can i leave my cat alone for 3 days

No matter how independent your cat is, we do not recommend leaving your cat alone without daily visits from a friend or a professional cat-sitter for more than two or three days. Today, there are many options to care for your cat while you are away. Keep in mind that, cats tend to be independent, territorial animals.


Any breakable objects, plants, or other items your cat might like to chew on (like wires or plastic bags) should be placed in a closed room out of the reach of any potentially bored or nervous cats.

Certain cat toys, such as balls, handleless paper bags, and cardboard rolls from p. or paper towels, stuffed animals, and toys with catnip inside are usually okay to leave out for your cat to play with while you’re gone. Make sure to get the following before leaving your cat alone because other cat toys could be dangerous if you’re not around to supervise:

  • Dangling toys
  • Flirt toys with ribbons, feathers, strings or elastic
  • Small parts on cat toys that could be chewed off and swallowed, like bells
  • Anything edible that your cat might play with around the house (such as bottle caps, rubber bands, dental floss, and hair ties)

Before leaving your cat alone, make sure all human food is out of reach because some human foods are toxic to cats.

Ensure that the temperature in your home is comfortable for your cat by adjusting the thermostat. With smart thermostats, you can check and adjust your settings from a distance, making things even easier.

Though it could be tempting to draw all the shades closed for privacy or energy savings while you’re away, think about leaving one or two open so your cat can enjoy a sunny window nap.

Numerous video monitoring apps are available that allow you to see your cat from a smartphone. Certain cameras even allow you and your cat to hear each other’s voices! This is a great way to give yourself peace of mind when traveling or to quickly lift your spirits during the workday!

You can allow a show or music to stream quietly while you’re away if you know your cat likes (or is used to) having the TV on or playing.

First, Should You Be Leaving Your Cat Home Alone?

Cats can be fairly independent, but you shouldn’t leave them alone at home for longer than two to three days at a time. You are the one who knows your cat(s) best, so that period should be closer to one or two days if you have a young kitten, an older cat, or a solitary cat. You should arrange for someone to stay with your cat or at least visit them every day if you are going to be away for more than a few days. Even if you’re only going to be gone for a day or two, it would be great to have someone come visit your cat(s), but if that’s not feasible, there are steps you can take to ensure their safety.

It can be extremely unsettling to leave your cat alone for the first time. Cats can have separation anxiety just like humans. It is even more common if they grew up during the pandemic or adapted to you spending a lot of time at home. Thus, you should feel more at ease when leaving your cat home alone if you use the following checklist!

Checklist For Leaving Your Cat Home While On Vacation:

What does your cat need when left alone?

Your cat will require the following when they are alone at home, regardless of the length of their absence:

Provide your cat with dry food, particularly if they have a tendency to eat little meals during the day. Consider getting an automated feeder for your cat, which dispenses food at predetermined times using an app, if you’re concerned about them overeating. Feed your cat when you’re home or when the pet sitter comes by if they consume wet, freeze-dried, or frozen raw cat food.

You can plan pet sitting visits that coincide with your cat’s regular feeding times by using the following guidelines:

  • For more than two hours, raw cat food shouldn’t be left out at room temperature. You can thaw several servings of frozen raw food and store them in the refrigerator for up to five days to make it easier for your cat sitter to serve it.
  • When served dry, freeze-dried raw cat food can remain fresh for up to 12 hours and rehydrated for up to 2 hours. Before serving, rehydrated freeze-dried raw food can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two days.
  • Additionally, wet cat food has a two-hour maximum shelf life at room temperature after it is opened. If it’s any longer, there’s too much chance of bacterial contamination; additionally, as it dries, the texture changes and your cat might not want to touch it.

For additional useful advice on how to assist them in handling your cat’s feeding schedule while you’re away, refer to our pet sitter checklist!

Be sure your cat has plenty of water. If your cat is going to be left alone for the night, think about setting out additional bowls of water or using a water dispenser.

Make sure your pet sitter knows to clean and dry the cat’s food and water dishes once a day if you’ll be gone for several days. Alternatively, provide them with a supply of clean dishes to use.

If you have multiple cats and will be gone for an extended period of time, clean the litter box before you depart and think about setting out a second litter box. To keep your cat from avoiding the litter box (and possibly expressing their displeasure on your belongings), it should be cleaned roughly once a day.


Will my cat be OK if I leave for 3 days?

For trips longer than a few days, you should have someone visit your cat daily or even stay with them if possible. It would be ideal to have someone visit your cat(s) even if you’re away for just a day or two but if that is not possible you can take precautions to make sure that they will be okay.

Can cats survive 3 days alone?

How long can cats safely be left alone? Most adult cats are fine being left home alone for up to 24 hours, under the right conditions (more on that below). If you need to leave for two or three days, a full week, or longer, you should make sure someone is coming over to care for your cat daily.

Do cats get sad when you leave?

If your kitty is quite used to being around you most of the time and that changes, your cat may experience separation anxiety. In general, cats aren’t big fans of change at all, and a change such as you being gone for hours at a time when they’re used to being around you can be distressing.

How long are you allowed to leave a cat alone?

Most cats will be ok if they are left for the day or overnight, but the maximum amount of time you should leave them alone is around 12 hours. You shouldn’t be regularly leaving your cat alone for 12 hours, but this is ok to do occasionally if needed.