Leaving Kitty Home Alone for 48 Hours. What You Need to Know

Assessing Your Cat’s Needs

When leaving your cat alone for 2 days, it’s important to assess their basic needs for food, water, litter box usage, stimulation/playtime, and any medication schedules.

Cats can survive 2-3 days without food as long as they have access to water, according to Purina UK1. Make sure your cat has enough dry food and fresh water to last the full 2 days before you leave. Cats can become dehydrated after 24 hours without water, causing dangerous stress on their organs according to the same source, so frequent water replenishment is key.

The litter box should be freshly cleaned before you go, and cats can typically last 2 days without needing it changed again. Make sure the litter box is located somewhere easily accessible to your cat.

Boredom and lack of stimulation can stress cats out. Provide puzzle feeders, toys, cat trees, and scratching posts to occupy their time. Consider leaving out interactive toys dispensed via automatic feeders or “treat puzzles” to pique their hunting instincts.

If your cat takes any regular medications, make sure to give the proper doses before you leave. An automatic feeder with ice packs can dispense refrigerated medications while you’re gone.

Preparing The Environment

Before leaving your cat at home alone, you’ll want to prepare their environment to be as safe and stimulating as possible. Make sure to hide any cords, toxic household items like cleaners or detergent pods, or anything else potentially dangerous that your cat could get into. Keep toilet lids closed and secure trash cans as well.

Providing stimulation through toys, cat trees, windows with bird feeders or squirrel watching spots, and rotating novel toys can help prevent boredom. Place toys around the home and rotate some out and introduce new ones before you leave. Consider getting puzzle feeders or timed treat dispensers to give your cat an activity to do while you’re gone. Having places to scratch, climb, and perch along with a clean litter box are also essential.

Providing Proper Supplies

To keep your cat healthy and happy while you’re away, make sure you provide adequate food, water, litter, and toys.

Using an automatic feeder is crucial to ensure your cat has access to food on a regular schedule. According to Time, the PetSafe Smart Feed 2.0 Automatic Pet Feeder is one of the best options with its large 24 cup capacity, useful app, and reliable performance. You’ll want to fill the feeder with your cat’s regular food before you leave.

An automatic water fountain, like the PetSafe Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain, will keep fresh water circulating so your cat stays hydrated. Make sure to fill it up before departing.

Provide extra litter boxes if you have more than one cat, and give them a thorough cleaning beforehand. Stock up on extra litter so the boxes don’t get too full while you’re gone.

Bust out some interactive toys like puzzle feeders, catnip mice, and feather wands to keep your cat mentally and physically stimulated. Rotate through a few different toys to prevent boredom.

Considering A Pet Sitter

While leaving your cat alone for a couple days may seem manageable, hiring a pet sitter is often a good option for regular visits and care. According to Pet Sitters International, 97.3% of pet sitters offer services for cats [1]. Pet sitters can provide your cat companionship, playtime, litter box cleaning, medication administration, and more. Here are some pros and cons to weigh when considering a pet sitter:


  • Regular interaction and care from an experienced sitter
  • Your cat stays comfortable at home
  • Customized attention and playtime
  • Litter boxes stay clean
  • Medications administered properly
  • Peace of mind knowing your cat is regularly checked on


  • More expensive than leaving your cat alone
  • Need to arrange key access to your home
  • Potential stress from new person entering home

Costs of pet sitting average $15-$25 per 30 minute visit. Overnight stays or longer bookings often cost less per visit [2]. Be sure to find an insured, bonded, and experienced pet sitter you trust.

Changing Up Routine Beforehand

To help your cat adjust to your upcoming absence, it’s a good idea to start changing up their normal routine in the days or weeks leading up to your trip. Cats thrive on consistency and predictability, so any abrupt changes in their schedule can be stressful or disorienting for them.

Try shifting when you feed your cat or play with them earlier or later than usual. You can also practice leaving them alone for gradually longer periods of time. Start with just an hour or two, then work up to leaving them alone for most of the day. This will help get your cat used to the new routine and schedule in small, manageable increments before you go away.

Additionally, make sure your cat has access to their preferred resting spots, toys, scratching posts, and other familiar comforts. Maintaining some consistency with items and environments they associate with you can provide reassurance.

It may take some time and patience for your cat to get comfortable with changes to their normal routine. Be sure to give them ample affection, playtime, and treats to make the transition smoother. With the right preparation, most cats can adapt well and feel secure in your absence.

