble when left home alone. Dangling cables, poisonous plants, chemicals, plastic bags, paper shredders – all these things pose huge threats to your little feline explorer.

Learn how long your cat can stay home alone and what you need to do to ensure they are safe, healthy, and happy.


Do Cats Get Lonely?

Regardless of their reputation, cats do get lonely when they are left unattended for long periods of time. Research proves that cats are social beings that form strong bonds with their owners.

Do cats get sad when you leave? Short answer: yes. When their needs for companionship are not met, cats can become depressed. They can also get separation anxiety.

Unfortunately, feline separation anxiety often goes unnoticed until it becomes severe. Unlike dogs with separation anxiety, cats will not trash your entire home or annoy the neighbours with excessive barking and howling. But, your kitty may start acting more clingy, stop using the litter box, and meow excessively.


How Long Can You Leave a Cat Alone?

How long you can leave your cat alone depends on your pet’s personality and habits. Other factors are the environment, their health, and their age.

Here’s a rough estimate of how long you can leave your kitty alone based on age:

Leaving Cats Home Alone

Keep in mind that this is the maximum amount of time you should leave your cat home alone. Beyond this time, you should get somebody to check up on them. It’s vital that your pet has enough food, fresh water, and a safe place to sleep. Also, remove any sharp items and poisonous plants.

Once you have covered the basics, make sure your kitty has enough stimuli, so your pet doesn’t get bored. High posts next to windows, scratch posts, toys, TV, and music for cats are a few examples. You can talk to your cat remotely through a Petcube Bites 2 Lite, a pet camera that doubles as a treat dispenser.


Leaving a Cat Alone Overnight

If your feline is healthy and you can ensure a safe environment, leaving a cat alone overnight should not cause big problems. Food, fresh water, and at least a couple of litter boxes are a must.

But, if your cat has health issues or separation anxiety, try to find other options. Petcube Play 2 will give you an opportunity to watch your cat and see how they are faring while you are away.

Getting a pet sitter is the best solution if you have a kitten or a grown-up cat with medical problems. The sitter will ensure your pet is safe and cared for and your house remains clean. Having a friend or a family member over will also give you peace of mind and reduce the cost of hiring a pet sitter.


Leaving a Cat Alone for a Weekend

Whenever you need to leave your cat alone for more than 24 hours, you should have somebody checking in on them.

There are several reasons for this:

- Water will become stale

- Food can run low

- Litter boxes need to be scooped

- Cats are creatures of habit that need interaction and playtime

- Your cat can get lonely or bored

- Cats can get ill or injured

- Weather changes can have severe consequences on your feline.

You can mitigate some of these things if you are sure that your cat is confident and resourceful enough to get through the weekend on their own.

Water fountains combined with water bowls will prevent the water from becoming stale. Automatic cat feeders can deliver food to your pet at regular times. You can leave multiple litter boxes around as well.

Kitty-proofing your home before you go decreases the chance of injuries. A stimulating environment can prevent boredom, and you can also check in on your cat if you set up a pet camera, such as a Petcube Bites 2 Lite which lets you fling treats out to them.

Lastly, leave the air conditioning on to maintain a comfortable room temperature for your cat.

Keep in mind that technology can fail you and that no toy can replace human interaction.


Leaving Cats Alone for 3 Days

Leaving a cat alone for three days without someone dropping by is not a good idea. The reasons listed above apply in this case as well. If you have no other option, consider a boarding facility.

You may think that your feline will be happy there with all the other cats and people to play with, but cats are territorial animals. A new environment with all those unfamiliar faces will not be easy but the stress your cat will endure during those three days in a boarding facility is better than leaving them completely unattended.

Whether you have to leave your cat alone for work or on an extended weekend trip, you will have some peace of mind knowing that at least your pet’s basic needs are being met.


Can I Leave My Cat Home Alone for a Week?

