Since the pandemic it’s safe to say the bonds with our furry friends is at the forefront of importance. With over two fifths (44% of a survey completed by Sainsbury’s) saying their mental health has improved since introducing a pet into their lives. As we are now navigating changes in routine and going from remote-working back to the office, people are more aware of the separation anxiety involved with change of routine and how to best tackle it.
In general, vets say it's okay to leave your cat alone for up to 24 hours at a time. As long as they have a clean litter tray, access to fresh water, and a full meal, they should be fine for a day. Any longer than that, though, is pushing it.
If you’re going to be gone for more than one night, it is best to try and arrange a friend or pet sitter to check in on your cat, clean the litter tray, change the food and water. It is important your cat has the resources to fresh food and water, as well as being able to keep good hygiene.
Other than the comfort of your cat while you are away, the possibility of a sudden illness or injury should be considered when deciding how long you will be away for. Cats are naturally curious creatures, consider the mischief they cause when you’re home! A sudden illness or condition like kidney issues can become serious quickly.
Kittens and older cats are vulnerable and may need some extra care when you leave them alone. Kittens age 3+ months generally need three feedings per day. In addition, kittens are incredibly curious and may try to climb up the curtains or eat something they shouldn’t while you’re away. You can set them up in a kitten-proof room, but its also a good idea to have someone check in on them during the day.
As for older cats, they can be extra-sensitive to changes in routine. Stress can quickly become illness in our older felines. Senior cats may need extra feedings or medication during the day. For these reasons, senior cats should not be left alone overnight.
In the end it is always best to minimise time spent away from your beloved cats and if in doubt ask your vet for the best advice!