Katze allein lassen

Leaving a Cat Alone

Animal lovers dream of it: a fluffy companion that follows us every step of the way and accompanies us in every situation in life. However, having a pet also means responsibility and time constraints. Because like us humans, animals like cats need company – but also time for themselves. So our cats have to learn to stay alone sometimes. We explain to you how your velvet paw feels comfortable and how you can leave the house carefree and how long it usually lasts.

Can I leave my cat alone?

Of course, you don't have to stay at home around the clock and keep an eye on your cat – your cat will probably even be happy about his peace and quiet so that he can watch over your kingdom freely. However, you should only leave your cat alone under these conditions :

  • If you have an outdoor cat at home, make sure that the cat flap works so that your darling can go in at any time. If you don't feel comfortable with your cat roaming around outside in your absence, you should close the cat flap as soon as it's inside.
  • If you leave your indoor cat alone, you should provide them with enough toys so that they can keep themselves busy and occupy themselves. In order to offer her variety, the playing possibilities vary at best. How about a fishing rod hanging from her scratching post or various balls that you scatter around the apartment?
  • If your cat is alone, there are several things you should do: Make sure your cat has access to water and to their clean litter box.
  • Make sure your home is cat-proof. For example, make sure that the windows are properly locked and that your cat does not have access to the balcony.
  • Cats are smart! Keep in mind that many of our fluffy friends can open doors. So your darling could gain access to rooms where he is not normally without your presence. So include things like medication that can be dangerous for your pet.
  • It's also important that your furry friend can sleep well when you're away. Especially if you're only out of the house for a few hours a day, your cat will sleep most of the time during that time. She often prefers to have her active or cuddle time in your company. So make sure she has a comfortable place to sleep , such as in a cat cave or a cat bed.

Leave Cat Alone with Neck Brace

If your cat has to wear a neck brace, you should not leave it alone if possible. Animals such as dogs or cats often get a neck brace after an operation or medical procedure, as the wound must not be licked. Constant licking can prevent rapid healing, as the wound keeps reopening. However, a neck brace can severely affect your cat:

  • Many cats feel uncomfortable with a neck brace and cannot orient themselves as usual, for example because they have a smaller field of vision.
  • In addition, it is possible that your cat will not be able to get to its usual sleeping place with a neck brace, as scratching furniture such as cat caves often have smaller openings through which it does not fit with the neck brace.
  • Due to the helplessness with a neck brace, cats are usually more skittish than usual. For example, if your cat is frightened by a loud noise in the hallway or on the street and cannot seek shelter at its usual berth or with you, this can cause great stress.

In general, you should only leave your cat alone if they are in good health . Because she should always combine being alone with relaxation, which is only possible if she feels comfortable. Therefore, you should not let your pet out of your sight even after a vaccination - also to be able to intervene in case of possible side effects and, if necessary, to be able to drive quickly to the veterinarian, such as in case of fever or swelling of the injection site.

Leaving a cat alone on New Year's Eve

Ideally, you shouldn't leave your cat alone on New Year's Eve. The firecrackers and rockets can trigger severe panic attacks and stress in our four-legged friends. If your cat can seek shelter with you, this can help him to survive the exciting night more relaxed. If she has to do this alone, the fear she experiences can have a lasting influence on her behavior.

Leave the cat alone during acclimatization

When a cat moves in with you, it is confronted with many impressions: new smells, habits, people and a new environment in general. Therefore, in order for your cat to feel comfortable and safe, it takes time to process everything. In order not to overwhelm your cat, you should not leave him alone during his acclimatization to his new home. Just as she needs to get used to your apartment, she needs to get to know you. If you leave her alone for several hours at first, she will have a harder time building trust and bonding with you.

Leave the cat alone overnight

If you have practiced being alone with your cat and it is not a problem for him, you can also leave him alone overnight. In fact, cats usually prefer to be alone in their familiar environment overnight rather than being housed elsewhere.

Our tip: If you don't feel comfortable leaving your cat alone for a long time, you can arrange for a cat sitter such as a neighbor or a person who knows your cat well to look after him in your pet's familiar environment. If no care can be found, you can take your cat to a cat kennel, which he has previously been able to get to know step by step.