Leaving a cat alone for a week can end in a disaster. If you have to go away for the entire week, you must find someone to at least check in on your feline. A friend, a family member, or a pet sitter are all viable options.

If no one is available, consider a boarding facility. Otherwise, it’s a huge gamble. Too many things can go wrong. Don’t take that risk!

Here are some situations that might occur:

- Your cat can run out of food and water

- Food and water can go bad and cause health issues

- There can be weather changes that will affect your cat’s well-being

- Your cat can get ill or injured

- The litter boxes will be full, and your cat will start house-soiling

- Your kitty can get lonely, depressed, or anxious.

Plan ahead and don’t neglect your cat when you have to go away for long periods of time.


How to Leave Your Cat Home Alone

No matter if you’re leaving for a couple of hours or a couple of days, here are some tips on how to leave your cat home alone.

You want to think about food, water, safety, and entertainment.

Step 1
Fill the water bowls with fresh water. If you’re leaving for long periods of time, consider getting a water fountain.

Step 2
Make sure your cat has enough food at their disposal. When you know you will only be gone a few hours, you can skip this step and stick to the regular feeding schedule. Cats love routine. You can maintain a feeding schedule if you get a pet food dispenser. Do keep in mind that all devices can malfunction and have a backup plan in place.

Step 3
Scoop the litter boxes and ensure there are enough of them around for your cat to use while you’re away.

Step 4
Kitty-proof your home. Remove dangerous chemicals, poisonous plants, sharp objects, small toys, and plastic bags from your cat’s reach. If there are plastic bags in the trash, cut both ends of the bag as a precaution. Unplug paper shredders to prevent accidents. Make sure there are no dangling cables around. Keep the toilet lid closed.

Step 5
Enrich the environment. Scratch posts, toys to keep, window posts, and quiet resting places are a start. You can leave the TV or the radio on for entertainment. Hiding food or treats around the house will also keep your cat busy while you’re away. Set up your pet cam so you will be able to check in on your cat from time to time.

Step 6
Have a play session and make any arrangements before you leave. If somebody will be dropping by to check on your pet, inform them of the feeding schedule, your cat’s habits and health condition.

Leave your vet’s contact number and your emergency contact. You can also share access to Online Vet so that a sitter will have a chance to contact a professional vet with ease.

If you want to keep an eye on your feline while you are away, you can set up a pet camera such as Petcube Play 2. This sleek pet camera allows you to stream video, talk to your cat, play with it using a laser toy, and more.


Leaving a Kitten Home Alone

When leaving a kitten home alone, pay special attention to food, water, toys, and potential hazards. Consider getting a large crate for the kitten where it will be safe and have enough room to play. You can also use a spare bedroom or a bathroom. If you opt for any room in your home, make safety a priority.

Read more: Kitten Care 101 - How to Take Care of a New Kitten

Beware of chemicals, sharp objects, cables, plants, plastic items, and small objects that the kitten could swallow. Minimise the time alone for your kitten or get a pet sitter to drop by.


Do Cats Miss Their Owners?

Cats form very strong bonds with their human companions and family members. Even though they may play it cool, they will notice you’re gone and they will miss your attention. If your cat starts meowing loudly when you leave the room, that’s one sign they miss you.

Other symptoms may include clinginess, loss of appetite, depression, anxiety, vomiting and diarrhoea, and house-soiling.

If you notice these signs, talk to a vet to determine if there’s a health condition to address. And please, don’t get mad at your cat if they urinate on your clothes. It is their way of saying that they miss you.


Final Thoughts

In conclusion, cats are social animals that form strong bonds with their owners and need companionship and interaction. Depending on their age and personality, cats can stay home alone for a few hours to a day.

If you found our article helpful, please share it with other fellow cat owners.

Want to keep an eye on your dog while you're away to make sure they're behaving itself? Check out our range of smart pet cameras designed for your cats & dogs from Petcube Singapore.

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