How Long Can You Leave a Cat Alone? (Hint: Not As Long As You Think)

How Long Can You Leave a Cat Alone? (Hint: Not As Long As You Think)
© Molly Aaker/Getty Images

Your cat is independent, indifferent and probably doesn’t even care if you’re alive or dead…right? Wrong. While it’s true that cats are significantly lower maintenance than most pups, felines still crave affection from their humans. In fact, they’re not that different from dogs at all in that regard; domesticated cats who are deprived of human contact for too long are indeed susceptible to feelings of separation anxiety, in addition to the obvious health complications that come from not having their physical needs met. That said, your sleepy, aloof feline can weather a little solitude just fine—just be sure to read on to find out what the experts have to say about how long you can leave a cat alone before you pack your bags.

How Long Can You Leave a Cat Alone?

The good news is that the average full-grown feline will be fine when left alone for a workday, which means that, in most cases, you needn’t spring for a pet sitter on the regular. Yep, you’ve probably noticed that your cat loves to sleep—up to 18 hours a day, in fact—so you don’t need to feel guilty about putting a day in at the office while your kitty languishes on the couch. Working the nightshift? Again, no big deal. Your particular schedule doesn’t make much of a difference as far as your cat’s alone time is concerned. As long as you’re consistently around for some chunk of time every 24 hours, your cat will be content. But, of course, an occasion may arise where you need to be away from home for a little while longer. Here’s what you need to know about longer periods of separation from your feline.

When it comes to longer absences, the cat lovers and experts behind Animalpath.org say that healthy, adult cats shouldn’t be left alone for more than 24 to 48 hours. Meanwhile, the veterinarians over at CVETS in South Carolina are a little more generous, saying that “if you leave your cat alone for more than three days, you must find someone to check in on him.” In other words, there isn’t a specific amount of time experts agree on for every cat and your cat’s needs might change over time. Needless to say, adult cats with special needs—be it a recent injury, illness, or daily medication regimen—will need to be checked on more frequently. Plus, even the healthiest of kitties need food, water and toileting accounted for before you duck out. The pros also advise against leaving a newly adopted adult cat alone for the aforementioned stretch of time, since fur buddies who are still in the process of adjusting to a new environment are naturally more vulnerable to separation anxiety and the behavioral problems that come with it.

How Long Can You Leave a Kitten Alone?

Kittens are the cutest—but just like any baby, they’re considerably more work than an adult. Indeed, age makes a tremendous difference in terms of how long you can leave your cat alone—specifically for pets under the age of six months. Per the pros, wee ones under the age of 4 months shouldn’t be left alone for more than two to four hours; 4 to 5-month-old kittens can chill solo for up to five hours; and by the half-year mark, kitties can sit (or snooze) pretty for an eight hour workday without consequence. Of course, this is just an estimate based on what most cats can handle. Your particular feline’s temperament will play a considerable part in the equation, so proceed with caution.

The Risks of Leaving a Cat Alone

Far be it from us to take the wind out of your sails after reassuring you, but there are some risks associated with leaving your cat alone for too long. Don’t worry, though, friends: It’s mostly just common sense stuff.

Let’s begin with the litter box—namely, the fact that many healthy cats will simply avoid it if it gets too gross. And since nobody enjoys cat pee on their wooden floor (or, um, on top of a pile of dry cleaning), this is definitely a factor worth considering.

While an angry cat peeing all over the place is a nightmare and a hassle, far more serious is the possibility of an unanticipated injury or illness. Although the odds that your robust house cat suddenly falls sick are slim, it’s definitely a possibility—particularly if you don’t cat-proof your pad before departing. Along the same lines, a mischievous kitty can certainly get into trouble when bored and alone.

Finally, there’s the emotional impact. Prolonged periods away could rub even the coolest cat the wrong way. If you don’t want your furball to turn into a neurotic stress ball, it’s best to keep your kitty’s temperament in mind and generally stick to the above guidelines of a maximum 24 to 48 hours solo time.

