It has been widely believed that cats love solitary. They love being outdoors. However, this is not entirely true. It mostly depends upon a cat. Just as different people have different choices, different cats have different preferences too.
Some cats are more sociable than others. If you have multiple cats at home, you may notice one of them spending more hours indoors than the rest. So, leaving a cat alone does not entirely depend on you. It also depends on your cat’s choice. If it loves going out, you are left with no choice but to leave them alone.
However, there are certain guidelines for leaving your cat alone. Also, most veterinaries are of the view that it is not safe to leave your cats alone for more than 24 hours.
On certain occasions, you may face situations where you are bound to leave your feline alone at home. Such situations may include you going out for work, travel purposes, or any other unavoidable circumstances.
The amount of time you can leave a cat alone depends on several factors such as its diet, age, health, etc. This article will answer most of your questions and also state some guidelines on leaving your cat alone.
Things to keep in mind before leaving your cat alone:
Most people go to an office regularly and tend to leave their cat alone at home. Whether your work takes you only a few hours, or whether you are engaged in a nine to five job, leaving your cat alone for the day is just fine. There are no worries in leaving your cat alone for some hours, provided you keep food and water available nearby.
The age of your cat:
The amount of time you can leave your cat alone depends mainly on the age of your feline friend. If your cat is fully grown, you can be away for about one to two days. However, if your cat is still growing, it is not advisable to be away for more than about six hours. Kittens require more of your attention and care as compared to adult cats.
The health of your cats:
Another factor you should consider before leaving your cat alone is the condition of your cat. If your cats are healthy and have no physical issues, leaving them alone for some hours is safe.
However, if your cat has certain health issues or is on medication, it requires your constant care and attention. Leaving them alone might lead to unfavorable situations and may aggravate their health conditions.
Weather and your cat’s surroundings:
It is not advisable for you to leave your cat unattended during weather emergencies or unforeseen weather disasters. Make sure to keep your cat indoors and, if possible, near you. In case you lock your cats indoors during summers, you can keep the air conditioner on at an ideal setting to protect your cat from any heat strokes.
Also, before leaving your cats alone, look around, and remove any obstacles that may harm your cat. Leaving electrical appliances or kitchen tools in the open might possess a threat and lead to unfavorable situations.
Some of the most important things to do before leaving your cat alone:
Food and Water supply:
Depending upon the amount of time you will be away from your cat, you should keep sufficient amounts of food and water available throughout your living space. Cats are likely to feel hungry or thirsty from time and again. So make sure to make water and food available when you are away from them.
Fill your cat’s bowls with water and food and keep them at the usual feeding place before you leave. Also, keep extra bowls of freshwater nearby.
Make sure to scoop out dirt from your cat’s litter box before leaving them. Keep their litter box away from the feeding place, but somewhere easily accessible. If you are planning to be away for an entire day, then you should keep an extra litter box.
Cats may not interact with you as dogs do. However, they do get bored and lonely if left unattended. So, you can keep some pet-friendly toys around them or keep the television on for their entertainment.
If you own a single cat, then buying a second cat is another great option. This way, they would not feel lonely and enjoy each other’s company while you are away.
Automatic Cat Feeder:
If you tend to stay away from your cat for longer hours from time to time, then investing in a good automatic cat feeder is a great option. All you have to do is store fresh food in its provided food tray and set the time.
The machine will automatically dispense fresh food at the pre-set time. This way, you do not have to worry about your cats and leave them alone for a good amount of time.
Seeking help from friends or Neighbours:
At times, you may not be able to get home on time. Also, sometimes, because of weather emergencies, you may get stuck somewhere. In such situations, you should always call someone to keep a check on your cats.
If you are traveling or planning to be away from home for a few days, it is best to entrust someone to take care of your pets. If your friends and family are not available, you can always contact a good pet sitter.
Most cats love being outdoors and usually get back home whenever they need food or water. If your cat is among them, then you should not worry about it or restrict your cat from doing so. Just make sure to keep food and water available at their feeding place.
However, leaving an indoor-housed cat alone requires more work and attention. Since they are not used to being on their own, you might also consider keeping an eye on them whenever you leave them alone. You can do this by installing a pet camera.
Also, if your cat has health issues or you want professional advice before leaving your cats alone, you can contact a veterinary and seek their help.