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Can cats live alone for 1 day?

How long can you leave a cat alone? Not as long as you think

Your cat might appear fiercely independent, but if you need to be away from home for a while, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your cat can spend long periods alone. Cats can spend hours alone quite happily, but extending that time by days can be stressful and upsetting for your cat, even if he seems to do just fine without you around. If you’re planning a vacation, a work trip, or any other occasion that will keep you out of the home, then it’s also important to plan for your cat’s care and companionship. This can help keep your cat both safe and happy, and it will give you better peace of mind during your time away.


  • How long can you leave a cat alone?
  • Why cats can’t spend long periods alone
  • What your cat’s caregiver should do when you’re away

Orange cat sleeping on a bed with paws outstretched

How long can you leave a cat alone?

According to most vets, cats will be fine when left alone for up to 24 hours, but you shouldn’t go beyond that without having someone available to check on and spend some time with your cat. If you do need to leave your cat alone for 24 hours, make sure he’s securely inside and that all your doors and windows are tightly closed and secured. Leave your cat with plenty of food and put out multiple water dishes so that even if your cat tips one over, he still has access to water.

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Why cats can’t spend long periods alone

Leaving your cat alone for long periods can stress him in multiple ways. Cats are creatures of routine, and it can be upsetting for your cat when that routine is suddenly and significantly changed. Your cat probably knows just what time you arrive home from work each day, and he also expects to be fed at certain times. Changing up that routine is a source of stress, even if it occurs just for a few days.

Although your cat might appear solitary, chances are he depends on your companionship more than you might think. Cats who are lonely or bored can act out in different ways. Your cat might express his stress by excessively grooming himself, resulting in bald patches in his coat or overall thinner hair. Some cats will stop using the litter box or will have accidents throughout the home when they’re stressed or upset. When you get home, your cat might be unusually clingy or might try to avoid and ignore you entirely.

Cat sitting in a cat bed looking out a window

What your cat’s caregiver should do when you’re away

If you have to be away from home for a longer period, like for a vacation, then you’ll need to take some steps to make sure your cat is safe and well cared for. Leaving your cat alone for 24 hours is fine, but for a longer trip, ask a family member or friend to stop by daily. Alternatively, consider hiring a cat sitter to come and care for your cat.

Ask the person caring for your cat to not only clean out the litter box and leave food and water but to also spend some time interacting with the cat. This can help keep your cat from being too bored and lonely, and play sessions and visits can help break up the day. Even if your cat is shy and isn’t willing to socialize with strangers, ask the caregiver to make sure that they locate and visually check on your cat each day to confirm that he’s well.

When planning for a trip, you’ll also need to plan for your cat’s well-being and care. If you know that time away is coming up, try to have the caregiver over for multiple short visits to meet and get to know your cat. The more familiar the caregiver is, the better, and the likelier your cat will be to come out and spend a little time with the caregiver. Be sure to also stock up on important items like cat litter, extra food, and extra medications if your cat is on any. Having extras ready to go can be helpful just in case your trip is unexpectedly extended. With a little planning, you can make your time away as stress-free for your cat — and you — as possible.

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Whisker fatigue: Your cat might have this strange condition without you knowing
What does whisker fatigue look like? Here’s what to know about this condition

A gray cat's close-up side profile in front of a dark background

If your cat is acting unusual when they try to eat or drink, there are a number of problems you’ll want to rule out. Odds are, though, you’re not dealing with a major issue! So instead of worrying, keep an eye on your furry friend and make a note of the symptoms they’re showing or experiencing. While you should contact your vet for any long-term or severe concerns, you just might be able to figure out the problem right at home.
In some cases, it might actually be your cat’s whiskers causing them extra mealtime stress. Felines can suffer from something called whisker fatigue, which is actually more overstimulation than it is fatigue. Still, it’s a relatively new problem that’s gaining attention among veterinarians and pet owners alike — -and it just might be affecting your cat, too.
Here’s what to know about whisker fatigue.

