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I love getting away from the city on weekends – especially in summer time. The nearest beach from where I live is a 5 hour drive and I absolutely adore spending a day or two on the beach, washing away all my anxiety and problems.
But I have my cat Puffy that I also adore and can’t live without – I am a solo living crazy cat lady 🙂
And I must tell you that me and my cat are doing just fine during our separation weekends – little bit missing each other of course, made up with lots of hugs, kisses and purring when I come back home.
So here is my advice based on my personal experience and research done on how to leave a cat alone for the weekend, all the preparations and necessary things you need to do.
Is It Okay To Leave A Cat Alone For A Weekend?
First of all, we know that cats are pretty much self-sufficient pets and they do very well spending time alone – unlike dogs. But what cats do need is a familiar environment. So in short: the answer is yes, a cat left alone at home for the weekend, with enough food and water and a few other preparations, will be just fine.
Cats are creatures of routine so as long as they can maintain their daily routine they will be ok. That is why I think moving a cat out of the home even for a weekend is a bad idea.
I once left my cat at my mother’s house because I was traveling for 3 days in winter and I thought this was a good solution. Wrong! My mother told me my cat was always looking for something at her house (probably a way to come home or looking for me), got sick really bad (it took 2 weeks for her to recover) and was so scared that she is sleeping by my side ever since (prior to this she slept on my chair and not by my bed side).
So even if you have a cat keeping service near or a friend or parent that can keep your cat for 2 days, believe me, your cat will be better left alone in your home – with all the required preparations done. After all, a weekend is only 2 days and one night being apart – almost as if you are at work doing some extra time.
How To Leave Your Cat Alone For The Weekend – Preparations
Leaving cats alone for a few days requires that you make sure some things are in order before leaving. Here is a list for easier checking:
- The most important thing is to make sure your cat does not sneak in a room not intended for her stay before you leave. I once read a horror story of a woman unwillingly locking her cat in the bathroom with no food for her 7 day vacation. Luckily, the cat survived but the guilty feeling of that woman was overwhelming.
- Cats love open doors, so with some exceptions leave the doors open in your home so your cat can have the territory for free-roaming. Make sure no door can close unexpectedly cutting the cat off from the source of food and water (check the practical product I added at the bottom of this post).
- Make sure the toilet lid is up and the bathroom door is open, this way the cat will always have access to water.
- Check your drawers or hiding places where your cat might get stuck and make sure they are closed. My cat loves sneaking in my wardrobe closet or under the sink. It would be awful to leave her there for 2 whole days unknowingly.
- Leaving your cat plenty of food and water is essential! What I do just before I leave is open 2 pouches of wet food, place 2 full plates of dry food, fill her cup/bowl with fresh water. Water can be easily spilled if your cat gets in a mad playing mode so I also leave a big bowl of water in my sink where the chances of my cat knocking the bawl and spilling the water are none. So it is a good idea to double on all cat food and water – just in case of some accidents.
- I put a fresh litter in the litter box – always. Maybe this is not absolutely necessary but leaving my cat in a clean place gives me a satisfactory feeling. If I am enjoying on my weekend getaway I want my cat to be enjoying her alone time as much as possible.
- Make sure your cat’s favorite toys are at reach so your cat doesn’t feel bored and gets lonely fast after you leave. This will make your absence less noticeable and easier to handle.
- Always visually check the cat before you leave – this should be the last thing you check before closing your front door. This ensures your cat is not stuck somewhere or has not bolted out of the front door (happened twice to me, luckily I was taking a shower so nothing bad happened and it was for a very short time). I also check the building hallway thoroughly for this purpose.
- If you travel in winter and it is really cold then I recommend turning on the hot air conditioning (if you have one). This I do not recommend for summertime though as cats love warmth and they’ll be just fine even in hot summer days, just make sure there is a cool, shaded place inside your home that your cat can use, like tiled hallway or bathroom.
- I always have my cat’s favorite wet food stored so when I come back I give it to her to make it up for her spending time alone. This is optional but I think it’s a good thing to do for your cat after you’ve left it alone for a few days.
Also, cats sleep a lot, like 12-16 hours so this cuts the time they are awake and alone a lot. They are not needy pets and although they thrive in a loving environment they are perfectly capable of spending 2 or 3 days without humans.
Products I Recommend For Home Alone Cats
My method of making sure my cat is not in any forbidden place is to take a photo of her with my phone just before I leave. I often doubt my memory out of fear and looking at a photo, usually on the bus, assures me that everything is indeed left in proper order.
If you are like me and you get your moments of doubt, I would strongly suggest getting a cat camera for monitoring your cat while you are away. This way if anything goes wrong (God forbid) you can always call someone (friend, parent, neighbor) for help or even cut your weekend short and rush to save your cat.
A bad thing happening to your cat when left alone during a weekend is highly unlikely, but for your peace of mind, it would be good to check up on your cat a few times a day with a cat camera:
An Affordable Cat Camera With Laser – Perfect For Weekend Getaways And While At Work
This is one good camera with many capabilities but most importantly – the price is very reasonable. I know that when you travel your budget may experience a gap so you may be in doubt whether an additional expense for a pet camera is worth it, but with this camera, the money will be justified.
