How Long Can You Leave a Cat Alone – The Definitive Guide

August 21, 2020 // 10 minute read

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Most people think that cats are independent, aloof, and will survive even when left alone. However, that’s not as true as you might think. Yes, some cats like being independent and away from any human contact, but other cats love being around humans and often look for companionship with people.

There is a certain period of time that you can leave them to their own devices but it’s not as long as you might be thinking. In this article, we will find out how long you can leave your furry friend alone in the house. We will also discuss what things you should consider before leaving them for long periods of time (such as cat toys to entertain indoor cats). Furthermore, we will be giving you some indoor cat tips on what to do if you really need to leave for something important.

How Long Can You Leave a Cat Alone

How Long Is Too Long?

A lot of people get cats as pets because they are said to be low-maintenance and are okay to leave for certain periods of time as opposed to dogs that need a lot of care and attention. That statement holds some truth in it but it is not entirely true. Some cats crave for the attention and care that other pets crave for too. Some may even say that they suffer every time that you leave them.

You might be asking, “So how long is too long?” Well, experts say that leaving your felines for 24 hours is the maximum amount. During this time, they could do just fine without any supervision from any human. Anything longer than that you might want to consider options on how you want to deal with this dilemma. Further down this article, we will be talking about what you can do when taking long vacations and not bringing your cats with you.

What To Consider Before Leaving Your Cat

It is understandable that there are some places that you can’t go with your pet cat. The most ideal thing to do sometimes is just to leave them at home. If you are just going to work for the day, it would be completely fine, but if you are to leave for a business trip for a couple of days, you might want to think about how you are going to do it and what concerns might you have when you do leave them alone for that long.

Here are some of the things that you should consider before leaving your cat to their own devices:

Age Matters

How young or old your cat makes a huge difference when you attempt to leave them alone. Kittens require more attention and care from their humans. They need to be fed at least every 4-6 hours. If you are to leave a kitten, consider how they are going to be fed during those times that you are not there when they need someone to take care of them.

Senior cats just like kittens may need a little extra help going through life as a cat. They may need to be fed as well as take some medication as they get older. Now we all know, that they cannot do that by themselves. Later on in this article, we will be giving some tips on how you can handle this predicament.

Killing Boredom

Contrary to popular belief, cats do get bored. No matter how independent or aloof they may seem, there is a part of them that wants to do things like playing, climbing, or scratching. Lucky for you if your cat can play by themselves. However, there are some that need someone to play with. Cats keeping each other company might work, but what do you do when you only have one cat?


Most cats do not like change. Any change in what they do daily and they get fussy, just like some people that I know. Owning a cat will allow you to discover how much they love routine and very little changes or no changes at all.

Your absence for quite a long period will be a major change in that routine. Consider how that will affect your feline friend in those circumstances. There are many things that you can do to allow your cat to not feel the temporary changes in their routine that much and we will be talking about that in just a bit.


Perhaps the most important thing that you need to consider out of this whole list is your cat’s safety while you are away. As you might know, cats can get themselves in quite a bit of trouble from time to time.

They can get stuck in small spaces, accidentally get out of your house, and even as simple as a scratch on some of your furniture at home.


What Problems Can Occur?

Leaving your cat alone for more than a day can end in cat-astrophe! Get it?

Joking aside, cats being alone in the house for more than 24 hours can seriously harm or injure them. Here are some problems that may take place while you are away with your cat impatiently waiting for your return.

  • Food and Water supply might run empty
  • Food may spoil while you are away
  • They might get sick or injured
  • Full litter boxes resulting in soiling your house
  • Cats can get depressed and anxious while you are away

These are only a few things that can occur when you leave them alone for more than a day. Accidents happen that you can not foresee. The water you leave may spill and completely leave them dry for the time you are not there.

Mental health is also a big issue when it comes to cats. They can also feel very anxious while you are away. Just like what we talked about cats loving their routine. Injuries and sudden illness can also befall your kitty when leaving them alone.

Do not fret because there are some things that you can do to keep your cat comfortable while you take that business trip or enjoy your vacation.

Tips For Leaving Your Cat Alone

Again, there will come a time that you just really have to leave your cat at home while you take a very important trip where you cannot take them with you.

You need not worry because we’re here to give you some tips for when you really have to leave your cat at home alone whether it be just for the day or for a couple of days.

Food And Water

Needless to say that you have to leave your cat an ample amount of food and water enough for them to be doing just fine for however long you are away.

There are cat feeders available in stores today that allows you to automatically feed your furry friend even when you are not there. Cat feeders are great because you can set the time for when you actually need to feed your cats. This is perfect for those who only need to leave their cat for the day.

However, this can also work for those who are to leave their place of residence for a couple of days. Of course, you will need someone to check up on your cat during those times.

Pet Sitter

Talking about somebody checking up on your cat, pet sitters are great to have. This can be a friend, a neighbor, or a family member who can look after your cat for a couple of days while you are away.

They don’t have to be there all day but checking up on them every now and then can really help with so many things. They can help with feeding especially with kittens and senior cats.

If ever you do find somebody to whom you can entrust your cat with, that will e perfect. This is great for the routine and companionship that your cat almost always longs for. This is the most viable option for when you are leaving for quite some time. This will also be great for your cat’s anxiety and mental health.


We all love seeing our cats play with their toys. That pure joy that you see when they are enjoying themselves with as simple as a stuffed toy.

Boredom also exists with cats and it happens quite a lot. They often get bored while you are not at home. Luckily, there are toys that allow cats to play on their own. This can serve as entertainment while you are at work, or on a business trip.

Automatic toys that can entertain cats are what it’s all about these days. There interactive electronic toys that will allow your cat to kill their boredom. Toys like the Interactive Cat Laser will help your feline friend to play and exercise while not having you around.

Some people even say that their cats learn how to turn the toys on themselves and entertain themselves.

Plan Ahead

This is the most crucial part of this whole thing. You need to be able to plan what happens when you leave your cat alone for more than a day.

You have to consider all the things above when you start planning your trip. That’s right. Planning a trip not only means scheduling your itineraries but also what happens at home with your cats while you are away.

If you don’t have a clear plan on what you need right before you leave, trust and believe that when you get back, you will be having a hard time readjusting your cat with a new routine.

Do not be afraid to ask from friends in the community or family members because they know how important your feline friend is to you. I’m sure they will be glad to help. If you cannot find anyone that can help you in your time of need, there are pet hotels that will accept and take care of your cat for you during your trip.

Our Final Thoughts

Leaving your cat at home shouldn’t be that difficult. Planning out your trip with your cat in mind will surely keep the boat sailing smoothly. You just have to make sure that they have enough food and water to last the duration of your trip.

Cat toys and cat furniture can definitely help with that also. These can provide entertainment for your cat while they are alone in the house for a while. Stuffed toys, cardboard boxes, and scratching posts will make them happy even though you are to leave them by themselves.

One thing that you should also keep in mind the safety of your cat. Make sure that there is no way for your cat to leave the house by themselves. In cases like these, you can secure all exits and windows to make sure that they do not wander off. In these times, microchips can track your cat with the help of your mobile phone.

However independent or aloof your cat may seem, they will always want the company of humans, especially yours. So while you are away, do not forget to seek help from anyone in your inner circle or community that can take care of your feline friend during your trip. This will ensure your cat’s safety and mental health.

No matter how long you may need to leave your furry friend at home, always take note that 24 hours is the maximum amount of time that you can leave them without supervision. Anything longer than that, you will need to consider options like pet sitters.

If you need more tips on what you can do to keep your cat entertained, click here to check out our article on “How Do I Keep My Indoor Cat Entertained?“.

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