Cat are independent creatures that often spend periods of the day alone. Unlike dogs, they do not usually need to always be right beside their owners. That said, most cats do like to know that you are there and so may become unhappy if left alone for a long time. But how long is too long to leave a cat alone? After all, most will be perfectly fine and happy should their owners be out at work all day.
Are Cats Okay at Home Alone?
Many dogs suffer what is known as separation anxiety when left alone, but cats are different and most are content as long as they have access to food, water, and a litter tray. In emergency situations, a cat would likely be okay alone for up to 24 hours, but it is not recommended that they are left unattended for longer than that. This does not apply to kittens, who should not be left alone for anything longer than a couple of hours. This is because they obviously need more care and attention than older cats.
How to Ensure Your Cat is Safe in the House Alone
Indoor cats are often left alone in the house, which is perfectly fine. If you are going to be out at work during the day and there is nobody at home, then it is important to make sure that your cat has everything she needs in terms of comfort and safety.
Your cat will need fresh water during the day, so make sure you fill her water bowl with fresh water every day. You also need to make sure that your cat has access to food, particularly if you will be out of the home for longer than four hours.
Before you leave, also ensure that the litter tray is clean. If you will be gone for the full day, you may need to make sure that there is more than one litter tray at her disposal.
Cat proof your home while you are out. While your cat may spend much of her day lazing about or playing with toys, it is a good idea to ensure that there is nothing lying around that could be dangerous. Removing her collar is also a good idea so that it does not get caught on anything. The experts at Voyager Harness, who sell a variety of cat products including cat harnesses, say that breakaway cat collars are best for cats left alone as these allow the animal to get free should it get caught on anything.
If your cat will not have any interaction with humans during the day, it would be a good idea to make sure that there is plenty to keep her busy. You can enhance her environment by providing toys and scratch posts that she can play with when you are away. Some owners like to leave the TV or radio on so that their pet is not in a silent home. They believe that this will relax their pet and make them feel less alone. Others hide treats about the house to give their cat something to do that will stimulate them.
Leaving cats alone for a few hours during the day is generally acceptable while in emergency situations cats will likely be fine alone for up to 24-hours as long as she can access the litter tray and has fresh water and food. If you are going away for any longer than that, you will need to make sure that you have someone to check in on your pet.