You appreciate the time you spend bonding with your kitten, but you can’t always be at home with your pet friend.
Can your kitten benefit from some alone time, or will it do more harm than good? That is what I am about to discuss in this article.
Keep reading, to know if it’s ok to leave your kitten alone. Be it for 24 hours, overnight, or over the weekend. I have also included great tips on what to do with your kitten when you are away, and where to put it to sleep.
The answer to whether kittens need alone time:
Kittens don’t need alone time. They need human interaction to develop social skills. Don’t leave your kitten alone because it can:
- Injure itself.
- Get bored or stressed.
- Develop behavioral problems.
Provide your kitten with plenty of toys and kitten-proof the room when you are away.
Your Kitten Needs Human Interaction
Your kitten needs to get used to your scent, and at this stage, it is important to handle it frequently. This is true, especially if your kitten is between 3 to 7 weeks.
Your kitten is learning social skills, and so it does not need alone time. It needs you more than you might think. As a very young kitten, it needed round the clock attention from its mother.
Your kitten was also used to interacting with its littermates.
Now that you have taken over, you need to provide your kitty with love, attention, and companionship, so that it can grow to be a well-socialized cat. It is your job to be there for your cat.
It can get so bored when left alone with no playmates.
Here is an estimate of how long you can leave your kitten alone depending on its age:
- 4 months and below – 2 to 4 hours.
- 4 to 5 months- 5 hours.
- 6 months- 8 hours.
If you have just brought in your kitten, it is best to put it into a small room, with its water, food bowl, and bed. Let it stay there for a while before introducing it to other rooms and household members.
Of course, you will need to be checking on it often. Leaving it free to wander throughout the house might be overwhelming for your little friend.
Even so, you still need to bond and develop a relationship with your feline friend. These first few weeks are important because your kitty is learning your schedule. It’s also a time to train it with acceptable behaviors.
Your Kitten is not Safe When Left Alone
The most important reason why your kitten does not need alone time is that it could get into trouble. Your kitty is curious and wants to explore its environment.
It could easily get stuck into tight spaces due to its small body. If you are not there to help it, something terrible might happen. Your kitten might also be tempted to pull down heavy objects which might lead to injury.
Another cause of disaster is open cables. These might easily pass as toys according to your kitty, and it may chew them.
If you have houseplants, your kitten might snack on these without knowing that some of them could be potentially harmful.
These are serious reasons not to let your kitten be alone without supervision.
Two Kittens can be Briefly Left Alone in a Safe Enviroment
Two kittens can be left alone as long as everything that could be dangerous for them is put away. These are things such as electrical cords, window blinds, plastic bags, glasses, open fires and medications.
The reason why two kittens are better than one, is that they will entertain each other through play which serves as a distraction, and thus they stay out of trouble.
A kitten left alone can be destructive, but with a companion, they will keep each other occupied.
The pair should be over four months old and they can be left alone for a maximum of 4 hours.Kittens younger than 4 months still need constant supervision.
Although you can leave your two kittens alone, you still need to ensure you have made the area safe and comfortable for them. Here are some tips:
- Remove hazards: Clear the room from poisonous plants, household detergents, breaking glass, or strings.
- Leave food and water bowl: Remember your kittens are growing at a fast rate, and need to eat to facilitate that growth. As they play, they will likely get hungry or thirsty. Leave food and water bowls for them.
- Provide a warm bed: Your kittens will need a warm place to snuggle in. Give them a cat bed with lots of blankets to keep your kitties warm.
- Leave plenty of toys: As energetic creatures, your furry friends need lots of toys for their enrichment. You can give them mouse toys, food puzzles, scratching posts, or cardboard boxes.
Importance of Play for Your Kitten
We have seen that it is not advisable to leave your kitten alone for a long time. However, you cannot always be at home. You need to go to work, shopping, and keep up with friends.
When you are away, it’s important to create an environment where your kitty can benefit from interactive games. At least 10 to 15 minutes of playing each day is recommended.
Your kitten will spend most of its time sleeping, but when it’s awake, it will like to engage in some play activities. Playing is important for your little one, for the following reasons:
1. Stress relief
Leaving your kitten alone can stress it. This can lead to behavioral problems; a bored kitten is likely to destroy things in the house. Play is a distraction and stress reliever for your kitty.
If your kitten lacks physical stimulation during its early stages of development, it will grow up into a stressed-out cat into adulthood.
Constructive play is the kind of exercise your kitten needs to stay healthy. Just an hour of play increases your cat’s lifespan by four hours. Exercise in your cat has the same effect it has on humans; improving mental health.
3. Play is part of your kitten’s biology
Exposing your kitten to an environment rich in play activities stimulates its natural prey stalking instincts.
That is why you will notice your cat likes to chase, pounce, and stalk any moving object, including your feet.
At this stage in life, your kitty feels the urge to exercise its hunting skills through play.
You can talk to your vet for advice on how to ensure your cat gets proper exercise, depending on its age and physical health.
Here are the best cat toys for your kitten:
- Cat perch.
- Boxes and paper bags.
- Feather wand.
- Fishing pole teaser.
- Shredded paper.
- Plastic tops from water bottles.
Where to Put Your Kitten at Night
Since kittens sleep a lot, it only makes sense to ensure their sleeping area is as comfortable as possible. Here is what you can do to ensure your kitty catches its sleep well:
1. Provide a warm and cozy bed
Your furry friend’s instincts make it have a primal need to feel safe from predators, even though it is sleeping in your house. Provide it with a cat bed that has cushions and soft blankets inside.
To add a sense of security, ensure the bed has higher sides. Don’t worry if the bed appears to be bigger than your cat’s size. It will still use it as it grows older, which will happen in no time. Stuff it with blankets to compensate for the extra space.
2. Keep it in a separate room
While the idea of snuggling up with your cat in bed might seem welcoming, it is not advisable. Sleeping with your cat might pose health problems to you.
Furthermore, cats are crepuscular, meaning they are active at dusk and dawn. Your kitty might interrupt your sleep because it wants to play at night.
Remember to keep noisy toys away from the room your cat is sleeping. It may decide to start playing with them. Your kitten has incredible night vision, so it’s not surprising why it likes to prowl about in the dark.
3. Provide it with a litterbox
The last thing you want is to wake up at night because your cat is meowing, looking for its litter tray. Ensure the litter box is cleaned because your kitty might decline using it if it smells terrible.
You also want to keep free from strong chemicals or perfumes, even though these are advertised as the best to mask the odor. Cats don’t like strong scents.
4. Hire a pet sitter
If you are not going to be at home the whole night, it’s advisable to arrange for a friend or pet sitter to check on your kitten.
A sudden illness or injury can quickly escalate into something serious. You can leave your contact details or the vet’s number in case of any emergency.
There are other factors to consider before leaving your kitten alone. The first is its personality. We know that all cats are different. If your kitty is the independent one even at an early age, you can leave it alone for some time.
But if it still is highly dependent on you and clingy, you may need to stay with it until it is older, when it has gained much confidence.
Another factor to consider is your kitten’s health. If it has an underlying health condition, then you shouldn’t leave it alone overnight.