How Long Can You Leave a Cat Alone For?

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Although there’s a conception that cats are highly independent, this does not apply to all cats, especially domestic cats. Pet cats are incredibly affectionate and often seek their owner’s love, validation, and attention. Although domestic cats tend to be independent with age, making it possible for you to leave them home alone while you’re away at work, leaving them alone for long hours can harm their health and create anxiety issues. Usually, in the case of an adult cat, you shouldn’t leave it alone for more than 12 hours per day.

Check out this article to learn how long you can leave your cat home alone, depending on their age. We’ll also provide you with the best tips for ensuring their safety while you are not present with them.

How Long Can Cats Be Left Alone?

If you are confused about how long you can leave your feline friend alone in the house, let this article help you. Due to instincts, cats are born to be independent. They portray a sense of individuality and often love spending time alone, either playing, exploring, or simply sleeping.

This unique quality of cats undoubtedly makes them low-maintenance pets. However, domestic cats can feel lonely when left alone for too long.

Since domestic cats get used to being in contact with one or more humans, they often find it difficult to stay alone for long periods without any attention.

Also, the age of the cat plays a significant factor here. Here’s how, depending upon your cat’s age, you can leave it in its own company:

  • Kittens

Kittens are susceptible and constantly need warmth and affection, so they should not be deserted for long hours. They are also inquisitive, which might lead them to dangerous activities if they remain unsupervised.

Another primary reason for not leaving your kitten alone is that it has a growing stomach that requires frequent feeding. Hence, if you have a kitten at home, do not leave it unsupervised for more than a few hours.

  • Adult Cats

Adult cats are much more independent than kittens and can protect themselves from danger. They also have a proper eating and sleeping routine established by now. Hence, you can leave the house without worrying after feeding your adult cat properly.

However, do not leave your feline friend alone for more than 12 hours daily, as it can trigger severe anxiety issues and depression in them.

  • Senior Cats

Cats older than 5 years of age require the utmost care and supervision. If you have a senior cat at your home, leaving it unattended for long hours can be unsafe for its health.

Hence, if you need to travel outside, ensure that you hire a nanny or call a friend to take care of your cat while you are gone.

Tips on Leaving Cats Home Alone

If you are a working individual, you will have no other choice but to leave your cat home alone, leading you to anxiety throughout the day.

You can hire a nanny for your cat, but it might get expensive. So, most people prefer to leave their cat home alone when off to work. However, multiple tips make it much easier to leave your cat home alone. The tips are as follows:

1. Feed Your Cat Before Leaving

Before you leave for work, you must feed your kitty adequately. Serve the food in filling portions to ease their appetite. Installing a cat water fountain can also help prevent dehydration in your cat.

2. Use an Automatic Feeder

Although you should feed your cat before leaving the house, keeping an automatic feeder will enable them to avail fresh food and water even if you are not present. So, if your cat suddenly feels hungry or thirsty while you are not at home, keeping an automatic feeder will significantly help.

3. Use an Automatic Litter Box

Since cats prefer a clean litter box, they often refrain from using it if it is dirty. If you are away at work, it might be difficult for you to clean your cat’s litter box daily.

So, you can bring home an automatic cleaning cat litter box to solve this issue. It will ensure your cat finds a neat and clean tray whenever necessary.

4. Provide Safe Toys

Before you leave the house, provide your cat with plenty of safe toys. Some toys might contain small parts, which can lead to choking. Hence, only introduce safe toys for your cat to play with throughout the day.

Signs of Loneliness in Cats Due to Being Left Alone

These are the following signs that cats exhibit when left alone at home for a long time:

SymptomsWhat Does It Imply?
Excessive Self-GroomingExcessive grooming indicates loneliness and depression.
IsolationIt is a symptom of separation anxiety.
Excessive MeowingIt indicates the cat’s need for attention, which is exhibiting loneliness.

Managing Loneliness in Cats

Leaving a cat emotionally unattended can severely damage its overall mental and physical health. Hence, if you are working, reassure your cat daily to prevent it from feeling lonely.

To manage their loneliness, the most important thing you should do is establish a daily play routine before and after work. However, if you have a busy schedule before going to work, you must have sufficient time once you return home.

Maintaining a regular play routine with your kitty will help deepen their bond with you and prevent it from succumbing to loneliness.

If your pet gets bored with the regular games, you can try new games daily to keep them active and engrossed.

Cats are very interested in puzzle and block games, which help them maintain good mental health. You can even install cat posts to encourage more physical activity. In this regard, you can purchase MECOOL’s Cat Scratching Post, one of the best cat posts to install.

However, in addition to setting up a daily play session, you should cuddle your cat affectionately once free from work. It will help your pet realize that it is loved and not alone.


Follow the above-stated tips and strategies to ensure your cat stays safe and sound when home alone. However, if you find your cat developing unusual habits or exhibiting symptoms you have never encountered before when leaving home alone, consult the vet for expert assistance.

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