Working From Home With Cats – 5 Tips to Stay Productive
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If you’re a pet parent, working from home might as well be a huge struggle for you. No?
And that’s particularly true if your furry child is a cat.
Although research suggests that felines do not require as much attention as dogs and other pets do, it is true that cats often have random outbursts, i.e., random cravings for attention.
You could be playing with them dedicatedly, and they wouldn’t budge. But right when you’re looking away, busy with something, they’d jump into your lap, asking for attention!
Such behavior can make working from home quite very difficult. So, here we have a few tips for you to tackle the situation smartly.
1. Create a Schedule
The first step towards establishing a work-pet balance is to set up a schedule. And no, we do not mean your work schedule when we say create a schedule.
We refer to the shared schedule of you and your kitty. Determine how much time you will be spending with them each day.
Allocate time slots between your work hours as well as before and after your work hours. The length of these slots depends on the amount of attention your cat requires.
But if you start out with about 10-20 minutes after every two hours, your cat will not feel deserted by you. It will also boost your mood and productivity because science says playing with your pet makes you less stressed. It’s a win-win. No?
2. Train Your Furry Pals
Once you have your schedule prepared and laid out, it’s time to train your furry friend! Certainly, your cat cannot read or practically understand your work needs.
So, begin practicing and implementing the new schedule on your own. Make your cat abide by it. Train your cat day by day, incorporating habits little by little.
Some effective ways of instilling habits permanently include using cat treats and spending quality time with your cat. When your cat listens to you and obeys a certain command, treat your cat with their favorite food. It could be treats, canned food, or even praise.
However, you cannot treat your cat with food treats every time they do a thing and listen to you, because then they won’t be inclined to obey when you don’t have a treat in hand. So, you ought to have an alternative. Be creative and think of things that’ll bring your cats joy. Our recommendation would be to spend quality time with them wherein you are fully mentally and physically present for them with pets and praise.
3. Arrange Toys & Activities
When crafting the schedule for your cat, you will be planning two types of activities for your cat:
- With you
- Without you
All of the activities planned with you will most likely turn out smooth as you will be there to supervise. We suggest bringing out your kitty’s favorite toys. These might include crinkle, cat-nip filled, or even electronic moving toys that you can move around while you supervise their play activities. This time would also be perfect for more interactive toys where you get to direct the toy and your kitty’s playful attacks. Examples of these toys are wands, door danglers, and laser pointers.
You can also spend your one-on-one time in a quieter way by giving your kitty some nice pets and cuddles, or even some brushing if they like.
When leaving your cats alone, you will have to make proper arrangements. Prepare proper toys and activities for them, so they keep themselves engaged. Here are some examples of what you can give your kitty family to keep themselves occupied during your working time:
- A cat condo to explore and climb on.
- Cat scratchers to stretch on and mark their scent on.
- Window perches to stimulate their minds and engage their hunting instincts.
- A box or a cat tunnel for hiding, napping or playing around in.
If your cat has a partner, then it’d be even more awesome, as two cats can keep each other engaged and accompany each other better than one.
4. Separate Your Space
Now, here comes a generic but essential work from home rule. If you strive to maximize your productivity when staying at home, separate yourself from the rest of the house, and this even applies to your pets!
Ensure you have a separate room for work with a divider. Preferably, this divider should be a door, so your cat cannot walk in to disturb you when you’re up to important stuff, such as recording a video or in a video meeting.
If it’s only you and your cat in your house, then you may choose to forgo the door part of the plan so your kitty doesn’t feel lonely. Instead, set up a separate place for your cat in your home office. Place a bed and a water bowl there so kitty recognizes the place as its own. When you do so, your cat will automatically walk to that corner of the room.
Also, make this dedicated corner of the room cozy enough for your cat. You can arrange a comfy bed for them, some potted cat grass, and a bladeless fan to keep them cool. The bladeless fan will be easier to clean (as it will not get clogged with cat hair!). It’s also hazard-free since it has no blades. Thus, cutting out distractions. As for a scratching post, we suggest you should keep it outside your workspace because that could sometimes prove to be distracting and disruptive.
5. Switch Off Any Interesting Sounds
Switching off interesting sounds is particularly important if you are not entirely separating your workspace from your cat.
Cats have super sharp ears with an edge of curiosity and an inclination towards the undiscovered. Your kitty might launch an attack at the sound of you clicking on your keyboard or your wireless mouse as you are moving to and fro on your work desk with an occasional tick, tick, and tick. Certainly, it could disrupt your flow of work. Hence, ensure you keep your cats away from such sounds, and if possible, turn off any notification noises.
5. Final Thoughts
Summing up, working with cats at home may not be as difficult as it seems. The matter may as well be easily handled, given we take the right measures. The above should give you a lead. Best of luck with the rest!