How To Work From Home (WFH) With Cats

Anyone who has ever owned and loved a cat would tell you that their feline friends can be pretty determined when they set their fiendish little minds on something. And nothing can intrigue them more than the sight of you typing away at your keyboard in front of your computer. 

Then again, ever curious, your cat may already be wondering why you are staying at home all the time. With you at home, does this mean more attention and treats for them? What can they do to get your attention? And, for that matter, why does it feel so good to lie down on that lumpy keyboard?

Depending upon your current situation, working from home with cats may seem like a regular working day (with the cat doing its own thing and ignoring you completely) or a frustrating challenge for attention and treats.

No matter what situation you’re in, keep in mind these tips on how to work from home with cats!

Understanding Your Cat’s Reaction to Your Working From Home

You probably know that cats are pretty territorial. When you’re in the office, they are practically the kings and queens of our house. So, you can just imagine how bewildered they are when you start working from home and not leaving at all.

During those first few days, you may see your cat staring often at you, as if wondering “What the heck are you doing here, hooman? You’re supposed to be earning money to buy my food and treats!” You’re lucky if the novelty of staring soon wears off and your cat resumes its regular daily activities without making a fuss.

In most cases though, the idea that their “human servant” is at home means that their needs will be met and that they will get the attention and the treats that they crave. The resulting behavior is that your cat starts to do anything and everything to get your attention, including non-stop meowing, knocking things off tables and shelves, nudging your leg with their bodies, jumping on your lap, or plopping down on your keyboard while you type. You may have seen YouTube videos of naughty, pesky felines hiding behind monitors, only to have their paws creep out and swipe their owner’s fingers or steal a slice of ham from a sandwich. There maybe times when your cat sits on your lap and stares mesmerized at the images on your computer screen.

If you cat happens to be the latter, here are tips so that you can work from home in peace with your cat.

Tips On Working From Home With Your Cat

1) Determine if your cat really needs something

There are times when your cat is trying to get your attention because it really needs something. These instances are as follows:

  • Your cat is hungry or thirsty – Give them food and fresh water in their bowls immediately. Make sure you clean the bowls before refilling.
  • Dirty litter box – Clean the litter box before you start working. If your cat is bothered by the dirty litter box while you’re working, remove the poop and just top the existing sand with a scoop of fresh litter
  • Wants to go outside – Your cat may want to go outside your house to answer nature’s call in the backyard or explore the neighborhood. If your cat refuses to go out even when you open the door for it, close the door again and go back to work
  • Missed a routine – Make sure that food and treats are given at the right times each day. If you time feeding your cat during your lunch break, then you should stick with this routine.

2) Prepare a kitty nap spot near you

On average, cats sleep for 15 to 20 hours per day. Of course, you won’t catch them sleeping in the same spot for hours on end; they often switch spots. 

When working from home, expect your cat to plop down on your lap for a nap or right on top of your keyboard. The reason for this is quite simple – cats love heat. If you don’t want your cat napping on your lap all time, you might want to put a cat bed, perch, or kitty hammock beside your computer. To stop your cat from lying down on your keyboard, lay out a heating pad and place it under a blanket or towel in its bed or nap spot.

3) Let your cat satisfy its curiosity

Your computer may be a source of fascination or fear for your cat. Cats would often stare at the images of your computer monitor. It is advisable that you let your cat just simply wear out the novelty of the computer screen. It won’t take long before it gets bored and move on to something else.

If it isn’t the screen, it would be the noises coming from your computer. If your cat is particularly afraid of these noises or of voices during teleconferences, mute the sound if on speaker or, better yet, use headphones.

4) Ease your cat’s boredom

Your cat can get bored if you don’t give it attention. Unlike with dogs, give your cat a cuddle and some scratches. Don’t worry. After a while, it will get tired of your attention and go off on its own.

Keep your cat busy with its favorite toys. To prevent it from scratching up your furniture and curtains, put up scratching posts.

Make it a point to schedule regular playtimes with your cats. It doesn’t take very long for a cat to get amused and tired. Aside from their toys, you can play a little tug of war with them or amuse them with feathers or other fancy items hanging from a string on a stick. Kong toys filled with treats can also distract cats during Zoom meetings.

5) Bring out the catnip

If, on the other hand, boredom is making your cat lazy and lethargic, it’s time to bring out the catnip. Let your cat nibble on some catnip. The catnip will stimulate it so that it gets excited and starts running and playing again.

To make these catnip playtimes more enjoyable, let them chase their kibble. Throw a kibble into a corner and let them run for it. After a while, not only is your cat full, it is also tired too so that it will sleep and let you work in peace.

It doesn’t take very much to keep cats distracted and amused while you work from home. Just follow our tips above and you can be assured of a productive WFH day while giving you opportunities to play and cuddle your cat.

If you’re looking for other resources on working from home, be sure to check out our Complete Guide To Working From Home to get you started!

1 thought on “How To Work From Home (WFH) With Cats”

  1. Pingback: (Try to) Keep It Professional: Dealing with a Naughty Cat While Teaching Online | Speakeasy

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