Leaving your cat home alone
Cats are territorial animals and so are happiest when they are in their own home. Cats Protection says you should not leave a cat home alone for more than 24 hours (or up to 36 hours if they have access to the outdoors) so what should you do if you’re not going to be there? While your cat could be quite happy home alone, what would happen if they became ill or had an accident while you were away? Or knocked their water bowl over and had nothing to drink?
If you’re not going to be at home for more than a day, you should make arrangements for your cat to be looked after by someone else. This could be asking a friend to pop in and check on your cat, employing a cat sitter or taking your pet to a cattery.
There are lots of products available that can help keep your cat happy and safe during your absence. Here’s a round-up of our favourites…
If your cat is able to go outdoors, having free access to a garden space will provide them with fresh air, exercise and enrichment. However, you don’t want other cats in the neighbourhood sneaking into your home to help themselves to your cat’s dinner.
A microchip cat flap uses radio frequency identification to read a cat’s unique microchip ID and can be programmed to accept multiple cats. When an authorised cat is near the flap, it will read and recognise their microchip before unlocking to allow entry.
An automatic feeder connects to your Wi-Fi allowing you to programme, schedule and monitor what your pet is eating from your smartphone. This means you can control when your cat is given their food and check that they have eaten – all while you are away from home.
Cats prefer to drink from running water, which is a survival instinct they have retained from their ancestors. Drinking from stagnant pools often led to illness so cats will naturally seek out the freshest source of water they can find. This is why you’ll often find your pet trying to drink out of the tap!
A water fountain will provide your cat with a constant source of fresh running water so they can stay hydrated.
A special blend of essential oils in a diffuser can help calm cats who might become anxious when left home alone. Simply plug in the diffuser and the stress-relieving formula is slowly released into your cat’s environment, reducing their stress levels.
Interactive cat toys
Interactive toys will keep your cat occupied and prevent boredom if they are left home alone. One of our favourites is the All for Paws Feather Cat Toy, which features a dangling feather for your cat to bat and paw. Toys like this are great for really engaging a cat in their natural hunting instincts of stalking and pouncing.
Who doesn’t enjoy a relaxing massage? Now your cat can enjoy one whenever they like and it can keep them relaxed when you’re not there. The wellness centre includes a variety of brushes, textures and massage ridges that your cat can use to massage and groom themselves. There is even a gum stimulator that will clean your cat’s teeth and gums as they gnaw on it. Your cat will be so busy with this they won’t even notice you’re not there!
Before you walk out of the front door, you should make sure you do the following each time to ensure your cat is as happy as possible:
- Leave your cat with a freshly cleaned out litter tray or two. A dirty litter tray can make a cat feel anxious and they may not want to use it.
- Make sure you leave your cat a few toys out that you know will excite them and place them around the house for them to find. Don’t leave wand toys or toys with string out as your cat could become entangled.
- Open the curtains. A cat in the house will likely enjoy sitting on the windowsill watching the world and wildlife go by. Don’t deny them this by pulling curtains or blinds.
- Leave the TV or radio on for them. Some cats enjoy watching television or find background music comforting when they are in the house on their own.
- Don’t turn the heating off. If your cat is used to having the heating on during the day while you are there, make sure it stays warm enough when you’re not. Cats crave warmth and if their normally warm home is suddenly colder than usual, they are likely to become uncomfortable and unhappy.
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