According to a consensus of experts in the field of veterinarian medicine, it’s safe to leave an adult cat alone for maybe 24-48 hours. Any more than this could cause intense feelings of boredom, frustration or even full-blown separation anxiety.
In general, you should only leave adult cats alone. An adult, in this case, is any cat that’s older than maybe 12 months and is fully trained to use their litter box.
Table of Contents
- Can I Leave My Cat Alone for a Weekend?
- Will My Cat Be Okay Alone for 2 Nights?
- Do Cats Get Sad When You Leave?
- Do You Make Sure They Have Enough Food?
- How Do You Make Sure They Have Enough Water?
- How Long Can They Go Without Cleaning the Litter?
- Should I Get a Second Litter Box for Long Trips Away?
- Should I Leave the TV on for My Cat?
- What Does Separation Anxiety Look Like in Cats?
- How Long Can Cats Go Without Food?
- Do Cats Know When You’re Leaving?
Can I Leave My Cat Alone for a Weekend?
While you can leave a cat alone for upwards of 48 hours without too much difficulty, you need to make sure that your cat has plenty of food and water to last them the whole weekend. Consider using a schedule or automatic smart feeder to dispense meals at reasonable times.
Don’t leave your cat alone for too long if you know your cat has suffered from serious separation anxiety in the past and don’t make a habit of leaving your cat without anyone to care for them for them for more than maybe a night regularly.
Will My Cat Be Okay Alone for 2 Nights?
Well-adjusted adult cats should be able to fend for themselves for upwards of 48 hours, so your cat should be fine especially if you’re arriving home on the second morning. Make sure to leave out plenty of food and water.
In general, you shouldn’t leave your cat alone for more than maybe 24 hours if you can avoid it, but your animal should be fine. Cats who don’t normally have bad reactions to being alone will usually do the best, but even those that have some behavioral issues may get through the ordeal.
Do Cats Get Sad When You Leave?
Some cats get very sad when you leave and can suffer from separation anxiety every bit as bad as dogs do. You’ll probably know if your cat experiences this level of sadness because they’ll start causing problems when you’re not around.
Most cats are just fine waiting for their owners to come home from work or school, but those that develop this problem probably couldn’t handle being apart for a whole weekend very well.
Do You Make Sure They Have Enough Food?
Always make sure that your cat has enough food as well as water. Don’t leave your cat without nourishment no matter how short you might think that your trip is going to be.
You never know if you’re going to get held up somewhere, so leave your cat plenty to eat.
How Do You Make Sure They Have Enough Water?
Leave out an extra bowl or two if you’re using traditional containers. Those who have gravity-fed watering devices will want to make sure that they’re filled before they leave.
Smart watering systems should also be filled and set to distribute water as necessary.
How Long Can They Go Without Cleaning the Litter?
Usually, you can’t go more than a day or two without cleaning a litter box. It’s a good idea to clean the litter box as soon as you come home from a long trip.
Cats will continue to use a litter box without cleaning for around a day. At that point, they’ll stop using it altogether.
Should I Get a Second Litter Box for Long Trips Away?
Set out a second litter box for your cat whenever you figure that you won’t be able to change it fast enough for your cat to continue using it. If you don’t have a spare litter box, then you can use a stiff cardboard box that’s about the same size.
Put the second box in the same area where your cat is used to going. That will help your cat figure out what the other box is for.
Should I Leave the TV on for My Cat?
Only leave the television on for your cat if your cat likes to sit there with you and watch it. Your cat probably knows what a TV set is and realizes the people in it aren’t really in the room, so they won’t feel like they have buddies simply by leaving it on.
If you have a cat who likes watching TV with you, then you might consider leaving it on at a low volume because it’ll help your cat feel more at ease. You might also consider turning the TV off and turning on a small transistor radio for your cat.
What Does Separation Anxiety Look Like in Cats?
Every cat is different, but many cats with separation anxiety will start to get really feisty as soon as you close the door. They may tear things up when you’re not home or might urinate on the floors instead of in their litter box.
Cats with particularly bad separation anxiety will audibly mew or cry whenever you leave the house.
How Long Can Cats Go Without Food?
An otherwise healthy adult cat could hypothetically live for more than seven days without food. That doesn’t mean you can withhold food from your cat for a week, only that they could survive during a serious emergency.
Even if they don’t have solid food, though, cats need water to survive. If a cat is denied water for more than three days, then it’s unlikely that they could survive.
Do Cats Know When You’re Leaving?
Cats certainly know when you’re leaving, even if they can’t see you walk out the door. Their hearing is normally very good and they enjoy an emotional connection with their owners, so they’ll know when you’ve left.
Depending on how you act before taking a big trip, your cat might also catch onto your behaviors. This will tip off your cat about what’s going to happen.
If you’ve taken them on a trip before, then they might even notice that you’ve started to put things in bags and associate this with the concept of leaving.