How Long Is Too Long To Leave a Cat Alone at Home?

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How Long Is Too Long To Leave a Cat Alone at Home

People seem to love cats because of how low-key they are. Sometimes, people think they do not need to care about how long you can leave a cat alone.

It is true that cats are low-key animals and do not require as much attention as some other animals. For instance, dogs cannot be left alone for long periods since they get lonely and need to go outdoors to use the washroom.

With cats, you do not need to worry about staying with them 24/7 since they are pretty good at taking care of themselves. However, this does not mean that you should leave your cat unattended! Read our guide in detail to understand exactly how long you can leave a cat alone and what precautions you should take to ensure they stay happy and protected. 

Can I Leave My Cat Home While I’m at the Office?

The most common question that pet owners ask us is how long you can leave a cat alone while working. After all, not all cat owners have a family member who can stay at home to look after their feline friends. The good news for these people is that, according to vets, you can leave your cat alone while you are at work. However, there is a catch here.

The average workday is usually described as 9 am to 5 pm or a span of 8-9 hours. If you work in a particular industry where your shifts are long, say, 12-16 hours, you should consider some of the other options in our guide on how long you can leave a cat alone in more detail.

A ginger cat is lying on white carpet

If you have an 8-9 hours shift, your cat should be fine if you keep its water and food bowl filled so that it does not go hungry. When it comes to defecation and urination, your cat can easily use the litter box inside the house to relieve itself. This independent and mature nature of cats is what makes it so easy to leave them at home even when you go to the office, and you know for sure how long you can leave a cat alone!

Can My Cat Spend a Night Without Me?

The next common question from pet owners is how long you can leave a cat alone if you have to go somewhere overnight? It is not unusual that you may have to travel out of the city because of family events, emergencies, or work-related issues. So what should you do about your feline friend when such an event comes? Well, according to vets, if you have to go somewhere for 12-14 hours, then it may be possible to leave your cat home unattended.

However, if going somewhere overnight means you are taking a whole day trip that can last about 24 hours, you should think about making some alternative arrangements for your cats. This is because leaving cats alone for a whole day is not recommended and can be detrimental to their physical and mental well-being.

Portrait of a cute cat sleeping

What Can I Do To Keep My Cat Busy?

Now that you know how long you can leave a cat alone, what can you do to make this time easier for your cat? After all, like human beings, cats get lonely and bored too, because of which you need to ensure that they stay occupied. If cats stay bored or unoccupied for prolonged periods, they can become lazy and anxious.

This is why vets recommend that you take plenty of measures to ensure that your feline friend has something to keep itself occupied when you are at work or somewhere outside.

You can do this by keeping some toys to keep your cat occupied. These can be fluffy balls or other sorts of play-alone toys. Just remember that none of the toys should pose a choking hazard to your cat since it is not safe for them to stay alone with such toys. So, if you are asking how long can I leave my cat alone, the answer is that you can leave them for 8-9 hours. However, even during this time, you should give them things to do so that they do not feel your absence too much.

An Abyssinian kitten is playing alone in the living room

Do I Need a Pet Sitter?

Are you wondering how long you can leave a cat alone in the long term? Well, as we told you, vets do not recommend leaving cats unsupervised for more than 24 hours. However, life goes on, and you may often need to go out of the city for a long period.

Not all places allow cats, and you may be forced to leave your feline friend alone. In this scenario, hire a responsible pet sitter. Such sitters can come and meet your cat, feed them, clean the litter and spend a little time with them. While sitters are not a substitute for you, they are still a good way of ensuring that your cat stays safe.

Does the Cat’s Age Make Any Difference?

If you are asking about how long you can leave a cat alone, the answer to this greatly depends on your cat’s age. If your cat is young, about 3-6 weeks, it needs feeding almost every 4-6 hours.

Due to this, you should not leave them alone for more than 7-8 hours at one time. Similarly, suppose your cat is on the older side and needs medication. In that case, you can not leave it alone for long periods either since whatever disease your senior cat has can worsen if its medication is not administered properly.

Sleeping Norwegian Forest cat

Should I Make Some Pre-arrangements?

When people ask us how long can cats be left alone, we tell them that irrespective of the time, they should make arrangements to keep an eye on their cat wherever they are. This means that cat owners who know they will be away long should invest in cat monitors and cameras.

You can connect these devices with your phone, and whether you are at work or on a weekend getaway, you can keep an eye on the cats. In case there is an emergency, you can ask someone nearby to reach your cat immediately.


We hope that our guide answered your question of how long I can leave a cat alone. The basic answer is that you can safely leave a cat unsupervised in your home for about 8-9 hours. However, this answer is not true for every cat since a range of factors may make your cat unsuitable for being left alone for such long periods.

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