Cameras For Checking In

One of the best ways to check in on your cat while you’re away is to set up a pet camera. There are many options for pet cameras that allow you to view live footage of your home and interact with your pet using two-way audio or even treat dispensers.

Some top-rated pet cameras to consider are the Furbo 360° Dog & Cat Camera, the Petcube Bites 2 Lite, and the Eufy Indoor Cam 2K. These cameras offer features like wide-angle views, night vision, smartphone alerts, and treat tossing. Make sure to set up the camera in your cat’s favorite hangout spot so you can check on them throughout the day.

When setting up a pet camera, place it in a stable location that gives you the best vantage point of the area your cat spends the most time in. Test that the WiFi connection is strong in that spot. You may need to move the camera closer to your router for a steady signal. Check that the camera’s field of view allows you to see your cat’s food, water, litter box, and sleeping areas so you can monitor their eating, drinking, bathroom habits, and activity levels.

Signs Of Stress

Cats may exhibit various signs of stress when left alone for extended periods. Some common signs to look out for include aggression, inappropriate urination, and overgrooming.

Aggressive behaviors like hissing, growling, or biting can indicate separation anxiety, as the cat feels on edge without its owner present. Cats may act out against other pets or even furniture. According to this source, aggressive behaviors stem from fear and stress.

Inappropriate urination outside the litter box can also signal separation stress. As explained by this source, urinating around the house relieves anxiety for some cats when they feel insecure about being left alone.

Overgrooming refers to excessive licking, chewing, or scratching fur to the point of creating bald spots or sores. Cats may overgroom due to boredom or anxiety from isolation. This source states overgrooming often targets the abdomen, legs, and paws when related to stress.

Mitigating Boredom and Stress

When left alone for extended periods, cats can get bored, stressed, and destructive. Providing interactive toys can help mitigate these behaviors by keeping your cat mentally and physically stimulated. Some great options include:

  • Self-play toys like balls, treat puzzles, and feeders that reward playtime with food or treats. These provide mental enrichment and exercise. Choose toys that require effort and interaction like puzzle feeders rather than just an open bowl. Rotate different puzzles to prevent boredom (Jackson Galaxy).
  • Battery-operated or motion-activated toys that move unpredictably to mimic prey animals. Flapping bird, mouse, and fish toys that turn on when batted or touched are excellent for independent play. Models with adjustable settings prevent habituation (Catster).
  • Catnip-filled toys which spark playful hunting behaviors. Use catnip responsibly as a periodic enriching treat. Rotate new catnip toys to keep the effect novel.

Also consider calming aids like pheromone diffusers or calming treats/supplements which may reduce anxiety when home alone. Follow product guidelines for duration and timing of use.

When To Call The Vet

Despite your best efforts to prepare, your cat may still exhibit signs of distress or illness while you’re away. It’s important to know when to seek veterinary help. Here are some key signs to watch out for:

Not eating – If your cat goes more than 24 hours without eating, this is cause for concern. Lack of appetite can signal an underlying medical issue. Contact your vet if food is still left uneaten after a day.

Lethargy – Healthy cats are typically quite active. If yours seems very listless and low energy, that could indicate a problem. Cats tend to hide illness very well, so lethargy is not normal.

Hiding – While some hiding behavior can be normal, excessive hiding over many hours may mean your cat is unwell. Cats instinctively hide when sick or injured. If you can’t easily find your cat, reach out to your vet.

Other signs like vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal urination or defecation, breathing issues, and vocalizing pain are also reasons to call the vet right away. It’s better to err on the side of caution if your cat displays any abnormal behaviors.

Have your vet’s number handy before leaving, and don’t hesitate to call if worried. Describe all the symptoms in detail. The vet can then advise if an urgent visit is needed. When in doubt about your cat’s health, always reach out to a professional.

Planning Ahead

It’s a good idea to do a couple test runs before leaving your cat alone for an extended period. Start with short times away like an hour or two and slowly work up to longer periods over the course of a few weeks. This allows your cat to get used to you being gone and builds their confidence that you will return. Make sure your cat has access to food, water, litter, toys and other enrichment during these practice periods (Purina).

Additionally, try altering your routine in the days before you leave to get your cat accustomed to schedule changes. For example, if you normally feed your cat first thing in the morning, push back the feeding time incrementally over several days so the change is not too abrupt when you are gone. The more you can do to minimize surprises and help your cat feel comfortable with the new situation, the lower their stress levels will be.

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