What to Know Before You Go

When it comes to leaving a healthy cat alone, the most important stuff is pretty straightforward: You will need to set out enough food for the one to two days that you plan on being away, freshen the water bowl and thoroughly clean your cat’s litter box. (Don’t say we didn’t warn you about that last one.)

We also suggest you take your cat’s emotional needs into account. After all, your home is a pretty boring place without you. As such, you can help minimize any separation anxiety and reduce the risk of cat shenanigans if you supply your pet with some toys designed for solo play.

Finally, if you want to be super cautious, or have any doubts about your cat’s physical health, it’d be wise to pay a visit to the veterinarian before you leave any pet to fend for itself. Also, it bears repeating that kittens under the age of six months and newly adopted cats cannot and should not be left alone for a full 24-hour day, let alone two.

When to Hire a Pet Sitter

Cats are notoriously low-maintenance, but that doesn’t mean they relish neglect. If you are planning on being away for a couple of days, then you need to find yourself a friend or a for-hire pet sitter to take care of your feline in your absence. Bonus points if you snag someone who will stay a while to play with and pet your kitty—’cause yeah, they really do want somebody to love.

Written by Emma Singer.

Source: How Long Can You Leave a Cat Alone? (Hint: Not As Long As You Think) (msn.com)

5 Things I’m Doing Now To Set Myself Up for My Best Year Yet

Source: Social Squares

2021 was a fever dream of a year and you can’t convince me otherwise. We fell in love with the Duke in Bridgerton, KimYe split, Olivia Rodrigo came out of the woodwork and gave us our 2021 anthem, Driver’s License. We got Bennifer, Adele, and All Too Well back, sold our local grocery stores out of blocks of feta, got the Friends reunion we were all hoping and wishing for. And before we can say “see ya” to this year, we have a couple of loose ends to tie up before we head into 2022.

If there’s ever a time of year where my need to nest feels more crucial than ever, it’s the what-day-of-the-week-is-it time between the holiday season and the New Year. Between wrapping up all of my work projects, setting new goals, and frantically searching “new year tips” to tackle 2022 in the most strategic manner possible, I’m split 50/50 between wanting to be lazily horizontal and going into hyperdrive towards my New Year’s resolutions. If you’re looking to prep for the new year without burning out, look no further… here are the five (actually achievable) things I want to accomplish before 2022:

1. Practicing gratitude and celebrating my 2021 highlights

If there’s one thing you need to know about me it’s that, these days, I never. slow. down. And while, on paper, that probably seems helpful in the interest of starting the new year with a bang, I’ve learned that going full throttle without taking time to rest, recharge, or review is a sure and quick way to burning out even before my New Year’s resolutions are implemented. This year, I’m taking a breath, resting, realigning with the things I love, and reminiscing on all of my 2021 highlights and accomplishments.

This year, I’m using the Top 9 App to do a quick rewind on Instagram to romanticize just how far I’ve come. Like the pop culture moments of 2021 that make me scratch my head and think, “wait, that happened this year?” I’m finding myself asking the same question about my personal life. By downloading the free, reliable, and safe Top 9 App, highlighting and sharing all of my big moments (switching career paths, being there as my childhood bestie got engaged, and celebrating a Michigan Big 10 Tournament Win, just to name a few) is smooth and easy. I’m able to smile, laugh, and pat myself on the back. Like, damn, girl. You did that.

2. Making a 2022 vision board

I’ve heard of making vision boards in years past but I’ve never made one for myself. In the same breath, I’ve never been great at goal setting or settling on specific New Year’s resolutions other than “hit the gym more.” Note: She, in fact, did not hit the gym more.

