What do you need to pay attention to when you leave your cat alone at home?
Leaving the cat alone seems natural to us. We think of cats as very independent creatures, but how independent are they? Can they stay at home alone for a day, three days, and a week? Do cats really get lonely?
Even though cats are independent, they still crave attention and interaction. In addition, when they are alone at home, they will encounter all kinds of troubles. Dangling cables, poisonous plants, chemicals, plastic bags, and shredders all pose a huge threat to your little kitty Explorer.
In this article, we will break down everything you need to know about leaving your cat alone at home. This guide is always applicable.
Ⅰ. Can cats be lonely?
Regardless of their reputation, cats do feel lonely when they are left unattended for long periods of time. They are social creatures who form strong bonds with their owners. Cats become depressed when their needs for companionship are not met. They also have separation anxiety.
Unfortunately, feline separation anxiety often goes unnoticed until it becomes severe. Unlike dogs with separation anxiety, cats won’t trash your entire home or annoy the neighbors with excessive barking and howling. However, your cat may become clingier, stop using the litter box, and meow excessively.
II. How long can you leave a cat alone?
How long you can leave your cat alone depends on his personality and habits. Other factors include environment, health, and age.
Here’s a rough estimate of how long you can leave your cat alone, depending on age:
0-4 months, 2-4 hours alone
4-5 months, 5 hours alone
Six months, eight hours alone.
Healthy adult cats spend 24-48 hours alone.
Keep in mind that this is the maximum amount of time you should leave your cat alone. Beyond that time, you should have someone check it out. It is important for your cat to have enough food, fresh water, and a safe place to sleep. Also, remove any sharp objects and poisonous plants.
Once you know the basics, make sure your cat has enough stimulation, so he doesn’t get bored. Cat climbing frames, automatic toys, open TV, music, and so on, with these things, can greatly alleviate the boredom of cats.
- Let the cat spend the night alone
If your cat is healthy, you can ensure a safe environment, and leaving the cat alone overnight won’t cause any major problems. Food, fresh water, and at least a few litter boxes are a must. But if your cat has health problems or separation anxiety, you need to consider other options.
If your cat is very young or sick, it’s best to put it in foster care or ask a friend for help.
- Leave the cat at home alone for two days on the weekend
After 24 hours, it is necessary for someone to come to the door to help you check.
The reasons are as follows:
The water will become stale
Food will be less
The litter box needs to be cleaned
Cats are creatures of habit and need interaction and play time
Cats can become lonely or bored
Cats can get sick or injured
Weather changes can have serious consequences for your cat
You can also mitigate some of these things if you are sure that your cat is confident and smart enough to spend the weekend alone.
Water dispensers can solve the problem of water, food is not a problem for cats with automatic feeders or free feeding, and you can prepare more than one litter box for cats.
Finally, turn on the air conditioner and fresh air to maintain a comfortable room temperature for your cat.
- Leave a cat alone for three days/ It is not a good idea to leave a cat alone for three days without anyone coming to see it. The above reasons also apply in this case. If you have no other options, consider the Cat Inn.
You might think that cats would be happy to play with other cats or people, but that’s not the case. Cats are territorial animals, and they may be under a lot of pressure during the three days of boarding, but that’s a lot more stressful than leaving them alone for three days. In a foster environment, a cat’s most basic needs are met, so at least you can enjoy a three-day vacation.
- Leave the cat for a week
Leaving a cat alone for a week can end in disaster. If you have to go away for a whole week, you have to find someone to at least check on your cat. Friends and family are all viable options.
If there is no one, foster care can be considered. Otherwise, it is a huge gamble. Too many things can go wrong. Don’t take any chances!
Here are some possible scenarios:
Your cat will run out of food and water
Food and water can go bad and cause health problems
Weather changes may affect your cat’s health
Your cat may get sick or injured
The litter box was full, and the cat began to urinate. Cats can become lonely, depressed, or anxious
When you must be away for a long time, always plan ahead and never neglect your cat.
Ⅲ. How to leave your cat alone at home?
Whether you’re going to be away for a few hours or a few days, here are some handy tips. You want to think about food, water, safety, and entertainment.
Fill the water bowl with fresh water. If you are going to be away for a long time, consider buying a water dispenser.
Make sure your cat has enough food. When you know you will only be away for a few hours, you can skip this step and stick to a regular feeding schedule. Cats love routine. If you have a pet feeder, you can maintain a feeding schedule.
Remember, all devices can fail, so be sure to have a backup plan.
Clean out the litter box and make sure there are enough litter boxes in the house for the cat to use when you are not at home.
