How Long Can You Leave a Cat Alone?

Your cat is independent, indifferent and probably doesn’t even care if you’re alive or dead…right? Wrong. While it’s true that cats are significantly lower maintenance than most pups, felines still crave affection from their humans. In fact, they’re not that different from dogs at all in that regard; domesticated cats who are deprived of human contact for too long are indeed susceptible to feelings of separation anxiety, in addition to the obvious health complications that come from not having their physical needs met. That said, your sleepy, aloof feline can weather a little solitude just fine—just be sure to read on to find out what the experts have to say about how long you can leave a cat alone before you pack your bags.

Can I Leave My Cat at Home Alone While I’m at Work? The good news is that the average full-grown feline will be fine when left alone for a workday, which means that, in most cases, you needn’t spring for a pet sitter on the regular. Yep, you’ve probably noticed that your cat loves to sleep—up to 18 hours a day, in fact—so you don’t need to feel guilty about putting a day in at the office while your kitty languishes on the couch. Working the nightshift? Again, no big deal. Your particular schedule doesn’t make much of a difference as far as your cat’s alone.

The Risks of Leaving a Cat Alone

There are some risks associated with leaving your cat alone for too long. These include:

The litter box – many cats will avoid using a dirty litter box, which can lead to accidents and messes in the house.

Injury or illness – while it is unlikely, there is always a risk that your cat could become sick or injured while you are away.

Mischievous behavior – bored cats may get into trouble when left alone for extended periods of time.

Emotional impact – extended periods of separation can cause stress and anxiety in cats, which can lead to behavioral problems.

To minimize these risks, it is important to cat-proof your home, clean the litter box regularly, provide toys and stimulation for your cat, and stick to the recommended guidelines of leaving a cat alone for a maximum of 24 to 48 hours.


Leaving a cat alone for a short period of time is generally fine, as long as their basic needs are met. However, if you are planning to be away from home for more than a day or two, it is important to make arrangements for someone to take care of your feline friend. Cats, just like dogs and other pets, crave human affection and attention, and can become anxious and stressed if they are left alone for extended periods of time. A pet sitter or trusted friend can provide your cat with the love and care they need while you are away, ensuring that they are happy and healthy until your return. It is also a good idea to leave out toys and other forms of stimulation to help keep your cat entertained during your absence.