How Long Should You Leave Your Senior Cat Alone?

We are a publicly-supported 501C3 nonprofit. Your purchase through links on our site supports our mission. Learn more.
senior cat alone

Most people think of their cat as aloof and independent, and creatures that don’t require much in the way of attention. Unfortunately, what most people don’t realize is that cats are far more social creatures than most people give them credit for. In fact, cats value the company of their companions much more than most people realize. 

If you are planning a trip or will be away from your home for an extended period, you should really not leave your cat alone for more than 24 hours. If you have to be away for any longer period, it is important that you plan to have someone check in on your pet to be sure they either haven’t knocked over their water bowl, or overate all of their food out of stress. Even an automatic feeder cannot ensure your cat’s safety when they are alone because even automatic feeders can fail or not work as they are supposed to and you really would not want your cat to be alone for more than 24 hours without someone to check on them.

According to cat experts, cats can become easily stressed during an owner’s prolonged absence and they may act out as a result, including:

  • Vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Not using the litter box

A pet sitter can check in on your cat, make sure that their food and water is replenished, their litter box is clean, and they can interact with your cat. Ideally, you should have a pet sitter visit your home around the same time each day that you would ordinarily feed your cat, so as not to disrupt her normal schedule. 

While a visit need not be long, it would be a good idea for the sitter to sit down with your cat for a short period and pet her and make sure she is not distressed. 

Senior cats are more easily stressed when they are left alone for long periods, so it is a good idea to have a pet sitter visit the home a couple of times a day, or consider sleeping in the home overnight to help ease the stress for your cat. 

If you are planning a trip or extended vacation, or if you simply are returning to the office and work longer than normal hours, you may want to consider hiring a pet sitter who can fill in and check on your pet when you are away. Rover is a pet sitting service that can drop by your home and feed and play with your pets, clean the litter box, and tend your your pet’s needs. Friends of Elderly Pet get $10 off their first booking. 


We do not endorse or promote any products or companies. You should always consult your vet to determine what is most appropriate for your senior pet.

With your help, we can keep senior pets out of shelters and place them in loving, caring homes. Your gift can help save senior pets from an uncertain future.

Scroll to Top