How to Survive Working from Home with a Needy Cat – Try Cat Trees
Nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight when it comes to remote employment. While many people have jumped onto the work-from-home bandwagon, our cats have long been on board. However, as every cat owner can attest, working from home with a needy cat is not the easiest! Whether you keep them occupied with cat trees or scheduled playtime, there are a few work-saving tricks you can use if you work from home.
Why Are Cats So…. “Needy”?
Before diving in headfirst, why are cats so “needy” in the first place? Like people, cats can suffer from separation anxiety when they’re not with their owners. While this ranges in severity, cats can easily become anxious and nervous when you’re not at home. So, in a way, cats tend to overcompensate as soon as you walk through the door. In most cases, cats who suffer from separation anxiety will act more clingy than those who don’t.
Your cat might be suffering from separation anxiety if he or she:
- Cries and meows excessively
- Stops eating or is eating too quickly
- Engages in destructive behavior, such as clawing up furniture or going to the bathroom outside their litter box
- Is overly excited when you return home
The new work-from-home dynamic has changed a lot of things, including your cats. Like you, cats thrive off having a routine and that routine was practically tossed out the window during the pandemic. Our sudden, constant presence at home can initially cause our cats stress, especially if they believe we’re invading their personal space. While many cats are perfectly fine living indoors if that’s all they’ve ever known, they still need to have an outlet, now more than ever.
If your cat is still adjusting to your next work-from-home schedule, here are a few things you can do to make them feel better and let them release their natural tendencies:
Schedule a Break for Play and Let Them Enjoy Cat Trees
You schedule work calls and meetings, so why not schedule in a little downtime to play with your cat? Your cat made the correlation that your presence equals downtime. However, when you’re working from home, you know that isn’t always possible. As a result, your cat may feel like you love your computer more than them. While you may not be able to stop off every five minutes to cuddle them, taking a 10- to 15-minute break to interact with them can satisfy their appetite for attention. Plus, it reminds them that you will spend time with them - just on your own terms.
If you schedule downtime with your cat, be sure to play with them so they can get in some exercise. Dangling a toy in front of them or playing fetch are two great ideas. Plus, the more your cat plays, the likelier it is they’ll be too tired to bother you on your next Zoom call.
Create a Designated Space Just for Them - Add Cat Trees
Cats love keyboards because they’re warm. Unfortunately, this can put a huge wrench in your workday! Instead of pushing them off your keyboard every time you walk into the kitchen for a cup of coffee, create a designated space near your desk that’s just for them. Cat hammocks, shelves, and cat trees are all great alternatives. Cat trees, for example, provide your cat with the security they need, while meeting their need to scratch, stretch out, and play.
By placing a cat tree or shelf near your desk, you’re allowing your cat to be near you but not interrupt your workday. Plus, cat-friendly items like cat trees can keep them entertained and focused on something other than how warm and toasty your keyboard is. It’s a win-win!
Set a Routine
Routines are just as good for cats as they are people. You might notice that your cat operates on a routine already. If you feed them every morning at 9:00 am, you may notice that they start meowing at that time every morning (as if you needed another alarm to remind you, right?). Let’s say you decide to schedule playtime every morning before work starts, and then again at lunchtime. Over time, your cat will get adjusted to these times and correlate them to playtime. This will make them less likely to seek out companionship at other points throughout the workday.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for developing a routine, so our best advice is to find a routine that works best for you and meets your needs.
Make Sure Your Cat’s Needs Are Met Before Going to Work
Photo by Arsalan Noorafkan on Unsplash
Working from home has spoiled us into thinking we can just “take care of it later,” but if you’re trying to reduce the number of interruptions you experience per day, it may be time to re-evaluate that theory.
Just like us, your cat gets hungry, tired, thirsty, and bored throughout the day. When they experience these emotions, they’re going to walk up to you, jump up on your desk, and meow. You can reduce this by making sure all of your cat’s needs are met before the workday even gets started. This includes giving them food and water before clocking in, as well as making sure their kitty litter is cleaned.
Another thing you can do is set boundaries. The more you pick up your cat and indulge in their wants, the more they’re going to continue doing it. If you can’t afford to do that all day, then you can try ignoring their request to be picked up until they realize it’s not going to work. Yes, it’ll be hard, but it’s an effective way of training them to stop that behavior while you’re at work and instead get them used to a designated playtime.
You can also set boundaries by working in a part of the house they’re not allowed in. At first, they might claw at your door a bit, but after a while, they’ll walk away. If you’re trying to get work done and are being constantly interrupted by your cat, it may be tempting to just put some food down for them. While this will occupy them a little, it’ll only temporarily relieve their craving for genuine attention and affection.
Since cats spend so much of their life confined in one place, this sudden change in their routine can be tricky to navigate at first, but over time, they will get adjusted to your full-time presence. Keep up their routine, set boundaries, and make sure they have a lot of options for play, whether it be in the form of cat toys, boxes, or cat trees.
Working From Home is Hard. Cat Trees From Clawz Make It Easier
Working from home has a lot of benefits, such as being able to spend more time with your feline friend! But if your cat is constantly interrupting you during your workday, you’re not alone. Just like our significant others and best friends, our cats want to spend time with us. However, you can keep them thoroughly entertained with cat trees from Clawz. Our cat trees are made for cats by those who love them. As such, you can trust that all of our products are designed to make your cat happy.
You can shop our current inventory online. Find out for yourself why cat trees from Clawz make cats and their owners so happy.