ExcitedCats is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

How Long Can You Leave a Kitten Home Alone? What You Should Know!

Cats are known for their independence and can stay at home alone for a few hours as long as they have food and water. If you have just brought home a kitten, you may wonder if they will be okay at home alone while you pop out for a lunch date or to see a client. It is safe to leave your kitten at home alone, but only for a maximum of 4 to 8 hours depending on their age.

Kittens require more attention and activity than adults, especially when they are young and adjusting to a new home. Every kitten is one-of-a-kind. However, there are some accepted recommendations for how long you can leave them alone.

Cat ball divider 1

Will My Kitten Be Okay While I’m at Work?

The first few weeks are essential for bonding and developing a relationship between you and your kitten. During the first few weeks with a new kitten, you should supervise any interactions with other household pets to ensure that your pet family is adjusting to the new addition. Kittens will need more frequent attention than an adult cat, at least every 4–6 hours, and will generally need to be fed three times a day.

A kitten under four months should not be left alone for more than four hours. Kittens can be left alone for up to 8 hours, which may be an entire day at the office, by the age of six months.

charcoal bengal kitten lying
Image Credit: Smile19, Shutterstock

If you must leave your kitten unsupervised, kitten-proof one room and provide it with a litter box, food, toys, and fresh water.

If your kitten must be left alone for more than 12 hours, find someone to check in on your cat and replenish its food and water. It is vital to have someone check in on it during the day, but as your kitten grows up and develops confidence, you can start leaving it at home for longer periods.

Two kittens may also be better than one, as they can keep each other company while you are away, and you get to enjoy double the cuddles when you arrive home.

How Long is Too Long?

If you’ve recently adopted a new kitty, it needs time at home to learn your schedule, get into a daily routine, and understand which behaviors are acceptable in your home.

Cats, like any other animal, require a consistent supply of food and fresh water, and any pet left alone will require a clean litter box. Your cat will also appreciate any ways to entertain itself, so leaving toys and scratching posts is a must.

Kittens are curious creatures that o can put themselves in danger by scratching and pawing at unstable vases or eating dangerous houseplants, so if you are going to leave your kitten for an extended period of time, you should always contact a pet sitter or a friend. Cats should never be left alone for more than 24 hours without having someone check on them.

It’s important to pay attention to your cat’s behavior if you are leaving the house for long periods. Cats are creatures of habit and thrive from routine, and it will be less stressful for your cat if there is a pet sitter to assist and maintain the routine.

Credit: Noam Armonn, Shutterstock

Research shows that 64% of cats are securely attached to their owners and show less stress when they are with them. A change in routine frequently triggers or worsens separation anxiety, but most cases of separation anxiety are found in cats that only have one caregiver. Maintaining a consistent routine and not leaving your kitten too long can reduce the chances of it developing separation anxiety.

Do Cats Miss Their Owners?

Cats are known for their aloof personalities, and even though they seem not to care, they do notice when you are gone and will miss your attention, especially as a kitten when they require more attention. If you notice your kitten meowing louder than usual when you leave the room, that is a good sign that they miss you.

multiple kittens in a hooded litter
Image Credit: Moncayofoto, Shutterstock

Can I Send my Kitten to a Cattery?

As long as your kitten has had its vaccinations, it is safe for it to spend time in a cattery. However, your kitten should be at least 6 months old before visiting a cattery or kitty hotel.

If you are going away on vacation, arranging for a pet sitter is more suitable, especially if your kitten is younger than 6 months. That way, your kitten’s routine can stay the same, they are in their safe space, and they can get one-on-one attention. Invite your pet sitter to your home a few days before you leave so your kitten can get used to a new face and scent.

How Can I Keep my Kitten Safe at Home Alone?

Setting up a dedicated kitten space is a great way to keep your kitten busy and distracted while you’re out, and as a bonus, it will keep the mess in one area. Choose a room that is small and easy to clean, such as the laundry room.

Fill the room with entertaining toys to keep your kitten busy while you are gone, along with a scratch pad, soft bed, clean litter box, water, and food. You can also keep the television on at a low volume for some background sound that your kitten is familiar with.

bengal kitten is playing with a ball in the room
Image Credit: Svetlana Rey, Shutterstock

To ensure your kitten is safe, check that all electrical cords are out of reach, so your kitten is not tempted to play with them. Remove any houseplants and breakable items that your kitten could knock over. Make sure all the windows are closed and latched, and any holes are covered up.

cat paw divider


Kittens require much more attention than adult cats, and it is critical that their owners are present during the first few months. It is also vital for them to establish a routine and spend time bonding with their new owner. When your kitten is 4 months or younger, try not to leave them alone for more than 4 hours; however, once they reach about 6 months, they can be left alone for about 8 hours, which is usually an average workday. It’s best for someone to come in and check on your kitten, and if you need to leave for more than 12 hours, you can arrange a pet sitter.

thematic break

Featured Image Credit: Václav Závada, Pixabay