It is important for first time cat owners to know how long they can leave their pets alone. 

Cats require affection and attention like any other pet, but many people don’t know just how much. When you learn about the needs of your pet, you can become a better owner.

How Long Can Cats be Left Alone?

Most fully matured cats are okay with being on their own for up to 24 hours. Many vets will say that it’s okay to leave your cat alone overnight, provided their basic needs are still met. This means that your cat has adequate food and water, as well as a clean litter box.

The problem with leaving your cat alone a long time is that it can become bored. Cats might seem very independent, but they still need a certain amount of attention from their owners. Leaving your cat alone for too long could cause them to resent you. These animals are capable of remembering neglect, and it shows through in their behavior.

Factors to Consider

There are numerous factors that you will need to consider when it comes to how long you can leave your cats alone.

1. Age

Your cat’s age is definitely something to consider when determining how long you can leave it alone. If you have a kitten that younger than four months, you will need to be present a good amount of the day. This is because kittens must be fed every four hours or so. 

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Kittens that are 4-5 months old you can be left alone for up to five hours. If your cat is around six months old, you shouldn’t leave it on its for more than eight hours at a time.

Adult cats are more independent and don’t need to be given quite as much attention, so you can leave them alone for an entire day.

lonely cat

2. Health

The overall health of your cat is something else to consider. If you have a cat that is seriously ill, you should limit the amount of time you leave it alone. This is especially true if they need to be given medication at the same time each day.

It’s also important to avoid leaving your cat alone for long periods if they recently underwent a surgical procedure. You should be at home as much as possible while they are still recovering.

3. Your Cat’s Personality

The fact is that cats have all sorts of different personalities, so you need to consider theirs before leaving them alone for an extended period of time. If you have a cat that constantly craves attention, you shouldn’t leave them on their own for more than eight hours at a time.

There are also cats that do really well on their own and do not need a lot of attention on a daily basis. These cats can be left alone for a bit longer. They can, however, still get bored and need to be cared for like any other pet.

If you know that your cat is a big trouble maker, you should try to be at home with them as much as possible. Don’t be surprised when you are gone for a long time and come back to find things tipped over and scratched up.

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Can I Leave my Cat Alone for an Entire Weekend?

It is not a good idea to leave your cat alone for a whole weekend, unless you have someone to check on them each day. You need to have someone who can cover over so ensure that your cats have enough food and water. It’s also important to keep the litter boxes clean. You also need to make sure that none of the cats have been injured in any way.

If you are planning on taking a trip that lasts more than 24 hours, you’ll need to have someone check in on your cats. Two to three full days is simply too long to leave these animals to fend for themselves.

cat waiting at home

Tips for Leaving Your Cats Alone

If you are going to leave your cats alone for a day or two, there are some important tips that you’ll want to keep in mind.

1. Give Them Plenty of Water

It is absolutely crucial that your cats have enough water while you are gone. If you are going to leave for more than a day, you should really invest in a water fountain. This way you won’t have to worry about any of your kitties getting dehydrated.

2. Put out Enough Food

Your cats also need to have adequate food to tide them over until you return home. A food dispenser is a great way to ensure that they do not go hungry. You can program this device to dispense food at certain times on a daily basis.

3. Clean the Litter Boxes

You should make a point of cleaning out any litter boxes in your home before leaving. If any of the litter boxes become too dirty, your cats will most likely start doing their business in other places around the house.

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4. Give them Lots of Fun Toys

Give your cats plenty of toys to play with while you are gone so they don’t get bored. There are a wide range of cat toys you can buy, so it’s important to examine your options. There are puzzle feeders, cat trees, scratch posts, and much more.


  • Adult cats that are healthy as a whole can be left on their own for up to 24 hours.
  • Kittens that are younger than four months shouldn’t be left alone for more than 4 hours at a time.
  • If your kitten is 4-5 months old, you shouldn’t leave them alone for more than 5 hours.
  • Cats that are six months old can be left alone up to eight hours.
  • Consider the overall health of your cat as well. Cats that are sick or recovering from surgery shouldn’t be left alone for very long.
  • Kitties that are very affectionate and love attention shouldn’t be left alone for more than 8-12 hours.
  • If you are going on a trip that will last more than a day, you should have someone check in on your cats.
  • Before you leave your cats alone for an extended period, make sure they have plenty of food and water.
  • It’s also important to provide your cats with lots of fun toys to play with so they don’t get bored easily.

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