Keep dangerous chemicals, poisonous plants, sharp objects, small toys, and plastic bags out of your cat’s reach. If there are plastic bags in the trash, just in case, cut off both ends of the plastic bags. Unplug the shredder to prevent an accident. Make sure there are no dangling cables around. Keep the toilet lid closed.
Enrich the environment. Cat climbing frames, toys, windowsill beds, and quiet resting places should be prepared. You can leave the TV or radio on. Hiding food or treats around the house while you’re away will also turn on exploration mode for your cat. Set up the camera so you can check on him from time to time.
Before you leave, play a game with him, and arrange everything. If someone is coming to see your pet, tell them about the feeding schedule, your cat’s habits, and health. Leave the veterinarian’s contact number and emergency contact.
IV. Leave the kitten alone at home
When leaving a kitten home alone, pay special attention to food, water, toys, and potential hazards. Consider buying a baby enclosure for the kitten and enclosing a large enough and safe area for him. Of course, you can also use the guest room, bathroom, and other places. But be sure to put safety first.
Be careful of chemicals, sharp objects, cables, plants, plastic objects, and small objects that kittens may swallow. Minimize the amount of time the kitten spends alone.
V. Do cats miss their owners?
Cats form very strong bonds with their human companions and family members. Even if they act calm, they will notice that you are no longer there, and they will miss your attention. If your cat starts barking loudly when you leave the room, it’s a sign that they miss you.
Other symptoms may include being clingier, loss of appetite, depression, anxiety, vomiting and diarrhea, and messing up the house.
If you notice these signs, talk to a veterinarian to determine if there is a health issue that needs to be addressed. Please don’t get mad at your cat if they urinate on your clothes. It’s their way of saying they miss you.
Keep in mind that technology can fail you, and no toy can replace human interaction.
VI. How to amuse a cat?
There are many ways to keep a cat happy.
Toys (balls, catnip toys, cat teasing sticks, mouse toys, corrugated paper, etc.)
Vertical grab post
Cat climbing frame
TV shows or music
Bird feeder outside the window
Hide food or snacks around the room
Get another pet cat
VII. Appendix: Cat Foster Care Guide
Many parents will choose foster care during the Spring Festival holiday, so how to choose a place for foster care is very convenient. Let’s look at a simple foster care guide.
- Physical examination before foster care
Make sure your cat is healthy, without cough, diarrhea, vomiting, and other abnormal symptoms. If possible, you’d better go to a regular pet hospital for a physical examination.
- Choice of foster care
Pet Shop (Beauty Shop)
Ask a friend to help, it’s better to find someone who likes cats and has raised cats, otherwise, there will be a lot of unexpected things. The environment of pet hospitals and some pet stores is very ordinary, so it is not recommended to send them to foster care, especially in pet hospitals. Don’t look at the well-equipped hospital, in fact; most hospitals will not take good care of your cat at all. Comparatively speaking, experienced friends’ homes, professional cat hotels, and some catteries are recommended places.
As for the foster care environment, we mainly need to examine the number of cats. If the density is too high, it will not work. There are seven or eight cages in a 30-square-meter house. This kind of foster care environment is purely for fun. Good ventilation and air circulation, adequate light, whether the environment is clean, regular disinfection, and cleaning appliances are clean, these are the indicators of inspection.
In fact, in pet stores, pet hotels and pet hospitals, you can check whether their toilets are clean; if even the toilets are not clean, then the cat’s living environment can be associated.
- Foster care personnel
Make sure that the other person is a cat lover, does not abuse cats, has no bad habits, and has rich experience in foster care. Note that raising cats and foster care are totally different things. Because foster cats may face stress reactions, they may not be able to deal with emergencies without foster care experience. Therefore, foster care personnel must have the knowledge of healthy feeding, as well as some medical knowledge, the ability to judge and deal with sudden illness, and there must be some commonly used drugs in their place.
Why not recommend a hospital? Although the hospital has these, in the absence of the owner, once there are mild symptoms, it is very easy to cause over-treatment. There are many tragedies. It is not that we do not trust all pet hospitals but that we are disappointed with the industry too much.
- Other exhortations
Is there a foster care agreement? Is the valid certificate of the foster care personnel available for inspection? Is there a time for entertainment and interaction every day? Is it a separate space or a free range? Is 24-hour camera surveillance provided to the owner?
Attention must be paid to the free-range situation, which is prone to infection and bloodshed. In addition, will the foster care staff report the cat’s condition to the owner every day?
Another very important point is:/ Be sure to bring your own rations!
Change food and stress, the cat is likely to pull and vomit.