Working from home with your cat by your side can be quite challenging because most cats love to get the full attention of their owners.
So how do you handle this? How do you manage cats that will join your video call, lounge on your computer keyboard, or interrupt in many other ways?
It may seem impossible, but sure you can be productive with your cat as your coworker.
How to deal with curiosity in your cats
It can be frustrating when your cat tries to thwart you when you’re trying to get work done. But don’t be too worried. Yea, you might have heard the saying, “curiosity killed the cat.” Well, it’s true because cats are naturally curious.
If you’re paying attention to something for too long, say you’re staring into your computer screen, your cat tends to track whatever happens on the screen. They might try to even attack the moving cursor, or the video playing on the screen.
Sometimes, cats may even look at the back of your monitor or laptop to see if they can find the person in the video playing on the flip side. Sure, it’s a new voice in their territory, so they want to be sure these new visitors are cool by you.
Also, as you move your fingers on your keywords while typing, your cat may become enticed, thinking you’re trying to play with them, and most times they just have to pounce on them.
However, if your cat won’t let your work peacefully on your computer screen, you can try the following measures:
- Allow your cat to explore the computer screen for a while: When you allow your cat to have some time all alone on the screen, they’ll soon realize that what’s happening is boring. But don’t let your kitty have full control over your monitor; make the rules and let them bore themselves out. Don’t join them while they touch the screen.
- Use headphones to control sounds: When you speak with your headphones on your videoconference, your cat may feel you’re talking to them, but they won’t be as curious as to when they are hearing someone else’s voice.
How to tell if your cat wants attention
Cats express their need for attention in many ways. You’re probably familiar with the following if you’ve been working from home for a long time:
- Meows: Cats are vocal and they sometimes call on you with a meow, howls, and chirrups to make their needs known.
- Showing up on your screen: When cats need attention, they may walk in front of your computer screen, jump behind you, get on your lap and poke their head up, or appear over your shoulder. Some of these behaviors are often funny and endearing, but it’s time to look out for them and want they want.
- Behaving badly: Your cat may do something silly if they are tired of you working without paying attention to them. They may knock down your glass of water or scratch your favorite chair. Anything that will draw your attention immediately comes to mind. When you notice any bad behavior, you should know it’s time to take a break, play, and distract your kitty a bit.
What to do if your cat is persistent in their demands
Sometimes, your cat may just stay put and won’t leave you alone. This may indicate that they need something from you urgently. It’s a good time to check the following:
- Food or water bowls: Maybe your kitty is out of food or water or maybe the water is old and they need something fresh. Try to pour out the old water and fill them with clean cool water. And give them more food if their bowl is empty.
- Litter box: Your cat may simply need you to clean their litter box. Kitties don’t like their litter box smelling bad, so they tend to let you know when they need you to give it a scoop and freshen it with a new litter.
- We missed a routine: Cats are very smart and they take note of routines. If you’ve already developed a routine, such as giving your cat wet food at 6.am, they expect you to stick to it even if you now have more time to wake up late.
- Outdoors/indoors: Some cats love spending time out to play, so if you have an outdoor cat, they might simply want to head out to explore.
Tips to keep your cat busy
Working from home takes so much of your time, and for a cat that likes so much attention from their best friend (which is you), they want to be by your side 24/7.
However, you need to understand that most times when your cat gets in your way, what they want is something to do. When you provide something or an activity to keep them busy, they tend to leave you alone (for a while though).
So here are some smart tips to keep your bored cat busy:
Provide more toys
Your feline friend may be bored with their old toys and want some new ones. You may try providing more for them like the Ambush Interactive Toy, Electric Flutter, or catnip-filled mice. You can also get toys that make a sound when they are batted around.
You can also try cheap options like a cardboard box or a crumpled-up box left open on its side.
Try out a few new toys and see your cat’s reaction even as you work from home. Most times they tend to get busy and leave you to concentrate on your work.
Give your pet their own space
You can let your cat stay in a dedicated room or patio with all their treats, napping spots, toys, and so on. Keep them there while you get busy with work.
Another way to go about this is to find an office space in your home that remains out of bounds to fur friends during working hours.
Keep your cat active
Try to exercise your cat before starting your day. You can spend at least 20 minutes with them using an interactive toy like a feather wand or laser. Some cats love to explore safely while taking short walks through the use of a leash or harness.
You can throw some mice toys across the floor and watch their response. The point is to see what your cat loves and stick to it.
Schedule play and attention breaks
Everyone needs some time to unwind and enjoy themselves. You can take some 20 minutes off your desk to check in on your feline friend, offering them small treats and snuggles.
You can seize your lunch break to spend quality time with your feline friend.
No doubt, your cat may want to stay with you 24/7 even as you work from home. But the point is understanding their signals and attending to them promptly. Sometimes, what your furry friend needs is some more toys or some treats and they will let you be.
Try out different options or create boundaries. With time, you can be sure your cat will adjust and respect your working hours.