Check all the possibilities that this camera opens for you:
- The most important feature is that you can connect your phone ( iOS / Android ) to this camera and there is an app that allows you to remotely control it – perfect for travels and vacation
- The camera can cover a wide view of any room: it can rotate horizontally 355 degrees – which is almost a full circle and 120 degrees vertically. You can do this by simply sliding your screen with your fingers – so easy!
- The combination of the horizontal and vertical rotation angles with a 107 degrees wide viewing angle gives you the possibility to totally monitor your cat in any room
- Maybe you want to check up on your cat before you go to sleep – and you can! The camera supports day and night vision
- If you don’t see your cat on the camera you can call it to come out – and the best thing is that the audio is 2-ways possible :). This way you can actually hear if your cat is in distress
- The camera has a motion detection capability so it can serve as a security camera as well
- A special part of the camera is dedicated to your cat: it’s a safe laser toy. It will keep your cat entertained while you’re away. Having something to chase after will certainly make your keet feel more comfortable while being home alone. You can even play with your cat from a distance as the laser can be manually guided or set on auto rotation. So you can consider this camera as a triple product: a cat camera, security camera and a cat toy!
The installation of the travel cat camera is very easy and can be done in a few easy steps: all you need to do is plug in the camera, download an app called Eye4, register yourself, scan the QR code on bottom of camera and after configuration start using the camera. Nothing complicated!
It’s a great relief being able to view your precious cat and confirm it is ok. I once went with friend to a shopping mall in the city near us and on every shop break, she would pull out her phone and check on her little baby girl. It is so similar with our cats: they are our little fur babies and a good cat parent always makes sure that its beloved baby cat is safe and sound.
Automated Cat Feeder
The more I research about this automatic cat food dispenser the more I am thrilled about it. I was specifically searching for something at a reasonable price and this is it!
So check all the awesome benefits this cat feeder will provide for you and your cat:
Aside from being a helpful product for when your cat is alone at home for a prolonged time, this auto cat food dispenser will help you sleep better. This alone makes it so worth getting! If your cat is one of those cats that demand food in awkward human times – like at night or very early in the morning – don’t think twice about it and just get it, your life will become SO much simpler.
Setting it up to match your needs may not be the quickest thing to do but it is fairly easy and definitely worth your time.
Non Spill Food And Water Cat Feeder
If you like to keep things as tidy as possible when leaving cat alone for a few days then I highly recommend you check this mess-free cat feeder.
I don’t know about you but with my cat I always have dry food scattered around her feeding plate. This is particularly annoying because these little pieces of dry cat food sometimes end up in my living room and I have to hunt for them when vacuuming. She also loves splashing her water before drinking.
The main benefit of owning this elevated cat feeder is that the spilled water goes in the bottom plastic part and the spilled food is kept on the upper plastic part.
If you fear that your cat might mess up the food and water while you are away for the weekend this is a very good solution, particularly because I always advise leaving multiple sources of food when leaving the cat alone.
The cat feeder consists of:
- 2 containers that fit one on top of the other
- the lower container will catch spilled water while the top container will catch cat food
- the bowls are made from stainless steel
- it has rubber on the bottom feet to prevent sliding and getting knocked over
It’s a simple product but SO useful. A cat food cleaning heaven as all parts are machine washable., just don’t forget to take off the rubber feet for the dishwasher.
Here is proof that this feeder does what it is supposed to do and how you can protect your floor (carpet or hardwood floor) with this handy little product (the last link has a beautiful white cat on the picture – a pleasure to see such a well taken care of kitty 🙂 ).
Prevent Doors From Accidental Closing
If you plan on leaving a cat alone for a weekend you need to make sure that all open doors in your house stay open. Otherwise, it could mean your cat getting closed in a room without food or water supplies – which is horrible. A weekend is not long time and your cat will survive but I would hate my cat to suffer such a situation – as would you normally.
So I have found this cheap little product that servers as a foam door stopper. It is used for child proofing doors – but of course, our cats are our fur babies so it would serve great for cat proofing your home before you leave for a weekend or a vacation.
As you can see on the image it ensures that a small gap is always present on a door you put it on thus always keeping a door open for your cat. It is not expensive and I highly recommend you get one for the purpose of leaving cat alone during vacation or weekend.
Informational Questions And Answers
Below I have gathered some of the most frequent answers people have on this subject and my research on those questions – and some personal point of views.
How Long Can I Leave My Cat Alone At Home?
I personally would not go beyond 2 days and one night but some people have reported successfully leaving their cats for 3 or 4 days. So 4 days would be the absolute maximum leaving a cat unattended and I would definitely install a security camera in such a case and have a person available for help if necessary. If you can’t provide these 2 basic things (camera and helping person) I don’t recommend leaving your cat for that long.
In case of a prolonged absence, you need to really be careful about all the preparation points (from the above list) since any mistake could be potentially disastrous.
Many people are considering leaving a cat alone for 7 days or 10 days and it is doable but you need some extra help. I would get someone I truly trust to visit my cat once a day to check on food and water supply and take care of the litter box. You can also consider leaving your cat at that person’s home (a good friend, your parents, relatives…).
If you don’t have a person of trust then I would strongly suggest taking your cat to a well-researched catering service for a 7 or 10 days absence.
I have personally left my cat alone at home for 7 days when going for a vacation but I “hired” my mom to visit my apartment once a day and give me reports on how my cat is doing.