You may not like leaving your kitten unattended, but sometimes you have no choice. After all, you’re going to have appointments and obligations to tend to. So here are some recommendations for teaching your kitten how to be left on its own.
Is it even possible to leave a kitten unattended?
Generally speaking, cats are very independent and able to take care of themselves. So leaving your kitten unattended should not be a problem. Still, all breeds and individual cats differ in terms of how well they are able to handle it. Some cats are very attached and prefer to have someone around. Leaving your kitten unattended for a little bit longer every time will help improve its independence.
For how long can I leave my kitten unattended?
First a kitten needs to get used to its new environment. After all, it has been torn away from its mother, brothers and sisters and placed in an unfamiliar setting. You will feel the urge to comfort it, but allowing it to explore its new surroundings on its own will actually prove more calming. You may even find it sleeping in its basket half an hour later. Stay away a little bit longer every time: start with an hour and extend it to two hours, then to three until you can comfortably stay away for an entire 8-hour workday. Is your kitten relaxed when you get home? A clear sign it doesn’t mind being left alone for a few hours.
Are you leaving for more than 48 hours? Make sure someone will check up on your kitten or cat. Someone to feed it, give it fresh water to drink, clean the litter box, give it some love and play with it. This can be a relative, friend or neighbour. Can’t find anyone to take care of your cat? You can always arrange for a professional cat sitter.
If your kitten is home alone…
A kitten gets bored quickly, especially when there is no company around. Make sure it has a stimulating environment that offers enough distraction. This may involve toys, things to climb and hiding spots. Make sure your kitten always has access to enough food, water and a clean litter box.
Safe living environment
Make sure all toys and climbing and hiding spots are safe and your cat can’t accidentally lock itself in a room (blocking access to food, water or the litter box). Check out or recommendations for creating a safe living environment for your cat.
If you want to give your cat the freedom to go outside, make sure it is comfortable with its new environment first. When you have relocated, keep the same principle in mind. How long it will take for your cat to get used to the new environment depends on the individual cat. At least four weeks is a good starting point. Do not let it go outside without having you around at first, and let it stay out for a little bit longer every time. Read more about a safe garden for cats.