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How Long Can You Leave Your Cat Alone? All You Need to Know

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If you are a busy cat parent, you must know how long can you leave your cat alone!

As a proud and loving cat parent, I would love to stay home and cuddle up with my kitty forever. However, this is not always possible as I have so many responsibilities to attend to.

And this can be the same case for many other cat parents. Someone has to take care of your cat during your absence, after all!

So, this might get you wondering — how long can you leave your cat alone? Is it safe to leave your cat alone? How about overnight?

Let’s find out!

how long can you leave your cat alone

How Long Can I Safely Leave My Cat Unattended?

Most vets would recommend 24 hours as a safe timeframe to leave a cat home alone. Provided that your cat has access to a clean litter box, clean water to drink, and enough cat food during your absence, she should do just fine. However, leaving cats home alone longer than that period is not recommended.

Can I Leave My Cat Alone Overnight?

A lot of people choose cats over dogs as a pet, it is mainly because cats are independent creatures and relatively low-maintenance pets. And as for adult cats staying alone for a night, it is true that cats can hold on longer than dogs. No matter if it is an indoor cat or an outdoor cat.

However, as long as your cat has enough food, access to freshwater, and a safe place to stay, your cat will do just fine overnight.

Can I Leave My Cat Alone for 2 Days?

leaving your cat alone

Cat experts suggest that you should not leave your cat alone for more than 24 hours. However, this can depend on the cat itself, her food supply, and the place. Plus, if there is no one to take care of the cat, there are chances that her food may get spoiled or water gets too unclean to even drink.

Can I Leave My Cat Alone for 10 Days?

Leaving your cat alone at home for a short length of time might be a good idea, but leaving cats alone for 10 days is never a good idea. Ten days is an extended period of time, in fact, any cat would start to feel uneasy in its owner’s absence if she is left alone for this long.

What Happens When You Leave a Cat Alone?

Not all the cats would have the same reaction to being left alone. Some cats may enjoy the freedom, while others may feel a little unsettled. In fact, if left alone for a longer time, cats may start feeling lonely and anxious on their own.

And if you frequently leave your cat home alone for long times, you should watch out for cat behavioral signs of cat separation anxiety.

Can I Leave My Kitten Alone?

Any kitten that is younger than four months should never be left alone for more than 2-3 hours. Since they are too young to be left alone, kittens cannot handle themselves for a longer time. However, if you have a six-month-old kitten, she will do just fine for around 8 hours.

can i leave my kitten alone

Many cats are fine when left home alone for that period. Eight hours is the maximum period of how long you can leave your kitty home alone.

Which Cat Breeds Can Be Left Alone?

There are certain cat breeds that can stay alone by themselves better than other ones. Although they love some quality time with hoomans, these cat breeds are easy-going and can entertain themselves with toys and naps while you are away.

  • American Shorthair
  • American Wirehair
  • Maine Coon
  • Norwegian Forest Cat
  • Ocicat
  • Persian
  • Russian Blue
  • Scottish Fold

These cat breeds are the best choice when you want a cat without spending too much time doing things for her.

Things to Consider Before Leaving Your Cat Alone

If your cat can easily handle herself being alone for several hours, then she probably may not have any problem being alone for a day. Some parents do not make any proper arrangements before they leave their cats home alone.

However, if you are planning on leaving your cat home alone for any reason, there are certain things you need to keep in mind to ensure that your cat is best taken care of.

consider leaving your cat alone

Here are a couple of things you can do to make your kitty cat feel happy and healthy during your absence:

1. Cat Food and Water

To prepare for leaving your cat alone for a certain amount of time, the first thing that comes to mind is food and water. Pet parents know that their cats aren’t as independent and self-sufficient as alleged. Cats do need the help of humans since they cannot open a can of cat food or fill the water bowls by themselves.

Further, to make sure your cat has access to fresh water, you might want to consider getting a pet cat water fountain. A regular water bowl can also do good, but there are possibilities that the food gets spilled.

TIP: Never leave cat food in one big pile. Yes, we know that you want your cat to have access to nutritious cat food while you are gone. However, leaving a huge pile of cat food and treats in a bowl can cause your cat to overeat. As a result, this can make her run out of food or give rise to some cat health issues, to say the least.

Instead, you can get an automatic cat feeder, which can feed your kitty from time to time.

