Tabby cat sitting on a bed with a girl looking at her cumputer
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Survival Guide For Cat Parents Who Work At Home

From an office desk, working from home can seem pretty glamorous. You mostly 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.

And with the global pandemic shifting the way we conduct business, the ranks of pajama and keyboard workers have only grown!

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 finish the job and still feel like a good cat parent.

Give Kitty Their Own Space — Not Your Keyboard

cat lying on keyboard
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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 can stay 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.

Put That Cat Space Outside Of Petting Distance

woman on laptop with cat in background
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There’s no denying that having animals in the work place has tons of benefits. However, when you’re working from home, it’s easy to get distracted by a cat who’s constantly vying for your attention.

If possible, set up your kitty’s comfy space somewhere that won’t tempt you to pet them every 30 seconds.

Creating spatial 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

woman playing with cat in apartment
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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’re still 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 time and terms, 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

cat lying next to human on laptop
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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 ensure 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 Cat Friendly Notification Sounds

man on laptop with cat on lap
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This may sound like a weird one, but talk to any cat parent and they’ll 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, then make sure your notification noise or ringtone isn’t one of those triggering noises that sends your cat into a crying fit or anxiously running for cover.

Be Flexible

woman works on computer with cat on table
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Even if you set up a routine, have separate spaces for your office and your kitty, and make break times for them, there’s always going to be an element of chaos.

Some days, you feel 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 parent is knowing how to shift gears quickly and roll with the punches.

Do you work from home with your kitty around? Do you find that they hinder your work day? What do you do to make sure your day flows smoothly? Let us know your tips and tricks in the comments below!

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