From an office desk, working from home seems pretty glamorous. You get to set your own hours, wake up whenever you want and wear your pajamas to work. However, those of us who work from home know that our work days aren’t as fancy free and easy as office dwellers might imagine. Throw a cat into the mix, and you have even more to deal with. Are you having a difficult time balancing your cat with your work schedule? Here are some tips to keep the home office work environment in balance so you can get everything done and still feel like a good cat parent.
Give Kitty Her Own Space… Not Your Keyboard
I don’t know what it is, but every cat has some sort of drive to sit right on your keyboard as soon as you have to get to work. My calico, Pookie, has a fantastic talent for this. To prevent your cat from literally blocking you from your work, make sure they have their own space where they can be comfortable and relax. If your cat is particularly clingy and wants to be next to you as you type, try getting a kitty hammock you can hang near your desk or workspace. This way, you are still close to your cat without having to attempt typing from underneath their body. Just make sure the hammock isn’t too close to your printer.
Make Cat’s Space Separate From Your Work Space
There is no denying that having animals in the work place has tons of mental benefits. However, working from home, it is easy to get distracted by a cat that is constantly vying for your attention. If possible, set up your kitty’s comfy space somewhere that won’t require you petting them every thirty seconds. Creating spacial boundaries may cause some anxiety at first, so patience is key if your cat is used to getting all of your attention.
Set Up A Break Schedule For Play Time
Everybody needs breaks in their work day and your cat definitely needs attention. Set up designated break times that are just for you and your cat – not you, your cat and that email you are still having a difficult time drafting. Setting up designated play times for you and your cat isn’t just good for your mental well-being during the work day, it also assures your cat that even though you aren’t spending every waking minute showering them with attention, you WILL give them attention, just on your watch, not theirs.
You could use this dedicated play time to teach your cat some basic tricks or commands like fetch or sit. Many cats love to play fetch and it’s a great way to get their energy out in a short time.
Keep Your Kitty Occupied
A bored cat can lead to destructive behaviors like clawing up furniture, getting into things they aren’t supposed to, and in some situations, inappropriate marking. To insure your cat doesn’t disrupt your work flow with destructive behavior, give them plenty of options for solo mental and physical stimulation. Puzzle toys and scratching posts are a great start to keep your kitty happy during office hours.
Pick A Cat Friendly Ring Tone
This may sound like a weird one, but talk to any cat owner and they will tell you about a certain noise or sound that drives their cat absolutely berserk. If working from home involves you taking a lot of phone calls, make sure your notification noise or ring tone isn’t one of those triggering noises that sends your cat into a crying fit or anxiously running for cover.
Even if you set up a routine, have separate spaces for your office and your kitty, and you make break times for them, there is always going to be an element of chaos. Sometimes there are days where you are so swamped that your coffee counts as your lunch, other days it can be like watching paint dry as you wait for a client to approve a design proof. This flux in schedule can make it difficult to stick to the “rules” 24/7. Part of being someone who works from home AND a pet owner is knowing how to shift gears quickly and roll with the punches.
Do you work from home with your kitty there? Do you find that they hinder your work day? What do you do to insure your work day flows smoothly? Let us know your tips and tricks in the comments below.