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Old 01-10-2004, 10:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How long to leave kitten home alone?

The "welcome home post" made me think of this. We just have 1 cat (are we abnormal? Everyone seems to have many!!..is it that we'll soon get hooked?) Anyway, I would love to get the veteran cat owners' thoughs on this:

1. How long can a 6mo old kitten be left all by herself (food, water and toys out)?

2. How long can a kitten be left with someone checking in/playing with her 2x/day?

3. How long do you leave your adult cats (vacation, etc) without worrying about them?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-10-2004, 02:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:

1. How long can a 6mo old kitten be left all by herself (food, water and toys out)?

2. How long can a kitten be left with someone checking in/playing with her 2x/day?

3. How long do you leave your adult cats (vacation, etc) without worrying about them?
Hum.... good questions!

I wouldn't leave any cat by themselves no matter the age, for any length of time. Always have someone come check on them. Kittens, however, are, as you know, full of mischief and are especially good at getting themselves in trouble. Kitten proof everything before you leave. All cords pulled up out of the way. All strings, rubber bands, anything that could choke a little kitty needs to be picked. Put away all plastic bags. It is just like baby proofing, but this child has fur.

One kitty is great, two are better. Your kitty has to have intelligent conversation. So he needs someone of his own kind. It is always best to get two kitties that way you don't need to worry about them being to lonely. Plus, they will be less likely to get into trouble by playing things they shouldn't. He will have the other kitty to play with instead of the electrical cords!

I don't know about the length of time. I don't like being away from my cats for longer than 3-4 days. I just worry too much. I would think as long as you have someone checking on them frequently they would be okay. But....well, here is my experience.

I had a wonderful job opportunity a couple of years ago. I applied for a job in AK and the company i work for footed the bill for a two month stay so I could see what it was like. I was torn about the cats; would it be better to take them with me or leave them? In the end, I decided that leaving them at home, in their own home, with their own things, with their Auntie Renee and Auntie Camille checking on them everyday would be best. From my home Anchorage is a 10 hour flight. It was just to far to take a kitty in a plane, for me anyways.

So I went and had a great time. But.....I missed my cats every second I was gone. And it was the same for them. Renee tells me that after a couple of days Badness must have realized I wasn't coming back soon and she took to staying under the bed most of the time. Not healthy for a cat.

When I came back, it took about a week for the cats to adjust to having me there again. They were used to being on their own schedule and not mine. It took awhile, but everything did get back to normal.

After a couple of weeks at home, I had to go out of town again for just 4 days. You should have seen my cats. They were almost panicked. I can't even describe the look on Badness' face when she saw the suitcase come out again. Broken, is a good word for it. I felt so horrible. It was then that I realized how badly my absence had affected my cats. They must have felt like I had abandoned them. I felt so horrible that I had put my cats through this. I still do. I will never leave them for that length of time again.

So I would say yes, physically a kitty will be fine on its own for long periods of time. With someone checking on him, of course. Mentally and emotionally??? That is another story.
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Old 01-13-2004, 08:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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For your first question, I wouldn't leave a kitten by herself for more than a day or so. Somebody has to check in, feed her, play with her a little--cats love social interaction.
With someone coming to check twice a day, I'd say you could go as long as you needed to. My husband and I visited family for three weeks over Christmas, and while our house was a MESS when we got back (the kittens decided to dig up all the plants and rip pieces of paper into tiny shreds ALL over the house) the kittens, both four months old, were okay. They adjusted to us being home pretty fast.
That said, I did worry about them, even with a neighbor coming by to feed them. There was a 6.5 earthquake while we were gone, and I was so worried something may have fallen on them. Turns out they were fine, thank God, but I was very worried.
Also I think that because they had each other, they may have taken our absence a little better. They play all the time when we're resting or eating or doing other things, and I think kittens especially need a lot of interaction.
That's why we all have multiple cats--same amount of work, but twice the fun!
Take care,
Lindsay
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Old 01-15-2004, 12:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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1.

(Q)How long can a 6mo old kitten be left all by herself (food, water and toys out)?

(A) I would guess... 5 seconds, of course a little more (maybe an hour, but thats just terrible.. I could never do that, not that there is anything wrong with that), but thats when you will feel the guilt. You should really get him/her a play-mate.

2.

(Q)How long can a kitten be left with someone checking in/playing with her 2x/day?

(A)Your going on vacation huh? Get him/her a play-mate and you could leave them alone with getting checked on for weaks. I wouldnt do it for more then a day thoe.

3.

(Q)How long do you leave your adult cats (vacation, etc) without worrying about them?

(A)Yup i knew it ^^, i always worry, even if their in the next room. I love my kittys . But to be serius, probably a month with them getting checked on. IF there are play-mates.


"There was a 6.5 earthquake while we were gone"

*shreeks* SUPERMAN! PLEASE SAVE THE KITTENS!

Thats what i would yell out before hopping into the nearest private jet, hi-jacking it, and flying it back to check on my cats.
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Old 01-15-2004, 10:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I have left my cats alone for about 3 to 4 days before. I always put out extra food and water ( and I leave the toilet up, just in case) and I really clean the litter pans, as well as putting quite alot of extra litter in them. I have cats ranging in age from 3 months to two years.

The last time we left them, over Christmas, when we got home they were just fine. They were really excited to see us! About 3 hours after we got home my kitten Jessy climbed up on the half wall in my loft bedroom and fell down to the floor, the fall is at least 10 feet. I cringe to think about what could have happened if we had still been gone! I didnt even know the kittens could get up on the wall!

So that makes me think twice about leaving the young kittens all alone next time. I do not worry so much about the older cats for a weekend though.

Any time over a weekend I would make sure a neighbor or family would come by to check on them. You know clean the box and fill up food, make sure they are doing ok. Also cat proof the house, try to thijnk of everything they might do and fix it so they cant.

Good Luck!
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Old 01-15-2004, 09:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Is it truly better to have more than one cat? I've been talking to my boyfriend about getting another kitty, but his argument is always "when you have two cats, one always gets more attention than the other one". Is this true?
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