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How Long Can You Leave a Cat Alone?

Although cats are known to be more independent than dogs, they, too, can feel lonely and need attention from their owners to stay healthy and happy. Our vets in Lafayette will explain how long cats can be left alone and provide tips on ensuring your cat's well-being, safety, and happiness while you are away.

The Independent Cat Myth

Many cat owners know that their feline companions are much more sociable than people usually think. However, the question that arises is whether cats get lonely or not. Just like humans, cats also have different personalities.

While some cats may prefer their own company and be consistently aloof, others may happily greet their owners at the door and follow them around the house meowing.

Thus, some cats may adjust better to being alone than others based entirely on their personalities, but all cats need their people, albeit some more than others.

Your Cat's Age When Leaving Them Alone

It's important to remember that cats that are very young, very old, or have underlying health issues may require more attention than healthy middle-aged cats. These cats tend to be more vulnerable and may need extra care, especially when left alone. If you have kittens, senior cats, or cats with medical conditions, make sure to give them the attention and care they need to stay healthy and happy.

Kittens & Young Cats

It is recommended to feed kittens three or four times a day on average until they reach six months of age. Young cats can get into trouble when not supervised. If your kitten is under four months old, avoid leaving them alone for more than four hours at a time. If you anticipate that your cat will need to get used to being alone due to your lifestyle, start training them by gradually increasing the time you are out of the house. You may ask your vet for specific instructions on how to get your kitten used to being home alone.

Once your kitten is six months old, if you have to be away for an extended period, it is recommended that you have a friend or family member take care of your cat at their house. If that's not possible, have someone visit your place once or twice daily to check on your cat. This will ensure your cat is safe, has enough food to eat, and gets some social interaction to relieve boredom.

If you have a young kitten and need to be away from home for more than two to four hours, pet boarding is an ideal solution. Many boarding facilities offer high-quality care for cats of any age, complete with lots of love and attention.

Healthy Adult Cats

If you need to leave your healthy and middle-aged cat alone for a day or two, there are some factors that you should consider. It will depend upon your cat's personality, your living conditions, and whether they are used to being alone.

You should ensure that the temperature in your home is moderate and that there is enough dry food and clean drinking water for your cat to consume while you're away.

Also, make sure to clean the litter box completely before you leave. If you want to prevent your cat from feeling lonely and getting into trouble, you can consider taking them to a trusted pet boarding facility in your neighborhood.

This will give you peace of mind, knowing that your furry friend is being cared for while you are away.

Senior Cats & Cats With Underlying Health Conditions

Senior cats can be easily affected by changes in their daily routines, leading to stress and health issues such as stomach problems. Additionally, it is common for elderly cats to require extra feedings or medication during the day.

For these reasons, leaving your senior cat alone is not advisable overnight. Fortunately, many pet boarding facilities offer round-the-clock care for pets that need extra attention, making boarding a suitable option for elderly or unwell cats.

However, if you must leave your senior cat at home, having someone visit your house twice a day to check on them is recommended. It would be best to discuss with your vet how long they believe your senior cat can be left alone safely since they know your cat's health and needs better than anyone else.

Tips for Leaving Your Cat When You Need to Be Away

If you are planning to be away from home for an extended period, it is recommended that you seek advice from your veterinarian to determine if there are any concerns about leaving your cat alone. Your vet is familiar with your cat's health issues and is in the best position to provide guidance on maintaining your cat's well-being. In the meantime, here are a few suggestions to ensure that your cat remains safe while you are away:

  • We strongly recommend that you have someone check on your cat once or twice a day while you are gone to ensure your kitty is safe and has enough food and water for the duration of your absence.
  • Consider leaving a radio or TV on so your cat can hear voices while you are away. It could help alleviate your cat's boredom.
  • Ensure that your cat has plenty of clean water in a bowl that will not tip over and spill. Cat water fountains are available from pet stores. These handy devices can help your cat's water stay fresher and cleaner while you're gone.
  • Provide your cat with enough food for the duration of your time away. You may want to invest in an automated pet feeder to rotate the food and keep it fresher.
  • If your cat is particularly fussy about their litter box, you may want to leave 2 clean and fresh litter boxes out for them.
  • Check the weather and ensure your thermostat is set so your home will remain comfortable while you're away.
  • Bring your kitty to a local pet boarding facility. Cat boarding facilities can provide your feline friend with a clean place to stay where they will be well cared for, and given lots of human interaction.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Are you planning on being away from home? Our pet boarding facilities at St. Francis Veterinary Hospital can provide your cat with a safe and welcoming home away from home. Contact our Lafayette vets today to learn more or to schedule your kitty's stay.

New patients are always welcome.

We look forward to meeting your beloved pet at St. Francis Veterinary Hospital.

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151 S Beadle Rd Lafayette LA 70508 US


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    • Tuesday:07:30 am - 05:30 pm
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