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How much should you be home?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
How much should you be home when you own a cat? I work over a full-time job on some days and travel to visit my boyfriend about twice a week. Sometimes I feel I am only home to sleep! When I am just going to work and no overnight visits, I leave the TV on for her. If I am going overnight, the radio will be on. At all times she has tons of toys, fresh food and water. How much time at home is enough? I want to be fair to Mollie... Please advise. Thank you
post #2 of 13
When I'm at school, I'm usually in classes most of the day and often at various activities or social stuff during the nite... when I was with my last ex, I'd go away sometimes on weekends to go see him and Oliver was fine (he's free-fed dry kibble and has water cooler style food and water dishes and two litter boxes)... I always leave the tv on animal planet when I go to class or away for the weekend and Oliver has tons of toys. He is very much a mamas boy, so he misses me tons whenever I leave (even if its just to go get the laundry! haha), but I always make sure to find a moment or two, even if its right before bedtime, to devote to mama/Oliver time
post #3 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karscott
How much should you be home when you own a cat? I work over a full-time job on some days and travel to visit my boyfriend about twice a week. Sometimes I feel I am only home to sleep! When I am just going to work and no overnight visits, I leave the TV on for her. If I am going overnight, the radio will be on. At all times she has tons of toys, fresh food and water. How much time at home is enough? I want to be fair to Mollie... Please advise. Thank you
Mine are much happier when I am home a lot, especially Molly and Bobby - but it probably varies from cat to cat.
post #4 of 13
Mollie is the only animal in the house, yes?
Maybe a companion kitty is something to think about. A cat that receives zero stimulation in the way of playing and social interaction is a cat that is kind of just existing IMO
post #5 of 13
Yea, if you're gone that much then perhaps a friend is in order, if it's possible. And remember, a tv/radio is just random noise to most cats and might not actually be helping him feel less lonely. I also leave the tv on sometimes when I'm gone at night for safety reasons, but Zissou couldn't care less about it.

Some cats don't mind being alone, but I know Zissou is always waiting by the door for me to come home, asleep, and she never sleeps there when I'm here, or she's in the window watching for me where she also never is if I'm home. When she hears the key in the lock she meows back at me! So I know she needs lots of company, and most cats do. I am only ever gone for 4 or 5 hours at a time, I'm worried about after I move I'll be gone a lot more.

Could you take your cat with you to your boyfriend's? Most cats would stress out about that, but I know mine would love it!
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
I do live in a small studio apartment so I don't think getting Mollie a friend will work. When i am home, she gets all the attention and more. All my time at home is basically spent with her either playing, combing her, or taking cat naps together on the couch. Love it! I am going home today after work before I leave for the evening just to spend some Q/T time with her.
post #7 of 13
If I have too many long days in a row, my mum comes over and gives her quality one-on-one play and affection time. This makes Smidge happy.

I also use a pet sitting service when needed - they also will devote play time to her, or whatever my specifications are. It isnt a perfect solution, but even a 30 min visit midday makes Smidge a much happier girl - I can tell she's "different" after a visit (in a good way!)
post #8 of 13
LOL, this is a great topic.

Once I had the day off and started imagining all the bonding possiblities that I would have with me and my cats...

They ended up sleeping ALL DAY. Go figure.
post #9 of 13
Monday will be my first day back at work since I got Astrid on Thursday afternoon. Every day she is more and more social and less into hiding. Monday is the day that I am gone the longest since I do an evening shift at the adoption center in the evening after work. I am planning to come home at lunch time to check on her and then come home and feed her and see her before my shift. I usually just go straight from work.

Since Tuesday is a holiday I have the day off and it will be interesting to see if being away all that time has any effect on her. My guess is probably not...
post #10 of 13
Maybe the best thing for you is to adopt an adult cat, one that is maybe not as affectionate as most people like, sort of a hard case at the shelter. Or yes, adopt another cat as a companion.

You want one who is mature and not known to damage furniture, etc.

I've seen these type of arrangements work out well for both parties involved! Some cats just want to know you are there, they don't need a lot of attention.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karscott
I do live in a small studio apartment so I don't think getting Mollie a friend will work.
I also live in a small apartment, so I understand where you're coming from. Although it seems counter-intuitive, having 2 cats is actually less work in many ways than having just one. After having Lilly for about a year, I got another kitty, Leo, to keep her company about a month ago. I think Lilly is much more calm about me being gone, and they both give each other plenty of activity! Also, Lilly doesn't do most of her "naughty-I-want-attention" behaviors anymore... in retrospect, I think she was bored before Leo joined our family, despite all the attention I gave her when I was home. Just my experience and two cents.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewweilin
LOL, this is a great topic.

Once I had the day off and started imagining all the bonding possiblities that I would have with me and my cats...

They ended up sleeping ALL DAY. Go figure.
The trick is to sleep with them.

Bobby thinks napping with me in the middle of the afternoon is more fun than anything else he could possibly be doing.

No, I don't know why either.
post #13 of 13
I've found that the key to a non-anxious cat at my house is consistency. She doesn't really mind me being gone all day as long as that is the usual pattern--it's when I change my schedule that she gets antsy and whiny. So if I am on break, she follows me around the house all day, obviously tired and in need of a nap, whining loudly, like "why don't you LEAVE already! I canNOT nap properly when I could be getting petted!"
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