🐱 LIMITED TIME OFFER: Get a trial box for just £8.00, with free carbon-neutral shipping! 🐱

06.09.2022

How long can you leave a kitten alone? Get the expert opinion!

Getting a kitty can be a fun experience—your life becomes full of meows, purrs, and furry cuddles. But what should you do when you need to go to work, run errands, or hit the town with friends?

While cats might seem like self-sufficient creatures who prefer solitude, they’re actually not. Felines need your affection and attention, and that doesn’t only mean food, water, and a clean litter tray. Kittens younger than six months are developing rapidly both mentally and physically and crave a strong bond with their humans. Being separated from them for long periods leads to loneliness and anxiety, resulting in various health and behavioural problems.

How long can you leave a kitten alone before they get stressed and unhappy? Untamed offers a definitive answer with a few tips on the best cat care and diet.

Leaving a kitten alone—is it a good idea?

Whether to leave your kitten alone and for how long depends primarily on their age. The table offers the exact periods according to a kitten’s development stage:

Age

Maximum time that they can be left alone

0 to 4 months 

Less than 4 hours

4 to 6 months

4 to 8 hours

6 months to 1 year

8 to 16 hours

1 year onwards

24 to 48 hours

Leaving your cat alone for more than two to three days, even if they are an adult, is a recipe for disaster. Despite providing everything they might need, a lot can go wrong. For instance:

  • Food can run out or go bad
  • Water can become stale and dirty
  • The litter tray might need emptying, or your cat will start soiling your home
  • Cats can get bored, anxious, or depressed
  • They might injure themselves while playing around

Leaving felines alone for more than a day is cruel, and you should have someone visit your furry friend if you need to be absent for more than 24 hours. If you do not have a friend or neighbour available to check in on your kitty, consider hiring a pet sitter. You can leave a set of instructions for them to follow and provide your and your vet’s contact info in case of emergency.

If you don’t find a pet sitter on time, consider checking your feline in a pet hotel. Keep in mind that this practice is not ideal because cats get attached to a particular living space, and moving them even for a short time can cause stress. Being without their humans in an unfamiliar place can have dire emotional consequences for your kitty.

What to consider when leaving your little furball alone

I’ll wait patiently till you get back!

Source: Mariya

Most adult cats can be left alone for some time, but kittens are a different story altogether, especially motherless ones. Newborns must be fed kitten milk replacement formulas (KMRs) every two to three hours and kept at a temperate between 35 to 37 ℃. Baby cats also require stimulation to defecate, especially during the first few weeks.

Once kittens are three weeks old and start weaning off, human presence is essential because you must provide food and water. Feeding is not the only issue because kittens can also easily get hurt while learning to walk, run, and jump and would need immediate help.

Kitten-proofing your home

You’re going to kill me with your dangerous human food!

Source: cottonbro

If you must leave your kitten alone during the day, you should create a safe environment for them. Here’s how to make your home a kitten-safe place:

  1. Shut all doors and windows
  2. Remove any breakable items or sharp objects
  3. Hide all electric cords 
  4. Remove house plants and insect traps
  5. Place the litter tray in one corner and the food and water bowls in another
  6. Cover any small holes a kitten can fit into
  7. Keep all harmful food hidden in the cupboards or fridge. These include:
    1. Grapes and raisins
    2. Citrus fruits
    3. Chocolates
    4. Raw eggs and raw meat
    5. Onions and garlic
    6. Caffeinated drinks, such as coffee and alcohol
    7. Yeast

Keep your kitten entertained while you are away

Your kitten can get bored if they have no one to play or interact with. You can try various tactics to make their alone time more fun:

  1. Get an automated feeder to give treats to your kitty during the day
  2. Provide interactive toys, scratching posts, and a cat tree
  3. Leave food puzzles around the house

You can also get another pet—a kitten or a puppy—if you need to leave home for longer. Kittens are social animals and need company. Make sure to introduce your pets to each other slowly to avoid fights. If they show signs of hostility towards each other, separate them immediately, give them a few days to adjust, and introduce them again.

It’s wise to install audio and video equipment at several places in your home to monitor how your kitty is doing and talk to them.

Socialised and properly trained cats tend to react better to solitude. It’s crucial to spend quality time with your feline when you are at home, so they won’t feel afraid when you are away. If you provide enough attention to your little furball, they will be stable and well-mannered.

The essentials of proper cat care are playtime, healthcare, grooming, and a balanced diet. Well-cared-for cats won’t feel lonely and abandoned even when left alone for a long time.

What kind of nutrition do felines need?

What’s for dinner, hooman? I feel lonely when I’m hungry.

Source: Lisa

Kittens need a high-protein diet for proper growth and development. Since cats are obligate carnivores, their proteins must come from lean meat and fish, not vegetables, fruits, or grains. Essential amino acids, like taurine and arginine, are only available in animal proteins, and the feline digestive system is not designed to process plants. Carbs are useless for felines, so there’s no point in adding them to your kitten’s meal plan.

The efficiency with which cats can break down protein from different sources (biological value of the ingredients) is presented in the following table:

Protein source

Biological value

92–98%

Lower than 65%

Leaving your kitty alone? Treat them to Untamed before and after

Vets recommend that cat food should have over 50% animal protein, less than 20% animal fat, and no carbs. We offer an ideal nutrient ratio in our jelly and gravy recipes. Untamed works for cats of all ages and breeds, including Maine Coons, Bengals, Siamese, Persians, and Ragdolls.

Do you have a fussy eater on your hands? Even the pickiest felines cannot resist our delicacies.

Our meals help kittens develop properly and grow into well-behaved and healthy adults. There are no common allergens, harsh preservatives, or artificial additives in our formulas. The ingredients in our no-grain products help with chronic and lifestyle-related health issues, including:

Our ingredients are ethically sourced from sustainable suppliers. We use 100% recyclable packaging and run carbon footprint neutral operations.

Want to be a part of our growing happy clowder? Try Untamed today!

Join the Untamed family

I sniff some yummy food!

Source (c) Untamed

You can join our jolly clowder in three easy steps:

  1. Visit our Try Now page
  2. Answer a few questions about your furball
  3. Select a meal plan and order a trial pack

You will get your tailor-made taster box in a day with no shipping fees. If your kitten approves, you can get monthly deliveries of their favourite dishes. You can alter, postpone, or cancel your order from your account whenever you want!

Cat parents talk about the Untamed effect

Our clients reported the following benefits after switching their feline companions to Untamed’s delicious gravies and jellies:

Timeline

Health benefits

Week one

  • Regulated bowel movement
  • Less mess in the litter box

Within two months

  • More energy
  • Toned muscles

After four months

Long-term

  • Strong immune system
  • Natural weight management

Can I leave an adult cat alone to go to work?

Cats who seem aloof or independent can become stressed if they’re not used to being without their humans.

To help them adjust, start by being away from them for approximately 30 minutes at a time, then gradually prolong the period up to three or four hours. Once your cat is accustomed to you not being around, you can step out without worrying.

Cats should have preset meal times and shouldn’t be left alone during them. Wet food is the best option for a cat, but it cannot be left served for a long time because it might go bad and cause food poisoning. It’s best to get a cat-sitter to provide food and water and replace the litter tray at set times throughout the day.

Dry food can be left in a bowl longer than canned food, but it is subpar in quality and leaves cats underhydrated. If you leave your cat with dry food, provide fresh water to prevent constipation and gastrointestinal issues.