How Long Can I Leave My Cat Alone

Cats are great pets. Not only are they adorable and cuddly, but they are also very independent animals. Cats don’t need to be taken out a few times a day to go to the bathroom as dogs do. Cats go to the bathroom in a litter box, and they start at a very young age. Also, using the litter box is instinctive, and cats don’t need the amount of training to be housebroken the way that dogs do. Also, cats don’t need to go for walks to get exercise the way that dogs do. Cats will find ways to exercise on their own. Finally, cats don’t need to be bathed and groomed regularly. Cats are very clean animals, and they handle their grooming themselves. Some long-haired cats can benefit from being brushed once in a while, but overall, they groom themselves. But how long can I leave my cat alone?

Another great thing about cats is that they can be left home alone if you are planning a short trip. As long as there is an adequate amount of food and water available, cats do pretty well on their own. If you are planning a trip and want to know how long you can leave your cat alone, you should understand that there is no one answer to this question. The answer to the question would depend on specific circumstances.


If you have a kitten, it is best not to leave her home for more than a few hours. Kittens need plenty of attention and affection, particularly during the first few months of their lives. If you make it a habit of leaving your kitten alone, she won’t be able to socialize with you, which will impede her social development. Also, young kittens can get scared if they are left home alone for too long.

A Kitten With An Older Cat

If you already have a cat and recently brought a kitten into the home, it is even more critical that you leave them alone for as little time as possible. If your older cat hasn’t accepted the kitten into the family yet, they should not be left alone together. Your older cat will likely hiss, growl, and swat at the kitten, which can cause her to be injured. Until your cat and kitten have become friends, you should not leave them alone together.

If they have bonded and are getting along, it should be alright to leave them home alone for 24 to 48 hours. Because the kitten will have the older cat there to socialize with and keep her company, you should be alright, leaving them alone together for a day or two.

One Adult Cat

If you have just one adult cat, you can safely leave him home alone for 24 hours. Since he is the only pet in the house and you aren’t there, he can get lonely. When this happens, he could stop eating and drinking while you are gone. Because of this, it isn’t a good idea to leave him home alone for more than one day. Some cats tend to become destructive when they are feeling lonely. If your cat is like that, you could come home to torn up carpeting and furniture. The last thing that you want is for your cat to be sad or lonely; therefore, it is best not to leave him alone for more than a day. You could also try using Silvervine.

More Than One Adult Cat

If you have more than one adult cat, you should be able to leave them home alone for 24 to 48 hours. Even though you aren’t home, your cats will have each other to keep themselves company. Your cats won’t get lonely as quickly when they are together, making it safe to leave them for a more extended period of time than a single cat. Just be sure that your cats get along with one another. You don’t want to leave two cats alone who have a tendency to fight because one of them or even both of them could get hurt. It is only safe to leave your cats alone for a day or two if they are friends who always get along.

Senior Cats

Senior cats shouldn’t be left alone for too long. You should only leave your senior cat alone for a quick overnight trip. As a cat gets older, he is more prone to developing medical conditions. If something happens and your cat becomes ill when you aren’t home, he will suffer until you return. Certain medical conditions require immediate medical attention; therefore, you shouldn’t leave your senior cat alone for too long.

Cats With Medical Conditions

If your cat has any chronic medical condition or if he has recently been sick, you should leave him alone for more than a few hours. Cats with medical conditions need to be watched closely just in case medical attention is necessary. If your cat is on any type of medication, you will need to be home in time for his next dose of medicine. Skipping just one dose can be harmful to your cat’s health. If your cat is sick, it is best to stay close to home.

Preparing Your Home For Your Trip

If you are going to be leaving your cat alone for a day or two, you are going to need to be sure that he has everything that he needs while you are gone.

The litter box: Start by cleaning out the litter box right before you leave. If the litter box is filthy, the cat won’t want to use it. This will result in him going to the bathroom on the floor of your home. The last thing that you should do before walking out the door is to clean the litter box. If you have multiple cats, it is best to leave more than one litter box in the home. If one litter box is dirty and the cats no longer want to use it, they will have another clean one to use until your return home.

