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3 Things To Do Before Leaving Your Kitten Alone

 by jaime on 16 Aug 2014 |
18 Comment(s)
Owners that bring home a new pet often liken the situation to bringing home a new child. A new baby requires a lot more attention, but new pets create a lot of change in the average routine as well. Welcoming a new kitten into your home comes with challenges, and one of the most difficult challenges arises when it is time to return to work.
The first time you leave your kitten home alone you are no doubt nervous about what is going to happen. Will the kitten whine all day and perhaps become distressed? Perhaps it will become bored and destroy things around the home. Even worse, an untrained kitten may leave messes everywhere but in the litter box. How can you prepare your kitten to be home alone for the first time?
1. Control access
The absolute worst thing you can do is leave the house for first time and allow your kitten to have free range throughout the house. It is important to establish a safe, but confined, environment for it to spend the day in until you return. There are several ways of doing this, but the easiest is to simply confine it to one room. It goes without saying that bathrooms, closets, and other small rooms are a poor choice.
Select a bedroom or office in the home, or better yet the laundry room, where your kitten can spend the day. Create a safe environment by removing anything from the room that the kitten could harm itself playing with, or destroy if it becomes too playful. Examples of items to remove include glass vases, bottles, and cleaning supplies with harmful chemicals.
2. Provide entertainment
Now that you have selected an environment for your kitten to spend the day in, you'll need to provide it with some entertainment. Just because you have locked the kitten in one room does not mean it is going to magically behave because you removed all of the dangers. Leave an array of toys out for the kitten to play with. It would be a good idea to invest in a scratching post and climbing house for the kitten's room. This provides an outlet for any destructive tendencies, while also providing it with a task (climbing) to do during the day.
3. Don't forget necessities
If there is one advantage to owning kittens over puppies, it is the ability of kittens to use the bathroom indoors without (necessarily) making a mess. Before you leave your kitten home all day in its safe environment, move its litter box into the room so that it can use the bathroom when needed without going wherever it pleases.
Additionally, don't forget to leave food and water dishes out in the room. Cats are grazing eaters, so it is difficult to feed them before you leave and then again when you return home. Leave a bowl in the room with some dry food in it for your kitten to munch on when it gets hungry. It's natural to get thirsty while eating, so don't forget to leave a bowl of water out for your kitten as well.
Some of these habits can change as your kitten matures. Without question, the most important step to follow with a kitten being left home for the first time is a controlled environment. Older cats tend to behave well with access to the entire home. Kittens are rambunctious and prone to mischief though, so it would be foolish to allow them more than one room to roam in during your absence.

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Carsen - Comment
Carsen10 Dec 2017Reply
This website is so much help I’m about to get a 8 week old kitten now I know what to do thank you
Jessica - Comment
Jessica10 Dec 2017Reply
Me too! I’m so frightened to leave her when I get her, I feel as if I should take the week off work!
nicole  - Comment
nicole 01 Apr 2018Reply
this is helped a lot but am getting a 9 week old kitten so worried about leaving it at home alone?
Michelle - Comment
Michelle16 Apr 2018Reply
My 7 week old kitten is very rambunctious. I read some of these posts and it is very helpful.
Johanna Guppy - Comment
Johanna Guppy24 Jul 2018Reply
I left my 9 week old kitten at home today in one room with all the items described above. I had to go back to work. He has had 4 days with me since I got him. I'll let you know tomorrow how it went! I left him for a couple of hours yesterday and he was fine.
Kelly - Comment
Kelly24 Jul 2018Reply
How did it go? I just got mine 3 months old kitten two days ago. I have spent the last two whole days with him. Tomorrow I will have to leave her alone for 8 hours for the first time.
Michaela - Comment
Michaela24 Jul 2018Reply
Hi there how did they do on there own. We have 7 week old who was abandoned and leave him in one room at night for 10 hours and will be leaving him for 9 hours while work when he is 9 weeks old. He will be okay yeah. I’m worried in some ways
Kaitlin Cameron - Comment
Kaitlin Cameron03 Aug 2018Reply
I live in a bachelor apartment and I’m nervous about leaving my new 8 week old kitten in the apartment by himself. Everything thing I read says to confine him into one room but the only room I would be able to do that with would be the bathroom and that doesn’t seem right.
Any suggestions?
Skippy - Comment
Skippy03 Aug 2018Reply
Hewwò, My name is Skippy & I am 9 weeks + 1 day old. At first, whem my new mumy left me alone, I was too scared to. do anything, so I hid + went to sleep until she came home. She hadn't left me before & I think she had a harder time than I did. She bought me more toys & I fell in love with it. Now, I think I'll play on the guilt trip a bit longer to get more toys. hee, hee. When I really do get scared mumy cuddles me & if I "accidentally" knock something over, like the set-top box, I go into hiding for a little while. She even cuddles me for that. She told me that if I ever get sick not to get upset. She says its alright, that everyone gets sick. Im very happy shes my new mumy. Shes so gentle & makes me feel so safe, id feel guilty if i "accidentally" broke anything, esp. her computer. Those things have to go. It takes up too much of my cuddle time + since Im still very wittle, I need a lot of attn. If u leave us puddy tats good, water, bickies, a radio or the tv on, we will be very good. When we hear the tv or radio talking, we think there is someone home & it makes us feel safe. Personlwwy, I like soft gentle music. I dont like jazz. Birdies like that. I like soft music because it helps me to sleep, but I like people talking on tv or radio best. I liked it when mumy left me gor half an hr, then 1hr, then 2, etc. It helped me to get used to being by myself, with the tv or radio on. I do like the tv, esp uf its hot animals on. Puddy tat shows or movies are goid cause I can learn how to wapp mumy around my wittle claw. Just wemember that we luv u vewy much, esp if u dpoil us wotten & will be good wittle kittens. I hope dis helps u wit taking care of us. The spoiling us wotten is very important
miaoww . . . miaow . . .
Lindsay  - Comment
Lindsay 10 Aug 2018Reply
I am fostering 3 abandoned ~8week old kittens and I don't have a spare room for them. So I bought a large playpen with a lid (google pet playpen) that I have had them in for the last 2 weeks while I'm at work or sleeping. They come out first thing in the mornings while I get ready for about an hour and then all night when I'm home from work.

