Leaving a grown cat or kitten alone – A healthy and adult cat

Leaving an adult cat or kitten alone – a healthy and adult cat can be left home alone for 48 hours provided they have access to dry food and freshwater.

Experts caution not to leave your cat alone for more than 24 hours at a time because after 24 hours, the litter box can become unusable, their water becomes soiled, and cats begin to feel emotional distress. Cats can be traumatized by your absence. Based on your cat’s environment, habits, character, personality and accustomed routine, you should make an honest assessment whether your cat can be left alone for 24 or longer. 

If possible, a better solution is to find a cat sitter. Perhaps you have a trusted neighbor or family member that can keep a cat or you can use a professional sitter. With an appropriate cat sitter, your cat will not suffer while you’re away. They will have attention, fresh food and water, a clean litter box, and play time. Some kennels and veterinarian offices will accept cats for boarding.

Home alone for kittens

It’s not advisable to leave kittens alone for a day until they are six months old. Kittens need to get fresh food so it must be changed several times a day, and they need companionship and care.

Life is unpredictable and emergencies may come up where you must leave your cat or kitten alone. Meanwhile, you will not have a time to make arrangements for a cat sitter. If it happens, make sure:

  • no electric cables are out of reach,
  • chemicals and cleaning solutions are securely put away
  • remove anything fragile that if broken could cut your cat from their areas.
  • keep a lamp on for your pet (they could always find their water, food and litter box).


Today, there are many self-replenishing feeders, recycling drinking fountains, and replenishing water coolers for cats. In addition, this will ensure your cat can have fresh dry food  and clean water. Water fountains purify your cat’s drinking water and have a significant water reservoir. Therefore, automatic cat feeders allow your cat to graze on their food, some cats may think they’re a new toy. 

In conclusion, boarding should be a last resort because cats are territorial. It means – it can be traumatizing for your pet to be in an unfamiliar environment with unfamiliar people. It is stressful for a cat to be unable to patrol their territory and ensure it’s secure.

A temporary foster home is a better option because it is closer to the environment they know and they will receive more individual attention. A temporary foster home could be a family member’s or neighbor’s home, however, the best option is to keep your cat at home for short periods. 

Extraordinary survival

There are some cases of cats surviving one or two weeks without water and food, but it’s not healthy for a cat’s well-being. Scientists claim cats can possibly survive up to three days without food or water. This is a generalization and each cat should be thought of by their individual needs. Without food and water, a cat suffers from starvation and dehydration; this can cause life-threatening conditions and lifelong health consequences. 


The best option for your cat is to find them a gentle and caring sitter or to bring them with you.  

Other options are risky.