Leaving A Cat Alone
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Unfortunately, due to the accelerated rhythm of our days, they sometime don’t allow us to dedicate as much time to our felines as we would like to. It seems to be normal that a majority of domestics cats spend a lot of time alone. However, what can occur are symptoms of boredom in your animal, which can accumulate into stress.
In addition to the rise in behavioral problems, sedentary or lonely lifestyles can out your animal at a serious risk for many diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular problems, or sleeplessness.
Are you someone whose cat spends a lot of time alone at home? Are you wondering how to entertain your cat at home alone? In this article by AnimalWised we will offer you some practical and effective tips to keep your cat physically and mentally stimulated.
- How long can you leave a cat alone
- Cat home alone: environmental enrichment
- Toys and accessories to entertain a cat at home alone
- Leaving a cat alone: visual stimuli
- Olfactory stimulation
- Is my cat bored of playing alone?
- Remember to enjoy every moment you spend together with your cat
- Leaving a cat alone for a a week
How long can you leave a cat alone
Yes, cats are incredibly independent animals and many people believe that because of this, they can be left alone for longer than they should. Before moving onto how to entertain a cat at home alone, we need to distinguish how long you can leave a cat at home alone. The first thing you need to take into account is your cat’s age. Naturally, younger cats or kittens will struggle alone at home, while it might not be as difficult or stressful for older cats. In fact, we don’t recommend leaving your cat at home alone for more than 2-3 days.
If, however, you do leave your cat alone, there are some things you need to consider. These such things include, leaving your cat with enough water and food, managing its litter box and most importantly, keeping it entertained.
For more on how to keep a cat entertained at home alone, read below.
In addition, we recommend taking a look at our article, how long can you leave a cat alone?
Cat home alone: environmental enrichment
When a cat is left alone and has no one to play with, try make sure that it is surrounded by an enriched environment. This environment allows it to able to exercise its body and mind, and not get bored. The concept of environmental enrichment is very broad and encompasses several different factors that allow us to offer a better quality of life to our pets. To enrich the environment of your cat, you can resort to objects (toys, scrapers, shelves to climb, hiding places), and sensory stimuli, such as smells, images and interactive toys that awaken and stimulate the senses of cats.
It is important that you do not overload the environment of your cat so as not to confuse it or limit its circulation space. The areas of feeding, grooming, rest and fun must be well separated from each other. This allows for better hygiene and respect the needs of our animals.
Toys and accessories to entertain a cat at home alone
In pet shops you can find many toys, fake mice, hiding places and fun structures for your cat. You can also make your own homemade DIY toys to entertain and tire-out your cat.
Do not forget to guarantee the safety of your cat when choosing or making a toy. You should not offer your cat any objects of reduced size. These elements can get stuck in your feline's throat, which can lead to suffocation. The ingestion of foreign bodies by your animal can cause irritation and digestive tract diseases, such as gastritis.
We recommend also making sure that the activities are not frustrating for your pets. The game of pursuing a laser light, for example, proposes an unattainable prey to the feline, which generates frustration and irritability. Try an introduce positive and fun activities which allow for your animal to exercise their natural instincts.
Leaving a cat alone: visual stimuli
The simplest way to offer visual stimulation to a cat is to leave a window open where it can look outside. The ideal situation would be to allow for the feline to observe the movement of people and other animals. A cat will relish in environmental stimuli. But. that this view should not be directed to any unreachable prey, such as pigeons or other birds, as this could generate extreme frustration and stress for our animals.
Your cat's sense of smell is powerful, and it plays an important role in his understanding of the world and in the way he interacts with the environment. Therefore, it is very important to stimulate these senses as much as possible. Catnip, for example, is usually very effective for the olfactory stimulation of domestic cats.
Is my cat bored of playing alone?
If your cat is spending a lot of time outside the house, its possible that your cat showing signs of boredom. If this happens, it may be a good time to think about giving him or her a companion of its own. However, it is very important that you know the personality of your feline and consider whether coexistence with another individual will do it any good. If you notice that that your cat is in fact sociable, you should strongly consider adopting another.
It is worth remembering that your cat should be socialized with other cats. This is necessary to ensure it will be accepting of a new cat in its own territory. In addition, it will help to know how to present the new cat to your own. We recommend doing this to stimulate a good coexistence in your home.
Also, it is important to remember that your cats should not be forced to share their objects and environments, so each one of them should have their own toys, feeding troughs, drinking troughs, sandboxes and resting areas. This is done to avoid competition and stress, that can occur between two cats.
Remember to enjoy every moment you spend together with your cat
Although you can provide the best toys and sensory stimuli for your cat, its physical and mental well-being will also depend on the attention and affection you offer daily. Thus, do not let yourself be overcome by fatigue or stress after a day's work. Reserve half an hour a day to play with your cat. The idea is to try create quality moments between you and your cat that will do you both a world of good.
There are many fun and simple activities you can do together with your cat. You can play ball or hide and seek and use the "magic wand" to stimulate its hunting instinct. You can also propose a game of "fishing adventure" by throwing your favorite toy tied to a string as bait for your cat to catch. It is always important to remember to congratulate your cat with a treat or a caress. We do this to show that we recognize their effort and encourage them to continue learning and discovering new experiences.
Leaving a cat alone for a a week
As mentioned above, we have suggested many ways for keeping your cat occupied for the day while, for example, you are at work. But what do you do if you leave for a longer period of time? Perhaps, you have to leave your cat alone while on vacation? We have a couple of suggestions for you.
You can ask a friend to look after your cat; this will ensure that your cat is being fed and receiving companionship and routine while you are away. Another option is to ask your neighbor to feed and spend a couple of minutes with your cat everyday, making sure that your animal is well stimulated by daily interaction. The third option is to call a professional pet sitter, although this might be an expensive option, it will guarantee your cat is getting all the care it needs while you enjoy your holiday.
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