If you are in the process of deciding what kind of pet to get, you might think getting a cat will be ideal if you need a pet that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. You might even think cats do great when left alone for long periods of time. While cats can indeed be left alone longer than dogs, it is still important to remember to spend adequate time with your cat. This is especially true if there are no other cats or pets around to keep your kitty company.
How Much Time?
Experts recommend scheduling at least two or three times a day to spend some playtime with your cat. Mornings can be a great time but if your mornings are too hectic then the next best time is in the evening, maybe after getting home from work. You don’t need to spend hours playing, just around 10-15 minutes a day. Of course the amount of time you spend playing with your cat depends on their activity level and if they are just a kitten or a fully grown cat.
Consequences of Cats Being Alone Too Much
You might be wondering about the consequences of not spending enough time with you. According to CatChannel behavior expert, Marilyn Krieger, cats can actually develop behavior issues if they are left alone too much. Krieger also states that domestic cats need stimulation and interaction with their owners.
One such behavior problem that cats can develop is peeing where they shouldn’t. According to the blog post, “How to Make Your Cat Stop Peeing Where He Shouldn’t,” setting aside time to spend with your cat can actually help alleviate this type of behavior.
Other types of misbehavior that appear with cats that are left alone too often will include:
- Excessive meowing or yowling
- Developing separation anxiety
- Getting into mischief
- Snacking too much and gaining weight as a result
Kittens and Socialization
If you have recently just brought home a kitten, it is especially important to not leave your kitten alone for long periods of time. Kittens need to learn socialization skills and if there are no other kittens or pets to play with, you will have to make time to play and teach your new kitty.
According to WebMD, un-socialized kittens can develop anxiety, aggression and fear of unfamiliar people. Socialization in kittens usually takes place when they are between 3 to 9 weeks old. If they miss this critical state of development, they may never learn how to appropriately interact with humans and may never fully trust them.
These are just some of the reasons to make sure you spend an adequate amount of time with your cat, especially if they are a kitten and in the early stages of developing socially. By spending time with your cat, both you and your kitty will live a happy and contented life together.