Working from home means no mornings stuck on traffic nor being cramped inside busy subways or buses. It also means spending more time than you’re willing to admit in your comfy, old pajamas. Working from home has many advantages but it can also involve plenty of little adjustments in your work routine to ensure productivity, especially if you share a home with a cat! While many of us need to adapt to this new way of working from home during the coronavirus pandemic, your cat will also have to get used to having you around the house. The more independent cats will probably rather get back to their normal routines and spend most of the time alone, but affectionate cats might be a great source of distraction and demand your attention 24/7. This is when it gets tricky. If you are finding it a little bit hard to be productive with your cat around, these tips will help!
Establish a routine
Cats love routine. That’s why they wake you up at exactly 6 am every morning to be fed and don’t understand that IT. IS. SUNDAY. Take advantage of their love of routine and schedule in some play time during your workday. This will help them adapt faster to the new situation, will make sure they get the much-needed attention from you and will help your own mental well-being!
It is also be a good idea to have an intense play session with your cats right at the beginning of the day as to tire them out before you have to focus on an important task. This way you can work while they nap!
Give them their own space
So, you sit at your desk ready to start the day and before you realize it, your cat is sitting on your keyboard and your hands are trapped under them. Sigh. Clingy kitties might want to be as close as possible to you while you work and decide their favorite place to hang out is your lap, your shoulder or your laptop. This is very cute but also very inconvenient. Try offering them a better place to nap - place a blanket, a small bed or even a kitty hammock near your desk. This will allow for some head scratches every now and then without interrupting your workflow. If you can’t work with a furry colleague staring at you, set boundaries from the very beginning and gently but firmly let them know your desk is off limits! Place a snuggly bed (or even a heated one) outside of petting distance and encourage them to rest there – try sprinkling some catnip over it!
Keep them busy
If your scheduled play time with your kitty isn’t enough or you are having an especially stressful day, then you might want to give your cat a few activities to keep him busy. If you have a kitten or a particularly playful cat, they can spend hours playing by themselves with a ball or a piece of string. However, if you have an older cat, they might need interactive toys to keep them interested. Here are some ideas:
- Order some intelligence games or automated toys for cats online
- Hide some treats or dry food around the room or inside cardboard boxes
- Sprinkle some catnip on their bed
- Place a chair or cat condo near a window so they can look out
Make sure to change the game around every couple of days or even move their play space to a different area of the house to keep them interested and distracted. If you have an important call or are working on a deadline, bring out their favorite toy or activity so you can focus for a few precious minutes.
Give it time
Be patient with yourself and your kitty! Adjusting to this new normal will take some time for both you and your cat, so be kind to yourself. Enjoy the fun and positive aspects of getting to spend more time with your favorite four-legged friend and try not to stress yourself out too much! If you do, take a break, place your kitty on your lap and let the purring melt the stress away…