Secret Life of Cats? What Your Cat Does When Home Alone
4 Feb 2024.
You’ve probably always wondered what your cat does whenever they’re home alone. Does your kitty miss you when you’re not around? Or does Mr Whiskers simply forget you ever existed? Cat in a Flat uncovers the truth behind the secret life of cats and what they do when they’re home alone.
Table of contents
What does my cat do when home alone?
What does your cat really do when home alone? While your kitty does miss you when you’re gone, they’re unlikely to sit around pining and waiting for your return. This is because your cat will probably spend most their time home alone sleeping. Felines need around 18 hours of sleep a day. Hence, nap time is one of the best ways for your kitty to stave off separation anxiety. If they have plenty of window perches, interactive toys to play with on their own, and food and water, your fur friend will most likely sleep while you’re gone.
Of course, if your cat is sleeping most of the day this could mean that they’ll be more active during the night while you’re home (and trying to get your own shut-eye). Make sure you take steps to prevent your cat from waking you up at night.
Should I leave my cat home alone?
Despite popular belief, companionship is often just as important to felines as it is to dogs. Your cat loves having you around so that they can nap on your lap or simply hang out with you. However, if you have to head off to work every day, don’t stress. Leaving your kitty alone shouldn’t be a problem, as long as you provide a cat friendly environment for them while you’re away.
- Make sure your cat has plenty of food and water before you leave the house. Try to feed your fur friend a meal before you leave for work. When you get home, feed Mr Whiskers their second meal. This will prevent grazing (where your feline eats freely throughout the day), overeating, and a potentially overweight cat. Always make sure Mr Whiskers has multiple water sources throughout the house too.
- Clean the litter box. One of the keys to a happy cat is a tidy toilet. Clean your kitty’s litter box at least once a day. If you leave your cat home alone with a dirty litter box, they may act out by going somewhere else—like on your carpet!
- Provide plenty of entertainment for your cat. Place a few cat trees around the house so your kitty can climb and get a view out the window. These also double as scratching posts so, if bored, your feline is less likely to take it out on your furniture. Leave out interactive toys that are safe for your cat to play with on their own. But remember, solo play is not the same as playtime with you. Keep your cat happy and engaged by spending 10-15 minutes playing with them before you leave for work, and another 10-15 when you get home.
- Arrange at-home cat day care. If you’re feeling particularly anxious about leaving your cat home alone for hours at a time or your cat needs medicine at certain times of the day, you might consider hiring a cat sitter. A trustworthy cat sitter can pop in during the day to feed, play, provide medical care and spend time with your feline.
How to know if your cat is lonely
The domesticated feline’s ancestors were solitary animals; hence most cats are independent and do enjoy time on their own. However, this doesn’t mean that Mr Whiskers can’t get lonely. Because of the bond cats form with their humans, they can get lonely and even depressed if they spend too much time alone. Here’s how to know if your cat is lonely:
- Destructive behaviour. If your cat is breaking things or tearing your furniture to shreds despite having plenty of scratching pads around the house, they could be sulking or feeling upset.
- Loss of appetite or overeating. A healthy appetite is an important marker for how your feline is feeling. If you notice a sudden loss of appetite or that your cat seems to be overeating, they may be lonely while home alone during the day.
- Change in litter box habits. If you’re maintaining a clean litter box but your fur friend is still peeing or pooing outside their designated toilet area, they could be stressed or upset.
- Excessive grooming. Bored or lonely cats will often overgroom. This can lead to bald patches where your feline is obsessively pulling at their fur.
How to keep your cat happy when they’re home alone
Our furry friends love routine. Sticking to the same schedule is one of the best ways to keep your cat happy when they’re home alone.
What if I can’t stick to a feeding schedule for my cat?
What happens if you can’t stick to a feeding schedule for your cat? We all know that felines have a flair for the dramatic. If you’re even five minutes late feeding them, Mr Whiskers will surely act (and sound) like they’re starving to death. Things happen, you could get stuck in traffic or have to stay overtime at work. So, it’s always best to have a plan just in case. One great solution to sticking to a feeding schedule is to buy an automatic feeder. You can set these to consistently feed your cat throughout the day while they’re home alone. A second option is to hire a cat sitter to come in and feed your feline on a schedule.
What if I can’t spend time playing with my cat?
What will happen if I can’t spend time playing with my cat every day? The reality is that, no matter what, you need to prioritise playing with your fur friend daily. Otherwise, your cat could become aggressive or act out in destructive ways. However, there may be times where life gets busier than usual, and you’re worried you simply don’t have the time for consistent playtime. Again, the best solution is to find at-home cat day care for these hectic times. Cat sitters aren’t just for when you go away on trips, they can also come into your home while you’re at work and spend quality time with Mr Whiskers. Remember, even if you do hire a pet sitter to play with your kitty, they are not a replacement for your feline’s favourite human. Try to find even just a few minutes every day to spend quality time with your cat.
What if my cat is still lonely?
You can do everything right and your cat may still feel lonely when they’re home alone. Some cats are more social than others, so your fur friend might benefit from a friend to keep them company. Finding a companion for your cat can be a great solution to feline loneliness. Just remember to take the right steps when introducing a new kitty to your cat, and be sure to check out our blog post on how to keep a multi-cat household happy too!
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- cat home alone
- cat lonely