What is whisker fatigue?
Whiskers are so much more than cute little hairs on your kitty’s face. These hairs are also known as tactile hairs or vibrissae, and they help cats perceive a lot of sensory information about the world around them. As Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center explains, the nerve endings at the base of cats’ whiskers «help cats orient themselves, navigate their environment in the dark, hunt for prey (by sensing air currents), and determine whether or not they can fit into a tight space.»

5 sun-warming spots your cat will gravitate to in the spring
Here are the best spots for your cat to laze in the sun

A Russian blue cat sunning herself on the floor near a window

Does your cat have a favorite sun-warming spot? If you have a feline fur baby, then you’ve most likely caught them sprawled out in a strip of sunlight, happily catching the rays. Some cats have a preferred spot they always seek out for sunbathing, while others will find any patch of light they can find to enjoy the sunshine.

You may be wondering, «Do cats actually need sunlight? Why do cats sprawl out on sunny windowsills?» We’ll investigate the reasons our crepuscular critters enjoy sunbathing, and we’ll share a few tips for creating a cozy atmosphere in the five spots your cat is most likely to seek out during the springtime.

The newest TikTok trend is cute, but not great for cats

Seeing a cat cry because you’re chopping onions might look funny on TikTok, but it can be harmful to your pet

Cat walks on the counter in a kitchen

If you haven’t spotted the #onioncryingchallenge yet on TikTok, you’ll be surprised to see all the little square faces pop up as its stars. That’s right, cats will tear up when an onion is cut just like us. It can be cute and funny to see small tears squeezed out of their scrunched up eyes, but don’t reach for the knife just yet. There are risks to your kitty that might make you stop and reconsider this particular trend.

We can’t lie, we’ve watched a few of these TikTok viral videos and given an «Aw» for the adorbs cats who can’t help but shed a tear. They start out with a pet parent chopping up an onion with the feline nearby watching. At first, she blinks, then squints, and finally her eyes get leaky. If you’ve ever had this root bring on the waterworks, you know exactly where she’s coming from. Commenters were quick to jump in to share a laugh or offer tips on keeping the tears at bay, while many cat moms were distraught having just learned that onion tears work on furry friends too.

The Ultimate Guide to Keeping Animals Happy & Healthy.PawTracks brings inspiration, tips, the best products on earth to ensure our readers and their pets are happy and healthy.

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If you share your life with a cat, you could wonder if it is alright to leave your feline friend alone.



If you share your life with a cat, you could wonder if it is alright to leave your feline friend alone. As you may know, your cat or kitten can cope with spending a few hours on her own. What about leaving her alone all day or for a couple of days? We believe that with proper preparation, your cat can manage and adjust to be in her comfort zone, and feel safe while she is at home alone. Follow our guidelines to find out how.


Prior to her arrival, your kitten has already been used to staying a few hours on her own with her mother. Under four months, she should not be left alone for more than a couple of hours. Young kittens are still fragile and need to be monitored on a regular basis. At this age, your presence is especially beneficial in terms of providing lots of positive, stimulating interactions with you. Time together also grows your bond. If you do go out, make sure her environment is kitten friendly (i.e. remove any potential hazards) and leave out plenty of safe kitten toys, designed especially for your cat when she is alone, and puzzle food dispensers to keep her busy. At the age of four months old you may begin to leave your kitten for slightly longer periods, and check she is still opened and comfortable when you return. Remember, that leaving your kitten alone for short periods of time is a good way to teach her how to manage herself, finding new way to spend her time and occupy herself. She should become a happy, confident and independent cat.


Properly trained, adult cats are able to keep themselves busy and content at home alone for a few hours at a time.They may enjoy peace and quiet times so that they can sleep. However, each cat has her own personality and habits. If you take the time to observe your cat’s behaviour on a daily basis when you are at home with her, you will surely have a much clearer idea of how long she is able to stay alone. If she seems to need to always be in the same room as you, meows repeatedly when you leave the room or engages in unusual behaviour during short absences (for example not using her litter tray), this may be a sign that she feels anxious when you are not around. If your cat behaviour seems out of the ordinary, do not hesitate to talk to your veterinarian. He or she will help you to identify the root of the problem and to find solutions so that your cat recovers her peace and serenity.