My question is, is it OK to keep three 8week old kittens confined in the playpen for 8 hours while I sleep and then 9 hours while I'm at work?! They used to cry when I put them back in but now they don't even seem to mind... Of course it has a litter box, food, water, and lots of toys.

Ashleigh - Comment
Ashleigh10 Aug 2018Reply
I would find it wrong. Kittens need attention. I have a kitten who’s 9 weeks and he likes to sleep with me and my fiancé. They need to be able to explore. Because when it comes time for someone to adopt them they will most likely run and hide in the new environment. They won’t want attention they will be scared and confused. Kittens need cuddles and to be played with not caged up 24/7. Your fostering them for a reason. If you can’t give them the attention that’s required find them a new foster home
lay - Comment
lay10 Aug 2018Reply
If there's 3 they have each other to keep company and with
Lindsay  - Comment
Lindsay 10 Aug 2018Reply
Update: I let them roam free at 9 weeks. They were extremely friendly and well socialized and one even learned to fetch!! Insta: @pawsome_kittens_check_meowt

But your comment really bothers me. Do you think every foster parent doesn't work and doesn't sleep and spends all day with them?! I hardly think the life they lived with me was worse than being abandoned, locked in their carrier with no food outside a dumpster.
Rose - Comment
Rose10 Aug 2018Reply
@Lindsay - I agree 100%. That's silly to presume that every foster parent works from home, doesn't work or is retired. It's also basically stating that nobody that works can adopt a kitten because they have to stay home with it. I would think that as long as you had toys to keep them entertained and it was only for a little while until they got acclimated and your house kitten proofed, it would be just fine.
Mike - Comment
Mike19 Jun 2019Reply
I feel im getting the separation anxiety, my kitten was rubbing on me since i slept in the kittens room. My wife sleep during the day and sleeps in the master bed
I feel bad going to work
Cy tanner - Comment
Cy tanner06 Aug 2019Reply
I'm getting a kitten in 4 weeks. She'll be 11 weeks old. I really don't see the whole picture for what it's worth. I'm staying home for the first week about 9 days because kittens are use to having their sibblings around and people, so they don't know how to be alone or feel safe. If you can afford a pet sitter than that's a way to go too. That's what I'm trying to find is dmeone to watch her while I'm at work except they would be at my place for 6 hours and the kitten that will be alone for2 1/2 hours. Cause I clean house and it takes 2 1/2 hours so.do we still confine them to 1 room or leave them roam the house for this couple of hours?
Caron - Comment
Caron03 Jun 2020Reply
I have just gotten a new kitten, he is 10 weeks old. For the past 2 nights I have stayed with him almost constantly - I leave him around midnight in my livingroom downstairs and I go to my bed upstairs untill around 7am the next day. He has a comphy bed, fresh dry food, fresh water, clean litter tray and toys
I also have been leaving the Tele on for a little bit of noise and light - is this okay to do ? I worry as he is so young. Thanks
Joan - Comment
Joan21 Jun 2020Reply
Do you need to leave a light on at night for a11 week old kitten or are they fine in the dark
Margarita  - Comment
Margarita 26 Jul 2020Reply
Blu my kitten is appx. 2 months, we have never left him alone, he’s is a gift for 5 years of ‘issues’. We have a small indoor dog, Jax. They instantly became best buddies. I’m not comfortable leaving them alone for a 4 hours. I could take but most of it will be travel. Suggestions?
jeanna newell - Comment
jeanna newell26 Nov 2020Reply
I need help t remind me how to teach a kitten that it is being naughty how to train it to be nice and what claims a kitten down
Ash - Comment
Ash20 Dec 2020Reply
I got a bengal kitten (8 wks old) n its been 4 days since n nows hes better settled. As soon as i leave the room... He meows a lot. I need to go to the shops tomorrow and back to work on 4th jan... Im having palpation thinking about leaving him tomorrow. Do you think it ok? He has everything mentioned
Peter C - Comment
Peter C18 Jan 2021Reply
We got Fidget at 9 weeks old just over a week ago, and she has settled really well. We set her up with a kitten corner in the kitchen and I put one of my old t-shirts in the bed with her blanket as it had my scent on it, it makes her feel safe. There are plenty of toys as well and a scratching post
Plenty of fresh water, pouch food and dry food as well.
If I have to go out, I give her a big cuddle and a stroke then I put the radio on for her. She likes. 70s, 80s and 90s tunes the best. I then put her on her bed and tell her ill see her later, then go out. When I get back in, we have a 10 minute play and fuss and she is fine. I have left her for 4 hours at the most and there are no issues.
I am furloughed for about another 8 weeks so she will be just over 5 months old when I hopefully go back so that is why I do these things now.
Mia - Comment
Mia23 Mar 2021Reply
My daughter left her adored and pampered 9-week old Scottish fold kitten alone in a safe and familiar environment for half an hour while running an errand. There was food and water in the usual place, as well as a clean kitty litter. When she returned, she found the kitten had peed in his bed. He kept hiding under the furniture and was looking and acting very miserable. For the next few hours, he was not responding to her cuddles and stroking, which he normally loves. It made my daughter feel very guilty and we wonder when the kitten will be ready to be left on his own for longer periods. What should be done differently?
Juliet  - Comment
Juliet 04 Jul 2021Reply
Alot of questions here but there doesnt seem to be many answers except from the pretend kitten one (very good lol) I too am going to leave my 8 week kitten on her own for the first time tomorrow..I am going round the Living Room and kitchen to make sure there is noithing she can hurt herself on. I wonder if the couple of people here that left their kittne on there own...How did it go? Was she/he ok? How did she/he act towards you when you got home. Was your room in one piece ...Were they in one piece? It would be nice here how it all went.

