* Originally written by William O’Brien for ProtectaPet
In recent times, the act of working remotely from home has become a massive trend, especially during and after the lockdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic. A lot of us find it much easier and less restricting than having to go into the office five days a week, and we get to work from the comforts of our own home.
However, where there are pros to working from home, there are all sorts of unique challenges that arise in these new working environments, especially for owners of demanding pets. For us cat owners, working from home can mean more quality time spent with our feline friends but it can also present challenges that you need to overcome in order to establish a healthy balance of work time and play time.
If your cat is particularly demanding, giving them access to the outdoors whilst being protected from the usual risks can help your cat to exert that additional energy. ProtectaPet offers a range of Cat Fencing solutions to keep your cat safe outdoors, available for DIY or installation.
Most of us will know that cats do as they please and when they want. They stroll up and down their palace corridors deciding where they want to sleep, eat and relax. A lot of us have transitioned into working from home either on a flexible or permanent basis, so setting some boundaries between you and your cats might be the best option for you.
If you’re cat is particularly needy and you are struggling to help them be more independent, check out this article by Noots.
If you’re trying to have an important meeting, or if you are working towards a big deadline then you might need to think about not allowing your cat into the office or training your cat to not climb up onto your laptop and sit on your keyboard. Cats have a reputation for doing what they want, especially for love and attention, so training your cat might be the best option for you, as just shutting the door on them might cause some distress. Training them will take time, but it will be worth it when your cat stops knocking over a hot coffee onto some important documents!
Set a Routine for You and Your Cat
Just because working from home can be a comforting way to work, we still need downtime and who better to do this with than with our cute cat companions. Also, setting aside time for you and your cats will ensure that you are giving them enough love and attention so that you can go back to work undisturbed, leaving your cat satisfied. Ensure that you are the one to initiate the playtime, so that they can learn that you are the decider when it comes to when the work ends and when the fun starts.
Cats also respond well to routine, so setting up a daily schedule for you and your cat might be the best option if you live with a demanding one. Make sure they have their own safe space, with their own scratch posts, fresh water, toys and a comfy bed.
Cat-Proof the Office
If you are letting your cats into your home office, you need to make sure that there aren’t any items lying around on the surfaces or the floor which your cat could potentially swallow or knock over. Make sure to never leave your pet in your office unattended so that they can’t damage anything or hurt themselves. Also ensure that there are no cables lying all over the floor because they have been known to chew through these, so keep this in mind too.
Over time your cat will hopefully become accustomed to the do’s and don’ts of the home office workspace and naturally will avoid causing too much destruction or annoyance during stressful work times.
Be Flexible and Patient
Creating and maintaining a harmonious relationship with your feline friends whilst you’re working from home may seem like a challenging prospect now, but with time and patience you will be rewarded with an even better understanding and deeper love for your cats.
Understand that they are an animal with intuition and instinctive behaviour and although successfully training a cat might seem impossible, it is achievable. There might be setbacks but in the end they are extremely smart creatures that with your love, patience and flexibility, they will learn to understand your needs as well as you understand theirs.