How Long Can You Safely Leave Your Cat Alone?

How Long Can You Safely Leave Your Cat Alone?

Don’t you wish there was a way to know what your kitty is thinking? Cats are fiercely loyal, independent creatures with a complex psyche. Figuring out how much care your cat needs when you travel can be a major source of stress for cat owners.

Dr. Carlo Siracusa, Director of Animal Behavior Services at the University of Pennsylvania Ryan Hospital for Companion Animals, spoke with PawCulture on the subject of cats and loneliness. He explains that cats “want to share affection in a ‘feline’ fashion, which is a few rubs and sharing the same couch. Keeping proximity is in fact the way that cats show affection.” And yes, he confirms every traveling cat parent’s biggest fear: “If cats don’t have the possibility to share spaces, proximity, and time with their preferred buddies, they will get lonely.”

Anyone who’s spent any significant amount of time with cats isn’t surprised by this, but there are times you will need to leave your cat alone. It gets complicated when you realize that cats love staying home and can be stressed in a boarding facility. That’s why Meowtel offers in-home care. We’ll come to your home so your furball can feel safe. Whether it’s a drop-in during the day, for an overnight, or for a full week, a little preparation will help ensure that your kitty stays happy, comfortable, healthy, and hydrated.

Securing a reliable pet sitter is the most important thing to do. Don’t leave it up to your bestie or a semi-responsible family member. Meowtel cat sitters are professionals that take the job seriously. 

How Long Can You Leave a Cat Home Alone?

Leaving a cat alone during the workday is one thing, and many cats are fine being left alone overnight. But no pet owner should leave their cat on its own for a week. Even if you disregard a cat’s psychological and emotional needs, think about basic survival. What if they get sick? Do you enjoy drinking water that’s been sitting out for several days? What if they become destructive? 

It’s just not a good idea to leave a cat for longer than a day or so without having a house sitter check on them.


Kittens and young cats require extra stimulation, supervision, and socialization. Leaving a kitten alone for long periods can result in destructive behaviors or confusion, leading to incessant meowing that’s sure to bother anyone within earshot. The best way to keep your cat safe is to arrange in-home pet care, so a cat sitter can help with training and provide plenty of love, affection, and playtime while you’re gone.

Older Cats

Adult cats can be left alone for a longer period of time because they’re more self-sufficient. That said, they still have basic needs and need enrichment. Senior cats are more likely to require additional health monitoring. You should always consider your older cat’s temperament if you’re considering leaving them alone for more than a night. A great cat sitter can monitor an older cat’s well-being and share important updates with the pet parents.

Multiple Cats

Being a pet parent to multiple cats is a double-edged sword. Yes, their cumulative needs increase, and yes, the litter tray needs to be cleaned more frequently, but they also have each other's company. But even cats who get along well may get into trouble when left unsupervised. Most pet parents would agree that you never totally know what your cats are up to when left to their own devices. One cat may eat all the food, leaving the other hungry. If they don’t get along, they could wrestle and quarrel, or even get injured. It’s important to have a cat sitter check on them for their well-being. 

What Your Cat Needs When Its Home Alone

A Meowtel cat sitter can care for your pet in every way. They will:

  • Give your cat food
  • Provide fresh water
  • Maintain a clean litter box
  • Administer medications
  • Provide grooming
  • Report on any unusual cat behavior
  • Offer playtime and lots of cuddles

How to Prepare Your Cat to Be Home Alone

  • Create a routine. Have a set routine and schedule for your cat. Be consistent with meal times, access to treats, and the location of the cat bed. 
  • Invest in a water fountain. In addition to being a great source of filtered, clean water, cats are often entertained by the movement and sound of the water.
  • Get a scratching post. A small scratching area can thwart destructive behaviors. A larger cat tree or scratching tower can also offer built-in enrichment and catnip-scented platforms for everyday cat naps. Place it in a window so your cat can watch some Emmy Award-winning squirrel TV.
  • Put your lights on a self-timer. Set them to stay on into the evening for added comfort. 
  • Use an automatic feeder. Rest easier knowing your cat’s food dispenser delivers enough food at the right time of day. If you use wet cat food, it may be an adjustment to switch your cat to dry food, but it can be worthwhile.
  • Buy a self-cleaning litter box. By automatically cleaning the cat’s litter often, they’re less likely to get stressed.
  • Remove dangerous items. If your cat is a countertop surfer, keep things like human food, plastic bags and wrappers, medications, and cleaners out of reach. Remove toxic plants from your home, too. If you have fragile items on the mantle, put them in a safe place where they can’t be knocked down. 

Get a Cat Sitter for an Extended Period

The purrfect cat sitter should meet these three criteria at a minimum:

  • They happily spend time in your home with your pet.
  • They really get cats. Make sure you find someone who understands that cats operate on their own terms.
  • They communicate well. A picture or quick video of your contented fur baby is worth a thousand words.

Elevate your cat's care with Meowtel's expert pet services. We offer in-home cat sitting because we understand your feline friends' desire for comfort. Our professional pet sitters come to your own home, offering a range of visitation choices, from quick 20-minute check-ins to extended 60-minute visits, as well as overnight stays. Plan ahead or contact us for last-minute requests—we customize our services to suit your and your cat's unique needs. Book top-tier care for your kitty and enjoy peace of mind.

Categories: Cat Ownership