How Long Can You Safely Leave a Cat Alone?


It’s no secret that cats are independent creatures who love their alone time. While giving your feline best friend the space they need to enjoy peace and quiet can be a great practice at home, it’s important to know the difference between what amount of time alone is healthy and when it becomes too much. With such busy lives it can become easy to get into a day-to-day routine that doesn’t allot much time to socialize with our cats. Keep reading to learn what a good limit is and how that limit can fluctuate from cat to cat so you can make an informed and healthy decision for you and your furry pet.

The exact timing depends on age and circumstances

While most felines are comfortable being left alone for long stretches of time (like 8 hours while you are at work) the maximum amount of time that your adult cat might be able to be alone is up to 24 hours. Whenever you have frequent periods of time where you are not home, keep in mind that this can be disruptive to a cat, and they can become anxious and troubled easily and it’s definitely important that you don’t leave them alone for days on end.

Even though adult cats are much more self-sufficient during the day, you should err on the side of caution with kittens who shouldn’t be left alone for more than a couple of hours at a time. Remember that kittens need much more care and contact, especially given that they are adjusting to a new environment.

How to keep your cat comfortable while alone

It’s critical that you have fresh water available and maintain a feeding schedule even if you can’t be physically present. This may mean having a neighbor or friend come in at a certain time to fill their bowls. Another way to make sure they are comfortable in your absence is to leave them with a cozy spot to cuddle up and a clean litter box. With space to move around the house and zones for food, water, and sleep that they are familiar with, they will be much better off fending for themselves while you are out.

How to approach socializing with kittens

While these tips and tricks are great for adult cats, creating a socializing plan for new kittens from early on takes a bit more planning. In fact, the AVMA recommends that all new kitten owners should spend the time planning ahead to help their new pet develop a calm and confident temperament that will help them enjoy life to the fullest. This socialization plan should include important things including a timeline and strategy for exposing your new pet to other animals, a plan for rewarding engagement and discouraging naughty behaviors, and for positive and diverse experiences so they can be more confident each time.

Once you follow these tips and take your time to gradually earn your cat’s trust and have established a good routine for alone time and socializing, you’ll be much more confident that you’re making healthy decisions for your four-legged best friend. If you have any questions or are ready to schedule an appointment with the Bregman Veterinary Group, click here to get started!

Recent Posts