How to Enjoy Working from Home When You’re a Cat Parent

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

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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

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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

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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.

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26 thoughts on “How to Enjoy Working from Home When You’re a Cat Parent

  1. Oh my God! Best pictures ever………..my desk has really become the couch. And most of my ‘work’happens late. Jamima contentedly sleeping elsewhere on the bed. If I stay up too late she comes out all squinty and Blinky-eyed to remind me I should go to bed!

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  2. Interesting post and I love the photos. I work outside the home for my regular part-time job but I also work at home on art projects. This has been tricky since we adopted two cats a little under a year ago. They insist on being on my art table so I put a cat bed on the table to try and contain them. This works well except that they enter and exit across the whole length of the table, often right across wet artwork. I’ve had to clean paws and paw prints several times. Their spot on the table is beside a dual aspect window so that does keep them occupied and because it catches the sun and gets cosy they do settle down to sleep there too. I hadn’t thought about scheduling in play time so that’s useful advice. Mostly I try to work on my art when they are sleeping so that I reduce the risk of spillages and paw prints.

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  3. All of the advice has been followed and works out well, except when I talk on the phone. Then my cats believe I must be talking to them and join in the conversation, bringing out a lot of laughter from the other end but distracting me from what I’m saying.

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  4. Older cats are also a lot more mellow. Consider adopting a “senior”–cats seven and above…they still have a lot more years in them but aren’t complete spazballs. Plus, shelters are glad to help you find the right cat…they know them really well, and want to place the right cat into the right home (so it’s not returned)–ask them about older cats/couch potatoes.

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  5. I work from home and have three cats – and these are great tips. I have a big round, comfy chair in my office that all three cats like to sleep on. It’s right by a sliding glass door, so they get plenty of time to watch Bird TV from my office!

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  6. Wonderful post, photographs, and commentaires.
    My first cat – a black one with a little white – respected my work at home, but when he thought that was enough, he pushed the door and looked at me : a way to say … come with me !
    The two misses I am loving too now, are different, but very patient.
    amitiés de france 🙂

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  7. Such a wonderful post! I work from home as a writer, blogger, and weight loss coach much of the time as well. My trusty companion is my cat, Katie. She is not a kitten anymore and never really had the kitten playful energy even when she was younger, but she does demand attention. She just loves stepping on my laptop if I leave it on my bed or lying down on my papers, batting my pencils/pens around, etc. If I give her attention and also distract her, she can be my best buddy for working!

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  8. What a great piece with such great tips! January marks my 20th (yes!) year of working from home. I always feel so lucky to have more time with my cats than most. I would rather take a break and cuddle or play with them than take a break and stand by the water cooler and have a conversation 😀 I have one tip which takes up quite a bit of desk space: a dog bed! I can fit two of three cats in mine and they truly do love to be nearby. Very nice post, thank you!

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  9. My cat Tippy is usually well behaved when I’m working, but Misha… well, she doesn’t like me working. She’ll be just fine on her own until I open my laptop. Then she’ll paw my leg, meow, and jump up behind me and demand attention. She’s incorrigible!

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