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spikey eye bw



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Cat query
spikey eye bw
How long is it okay to leave a cat alone for? I know a working day is fine, I know 48 hours is okay if enough food and water is down - but beyond that? Would four whole days be too much? Is it all down to the cat's own personality and a "how long is a length of string" type of question?

I am toying with the idea of getting a cat, but I am often away for 3 days at a time, occasionally more and I don't intend to mistreat one - it wouldn't really be practical to rely on having people available to look after it when I'm not about.
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Others will be able to answer your specific question -- I don't know.

The only thing I can say from my own experience is that while some cats prefer (or demand) to live in one-cat households, the one time I had just one cat, he did much, much better being left alone even for the length of a standard workday followed by a stop at a grocery store once I added a second cat to the household.

When you say you're "often" away for 3 days at a time and occasionally more, how often do you mean? Once and sometimes twice a month? Once or twice a fortnight? More? Less?

Unfortunately it depends a lot on the cat. You can't leave a cat completely, you need someone dropping in to replace food and water daily (although an overnight with a timer dish is fine) but many cats are quite ok without a lot of human company.

[My current cat is not one of these cats, but every other cat I've had has been just *fine* with a stranger dropping in once a day.]

It would be remiss of me not to direct you to the Mayhew Animal shelter which is the charity annafdd volunteers at. They have lots of cats who need homes - and you might want to foster one for a while to see if cats suit you.

I would worry about leaving my cat for four days even though he only eats dry food and I can leave enough water for that length of time. I wouldn't think bad of you if you did it though :-)

For a day away, maybe two, we'll provide plenty of cat biscuit, and lots of water.

For a period longer than that, we use a nearby cattery, which might be an option for you. (You're talking about a few pounds per day in such a case.)

Cat sitters, I swear by them.
They come into the house, will pick up mail/milk etc.
Cost £5 to £10 a day, depending on area.

I'd leave Max for 2 nights happily. Possibly 3 as he's a very independant, young cat.


4 days seems a bit neglectful :( then again, my cat is entirely indoors. Perhaps for outdoor cats it's no big deal.

Depends a lot on the cat. when I had one, she hated being left alone. Frostfox's suggestion of a cat sitter sounds like a good one. Apart from knowing the cat is getting fed and having a bit of human company, they'll also spot if the cat is ill.

We have an automatic Cat Feeder which seems to work really well. Despite it having 4 compartments, which on it's max setting can open 1 compartment a day, I'd be loath to leave the sweeties for that long.

It really does depend on the Cat. Sooty seems to get lonely enough if we leave her for 1 day, while one get's the feeling that Whiskey would be fine on his own for a week if the food lasted that long.

Zip sulks if left for four days. I've done it once, but she was very very unhappy when I came back, and I don't intend to do it again. Three days I can do, because she knows I will come back.

Now that there are two cats in the house I feel less guilty. The worst thing about leaving a cat alone is boredom, and with Jam in she certainly ain't getting bored. I start to feel bad if I am away for more than two nights, however. I suspect it's me more than them.

I have relied on friends to come and have a look at the cat in the past, feed them, check on them, play with them. Some time I have had people stay in my house, that has lots of space and other advantages, in return for keeping the cat company.

Nowadays Zip is used to Alex's house and when I have to go away for more than a weekend I just bring her there.

> Zip sulks if left for four days

> Zip is used to Alex's house

Zip and I are both sulking. I see Zip about once a day right now. She seems to be spending a lot of time in one of the spare bedrooms. I do however know she is still in the house because food is getting eaten and she is using her litter tray.

Sorry, this is a bit off topic.

Another thing - cats do need company. If you go away once every two weekends but are with them a lot, it doesn't matter too much. But if you leave at daybreak, come back at night, collapse into bed, and then leave on the weekend, the cats will not be very happy, and will not be very sociable either.

Do take two of them, possibly either two young ones or two older friends. The Mayhew has tons of them. They keep each other company, don't get bored, and in general live happier. Introducing a second cat in a one-cat household is going to make the first cat very grumpy - I know, I've been there.

the solution to which is of course to add cats 2 and 3 at the same time...

(and I know that wasn't an option for you)

I always worried about the cat when we were away so three days wouldn't have worked for me.

As others have said, it's better to get cats in pairs, particularly from the 'leaving them' standpoint.

it's a good idea to get a pair, but watch the finacial budget. They are not cheap. Also just because they are sold as pairs does not mean they get on as we found out.

Three days is the maximum we leave Stitch alone in the house. We use an automatic cat feeder, leave plenty of dry food and water down for her. Any longer than that she stays in the local Cattery.

We leave Tycho overnight for 36 hours with an automatic cat feeder to provide 2 meals (evening and morning).

um well i suppose as others have said it really depends on what you mean by 'often'. But if it really is a lot, I would question it being a good idea. I can ask my friends over the weekend as they run a cat rescue, but yeah - I think if it really Is often, it would probably verge towards being neglectful of the cat.

Sorry :|

Because stuff can happen -- that cat can fall ill, accidents can happen etc -- it is now illegal to leave any pet completely unattended for more than 24 hours in Sweden. Although the risks are very small, I think that's a wise law.

Personally I'd say you should never leave a cat alone for more than a day and a half.

I'd chime in with "depends on the cat". My two were in a cattery when we were away for 3.5 weeks, but weren't fazed at all when I came home. Didn't sulk - weren't sooky. Previous single cat was OK for three days, but more than that and he sulked when I came home for at least a day. The boys are inside/outside. Inside very night.

So - if you can, try two, and I'd say that they'd do OK for two nights by themselves, 3 with a cat sitter visit or very occasionally.

It's good that you are thinking things through, but I'd say the unconditional love and companionship of a cat or two is well worth a small amount of organising.

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