I was listening to an episode of the Life with Marianna podcast this week where Marianna Hewitt (cofounder of Summer Fridays and certified badass) shared that, every year, she makes a deliberate vision board of her hopes and dreams for the year and breaks down what she’ll do to get there. And naturally, if Marianna is doing it, I have to do it. As someone who is more visual and tangible than abstract, I think that this will be my best shot for developing and sticking to resolutions that last far beyond the beginning of the year.

3. Cleaning out my closet

I did a closet overhaul towards the end of 2020 but since shacking up with my boyfriend, being sucked into 2021 fashion trends I never wore, and wanting to build a more sophisticated capsule wardrobe, I’m in need of another closet refresh. I’m making three piles (donate, sell, and keep) and my goal is to simplify my wardrobe as much as I possibly can with the mindset, “if I didn’t wear it in 2021, I’ll never wear it.” If there’s any undertaking that’ll make me feel refreshed and decluttered, this one is it.

4. Reassessing my budget

If there was one New Year’s resolution that I almost pulled off, it would have been my 2021 attempt to improve my financial health. For the first time in my life, I actually paid attention to where my money was going, drafted up a realistic budget that I stuck to for the majority of the year, and actually saved some money! I was nearly unrecognizable.

When I switched careers, hopped on a new health insurance plan, and added another party to my living situation, my entire budget system was totally thrown for a loop. I definitely need to sit down, go through my finances for the year, set new financial goals, and rearrange my budget to better fit what my life looks like right now. But, thankfully, now that I have even the tiniest bit of January-to-October success in my pocket, the challenge is definitely a lot less daunting than it was last year.

5. Ditch my old planners and calendars and start mapping out the year ahead

If there is a designated changing of the guard to signal the start of the new year, it’s the “out with the old, in with the new” swap of our yearly planners. The pages of a new planner are blank and ready to be lovingly scribbled on and the world (2022) is our oyster.

I filled up every square inch of my planner from our 2021 planner collection with Day Designer and, now that I finally have my hands on my dream planner from our 2022 collection, I’m literally planning an entire wine+cheese+planner evening with myself to map out my January, hold a spot for the bigger events of the year (anyone already stressed about wedding season or just me?), and make moves towards my visions and goals. I’ll likely do this a few days after I make my vision board so that I can schedule checkpoints throughout the year to ensure that I’m making strides towards the promises I’ll be making to myself. 

Written by Ashley Selleke 

Source: 5 New Year Tips I’m Using To Make 2022 My Best Yet | The Everygirl

How to Clean a Garbage Disposal the Right Way

How to Clean a Garbage Disposal the Right Way, According to Experts
CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES / BILL OXFORD / ROMAN KULINSKIY

Your garbage disposal is a major time and and energy saver in the kitchen, since it makes your cleanup after meal prepping a whole lot easier. Though there are certain things you should never put down your garbage disposal (like meat or spaghetti), your garbage disposal can help clean up those lingering pieces of food from your dirty plates in the sink.

But every once in a while, an errant piece of food or debris can get caught in your garbage disposal and smell up your kitchen (which is … not ideal). So it’s important to clean your garbage disposal regularly to keep it maintained, free of unwanted odors and working as it should. Here’s how to clean a garbage disposal, plus how often you should be cleaning it for ideal maintenance.

Why Do You Need to Clean a Garbage Disposal, Exactly?

Garbage disposals can get dirty when those bits and pieces of the waste they take in get stuck. Jake Romano, a cleaning expert at Ottawa Drain Cleaners, says, “If your garbage disposal is dirty, there’s a good chance that the dirtiness is from food particles. These food particles are going to decay and rot and become a breeding ground for bacteria.”

And not only does that bacteria give off a bad odor, but it can also put your health at risk, especially over time if not cleaning your garbage disposal becomes a habit. “This bacteria can contaminate surfaces and become a hazard for healthy breathing and living conditions,” Romano says. So it’s worth regularly cleaning your garbage disposal to avoid risk of bacteria buildup.

