Since the Global Pandemic a lot of people have considered getting pets to keep them company. You may have already realised that Working from home presents a very good opportunity to get a new feline friend and companion. You may be one of those people who wanted to have a cat in your life for a long time, but had to put the idea aside because of your busy life, long hours in the office and hours spent on commuting. You would not want them to be lonely at home during the day. But now it is a whole different story. So many people started to work from home more regularly. So you do not need to worry about your cat while you are busy working on your desk. Rather you and your cat will keep each other company. How lovely does that sound? So now that you have decided to have a cat as your furry friend /colleague, or are waiting them to come to your home, you may wonder what it is like to work with them around, and how to make it to be the best time for both of you.
- Caring for your Cat
- Feeding your Cats
- Visiting the vet
- Cats and Establishing your work area
- Keeping your house safe for Cats whilst WFH
1.Caring For Your Cat
If you don’t have a cat yet, and have only been an admirer so far, you may be surprised how much care they need daily. The image of cat on the Instagram and Facebook videos are mostly of an idle cat looking outside from window sill, or chilling comfortably on a sofa. Cats want constant attention and care, they want to play with you and to be groomed. They still can chill out and not hassle you too much even though you do not have time to play, or brush them. However they are happier with these level of attention. And those caring times definitely serve as bonding sessions between you and your cat. You don’t need to pet them all the time or walk them as you would be expected with a dog, however a Cat is a loving and reasonably independent animal, that still appreciates your love and care.
So if you are expecting long working hours, it is the best to put some time in the morning before work or during the lunch time to groom your cat or play with them. You may not notice immediate impact of these times as cats are often behaving independently anyway, however you will see how much they enjoy the play times and relax while you brush them. They will also paying you more attention, and want to be around you. Keeping a regular schedule is also useful for cats as they will feel more secure if they know they have regular times for playing, eating and grooming.
Playing with your cat in the evening is also highly recommended before you go to bed, so that your cat is not too energetic in night and keep waking you up with dashing sounds or constant meowing. The more you play and keep them awake in the day time, more likely that your cat sync with your sleep pattern, despite they’re born nocturnal, which will help you both having happy life together.
2. Feeding your Cat
Feeding a cat often considered as a much easier job than feeding a dog. It is true that normally you can leave a ball of their food on the floor, and they will eat it little by little. You may need to fill up the bowl once a day. This will work for most of houses with cats going outside and explore. However if you have an indoor cat, or one of those cats not good at control their appetite, then it is a different story.
Avoid overeating in house cats
If your cat doesn’t go out for various reasons, then their amount of activities are limited, and likely to be less than the cats going out and roaming. This is likely to lead to obesity. As cats are not keen walkers like dogs, once they are obese, it is very hard to control. Only realistic option is changing their food to diet version, and not many cats will appreciate it. So the best tactic is to give them a recommended fixed amount a day, looking for their body weight change, gain or loss, and adjust the feeding amount if their weight changes unexpectedly. Even weighing out the food portions every day may help to ensure that you are feeding your cat the same amount every time.
Sometimes cats are not particularly good at controlling their appetite. They are likely to eat all the food they can in the bowl very quickly and risk throwing it up. Intermediate feeding is also the good option in these cases, as it will help them not have too much food too fast. If you give same amount of food a day, but spaced out to multiple feedings, this will allow your cat to feed on only small amount of food at the time, and it will help them to digest it better.
Cat Food Portion Control
There are some nifty gadgets that can enable portion control for Cats, such as a ball that dispenses crunchy snacks and a timer for wet food. These types of devices all help to regulate your Cat’s intake of food. Having these types of gadgets may seem a bit gimmicky, but when you are working at home the last thing you want to do is to clean up Cat Poo or Cat Sick because your Cat has overeaten. So this is a great hands off approach to portion control for your Cat. This will ensure that you can have a relaxed day working from home, and only have to worry about work!
Monitoring your Cat’s Water Intake
Some Cats are known to dislike water. They do drink water of course, but some cats are known to be very fussy and have specific drinking habits. Some cats drink only running water from a tab, whilst some only drinks cold water. It is important them to drink good amount of water to prevent kidney or urinary track disease. You should watch how your cat react to various water feeding conditions; whether they run for running tab water, or they prefer raised water bowl to avoid their face getting damp, and try to provide the best drinking option for them. Luckily there are many different drinking fountains available for cats because of this reason, which will help to keep your cat healthy and well hydrated.
3. Vet Visits with your Cat
Working from home will definitely help your vet visits. Maybe you can start early and finish early, when your manager agrees, and take your pet to a vet for regular visits on weekday late afternoon, instead of spending Saturday on vet waiting room. Your cat would need annual or bi-annual check ups and vaccination to stay healthy. Also Please mind that even if your cat is generally healthy and careful one, who is unlikely to be involved in an accident, there is a still chance they fell ill unexpectedly and you should have a pet insurance to cover such unexpected costs.
Video Vet Calls
Some Animal insurance policies allow you to contact a vet and have an initial video chat consultation. This can be useful to get a quick understanding of how your Cat is ill and can also be useful for those who are working from home, or unable to leave the house. Make sure it is included in your policy if you are planning to work from home.
4. Cats and Establishing Your Working area
Cats are generally very careful animals but famously less so when they are kittens, and definitely not all of them give too much thought when they walk around power cords. Working from home means that you would have multiple electric devices connected to power; laptop, monitor(s), desk lamp, printer, and chargers for phones, etc. you don’t want them to play around your computer or monitor, to minimise the chance of them knocking it down while playing. So the best advice would be to tell them clearly that your working area is not their play ground, whilst they can chill out nearby.
If they play near to working area, tell them clearly in firm voice, showing the palm of your hand, that they cannot play here. Do not keep any pet toys near to your working area. If you want to encourage them to be near you while but maybe you can put a cushion your cat can sit on and chilling nearby. So they can understand that they can chill here, but no play allowed.
If these methods don’t work with your cat, you should keep your cat out of your working area/office room, so that they don’t interrupt your work. Not many of your colleagues will be offended if your cat suddenly appears on Zoom call and looking for an opportunity to introduce themselves, however it won’t look too professional to have a visitor if you have a really important meeting. Ensure your working space is free of interruption, if you do expect a serious call that you don’t want your Cat Meowing around you, make sure your cat is safe and well in the other room and lock the door! As they may be able to open the door themselves. But who knows, they may be able to melt the frozen heart of your clients with loving face, so don’t get panicked and stay cool if that happens!
5. Keeping Your House Safe for your Cats whilst WFH
One of the most important things to accept is that when you are working from home you are likely to be busy from the hours of 9-5. So set regular play times with your cat, establish feeding schedules and also try to groom your Cat at a regular time. WFH means that you are going to be tied to your computer for most of the day in all likelihood, so it is important that your Cat is aware of the space that they can relax, play in and feed in. If you can set separate spaces for these then you will be well on your way to making your Cat happier in the long run. Cats are social animals and they will like to see you during the day, so try to make time for them where you can relax with them.
Cats are curious creatures and will explore open windows, shelves and bookcases and countertops. Make sure you don’t leave any food out that could be poisonous for Cats such as Onions or Garlic. Having a cat means that you need to clean up fairly constantly to ensure that they don’t snack on your leftovers and then get ill! Power cords and cables also can present trouble for some cats, so make sure they have a Cat tree with a scratching pole on it to scratch. You can also purchase dental sticks for your cats to gnaw on which will keep them from attacking anything else in reach. These methods can help you have a harmonious working from home experience and not having to abruptly leave your important Zoom call because your Cat has decided to eat last night’s left out pizza.