We know cats as independent and carefree creatures. They don't need a walkout like dogs, and they can take care of their hygiene to quite an extent. But can you leave your cat alone for long hours or days, or maybe a week? Does your cat miss you when you are away?
There are endless questions to answer when it comes to leaving a cat home alone. Cats are independent and love their own company. That doesn't mean they don't miss you when you leave them alone. Cats are less clingy and have a personality that gives us the assumption they will be okay by themselves when alone. But for how long can you safely leave your cat alone? Do they panic too when alone? This article is dedicated entirely to your queries on leaving your feline friends all by themselves.
Let us explore together and find out...
How Long Is Too Long For My Cat To Be Left Alone?
Even though you love your fur baby and don't want to leave her side, there are still times when you have to leave her while you go to work or anything for that matter. The length of time as to how long a cat can be left alone depends on the cat's age, health conditions, environment, and diet or mealtime.
Very young cats and less than four months can be left alone for 2-4 hours. Those between 4-5 months can be left alone for 5 hours, cats of 6 months of age can be left unattended for 8 hours, and grown-up cats can be by themselves for 24-48 hours. Be mindful that these hours are the maximum length that you can leave your cat all by themselves.
It is always a good idea to leave your cat or any other pet under someone's guidance. But if situations don't allow you, you can leave them alone based on the hours mentioned.
Checklist to Follow Before You Leave Your Cat Alone
The essential requirement of your cat before you leave for work:
- Ensure your cat has her essential requirement covered.
- See that she has enough food, fresh water, a clean litter box, a comfortable and safe place to sleep.
- Keep away polybags away from her reach.
- Be mindful about the weather as well before you leave your feline friend alone. If the weather is too cold, turn on the heater and see that your cat is comfortable. The same is true for the summers – keep the AC on as too many heat waves can make your kitty sick.
Nothing should be as important as her health for you as a cat parent. If your cat is suffering from an ailment or is under some medication, the best thing is not to leave her alone. Think of her like your kid. You wouldn't leave your kid alone if they were sick, right? Even if you can't manage your schedule and have to go, make sure you have someone to check over your cat. You never know when she might need help.
Sufficient Litter Box
A clean litter box is a bare minimum any cat parent should give their cats. However, having an additional litter box is an intelligent thing to do. Since you are leaving her all by herself, there isn't anyone to scoop out the unpleasant from the litter box, making your kitty less interested in using it when required. Keep an additional litter box at home to prevent yourself from coming home to an unpleasant surprise on the floor.
Entertainments for cat
Cats become bored very quickly and lose interest in whatever they are doing. Besides her favorite toy to play with, leave the TV on. There are several pet entertainment channels these days – subscribing to one of them will make your kitty less lonely. Cat trees or scratch posts are also worth the try when leaving your fur baby alone. She'll spend hours scratching and climbing the poles. You might also want her accessible to the window so she can gaze at the outside world.
Maybe another Feline Friend
Consider getting another feline friend for your cat if you can manage another fur baby into the household.
A Play Session Before You Leave
Play or spend time with your cat before you leave- no matter for work or a vacation. Spending time with your cat will allow her some time with you, and she will feel less lonely. If you have someone to drop by to check on her, tell them about your cat's feeding time and any medications that she might be taking.
What About Leaving A Kitten Home Alone?
Kitten, unlike grown-up or adult cats, should be left alone for long. They are young and have their needs apart from that of an adult cat. Some younger kittens are also not house-trained enough to use the litter box. But anyway, when you have no option but to leave your kitty alone, you have to make sure that she is well fed before you go, have enough food ready to eat when she is hungry, have her toys to play with, and a comfortable place to sleep.
Kittens are more active than adult cats and have explorative nature. Having a spacious crate for them is a good idea, where your kitty can play and have enough space for herself. Do not forget to remove any toxic or chemical substance nearby and remove any sharp things where she can lay her paws on.
Leaving your kitten alone is not preferable – if you can have someone come and check on her, she'll be fine.
Do Cats Feel Lonely When Alone?
Unlike dogs, cats can spend hours on their own, either playing by themselves or lazing around. That being said, cats also feel lonely and depressed when left alone for long. Each cat is different based on its habit, nature, and personality, and they will react accordingly when left alone.
Signs of depression known as separation anxiety can be seen in most cats when left alone – destructive behavior such as scratching the sofas, walls, or toilet roll are ways to express depression or anxiety. Other signs of separation anxiety in cats include over meowing and crying, vomiting, excessive licking or self-grooming, eating too much or not eating at all, etc.
Based on their personality, some cats can spend hours alone, while others get anxious and will start showing signs of anxiety. If you can afford or manage, a cat sitter can help – your cat will have someone to attend and take care of her when you are away.
Can I Leave My Cat Alone For The Entire Day?
No pets, including the cat, should be left alone for the entire day. However, a healthy cat can be kept alone for about 6-8 hours, and she should be fine, provide you have all her basic needs covered. But if your cat experiences separation anxiety or has any health-related issue, consider cutting back on her time spent alone or get a cat sitter to look after her.
Do My Cat Miss Me When I Am Away?
Cats are pretty good at hiding their feeling and emotions. While many dog parent may argue saying cats are less sensitive or less emotional as compared to dogs, the truth is cats loves their human parents as much a dog loves his owner. The only difference is cats carry it well and hide their emotions beneath their personality.
Cats have a strong bond with their human parents, and they can feel through the love you give them. That is the reason when you are busy working; your feline baby comes over meowing, to get your attention. They start missing you from the moment you leave for work. Other signs that they miss you a lot and suffer when you leave them include vomiting, clinginess, too much meowing, loss of appetite, not using the litter box anymore, depression, and anxiety. In such cases, you should contact us
, discuss your kitty's conditions, and understand what has to be done to make her feel better.
Even though cats play it neat that they don't care and are all about themselves, they have a strong bond with you and want your presence more than just the can of food you open for them. Being aloof is their personality and has nothing to do with the amount of love they have for you. Make sure you don't leave your cat alone for too long- they need you, and being lonely for more extended hours may cause them physical and mental unrest.