How Long Can a Cat Be Left Home Alone?

How Long Can a Cat Be Left Home Alone?

How long can you leave a cat at home alone? That depends on your cat, it’s personality and it’s needs… 

…or how much trouble your cat gets into when you’re not around.

Just two weeks ago, I was startled by an almighty caterwauling from upstairs, followed by panicked shouts for help from my husband. Had my cat not been so distressed it might have been funny, but it was just too painful looking.

My cat Max had decided to try and run up a door kung-fu style in pursuit of a tasty looking bug and got one claw stuck on a door handle fixing! His whole body weight hanging by one claw must have been excruciating.

I held his weight while my husband ran to the ‘man cupboard’ to find an appropriate tool to help free the dangling feline. We ended up having to unscrew the fitting just to get him free. I am glad we were around that day!

But what about when you’re not around? How do you know you’re cat will be ok? There a few things to consider when leaving your cat home alone.

accident-prone-max

Accident Prone Max

Affection

Human companionship is less important to cats than it is for dogs, but again, ask yourself about your cat’s personality before deciding if they can be left alone for more than one overnight stay.

Maybe you have one of those aloof kitties that seem to barely notice you were gone, or perhaps you have cat like my Max, who is exceptionally vocal and apparently in need of a constant face, neck and shoulder massage.

My other cat Rosie also loves attention but she is less vocal than Max and lives for meal time so I would factor this in when leaving them home for extending periods which brings me to the next point.

Feeding

If having access to food and water is your cat’s main concern, there are some great products that can filter a cat’s drinking water and keep wet food cold and locked away until feeding time.

This has worked well when I have had a solitary moggie but would not be great for my current duo, since Rosie would almost certainly guzzle Max’s share.  

Shelter

Make sure that your cats can shelter from the elements if they are left outside for long periods of time. White cats are especially susceptible to skin cancer and need shade, if you live in a cold or wet climate, make sure she has access to a warm, dry area.

Both my cats enjoy being outdoor just as much as they enjoy snuggling inside so having a cat flap so they can come and go would be a must have if I was away for a whole day.

Potty

My cats know how to use a tray, but they will refuse to use one that has become dirty. I even had a cat in the past who decided to let me know it was time for a fresh tray by way of a dirty protest – on my bedding!

Leave your cat indoors and alone for more than 24 hours at your peril.

Health

It goes without saying (I hope) that a sick cat needs around the clock supervision.

In conclusion, most experts agree that anything longer than a one night stay away calls for a cat-sitter. For short spells, most cats will be just fine. Since I have a calamitous cat in the house, I get a great deal of reassurance from my Cammy Wi-Fi cameras. I can always check in on Max and Rosie from afar and have a family member with a key on call in case of emergencies.

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