3 Steps for leaving cats home alone

Is your pet ready for you to spend more time out of the house?

Perhaps not. If they haven’t been taught how to cope on their own, your absence can be really stressful.

For kittens, it may be their first experience of being home alone. For older pets, it may be having to return to a routine that they have forgotten.


Start today! 

You can begin to prepare your pet for you or your family spending many hours away from your home now.


First, create a safe and comfortable area for your pet.

cat safe space crate

For example, a crate or a secure room (kitchen or utility). This should be a fun place for your pet, with a bed, toys, water etc.

Level 1: Regularly take your pet here to teach them it is a good place to be.

cat eating cat food

Feeding meals in this area helps to build positive experiences. Try doing this when you are not near them.

Level 2: Enclose your pet in this safe place with a treat while you go to another room briefly.

cat treat food

Return & release your pet without making a fuss. Leaving and returning should be a neutral event (not cause excitement or fear).

Gradually increase the time you are away in small increments. Your pet should learn that when you leave, good things will happen i.e: they get a treat or a toy.

Level 3: It’s time to start leaving the house.

cat home alone

As before, slowly build up the time you are away.

Golden Rules

If your pet becomes stressed or anxious, return to the level where your pet was most comfortable & confident.

comfortable cat laying on bed 


Every pet is different. They should determine how quickly you can progress. Reminding an older pet of old routines is very different to teaching something for the first time to a young or new pet in your home.

kitten cat


Check that your pet receives enough mental stimulation and exercise when you are around- playing games, training or teaching tricks. Remember to reward calm, relaxed behaviours.

Cat Toy Play


This advice has been created by Dr Tammie King, Behaviour expert at the Waltham Petcare Science Institute

29/01/2021 by NatuTeam

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