Around October 2014, my husband and I adopted an adorable gray and white kitten we named Arya. Around the same time, I started working from home as a writer.
Sure, my timing could have been better. It’s not easy to stay focused with a cute kitten running around. But it’s not impossible.
After two years of working from home, I’ve collected a few tips that ensure a more productive day, keep your cat from destroying expensive office equipment, and help you both enjoy each others company to the fullest.
1. Build scheduled play sessions into your day
One of the perks of working from home with a cat is that you have your buddy with you all day.
But your cat probably doesn’t understand the concept of “work.” To her, you’re available full-time for games.
If you decide to ignore her natural instincts to play, expect trouble. Instead of playing with you, your cat will chew computer wires, scratch chairs, and make her bed across your keyboard.
How do you deal with your cat’s need for attention? Simple. Build scheduled play breaks into your day.
Cats are “crepuscular.“ That means they’re most active at dawn and dusk. Take advantage of this biological fact by beginning and ending your work day with play.
Spend fifteen minutes, twice a day, playing together with your cat’s favourite mouse, wand, or laser pointer. You’ll use up her extra energy and keep her from becoming bored. Bored cats chew desk calendars. Happy cats spend the day napping on your lap.
2. Learn to share your office chair – or purchase a second one
Your cat is going to have a hard time resisting your warm office chair. It smells like you, it’s soft, and it fits her body perfectly.
Of course, you need a chair to do your work. But it’s undeniably hard to move a cat who’s snuggled in so adorably, isn’t it?
What’s the best option? You’re going to have to coax your cat to sleep on your lap instead. Or, you’ll have to get a second office chair so she has her own.
Chalk it up to the cost of doing business with a cat as a companion.
3. Place your desk near a bright window
So many problem office cat behaviours can be solved if you simply put your desk near a window.
But not just any window will do. You’ll want your desk positioned near a bright, sunny window. Imagine your cat dreaming away while she bathes in the warm sunshine.
Windows have often been referred to as “Cat T.V.” When she’s not napping, your cat will spend hours watching birds, squirrels, and leaves. Plus, thousands of natural smells will filter in through the screen, occupying your kitty’s senses while you type away at your desk.
Extra Bonus: When she’s lounging in a window, your cat’s cute, furry tummy is available for tummy rub sessions!
Working from home with a cat is a joy
With a few minor adjustments to your office space, you’ll have no problem working from home with a cat by your side.
Do you share your office with a cat? Share your story (and pictures) in the comments section below.