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How Long Can a Cat Stay Home Alone?

How long can cats be left alone? Experts agree this is the maximum amount of time

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The stereotype that cats are solitary and fine on their own is false. Cats struggle with change, can experience separation anxiety, and require regular care. Most vets agree that cats should be left alone for no more than 24 hours.

If you leave your cat alone for longer than 24 hours, there are significant safety issues. Cats left alone could:

⇢ Become shut or locked in a room without access to their food and water

⇢ Get hurt or sick from falls, ingesting something they shouldn’t, etc.

⇢ Become trapped in small spaces

⇢ Spill their water and have nothing to drink

You’ll need to have someone check in on your cat at least once a day while you’re away to make sure they are okay and can receive veterinary care if needed. Cats also need company.

If you have been away, look for these signs of separation anxiety in your cat:

⇢ Destructive behaviour

⇢ Excessive hiding, grooming, and/or vocalization

⇢ “Accidents” (eliminating outside of the litter box)

⇢ Refusal to eat or drink

Bottom line: If you are going to be away longer than 24 hours, have a neighbour check in on your cat daily or hire a cat sitter. Most cats prefer to stay in their own home, but if this isn’t possible, cat boarding is also an option.

Calming Pheromones
Feliway Optimum Diffuser Kit releases pheromones that are proven to calm cats, reducing signs of stress. A Ceva study found that 93% of cat owners reported enhanced calming. ($35,

Cat Camera
Keep an eye on your kitty while you’re out. The Catit PIXI Smart Mouse Camera is a full HD resolution camera that allows you to watch your cat live and see what they get up to! You can even talk and listen to them when you’re away from home. ($100,

For more cat tips and expert cat advice, check out 10 Things Home-Alone Cats Need on

This article originally appeared in the award-winning Modern Cat magazine. Subscribe today!

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