On the other hand, perhaps you share your life with a very independent feline, who likes nothing more than exploring her environment, or being outside in the garden for hours. In this case, with the proper preparation, your cat will probably be fine most of the time alone for a couple of days as long as someone regularly comes in feeding, playing and cleaning up the litter tray. In short, some cats need much more attention from their owners and will have a harder time being alone. Paying close attention to your cat’s personality and behaviour is still the best way to ensure her wellbeing.


Most of us work out of the house, leaving our beloved pets to spend a significant part of their day on their own. If you are gone from early morning to evening and do not have the opportunity to drop in at lunch, it is important to find a regular neighbour, friend, or cat sitter drop in to play with your cat and check on her. However, this is not necessarily a viable option on a long-term, daily basis.Whatever option you choose, there are a few important things to think about if you are considering leaving your cat alone at home. First off, be sure to provide your cat with enough food and clean water for the day. Double check you have removed from her reachany potentially harmful objects or products. Lastly, do not underestimate the importance of an enriched environment to keep her days fun and prevent boredom. If you have an outdoor cat, she will also benefit from plenty of natural, exciting sources of stimulation. Below are a number of ways to improve her quality of life and liven up her day while you are at work.


Here are some tips to keep your cat entertained while at work:

  • Start with making sure that there is enough natural light in her living areas.
  • Try to provide several perches around the house, especially overlooking a window, so your cat can enjoy watching what is going on outside.
  • Don’t skimp on toys, an endless source of fun and stimulation.
  • A cat tree is a good way to let your cat safely enjoying climbing.
  • A cat water fountain is also a nice option to make water interesting again
  • Why not leave the radio or TV on a low volume to keep your cat company?
  • Also think about a cat-friendly in-door or outdoor garden with tasty plants that your cat will enjoy munching on such as cat grass or cat mint.
  • If you have a real garden, consider creating a cat-safe enclosed area and letting her outside during the day. Make sure she has enough shade, as well as food and water. A programmable cat door will allow her to go out and keep other animals from coming in. For more information about the benefits of letting your cat outside, see our article: The Pros And Cons Of Letting My Cat Outside.
  • Finally, consider getting a second cat. Many cats like the company of another feline at condition they have compatible characters and personalities. This will take some time and require an adaptation phase of a few weeks before letting them alone all working day but it can be a good solution for long term working rhythm.


If your cat is comfortable staying alone on a regular and daily basis, she is likely to be able to handle you leaving her alone overnight or for a day. In this case, keep in mind the following additional tips:

  • Ensure that your cat has ample food and water.While you may have an automatic food dispenser and fountain, we recommend also leaving out clean water and food in bowls around the house as a backup plan.
  • Make sure that the indoor temperature is comfortable for your cat. If you live in a region prone to extreme heat or cold, you might look into a programmable cooling or heating system in case of an unexpected heat wave or cold front.
  • Longer periods of time should always include a cat sitter, neighbour or someone else to spend some time with your cat and to clean the litter tray (even if there are more than two).
  • Leave two cat litters around the house, to allow your cat to keep herself clean and comfortable.
  • Finally, the longer your cat is at home alone, the more important it is to provide her with enrichment. Make sure to try some of the tips in the list above for creating a stimulating, comfortable environment for your cat.


No matter how independent your cat is, we do not recommend leaving your cat alone without daily visits from a friend or a professional cat-sitter for more than two or three days. Today, there are many options to care for your cat while you are away. Keep in mind that, cats tend to be independent, territorial animals. They are generally attached to their home environment and usually take much longer than a dog to get used to new surroundings. Consequently, the best option is to have a pet-sitter come in and visit your cat rather than traditional pet boarding. Some pet sitters will even stay in your house if you prefer that option. Whatever you decide, always take into account your cat’s personality, age, health lifestyle and habits.

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