How do I teach my cat to stay alone?

In order for your cat to stay relaxed at home alone, you should train to stay alone with him. Here's how to do it :

  1. Short period of time: Start by leaving your cat alone for just a few minutes . For the time being, you can only go into a room of your apartment without your four-legged companion and lock the door in front of it.
  2. Reward: If you go back to her and she has mastered your absence without scratching at the door or complaining loudly meowing, you should reward her with a treat, a play or a cuddle.
  3. Gradually increase the duration: If your cat can tolerate short periods of time well, you can slowly increase the duration. At first, try to be out of sight for a quarter of an hour, and gradually increase the time to half an hour, to a whole hour, and finally several hours at a time. Only move on to the next level if it is easy for your cat to be left alone. If he still has problems with it and is very stressed when you come back, he is not ready yet - then shorten the duration of your absence a little again.
  4. Extend the distance: As you increase the amount of time, you can also move further away from your home. In the beginning, it's enough to just change rooms. If you are away for a quarter of an hour or more, you should also go out the front door. To make yourself feel safe, you can also wait outside the door and listen for noises inside the apartment or set up a camera to keep an eye on your darling.

If you gradually increase the duration of your absence and the distance to your cat, he will soon be able to stay relaxed alone!

Max from the stylecats® team:

"My Tom was reluctant to stay alone even after a long training, even trashed the apartment and tormented the neighbors with loud meows! Unfortunately, sometimes there is no other way! At some point I got a second cat – my Paul. Since Paul has arrived, Tom has been much calmer. He seems to feel comfortable now even when I'm not there, because when I come home, he always greets me in a very relaxed way!"

How long can I leave my cat alone?

Loneliness has a huge impact on the health of our house cats and should not be underestimated. If your cat feels lonely, it may develop depression or behavioral disorders such as aggression or uncleanliness. Therefore, pay close attention to your furry friend and do not leave him alone too often for a long period of time.

If your cat has enough to do, enough food and access to water, he can usually stay alone for up to 24 hours without any problems and even enjoy the storm-free house! If it also has company from conspecifics, the time span can be extended.

Leaving cats alone on holidays and weekends

A weekend trip or a holiday leaving everyday life behind for a few days – with a cat as a pet, that's no problem. If she is used to being alone for several hours, you can leave her alone for a few days on vacation and weekends under certain conditions. It is important that she has access to her litter box as well as food and water at all times. If you leave your pet alone for several days, make sure that a cat sitter who your cat knows well regularly takes care of her and checks on her: After all, her litter box should be cleaned or water refilled.

Our tip: To ensure that your cat can eat when they want, you can set up an automatic feeder that provides them with dry food at their convenience. Don't forget to practice using the machine with her beforehand.

What cat can stay alone?

Which cat can stay alone and how long it can endure it stress-free depends on various factors:

  • Character and behavior: If you have a balanced, self-contained house cat who prefers to escape the hustle and bustle of the house rather than be in the middle of it, it will also be easier for him to be alone. If, on the other hand, your cat is very jumpy and flinches at every sound, staying alone is often a challenge for him. Some furry friends also need a lot of activity, which is best provided by playing together. If these cats are alone for a long time, there is a risk that they will let loose on furniture.
  • Age: Kittens need a lot of social contact and need even more supervision than adult cats, so you shouldn't leave your kitten alone for more than 2 to 4 hours during the first few months.
  • Breed: There are also breeds that, due to their characteristics, can stay alone better than others – e.g. the British Shorthair, the Maine Coone, the Norwegian Forest Cat, the Russian Blue or the Persian Cat.

Conclusion: With a little training and time to get used to it, you can leave your cat alone at home with peace of mind. Make sure she has enough to drink and eat while you're away. In addition, she should have plenty of opportunities to occupy herself and always be able to use her litter box. Does your cat tolerate being alone well and maybe even enjoy its peace and quiet? Or does your lonely cat find it difficult to relax when you're not by his side? Feel free to tell us about your experiences!

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