Leaving a cat alone while at work can be stressful for both you and your cat. You may come home to a messy house, destroyed carpets and furniture, and, worst of all, a stressed out pet. Things get especially hard when you're dealing with a kitten - leaving a kitten alone for 8 hours may seem like a recipe for disaster. Make the transition easier for both you and your cat with these 10 simple tips for leaving a cat alone while at work!
1. Provide Easily Access To Food And Water
Let's start with the basics here - food and water! Before leaving for work, make sure your cat has access to her water and food bowls and cannot lock herself out of the room where those are located. For new pets and young kittens that are prone to mischief, you might want to leave water bowls in a few places around the house. That way, if a water bowl gets spilled in the course of play, your cat will still be able to find another water source. Try a set of these non-slip bowls that are a hit with our cats and have a silicone ring that prevents them from knocking them around and spilling the contents:
2. Leave Toys Around The House
Younger cats and kittens are very active, so make sure your cat has plenty of entertainment while you're away. New is always better in this case, so treat your cat like you would treat a toddler - provide them with a steady stream of inexpensive cat toys. You can buy one of the jumbo packs of cat toys and reward your feline with a new one every week or so. Toys don't have to be expensive - sometimes a hair tie, a box, or a sheet of paper is enough to entertain your cat for hours! On the picture below you can see a cat laptop scratch pad infused with catnip - a great choice for keeping your cat occupied and happy! Keep a variety of catnip and plush toys around, as they will keep your cat busy and are safe to play with unsupervised. Click here to see our latest collection of funny catnip plush toys for domestic cats.
3. Provide A Fun Watch Spot
Cats like to watch and survey their realm so to speak! A cat tree near a window or a comfy armchair they can perch on to watch the outdoors keeps your cat engaged and entertained for hours! Make sure you have tall furniture, a cat tree or cat floating shelves near a window so your cat can get a taste of the outdoors while you're at work. Bonus points if you can place it near a bird feeder!
4. For New Pets: Take Some Time Off Or Schedule Check Ins
Getting used to a new environment can be challenging for cats. If you're bringing home a new pet or adopting a kitten, it's wise to plan accordingly. To make the transition easier, plan on picking up your new pet before a long weekend, so you can hang out with them at home for a couple of days and help them get acquainted with the new surroundings. If you're not able to stay in with your cat, you can find someone to check in on your cat while you're away. Whether it's a relative, a friend, or a pet sitter, having this check up will give you a piece of mind and reassure your pet that they are not abandoned.
5. Cat Proof Your House
You don't want to go back home to shattered vases and broken picture frames, right? Hide the fragile, expensive and easily breakable home goods away, so your ferocious feline can't damage them. I know this is easier said than done, but you can place the most valuable home decor pieces on higher shelves or inside cabinets to keep them safe from curious paws! House plants are an easy prey for cats, so you can move them in your patio or place them on a bookcase to discourage your cat from eating them and dragging them around the house.
6. Switch To Work Friendly Feeding Schedule
Patience may be a virtue, but it's in short supply in cats! If you usually feed your cat at night, try switching to morning feeding schedule instead! That way your cat will be fed and won't have to wait for you to come back home to feed her. Maybe you'll have a long day at the office or get stuck in traffic - you don't want to be greeted by an impatient hungry cat!
7. Provide Easy Access To A Clean Litter Box
Easy access to a litter box, of course, is a must, but a CLEAN litter box is just as important! Cats are tidy creatures. Discourage them from revenge-peeing on your carpet by providing them with a fresh and clean litter box they would love to use instead!
8. Restrict Dangerous Areas
Whether it's the garage or the pantry, some areas are just not cat friendly. Your cat may get hurt or get into something he shouldn't be eating or playing with. Making sure that you close all doors and cabinets that kitty has no business in is an easy way to avoid mess and mayhem.
9. Make Sure Nap Spots Abound
You might be worried about leaving your kitten alone while at work, but in reality he will probably spend most of the time you're gone sleeping! Cats sleep a lot, and I mean a LOT! Something like 12 to 16 hours a day! And, as nocturnal creatures, their preferred nap time is actually during the day! Make sure you place their favorite blanket on the couch, leave the bed unmade if that's where they snooze and provide easy access to their cat bed. Chances are your cat will spend half of the work day sleeping! Your cat will love a cave-type cat hut, as a snug enclosed cat bed will provide your feline with a feeling of safety. This Jungle Cat Bed, for example, makes your cat feel protected while allowing her to keep an eye on her surroundings - an ideal choice for a cat at home. It is also very affordable and can travel with you whenever you move or travel.
10. Reward And Play Upon Your Return
Celebrate the end of your work day with lots of treats, pets and play! Your cat has surely missed you and she is excited to have you back! Tummy rubs, favorite treats and some play will be the purr-fect end-of-day activity! It will reassure your cat that you'll come home every day and shower her with love!