You’d probably love to stay home and cuddle your cat forever – but this can’t always be the case with human responsibilities to attend to. Somebody has to put the cat food on the table, after all! So you might be wondering, how long can you leave a cat alone? Which factors need to be considered? Is it possible to let your kitty outside while you are gone? What about physical activity, or loneliness?
We’ve answered all these questions and more below:
- How long can you leave a cat alone?
- Which cat breeds are best suited to be left alone?
- What happens when you leave a cat alone?
- What factors to consider when you leave a cat alone?
- What are the alternatives to leaving my cat alone?
How long can you leave a cat alone?
You’re probably wondering if you can leave your cat alone while at work. What about for the weekend, or while you’re on vacation? How long is too long for a cat to be left alone? According to Psychology Today, there is no conclusive answer, due to the lack of research on the subject.
The answer is not so clear for a number of reasons. Cats are known to be independent creatures. But still, they are domesticated and likely crave affection just as much as dogs, or even us humans. Some cat breeds might be better suited to being left alone than others, but ultimately each cat must be treated as the unique individual they are. Moreover, age, health condition, personality, history, activity requirements, environment and other pets all have an impact on how long you can leave a cat alone.
Ultimately, each cat is different when it comes to how long they can tolerate being left alone.
How to find out how long your cat can be safely left alone:
To find out how long you can safely leave your kitty home alone without you, we recommend doing the following:
- When you first start leaving your cat alone, don’t stay away for very long. Up to 30 minutes is a good test for a new kitten or cat in your home.
- When you must leave, try staying away a little longer each time and monitor your cat’s reaction.
- If you notice that your cat’s behavior has changed, or they show obvious signs of protest, you have found their maximum tolerance. Try to keep the time your cat has to spend alone shorter than that.
While the number of hours a cat can remain alone might vary, experts advise against ever leaving a cat on its own for more than 24 hours. If you need to leave your cat for extended periods of time, then check out the alternatives to leaving your cat alone.
Which cat breeds are best suited to be left alone?
Some cat breeds may be better suited than others when it comes to being left alone. According to DPVHS, the following cat breeds are generally easy going, well-behaved and low maintenance, and therefore may be better suited to being alone.
- Norwegian Forest Cat
- American Wirehair
- American Shorthair
- Maine Coon
- Russian Blue
- Scottish Fold
Keep in mind, all cats are different and just because they fall into one of the breed groups above, it doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily be happy spending hours without you.
What happens when you leave a cat alone?
Every cat will have a different reaction to being left alone. Some will enjoy the freedom and maybe even relish the time that you’re away. Others might not notice you’re missing – they’re too busy sleeping. And some cats might suffer – especially if left alone for too long.
To get clues on how your cat reacts when you are away, we recommend the following: