Cat sitting alone waiting

How Long Can You Safely Leave Your Cat Home Alone?

Cats are known to be more solitary than dogs, but some cat owners know that is not completely true. Many cats can be very social and actually seek out and enjoy the company of their human companions all the time! Cats can form strong bonds with their family as well as other animal companions. When they are left alone for long periods of time they can become lonely and stressed. 

A good rule of thumb to follow is to not leave an adult cat alone for longer than 8 to12 hours, less time for kittens, senior cats, and of course those with medical or physical needs. Kittens and cats can get easily bored, even during short periods of time, so it is important to leave some safe and fun toys to give them some interesting activities to play with. Some pet owners also play music or leave the tv on to make them feel a little less lonely. 

Going for a quick overnight getaway? A full 24 hours is typically fine, depending on your individual cat, as long as they have a clean litter box, fresh drinking water, and plenty of food. Any longer than that is not recommended unless you have a particularly independent cat. 

Besides food and water, some other things to consider before leaving your cat alone are protecting them from the possibility of injury or illness. Make sure you put medications up and away. Drape strings, power cords, etc should be placed away from your cat to avoid them chewing on them or getting caught up in them. 

Age is another important factor in how long you should leave your cat alone. Kittens and senior cats require more care. Consider asking a relative, friend, neighbor, or pet sitter to come by and check on your cat if you need to be gone longer than a typical day. Kittens require to be fed every 4 to 6 hours and can get themselves into some pretty precarious situations as they explore their environment. Older cats can quickly go from stressed to ill. They may also require specific medications that should not be missed. For these reasons, it is best to not leave kittens or senior cats alone overnight. 

Another option is to board your cat, kitten, or senior feline. We offer pet boarding services at our McLean, VA animal hospital. Give us a call today to schedule your pet’s boarding and feel comfortable knowing your beloved pet will be safe and cared for while you enjoy your time away.