How Long Can I Leave My Cat Alone?

how long can i leave my cat

As a cat owner, unless you work from home, you probably don’t have the option to be with your cat 24/7.

You have to go work, go shopping, take the kids to school, and maybe you need to stay away overnight for a business trip, or something else of the sort.

Unless you have someone to watch the cat for you, which let’s face it, you probably don’t, your cat will need to deal with being alone for some time. How long is too long? How long can I leave my cat alone?

How Long Can a Cat Be Alone?

Generally speaking, a cat can easily be alone for 12 hours, and if you have provided it with all of the proper food and support supplies, it could be alone for up to 24 hours without issue. Now, how long your cat is comfortable being alone for is going to depend on the cat.

To test this out, try leaving the cat alone for only a short time. You can then gradually increase how long you leave it alone. When doing this, try to monitor its behavior to see what the result is.

Some cats may be perfectly fine alone for a full 24 hours, whereas others might not make it to 6 hours without destroying your home. Yes, a bored cat will most likely start chewing and clawing your belongings, so be careful, especially if you have valuable belongings.

The rule of thumb here is that if you provide your cat with all of the necessary supplies, it should be fine for 24 hours. However, any longer than that and you will want to get a pet sitter or take the cat to someone to take care of it while you are gone.

Leaving a Cat Alone – Some Essential Tips

Let’s go over some tips in terms of what you need to leave your cat when you are gone, both for its survival and its sanity, as well as the survival of your furniture.

Water and Food

The most important thing you need to provide your cat with when you are gone is food and water. Water is the No. 1 need, so leave enough for the entire duration while you are gone — more than enough. You don’t want the cat running out of water. You’ll want to have a couple of dispensers or water bowls.

In terms of food, if you are only gone for a couple hours or half a day, then this is not 100% necessary. However, if you plan on being gone for longer than 8 hours, you will want to leave your cat a bit of food, just so it does not go hungry.

The Litterbox

If you have a cat, you probably know that it wants a clean litterbox, it wants its own private litterbox, and it wants the litterbox to be easily accessible.

So, before you leave, ensure that the litterbox is 100% clean and in an easy to access location, and if possible, have one litterbox for each cat. You don’t want to come home to find urine and feces spread across your house.


You will also want to leave their favorite toys available for your cat, and the longer you’ll be away, the better the selection of toys should be. Simply put, a bored and lonely can is a destructive cat that is going to get into trouble and tear your house apart.


Food, water, toys, and a clean litterbox are really all you need if you are leaving the cat alone for a single day. However, any longer than that, and you don’t want to leave the cat alone.

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