Unfortunately, we don’t have unlimited time to spend with our cats. We have other responsibilities, like work or family stuff and we must leave our cats behind for a short while to tend to other life stuff. As the pet parent to two cats and a dog, I know they at least have each other while I’m out of the house for work. I come home for a lunch break to make sure my dog gets his walk and cats get some needed mom time too.
I like to think having each other makes it slightly easier on the group, and can only imagine how a cat parent with just one cat frets over their feline’s solitude. Despite the popular belief that cats are solitary creatures who don’t need interaction, they are quite needy of attention and stimulation. If you leave your house for several hours a day, here are a few tips for keeping your feline friend’s mind engaged and happy.
- Open the blinds. Opening the blinds and giving your cat an opportunity to see the goings-on of the great outdoors will help them stay stimulated. A well-placed bird bath by the window will give your cat a chance to watch the wildlife and is not cat television for them. Install a window perch for your cat to watch too or just bask in the sunlight.
- Keep the television on low volume. Keeping the television or radio on while you’re gone is good for two reasons. One, it helps keep your cat stimulated and two, it gives the impression someone is home. You can find something basic for you cat to watch and listen to or you can find a real bird or other small wildlife program with plenty of animal noises to provide your cat with hours of stimulation.
- Safe interactive toys. Interactive toys are excellent ways to keep your cat stimulated in your absence, but make sure they are safe for unsupervised play. Puzzle toys are excellent and safe items to consider.
Leaving your cat for the day is stressful for both your cat and for you. Setting her up with plenty of stimulation will help her adjust to the time alone and hopefully give you peace of mind. Just be sure to play with her and give her a lot of positive attention when you come home.