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How long can you leave a cat home alone?

While cats may give off the aura of being independent and carefree, they actually quite enjoy the company of others. Today, our Los Angeles vets talk about how long you can leave your cat alone at home and what you can do to ensure their comfort while you are gone.

Do cats really like to be alone?

Your cat is much more sociable than they may lead you to believe. Even so, each cat has their own personality and preferences. While some cats may be consistently aloof and prefer their own company, other cats happily greet their owners at the door when they get home from work every day and follow you around the house meowing.

Do cats get lonely? Many actually do, so it is important to help them adjust to time alone if you plan on being out of the house for a while.

Can you leave your cat at home alone at any age?

While healthy, adult cats may do just fine with being left at home, kittens, senior cats and those with medical issues may require extra care and attention that can't be provided if you are away.

Leaving Kittens & Young Cats at Home

Until six months of age, you should feed your kitten three to four times per day. Kittens and young cats are also prone to mischievous behavior, such as knocking things off tables, climbing furniture, and even chewing on wires and other household items. Kittens under four months old should not be left alone for more than four hours at a time. If you know your cat will need to adjust to being alone due to your lifestyle, begin training them by gradually increasing the amount of time you spend away from the house. Ask your veterinarian for specific instructions on how to acclimate your kitten to being home alone.

Once your kitten is six months old, if you have to be away for an extended amount of time, we recommend having a friend or family member take your cat to their house to care for them. If that's not possible, have someone pop by your place once or twice a day to check in on your young cat to make sure they are safe, have enough food to eat, and get some social interaction to relieve boredom.

If you have a young kitty and need to be away from home for more than two to four hours, pet boarding is the ideal solution. Many boarding facilities offer high-quality care for cats of any age, complete with lots of love and attention.

Healthy Adult Cats Spending Time Alone

If your healthy adult cat is given enough food and water, you may be able to leave him for a day or so. Of course, this will be determined by a variety of factors, including your cat's personality, living conditions, and whether they are accustomed to spending time alone. If you're going to leave your cat alone for a day or two, make sure the temperature in your home isn't too hot or too cold, and leave enough dry food and clean drinking water out for them to eat and drink while you're gone. It is critical to leave out dry food rather than wet food because bacteria can quickly multiply in wet food that has been left uncovered for an extended period of time. It's also a good idea to thoroughly clean the litter box before you leave. However, if you will be away, you should consider finding alternative care for your feline friend.

You can help keep your cat from feeling lonely or prevent them from getting into trouble by taking them to a trusted pet boarding facility in your neighborhood. Pet boarding can provide you with the freedom to leave home knowing your kitty is safe and being well taken care of while you are away.

Can you leave senior cats or cats with health conditions alone?

Senior cats follow a daily routine and can sometimes have health issues that require specific care or management. Stress can result in an increased risk of health conditions and stomach problems. It's also common for senior cats to require extra feedings or medication throughout the day. For these reasons, it may not be a good idea to leave your senior cat alone overnight. Lots of pet boarding facilities offer round-the-clock care for animals that require a little extra TLC while their owners are gone, making boarding an ideal option for cats who are unwell or elderly. If you need to be away from home and your cat needs to stay, you should consider alternative care like having a trusted friend or relative stay with them or hire a pet sitter.

Your vet knows your senior cat best, speak to your vet about how long they believe your kitty can be left alone safely.

What do cats do when they are alone?

Many pet parents wonder what their cat will get up to while you are away from the house. There are a few activities that seem to be common among cats.

After you've left the house your cat may spend some time looking out the window at nature and people passing by and if you have other animals then playtime may be in order. Some cats also enjoy watching a TV that has been left on or playing with their toys. Of course, you might also come home to a sleepy cat who spent the entire time doing nothing other than napping.

How to Ensure Your Cat's Comfort While They're Home Alone

If you are planning to be away from home, talk to your vet to find out if they have any concerns about your cat being left alone. Your vet knows your cat's health concerns and is in the best position to give you advice on your cat's well-being. Meanwhile, here are a few tips to help make sure your cat stays safe while you are gone:

  • We strongly recommend that you have someone check on your cat once or twice a day while you are gone, to ensure your kitty is safe and has enough food and water for the duration of your absence.
  • Consider leaving a radio or TV on, so your cat can hear voices while you are away. It could help alleviate your cat's boredom.
  • Ensure that your cat has plenty of clean water in a bowl that will not tip over and spill. Cat water fountains are available from pet stores. These handy devices can help your cat's water stay fresher and cleaner while you're gone.
  • Provide your cat with enough food for the duration of your time away. You may want to invest in an automated pet feeder to rotate the food and keep it fresher.
  • If your cat is particularly fussy about their litter box, you may want to leave 2 clean and fresh litter boxes out for them.
  • Check the weather and be sure that your thermostat is set so your home will remain at a comfortable temperature while you're away.
  • Bring your kitty to a local pet boarding facility. Cat boarding facilities can provide your feline friend with a clean place to stay where they will be well cared for, and given lots of human interaction.

Boarding Your Cat at Shatto Veterinary Center

At Shatto Veterinary Center, our boarding services have been specifically designed for cats. Our facility offers a comfortable and stress-free environment for your feline friend while you are away. Our experienced staff provides personalized care and attention to ensure your cat feels safe and happy during their stay.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

At Shatto Veterinary Center, we can provide your cat with a safe and welcoming home away from home with our boarding services. Contact our Los Angeles vets today to schedule your kitty's stay.

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Shatto Veterinary Center welcomes cats, dogs, and their people to our clinic! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Los Angeles companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's appointment.

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