Tips When Leaving Your Cat Alone for a Week
Cats have a reputation for being independent and easy to care for, especially when compared to dogs. This has led to the misconception that cats can be left alone for longer periods of time as long as their basic needs (i.e. food and water) are met.
However, this isn’t the case. Read on to learn more about the amount of time you can leave your feline friend by themselves.
How Long Can Cats Be Left Alone?
Let’s cut to the chase. Most vets recommend that your cat can be left home alone for no more than 24 hours. Leaving your cats at home while you work or visit friends for a day is perfectly fine, as long as you make sure you’ve provided them with plenty of food and fresh water along with a clean litter box.
If you’re leaving your cat alone for a day, it’s also important to give them plenty of room to roam. Avoid keeping them in one room while you’re gone and provide stimulation like a scratching post, perches, and toys.
Important Note: Kittens should not be left alone for more than a few hours at a time. They require more regular care and contact to adjust to your home.
So, if you’re wondering “Can I leave my cat alone for a week?” The answer is a resounding NO! But there are things you can do to keep your cat safely in your home while you’re away.
What Happens When You Leave Cats at Home
Leaving a cat alone for a week can take its toll on your furry friend’s health. The stereotype that cats are solitary and aloof is false, and felines can experience separation anxiety. While they may not be as vocal as dogs that are stressed, they still struggle with change.
Some signs of separation anxiety in cats include:
- Destructive behaviour
- Excessive hiding, grooming, and/or vocalization
- Inappropriate elimination habits (i.e. eliminating outside of the litter box)
- Refusal to eat or drink
In addition to separation anxiety, there are also safety issues involved when leaving your cat alone for long periods of time. For example, when left to their own devices your cat could:
- Become shut or locked in a room without access to their food and water
- Become injured or sick – from falls, eating something they shouldn’t, etc.
- Become stuck in small spaces
- Spill their water and be left with nothing to drink
Having someone check in on your furry friend at least once a day while you’re away can help mitigate these risks. And, if your cat does become ill or injured, they can receive the veterinary care needed as soon as possible rather than waiting for you to return home.
As you can imagine, leaving your cat alone for 7 days can negatively impact your cat’s health and mental wellbeing. This separation can also affect your home. Even the most well-behaved, laid-back cats can become destructive when bored or experiencing cat anxiety.
Options for Caring For Your Cat While You’re Away
Luckily, there are options available so you don’t have to leave your cat alone for a week while you enjoy your vacation. Most pet owners decide between two options: to board cats or leave at home with a pet sitter or trusted friend.
Both a boarding kennel and a cat sitter have their pros and cons but are still great options for watching your adult cat for longer amounts of time. Having a cat sitter check in on your furry family member every day is often the least stressful option for your cat and can give you peace of mind that they’re receiving the love and care they need while you’re away.
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