Food and Water: You are also going to need to leave enough food and water for your cat. Instead of using your cat’s regular bowls, you should use bowls that you can fill with a great deal of food and water that dispenses more when the bowl is empty. These types of bowls will allow you to put enough food and water in the bowl to last him for several days.

Food and treats for cats who tend to overeat: If your cat is the type to keep eating until he gets sick, you won’t be able to leave a bowl that dispenses the food as soon as the bowl is empty. The last thing that you want is for your cat to keep eating until he gets sick. If this is the case with your cat, you can buy a food bowl that has a programmable feeder. These bowls allow you to enter the times that you want your cat’s food to be dispensed during the day. You can also set the amount of food that you want to be dispensed. A bowl like this will prevent your cat from overeating. If your cat is used to getting treats at certain times of the day, you can buy automatic treat dispensers that will allow you to set the timer to dispense the treats during the day.

Doors, windows, and other exit points in the house: Cats are very resourceful creatures. If you aren’t home and your cat starts to get lonely, he might try to get outside to find you. He may try to get outside just to find something to do. To be sure that your cat is safe while you are away, you should make sure that all of the windows are closed and locked. If there are any ways that your cat can get out of the house, make sure that they are closed up tightly.

Microchip: To be on the safe side, you should consider having your cat microchipped before you leave. If somehow your cat does get out and someone finds him, the microchip will contain your contact information. Most veterinarians and shelters have the device to scan the microchip, and they will be able to contact you to let you know that they have your cat. This is a great tool even if you aren’t planning a trip.

Cameras: If you want peace of mind that your cat is alright while you are away, you should consider installing a camera in the home. You can go with an indoor home security camera like Ring or Nest. These cameras will allow you to see what is going on at your home right from your Smartphone or tablet. Most of these cameras have two-way audio. You will be able to hear your cats, and they will be able to hear you. If you want your cat to be able to actually see you, you can purchase a pet camera. These cameras sit on the floor so that your cat can get close to the screen. When you activate the camera from your Smartphone or tablet, your cat will be able to see you on the screen, and you will be able to see him. It is like a cat version of Facetime. If you are worried about your cat missing your or suffering from separation anxiety, this would be the best camera for you.


If you need to be gone for more than a couple of days, you won’t be able to leave your cat alone. There are a few other options that you can consider so that you can take your trip without worrying about your cat being left alone.

Check-in cat sitter: If you are worried about leaving your cat alone for more than a couple of days, you can hire someone to come in and check on your cat a couple of times a day. When the sitter visits your home, they can check on the cat to be sure that he is happy and healthy. They cal also make sure that your cat’s food and water dish are full and give your cat any medication if necessary. Just make sure that you can trust the person that you hire. You need to be sure that they will actually show up at your house when scheduled.

Live-In cat sitter: If you have a cat or cats that cannot be left alone for more than a few hours, you can hire someone to stay at your home with the cats. The person that you choose can stay at your home to make sure that the cats are fed and safe. They will also be there all the time to be sure that there are no issues of fights between the cats. This is the best option if your cat suffers from separation anxiety. If possible, you should hire someone who your cat already knows. This will make him more at ease while you are gone.

Boarding: If you cannot find anyone to check-in or stay with your cat, you can consider taking him to a boarding facility. Most of the reputable facilities won’t keep your cat confined to a cage the whole time that you are gone. A good facility will allow your cat to have playtime outside of the cage. They will also make sure that your cat is fed, has water, and that he is happy. If your cat has medical issues or is old, you should try to find a boarding facility that is affiliated with a veterinarian. This will ensure that your cat will get immediate medical attention if necessary.

Final Thoughts

Leaving your cat home alone is not something that you want to do; however, there are times when it is unavoidable. If you must leave your cat alone, you should be sure not to leave the cat home alone longer than they can handle. You also need to be sure that your cat has everything that he needs to stay happy and healthy while you are gone. Leaving your cat can be difficult, but when you get home, he will be very excited to see you. Don’t be surprised if your cat won’t leave your side when you return home. He is going to want to keep you in his sight just in case you try to leave him again. Leaving your cat home alone can be just as hard on you as it is on him, so try to relax. If you made sure that he is taken care of and has everything that he needs, he would be fine while you are away.

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