10 Must-Have Cat Products for When You're Away From Home

MON JAN 23 2017

Almost every cat owner has to leave their kitty at home alone every now and then. If you're like me and work full time, there are bound to be large chunks of time that you have to (reluctantly) leave your cat at home by themselves.

Or perhaps you sometimes spend a night away from home, and have to leave your cat alone overnight once in awhile.

I know it certainly breaks my heart to leave my cat at home. There's nothing worse than shutting the door on her little face, with her tiny eyes full of hope that maybe today Mummy will stay home. (Or at least that's what I see when I look guiltily in those eyes...)

Because leaving our pet at home alone is unavoidable, the only solution is to make the experience easier for them. Luckily there are a wealth of products available that can make leaving your pet at home easier for both you and your pet. I've selected my top ten products that will help to enrich your cat's alone time.

1. Self-cleaning litter tray

Petsafe Scoopfree Self Cleaning Litter Tray

This litter tray literally cleans itself. How cool is that?!

It works by sensing your cat using the litter tray, and then leaving the litter tray. Once your cat has finished, the device runs a plough-like comb through the litter and collects any clumped waste into a sealed container at the end of the tray. It keeps the waste neatly locked away to reduce any odour wafting.

Because cats are very clean creatures, they will love having a clean litter tray straight away, without having to wait until you're home to clean it up.

2. Water Fountain

Drinkwell Pet Fountain 360

I am a huge fan of water fountains. They keep your cat's water supply fresh and filtered, which is very handy for when you're not at home for a period of time. Plus, cats love them, due to their instinct to drink running water, as it's less likely to be stagnant and contaminated. This means they'll drink more water and keep themselves hydrated.

Water fountains are available in a huge array of styles and colours to suit any interior style. I like this one because it comes with five heads that spout water differently, allowing variety each day for your fussy kitty friend. (Nothing says pampered kitty like a fresh variety of filtered water from their own personal fountain!)

3. Feather Spinner

Gigwi Pet Droid Feather Spinner

While there are so many interactive toys available to keep your cat entertained while alone, this feather spinner is one of my favourites.

It contains three motion sensors which allow the toy to react to your cat's movements, moving the feather on top as well as a bauble underneath. Anything that moves in response to your cat is great for when they're home alone.

4. Cat Tree

Smartcat Cat Climber

Cat furniture is a wonderful addition to any home (...says the crazy cat lady). But in all seriousness, cat trees are great because they extend your cat's territory vertically and allow them a high-up vantage point from which to survey their realm.

This cat tree in particular is interesting as it hooks onto any door, which means it doesn't take up any floor space. It also has scratchable surfaces to keep your cat's claws off the furniture or carpet.

5. Automatic Feeder

Prestige Pet Automatic Feeder 10

Automatic feeders are great if you are going to be away overnight, as you can program them to release food every few hours to keep your kitty fed. They are also good if you struggle to keep your kitty's portion control under wraps. This particular brand even comes with the option to record a personal message at feeding time.

6. Cat Senses Speed Circuit

Catit Cat Senses Speed circuit

Circuit toys are notoriously popular with cats worldwide. This toy consists of a covered, undulating track, with an illuminated ball that rolls around the circuit when prodded. A few holes allow your cat to bat the ball around but not remove it. This toy incites their instinct to chase, and will keep them entertained for a long time.

7. Hideaway bed

Sasha and Me Sogno Grey , or Sasha and Me Sogno Stone

A safe hiding place is important for cats left home alone. If startled, their first instinct is to find somewhere safe to hide. There are many ways to provide a hidey-hole space for your cat.

I love this hideaway igloo-style bed, as its production is fair trade and supports socioeconomic and environmental sustainability. Made by women in nepal from 100% wool, it's sure to keep your kitty cosy and safe when you're not at home.

8. Pet Door Insert

Petsafe Sliding Glass Pet Door 10

This pet door panel insert allows you to have a pet door without making any permanent changes, making it an ideal product for rentals. The panel sits in the tracks next to a sliding door, and allows your door to latch into the panel and lock as normal. The flap can even be locked, so that your cat can't go outside when you don't want them to.

Pet doors are ideal if you have an enclosed balcony or courtyard that you'd like your kitty to have access to when you're not home. There's nothing like a bit of fresh-air and vitamin D to pep up your kitty when they're home alone.

9. Laser Pointer

Frolicat Bolt Laser Pointer

There's no doubt that cats love chasing laser pointers. It is a wonderful way to exercise your cat, and because they can't catch the thing they're chasing, you don't ever have a destroyed toy to clean up.

This laser pointer is perfect for people who aren't home a lot, as it shoots a laser light at the ground and moves it in random and hunt-inspiring patterns, meaning your cat can enjoy a moving laser point without you needing to be there.

10. Window Bed

Kazoo Lookout Window Cat Bed

Another great product for rentals is the stick-on window bed. Any cat owner will know that cats love sitting on window sills and surveying the world beyond, but few window sills are wide enough to provide a spot for lying down and having a snooze.

The window bed sticks on with suction cups and can be moved to different windows for variety. It has a small hammock that allows your cat a sturdy platform to look out the window at any time of the day, making it perfect for cats that like to look out the window and wait for their owner to come home.

Posted by Dr Carla Paszkowski

When Carla isn't talking about petcare at PetCircle, she enjoys playing mum to her fluffy little cross-eyed feline fur baby, Smudge.

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