Thank you
Christine  - Comment
Christine 17 Aug 2021Reply
I rescued two 6 week old kitties a couple of weeks ago. And because they're so young, I made a safe space in basement bathroom with bed, water, food, kitty litter and toys. I also had a crate in living room where I bring them up for a little playtime. Gradually, I started letting them out the crate to play. They did well with their safe space in basement mostly Because there's two of them and they keep each other company. I Gradually started giving them more and more freedom. It's safe in basement and there's the cat climber so I started leaving the bathroom door open so they can roam. I leave the side indoor door open so they can see sunlight. 2 weeks later I now bring them upstairs and I let them roam, closing some doors to rooms but it's all monitored. I only go to work twice a week in office so that helps. At night time I still let them sleep in basement where the litter, food and water is. My plan is to keep one and rehome the other and that is where my problem may begin. Because I will have to change up some things. I don't know how I will work it with one kitty. I can't exactly let a 8 or 9 week old kitty completely roam. I can't keep in my room because it will need the litter. So I have to figure out before I separate them. I am guessing that maybe I wait till the kitty is 3 months before separating but I also do not want them to go through separation anxiety.
Katy - Comment
Katy31 Aug 2021Reply
I adopted an 8 week old kitten 4 days ago. Before she arrived I asked the owner what brand of food she was eating and what brand of litter she was using so I could get her what she's been used to (I will slowly transition to more sustainable brands I would prefer her to use). When she arrived I had her set up in my living space with litter tray, food, water, comfy spots to rest and plenty of toys (tin foil balls are her fav.) She was very brave and curious straight out the crate. She was running about, playing, coming over for strokes etc! I anticipated her hiding under the sofa but she was not scared at all. She spent the night alone in the living space, albeit only a few hours as she arrived late and I stayed up playing with her for ages. The next day I stayed with her in the living space all day. That evening I took her into my bedroom to sleep, she slept through the whole night with me under the covers! In the morning I carried her back into the living space. After she ate some food I opened up the door to the hallway and went with her as she walked through to explore the hall and stairs. Later on, I encouraged her to watch as I moved her litter tray into the bathroom which she used in there straight away. Luckily, her arrival was all planned around the bank holiday weekend so I knew I had plenty of time to bond with her and settle her in.
I left her for an hour or so on day 2 only in the living space, then 5 hours on day 3 with the house open for her. I'm out the house for work 9 hours a day, 4 days a week. For the first day of me back at work I will keep her in the living space just to be sure she feels safe. With all these steps I have taken and understanding her personality, I believe she will be alright left while I'm at work. Hope this helps someone!

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