If you are a cat lover but spend a significant amount of time away from home each week due to work, you will need a cat that doesn’t mind being alone. Since the British Shorthair is so popular, many wonder if they do well by themselves. Fortunately, the British Shorthair is a great choice for a self-sufficient cat that can be left alone, and here’s why.
Can I Leave My British Shorthair Alone?
Yes, as long as you provide them with everything that they need for the day, British Shorthair cats can stay alone for 8–14 hours without getting too upset. Other cat breeds that do well alone are the Persian, Himalayan, Maine Coon, American Shorthair, Russian Blue, and the Norwegian Forest Cat. However, despite your British Shorthair being able to tolerate being alone, you should take steps to spend as much time with your pet as possible.
Why Can the British Shorthair Be Left Alone?
British Shorthair cats are moderately intelligent animals with excellent problem- and puzzle-solving qualities, making it easier for them to deal with tough situations without help. Most owners report that these cats can get in and out of rooms when needed and are capable of getting themselves out of jams.
Another thing that helps the British Shorthair spend time alone is their observational skills. In many cases, these cats can learn your routine down to the minute, so they know when it is time for you to leave and come home. Since they know what to expect, they won’t be upset when you leave and will wait patiently for you to return instead of damaging furniture out of fear.
British Shorthair cats desire to please their owner, making them easier to train than many other breeds. Training helps them spend more time alone because you can train them how to access food and get in and out of the house. Some owners even teach their British Shorthair cats how to use the toilet instead of the litter box!
Calm and Friendly
The British Shorthair cat famously has a calm demeanor. These cats often spend much of their day relaxing in a window or another high perch so they can watch over their surroundings, and they will likely not mind if you are not around. They are also friendly toward other household pets, so there is usually no need to worry about fighting.
How Can I Make Being Home Alone Easier for My Cat?
A pet sitter can be a great way to make being home alone easier for your cat. The sitter can remain all day if your budget allows, or you can have them stop by for a short time to feed and play with the cat for a few minutes. While your British Shorthair might take a few days to get used to a stranger, they will at least appreciate the company and a food and water refill.
Most cats don’t like a dirty litterbox, which can be a source of anxiety when your cat is alone. Therefore, cleaning out the box each day before you leave for work is a good idea, as it will make your cat happier and more comfortable about being home alone. If you have more than one cat, having one litterbox for each cat, plus one for the house, can help reduce your cats’ stress levels, especially if you spend a long time away and can’t always clean them out.
Plenty of Toys
Most people like to tidy up the house before leaving, but having plenty of cat toys around can help your pet find something to do while you are away. You can also purchase several automatic cat toys to keep them entertained.
Many cats like to spend their day in the window, and leaving the shades open can help them pass the time. Even if the cats don’t sit in the window, the open shades will let in sunlight, creating warm places to sit in other parts of the home.
TV or Radio
A great way to help your pet feel more comfortable and less alone while you are away is to leave the TV or radio on low volume. The sound of voices and music can help keep your pet calm, especially if outside traffic often stresses them out.
Try to keep everything the same each day so your British Shorthair can develop a routine. The more structured each day is, the happier they will be.
The British Shorthair can spend more time alone than many other cat breeds because they are intelligent and observant. These traits help them with problem-solving and enable them to remain more comfortable in their environment. You can also train them to use the toilet or let themselves in and out of the house, so they have an easier time when you are gone. Cleaning the litterbox and feeding them before you go can also help keep their stress levels down, as can leaving the TV or radio on, keeping the shades open, and leaving plenty of toys around. If your cat has an especially hard time being alone, a sitter can help break up their day.
Featured Image Credit: FotoMirta, Shutterstock