Can i have a cat and work full time?

Queries and discussions about cat rescue & rehoming
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Can i have a cat and work full time?

Post by Sam_0i » Sat Apr 16, 2016 10:04 am


I'm looking to rehome a new cat. I have desperately wanted one for almost two years now but i have not been able to for various reasons . . being a student, an allergic flat mate. But now I am about to move into a small house with a garden that would make a lovely home for a cat.

The only thing I am unsure about is that I work full time. I've accepted that I can't get a kitten because it would be too unfair to leave it for most of the day. But would this be a problem for an older cat? I'd happily take a couple of days of work while he/she would be settling in. I've wondered too, would it be better to get two cats so they could keep each other company? Id be spending all my evenings and most weekends at home. And I plan to put in a cat flap so they could come and go as they please,

I'm sure loads of people own cats and work full time.

Hope someone can help, it keeps playing on my mind. x(

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Re: Can i have a cat and work full time?

Post by alanc » Sat Apr 16, 2016 1:22 pm

Well, I've worked full time and had a cat (sometimes 2) for the past 36 years. Older cats in particular are quite happy to sleep all day and play when you come home. You need to have neighbors or nearby friends who will come round and feed kitty if you are away, but otherwise cats are quite able to cope with owners being out all day, especially if they have a cat flap. If you are rehoming an older cat, whether you take one, two or more should depend on what the cat(s) are used to. Some like company and others do not.

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Re: Can i have a cat and work full time?

Post by TJH72 » Sat Apr 16, 2016 2:23 pm

It's fine to leave cats at home to their own devices all day. As you've mentioned, just take a few days off work while they are settling in, perhaps going out for an hour one day, then longer another day just so they get used to you not being there all the time and letting them know if you leave them you will come back. Not all cats need a companion either. If you look on the rehoming sites there are a lot of cats that are best suited as an only cat. When I left home I knew I wanted 2 cats and at that time the CPL only had 2 cats they were willing to rehome together so luckily for me I didn't have to make a choice (and feel guilty about the ones I didn't choose!) They were approx 2 yrs old, one is still with me 17 yrs later and I only lost the other one last year and I've always worked full time, gone on holiday every year and never had a problem. (Although I did get quite tearful the first time I went on holiday having to leave them for 2 weeks! But getting back and my mum telling me they were fine made me feel better about leaving them for longer periods.)

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Re: Can i have a cat and work full time?

Post by MarySkater » Sat Apr 16, 2016 3:43 pm

When I was in your position some years ago (with the added complication that I lived in a flat with no garden) I chose to have 2 cats, for just that reason, to keep each other company. I found two who, although not long-term pals, had been housed together by my local shelter, so I could see that they got on together. The older of the two died after I'd had them 12 years. (He was by then in his late teens, exact age uncertain.) At that point I felt that it would be unfair to impose a stranger on the remaining one, so she lived alone for the last 2 years of her life, but by then I had retired and could spend more time with her.

After a catless year, and now in a house with a garden, I went the 2-cats route again, and spent some time searching shelter websites until I found 2 mature cats who had always been together. I think it gave them mutual support, when they were brought to a strange place, that they at least had each other. They have settled in very well. I enclosed part of my garden, so that they can have safe outdoor time when they want.

However I know that some cats who are used to being alone will not readily accept a companion, and there are plenty of one-cat households out there.


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Re: Can i have a cat and work full time?

Post by OHWS » Sat Apr 16, 2016 4:42 pm

Last edited by OHWS on Sun Nov 27, 2016 12:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Can i have a cat and work full time?

Post by Crewella » Sun Apr 17, 2016 4:35 pm

As always, it will depend on the cat. some will be fine alone all day and some not - the best you can do is find out as much as you can about their temperament first. Good luck. :)

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Re: Can i have a cat and work full time?

Post by Jacks » Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:23 pm


My own suggestion would be to go to as many rescues as will rehome to your area and look for either a single cat, or a pair that have come in together from a previous household. Although this will limit your choice you can be sure that they actually DO like each other, unlike cats who have been forced together in rescue and may have simply tolerated each other out of necessity. Other than that, two that have been in foster (so in a more home-like situation) and have bonded. The dynamics in a shelter cage are very different from a home, where some cats become very territorial.

I would advise not going for a 'shy' or 'anxious' cat or pair. This is because these kitties, whilst often the most rewarding and needy, would become more shy and introverted being left for long periods of time without human contact. They need more time and care than you would be able to give on a regular basis to bring them out of themselves.

I would think ideal would be a pair whose owner has gone into hospital, or something similar (there are suprisingly quite a number of these kitties around) who will acclimatise themselves quickly to a new, quiet home.

Also consider making your home cat friendly - tree or scratching centre with some boxes around and toys! And of course any new kitties will need to be kept indoors for a good while...

So yes, make a kitty/kitties happy!
;) ;)

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Re: Can i have a cat and work full time?

Post by jillyvillyvoo » Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:40 am

Although I'm at home now most days I always worked full time when I got my cats. I got a male and female from the same litter so they would have company and they were the happiest cats. I worked shifts so sometimes days sometimes night and occasionally over night. Played with them the whole time I was home though. Made sure they had plenty safe toys and empty Cardboard boxes to play with when I was at work. Sonny is around 14 now so just realise your in it for the long haul! Coming home after a long hard day at work to 2 beautiful cats is a real reward. Good luck and keep us posted.

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Re: Can i have a cat and work full time?

Post by AndyMac » Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:38 pm

I have had a cat for 12 years - I work 6 days per week and Jet seems happy to be left at home. She does seem to do a lot of sleeping and usually goes back to bed at 20.00 in the evenings and has me awake at 06.00 looking fed. On days that I am off work she will either stick to her routine of sleeping all day or be the complete opposite and demand to be fed constantly and following me around the house.

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