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How to keep your cat occupied (and safe) when you’re away from home

Approx. 4 minutes read

For cat pawrents, cats are what make a house a home, but when you need to suddenly be away from home for a day or two – due to unforeseen work circumstances, a family emergency or an event that leaves you with very little time to plan – your furry friends can put you in a pickle. Never fear – there are some convenient and wonderfully designed pet accessories to help keep your cat fed, watered, entertained and at ease.

Always be prepared by considering the following solutions to leaving your cat home alone.

Fast food!

Ensuring your cat has enough food while you are away is vital to her wellbeing. Cats are normally fine when kibble is left out for them to snack on during the course of the day, but they should ideally have a soft meal at breakfast and dinnertime. Some cats also eat voraciously in one go, in which case it’s impossible to leave food out for them and expect them to ration it. To ensure your cat gets regular meals in the time you’re away, consider an automatic cat feeder, which can be set on a timer to dispense their food at programmed intervals.

Water on tap

More important than food is to ensure that your cat always has access to fresh water. Cats are particularly prone to bladder and kidney problems if they become dehydrated, so fresh water is vital to their health. Some cats have no issue drinking from a bowl of water, while some are quite fussy and prefer running water. Fortunately, pet drinking fountains have become all the rage, so there are many to choose from. Not only do they provide a source of running water for picky cats, but they also continuously filter the water to ensure that your cat has access to fresh and clean water when they’re thirsty.


Cats cannot switch off their instincts to hunt, but feeding this instinct in a healthy and non-destructive way provides mental stimulation and keeps them distracted from hunting live prey (think birds and lizards). Enter: cat toys. Some cat toys need you on the other end of them (dangling the feathers  or fish or mouse-shaped toys), while others are meant to keep your cat entertained independently. These are perfect during your absence. Treat toys provide excellent motivation for your cat to stretch her legs, engage her muscles and solve problems – she gets a little nibble as a reward every so often. There are some wonderfully engaging puzzle toys and wobble toys that trigger and treat a variety of cat instincts to keep them busy and pass the time while you’re out.

Cat’s gotta go

While you’re away, keep your cat safe by keeping her indoors. Indoor cats rely on clean litterboxes and fresh cat litter  to do their business. Some cats can be really messy when it comes to litterbox usage – scattering litter all around their kitty toilet. Why not place a high-sided or closed litterbox out for your cat to use, so when you return home there’s no mess to clean up (except for doing the necessary scooping!).

Calm kitty

Some cats won’t even notice that you’ve left the house for two days – they’re that independent. Others will make an anxious racket outside the bathroom door when you’re just trying to have a private moment! All cats are different, which means that your cat might be a little on the anxious side if you suddenly don’t come home at the usual time. Furtunately there are some fantastic vet-recommended products on the market that help cats to stay calm in stressful situations. It’s a good idea to be prepared, so speak to your vet about which calming aids and tools would be best suited to your purry friend.

Room with a mew

Cats love to have a view out of the window (watching out for your inevitable return, of course), so when you need to leave the house for an extended amount of time, place a tall scratching post/cat lounger  near a window. A cat window perch is also a good idea so your kitty can lazily soak up the sunshine and past time in a leisurely manner until you come home again.

Scratch that!

And speaking of scratching posts, your cat may decide that while you’re out, she’ll take her boredom out on your furniture. So make sure you have enough interesting and engaging scratching posts and other scratching toys for her to keep herself entertained!

In an uncertain world, always be prepared for the unexpected. Being a pet hero doesn’t mean being the purrfect pet parent – it just means making sure your pet’s wellbeing is near the top of your priority list.

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