Giving a garbage disposal a deep clean can also help you target those hard-to-reach spaces. Romano adds, “Cleaning your garbage disposal helps remove a lot of the particles building up in the nooks and crannies of the garbage disposal and drain. Not only does this destroy potential breeding grounds for bacteria and germs, but it also helps reduce the chances of clogged kitchen sink drains.”

Mark it on your calendar like any other appointment! Here’s a good guide for how to deep clean a garbage disposal.

How to Clean a Garbage Disposal

Baking Soda and Vinegar Method

First off, turn off your garbage disposal. Then clean the splash guard with a sponge and some dish soap, and get rid of any food particles that are present. Once finished, create a cleaning solution with baking soda and vinegar for your garbage disposal.

Romano says, “I’d recommend pouring 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by 1/2 cup of white vinegar, allowing it to fizzle for around 15 to 30 minutes, then flushing it down with hot water.”

You can follow this process with some hot water to fully flush things out. “I’d recommend heating a kettle, but not boiling it, and dumping it all at once, followed by turning the hot water tap on for a minute,” Romano says. This will help wash away food particles and grease, so your garbage disposal is sparkling clean.

Ice and Vinegar Method

You can also use ice and vinegar to clean your garbage disposal. Alicia Sokolowski, cleaning expert and president and co-CEO of AspenClean, says, “Fill the disposal with ice cubes and pour in 1 cup of rock salt or vinegar, then flush the disposal with hot water.” You can also use this method as a follow-up to the vinegar and baking soda technique for a further boost.

Oxygen Bleach Method

The third option is to use oxygen bleach to clean and deodorize the garbage disposal. “Pour a solution of 1/3 cup of oxygen bleach mixed with 2/3 cup of hot water into the disposal, then flush with hot water for several seconds,” says Sokolowski.

How Often to Clean a Garbage Disposal

You should clean your garbage disposal once a week, or at least once every two weeks. “Make it part of your biweekly cleaning routine, at the very least,” says Sokolowski. “And always run cold water when using the garbage disposal because cold water solidifies food and makes it easier to grind,” she adds. You should also pour a pot of boiling water through the empty disposal once a month to remove any leftover debris and give it a real deep cleaning.

How to Make Your Garbage Disposal Smell Even Fresher

A quick and easy way to deodorize your garbage disposal is to add a little lemon juice for a fresh, fruity scent. Sokolowski says she likes to freeze some lemon juice in ice cube trays to give the garbage disposal an extra cleaning boost. She says, “Once the ice cubes are completely frozen, you can simply put a handful of ice cubes into your kitchen drain and turn on the garbage disposal, as it will sharpen the blades of your disposal and leave your drain smelling great—the natural way.”

Source: How to Clean a Garbage Disposal the Right Way, According to Experts | EatingWell

Show-Stopping Appetizers

25 Show-Stopping Appetizers

Layered Sun-dried-Tomato-and-Basil Spread. Make this festive top-rated holiday dip recipe up to 3 days before the party. The colorful layers make it a fun addition to any appetizer buffet.

Layered Sun-dried-Tomato-and-Basil Spread Recipe | MyRecipes

Serve this spicy beer-cheese spread with crackers for a tasty game-day appetizer, or spread on buttered bread and cook in a nonstick skillet for a twist on the traditional grilled cheese sandwich.

Beer-Cheese Spread. Serve this spicy beer-cheese spread with crackers for a tasty game-day appetizer or spread on buttered bread and cook in a nonstick skillet for a twist on the traditional grilled cheese sandwich.

Beer-Cheese Spread Recipe | MyRecipes

Cranberry Meatballs

Cranberry Meatballs. Try a unique twist on a classic recipe by cooking meatballs in a decadent, cranberry, orange marmalade and soy sauce mixture.

Cranberry Meatballs Recipe | MyRecipes

22 more recipes can be found here:

Source: 25 Absolutely Amazing Appetizers | Southern Living