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How to Keep Your Cat Fed and Happy While You're Away
CatsHealth

How to Keep Your Cat Fed and Happy While You're Away

Critter Culture Staff

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Leaving your cat at home while you venture out, whether for work or a vacation, can stir up a cocktail of worry and guilt. You might wonder if they'll miss you, if they'll be bored, or if they'll somehow get into trouble without your supervision. Cats, with their mysterious aura and independent streak, often give the impression they can fend for themselves. Yet, their well-being hinges on routine and the comfort of knowing their needs are met, even in your absence. Ensuring your cat is fed, entertained, and happy while you're away isn't just about peace of mind; it's about their health and happiness too.

1

Mental stimulation is key

pretty kitten playing with yarn ball on light background. British shorthair cat posing on blue background

Cats aren't just loungers; they're thinkers and hunters at heart. An idle mind can lead to mischief or, worse, depression. Interactive toys that mimic prey, like motorized mice or feather wands on timers, can captivate their attention for hours. Puzzle feeders that reward them with treats for solving a challenge keep their brains sharp and their bellies satisfied. Remember, a bored cat is often a naughty cat, so keeping their mind engaged is crucial for their well-being and your peace of mind.

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2

Create a safe space

Domestic young white and orange tabby cat checking soft indoor cat house for hiding or sleeping place

Your cat's environment should be a haven of comfort and security, especially when they're on their own. Designate a cozy area in your home filled with their favorite blankets, toys, and a cat bed. This "safe space" isn't just about physical comfort; it's about creating a stress-free zone where they can retreat and feel secure. Ensure this area is away from loud noises and has everything they need within paw's reach.

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3

Window watching

Cat watching bird on the window

The world outside the window isn't just a view for your cat; it's a live-action movie filled with birds, squirrels, and the occasional leaf. A window perch offers them a front-row seat to the outdoors, stimulating their natural predatory instincts. If safety allows, crack the window open a smidge for fresh air and the full sensory experience. Just make sure the window is secure to prevent any escape attempts!

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4

Consistent feeding schedule

automatic cat food dispenser or pet feeder

Cats thrive on routine, and their feeding schedule is no exception. An automatic feeder can dispense meals at the same times each day, ensuring they're fed even when you aren't there to do it yourself. This consistency helps prevent overeating and anxiety around meal times. For water, consider a fountain that keeps fresh water circulating, making it more appealing and encouraging hydration.

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5

Litter box cleanliness

Tabby cat near litter box at home

A clean litter box isn't just about odor control; it's about health and hygiene. Cats are fastidious creatures who may refuse to use a dirty box, leading to accidents around the house. Before leaving, clean the box thoroughly and consider a self-cleaning model if you'll be gone for more than a day. This ensures they have a clean place to do their business, keeping them happy and your home clean.

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6

Engage with toys and play

Robot mouse pet on black background

Physical activity isn't just for dogs; cats need their exercise too. A variety of toys, from simple balls to complex electronic gadgets, can keep them leaping and pouncing in your absence. Rotate toys to keep things fresh, and don't underestimate the allure of a cardboard box or crumpled paper ball. These simple items can provide endless entertainment and a healthy outlet for their energy.

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7

The comfort of companionship

Two funny cats look in wide eyed astonishment

While cats are often seen as solitary creatures, they do value companionship, whether it's with you or a furry friend. If you're frequently away, consider adopting another cat for company. Introduce them slowly to ensure they get along. Watching them play, groom, and nap together can be a heartwarming sight and reduces the guilt of leaving them alone.

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8

Professional care for peace of mind

Young woman with in skirt and knitted sweater plays with cat with mouse on string.

Sometimes, the best solution for your peace of mind and your cat's well-being is professional care. A cat sitter can provide personalized attention, playtime, and even send you updates, ensuring your cat isn't just fed but also loved. It's a way to ensure their routine isn't disrupted and they're receiving the care and attention they deserve.

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9

Preventive measures for safety

beautiful young siamese sitting at the open window with pet friendly cat proof mosqito net Scratch-Resistant, sunny weather

Before leaving, take a moment to cat-proof your home. Secure loose wires, remove toxic plants, and ensure there aren't any small items they could swallow. Check that windows and doors are secure to prevent escapes. These preventive measures aren't just about avoiding mishaps; they're about ensuring your cat's environment is as safe as possible in your absence.

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10

Leave a piece of you behind

Mischievous cat leaving his hiding place in male millenial’s fashionable yet messy closet, where he was in amongst the hanging tweed jackets and shirts and stepping down onto plastic drawers

Your scent is a source of comfort for your cat, reminding them of your presence and love. Leave a worn shirt or blanket in their favorite spot to cuddle with. This simple gesture can provide immense comfort, reducing anxiety and reinforcing the bond between you, even when you're miles apart.

Caring for your cat while you're away goes beyond just meeting their basic needs. It's about ensuring they feel loved, secure, and engaged, preserving their health and happiness. With a bit of preparation and creativity, you can leave your home knowing your feline friend is content, awaiting your return with a purr and a nuzzle.

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