10 Things Your Home Alone Cat Needs
Weekend away? These nifty gadgets ensure your cats have everything they need!
Cats are creatures of habit and generally don’t like disruptions to their routine or environment—unlike dogs, your cat would likely much prefer to stay home than be sent to a boarder. Of course, your cat should still be checked on daily by a pet sitter (Check out kittensittin.biz to find a cat sitter near you), neighbour, or a friend to provide company and make sure your cat is okay. The following recommendations from the Modern Cat team will ensure your cats have everything they need, from fresh food and water to entertainment.
#1 An Automatic Litter Box
No one likes a dirty bathroom, cats included. Make sure your cat’s litter box remains fresh—even if you’re not there to scoop it—with a litter box that does the dirty work for you. Leo’s Loo Too is a self-cleaning litter box that automatically cleans up after your cat visits, separating waste from clean litter and depositing it in the enclosed waste drawer underneath. An alert lets you know when the drawer needs emptying. With a 4.8-star rating, reviewers are very pleased with their purchase: “It makes it easy to take weekend trips and feel comfortable leaving my cat at home;” “no smell;” “The machine does what it’s supposed to do. We just top it up with our regular clumping clay litter that we have always been using. Now we rave about it to our other friends, lol.” ($500, smartypear.com or chewy.com).
#2 A Cat Flap
If your cat has access to the outdoors or a catio area, a cat flap allows your cat to enter and exit without you needing to open the door. Sure Petcare’s microchipped pet doorsstop intruder animals from entering your home by only opening for your pets’ existing identification microchips.
Their slightly higher-priced models also let you set exit hour parameters, so you can prevent your cat from going for an evening stroll. (from $161, surepetcare.com)
#3 An Automatic Feeder
A programmable auto feeder ensures your cat has access to food on a regular schedule and is not waiting on the cat sitter for breakfast. Cats prefer multiple, more regular meals,and an automatic feeder allows you to deliver, whether you’re away or simply at work. (Used when you’re at home, it can also prevent regular 4:30 am breakfast wake-up calls courtesy of your cat!).
We like Instachew’s Purebite Smart Pet Feeder. This app-enabled feeder allows you to automateand schedule feeding times, control portions, and keep kibble fresh. A slightly more expensive model, the Purechew Smart Pet Feeder has all the same features plus an HD camera, allowing you to check in on your cat while she dines. (from $80, instachew.com)
#4 A Self-Refilling Water Bowl
Ensure your cat has access to fresh drinking water—and that they’re actually drinking it!—with Sure Petcare’s Felaqua Connect. This smart water bowl delivers fresh water, automatically refilling from the reservoir as your cat drinks. It also monitors your cat’s drinking patterns—used with the Sure Petcare App, Felaqua Connect tells you how often, when, and how much your cat drinks. Plus, you’ll receive notifications when the water needs changing. How smart is that? (from $115, surepetcare.com).
#5 A Pet Camera
Check in on your cat while you’re away! The Petcube Play 2 is a smart, high-definition pet camera that connects to your phone via an app so you can see what your cat is up to no matter where you are. With a 160-degree lens, two-way audio, and a built-in interactive laser toy, you can see, talk, and even play with your cat, keeping them active even when you aren’t home! ($280, petcube.com)
#6 A Solo-Play Cat ToyCatit’s Groovy Fish Toy is perfect for solo playtime. Thanks to its highly sensitive motion sensor, it springs to life when pushed by your cat’s paw and will automatically enter standby mode when playtime is over. A catnip pocket draws your cat in, and the realistic movement and soft, padded cover make it a cat favourite. Three modes and a rechargeable battery are bonuses that make this toy a winner.Positive reviews abound: “I got home, and the box was on the table, and my cat was on the box owning it. On opening the box, my cat was very excited about the smell of catnip and was trying to claw it out of my hands while I was trying to switch the thing on. Hilarious. Bought months ago, and he still goes nuts with it. Best thing I’ve ever bought him, and I’m sure he would agree.” ($24, catit.ca)
Pair with Skinny Pete’s organic catnip for the ultimate solo play session. ($13, skinnypetescatnip.com).
Photo iryna imago/bigstock.com
#7 Cat Grass
Bring the outdoors in by providing your cat with cat-safe greens. Indoor cats often try to satisfy their craving for greens by munching on houseplants, which can prove toxic. Cat grass, which is actually the sprout of the wheat grass seed, provides a life-enriching, safe alternative. It fulfills the desire to consume greens, probably a leftover from pre-domestication when cats would consume the digestive tract—greens included—of the prey animals they hunted. It also improves digestion via green fiber that supports digestive health and helps with hairballs. Plus, it’s packed with chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, protein, and antioxidants. Bellrock Growers’ Pet Greens offer fresh, organic, pre-grown cat grass, ready for your cat to enjoy—no green thumb required! ($30 for a pack of three, bellrockgrowers.com or amazon.com)
#8 Vertical Space
Give your home-alone cat more space to explore by expanding their territory upwards. A cat tree or cat shelves give your cat all-important vertical space, providing new vantage points from which to survey their surroundings. We love Catastrophic Creations’ modern, minimal wall-mounted Bunker Cat Condo, which turns your walls into a cat jungle gym, complete with bridges, ledges, scratching posts, and even a spot for cat-safe plants! ($389, catastrophicreations.com)
#9 An Activity Station
Provide your cat with ample areas to lounge and play so they have something to do. Pidan’s super-cool two-story Pet Nest for cats offers multiple cozy areas to stretch out and four fun sisal ball toys to bat around for an all-in-one feline activity station your cat will love. Plus, it looks great! ($87, teddybob.ca or teddybob.us)
#10 Door Stoppers to Prevent Accidental Lock Ins
If you’re leaving your cat alone for a day or two, it’s ultra-important to ensure all the doors in the house stay open.
Anything from drafts to a curious cat can result in doors accidentally closing,preventing your cat from accessing food, water, or the litter box while you’re gone. Door Buddy’s foam rubber door stoppers are perfect for keeping all the doors open and your cat safe from accidental lockdowns. Plus, it comes with a door strap, which keeps babies and dogs out of the room with the food or litter box, while still allowing your cat access. ($20, thedoorbuddy.com or amazon.com)