2. Litter Box

No one would like to use a dirty toilet, and neither would your cat like to use a dirty litter box. Yes, it’s true that cats hate dirty litter boxes. Moreover, it is important that your cat’s litter box remains cleaned every day, or at least every other day. Leaving a cat home alone with a dirty litter box will just make your cat using your entire home as her toilet.

TIP: To prevent your cat from making your house dirty, you can place several litter trays around the house, or especially the places where your cats like to hang out. A better alternative would be an automatic litter box for cats, you won’t have to clean the litter box, and it is one of the best options for your cat when she is alone.

3. Entertainment

Providing your cat with some home entertainment can be a good idea when you’re leaving and going away for some time. Some cats may enjoy watching TV or listening to the radio, while others may find it comforting to listen to classical relaxing music.

give entertainment to cat

TIP: You can also set up scratch posts for your cat to keep her busy during your absence. Apart from TV and radio, providing your cat with cat toys infused with catnip can also be a great idea for your cat to enjoy during her home alone stay.

Likewise, TV can help keep the boredom away in your cat, in fact, some TV entertainment can significantly help cats that are easily stressed out.

4. Safety

Cats are curious animals. And when you leave your cat alone in your house, there is a great chance that your cat will wander around every room to explore stuff. Besides, if you have an elderly cat that has some health conditions and requires medication, then you should ask a neighbor or a friend to pay a visit from time to time.

TIP: Before leaving your cat alone in the house, make sure all the escape routes are closed. There shouldn’t be any hurtful objects that could cause harm to your cat if she goes near it. Keep the washing machine doors and tumble dryer doors shut. Don’t forget to check anything which can be harmful to your cat during your absence.

5. Convenience

A stressed kitty is no fun, and neither is a stressed cat parent. Your cat will likely just be fine during your absence. However, to smoothen things out, you can provide your cat with more comfortable things such as an automatic feeder or an automatic cat fountain.

Get a pet cam that will allow you to keep an eye on your cat anytime and anywhere.

6. Companionship

Making the home-alone cat stay less lonely, you can either get one more new cat or hire a pet sitter to avoid the problem of loneliness. Your cat is likely to feel less stressed around another furry friend. Moreover, if you find a pet sitter, then you can rest assured with peace of mind knowing that your cat is in good hands while you are away.

You can also ask your pet sitter to have interactive play sessions with your kitty to make sure they get some good exercise and the much-needed social interaction.

Alternatives to Leaving Your Cat Alone

While all cats have different personalities, some cats may get separation anxiety when their owners are away. It can lead to crying, moaning, meowing, excessive self-grooming, and even depression.

alternative to leaving your cat alone

On this note, there are certain things you can do to make your cat feel less lonely while you are gone for a while.

1. Cat Sitter

Having a cat sitter taking care of your cat during your absence is a great idea. Likewise, paying for a professional pet sitter means that you will always be at ease, knowing that your pet is in good hands.

While this can be an expensive alternative, your cat will still be content from being in good company with in-home care.

2. Neighbors or Friends

Another great option is to ask around in your neighborhood or perhaps a couple of friends. This can especially be helpful if you have an elderly cat with medical conditions that needs to be kept in check. You can ask them to pop up once in a while to take a look at your cat.

3. Cattery

At last, you can always rely on the catteries and board your cat there. These establishments are well-managed and can be a great temporary home for your kitty cat. However, it is important to do your research before settling on the cattery service.

Make sure you find a licensed cattery with a caring staff and with clean and safe facilities.

Do Cats Miss Their Owners?

Yes, it is very well true that cats miss their owners when they are away. Just like dogs, felines have a strong bond with their owners, and they love interacting with them. However, some may not show it at first, but cats get lonely and may feel sad after some time.

Likewise, if you are away from your cat every day, you should watch out for signs of cat separation anxiety when you return home. And to keep your cat out of problems and anxiety-free, it is important to know just how long is too long when it comes to leaving your cat indoors.


We know that cats are independent creatures. However, there are times when they might not be able to take care of themselves on their alone. And since you are a responsible cat owner, you might also start wondering — how long can you leave your cat alone?

The official, veterinarian-approved answer to this question remains that you should never leave your cat alone for more than 24 hours without having someone checking on her.


  1. 10 Things to Avoid Doing When Leaving Your Cat Alone – Great Pet Care
  2. Cat Separation Anxiety — The Ohio State University
  3. 10 tips to keep your cat happy indoors – The Humane Society of the United States

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