Work from home is a working model which allows professionals to perform their job duties remotely, instead of in a designated office.
A true phenomenon that is deemed the “new normal” for many jobs during the pandemic in 2020. In fact, according to a research by Deloitte, 70% of the companies are looking to create a culture that is working from home in the future.
You must be wondering; how is this even related to cats? Well, you and your feline companion shares the same living space in your home, which means there is a direct impact on your environment and the dynamic you will have with your cat.
So, it is important to make sure not only YOU are fully prepared for the new way of working, but your CAT is also considered for the situation.
Trust me, I’ve been working from home for over a year, and I have been through the struggles and embarrassment of having a cat as my colleague. *face palm*
My biggest adversity is that my cat, Archer, requires attention while I am at my desk trying to focus on the tasks on hand, or hosting a virtual meeting with cameras on. You could imagine the embarrassment when he jumps on the table, and flashes his bum to all of my colleagues or even high-level executives!
Luckily, people have realized that working from home is the new norm, which means that it is inevitable for people or even pets to “show up” at work once in a while.
Now that I have gotten the ultimate embarrassment out of my chest, I do want to share some tips I have accumulated to keep Archer entertained and away from my laptop, while I perform productive and efficient work.
Here is it!
Tip #1: Follow a regular routine at home
One of the best things about working from home is that you could possibly set your own schedule or routine everyday.
Since your kitty does not distinguish your “work hours” versus “off-work hours”, it would be critical to follow a certain routine or schedule to let your cat understand that you have “busy times” and “down times”.
Try to wake up and begin work around the same time each day. While you’re on your coffee break or lunch time, attend your fur baby and provide them with the necessary attention.
In addition, set their meal and play time around your work schedule to avoid their tension of looking for food.
Eventually, your cat will slowly understand that there is a schedule when you are available.
Tip #2: Exhaust your cat’s energy before you begin work
I know personally, one of my biggest struggles is that Archer wants to constantly play during my work hours, and it doesn’t matter whether I am in a virtual meeting or trying to complete a task.
After some trial and error, I finally realized that if I could maximize his energy before I start work, it will most likely to settle him down once I start work! *Smart right?!*
As a result, consider an extended play session with your cat before you start working. Preferably 30 minutes or more to let them get play out of their system. This will also help you to eliminate any distractions while you try to get some work done.
One of my favorite games to maximize Archer’s energy is to make him run across the house or up and down stairs to chase after some treats. That way, I could ensure he is not only having fun but feeling rewarded for our play sessions.
Of course, if you are an adventure cat, the best way to provide stimulation to your cat’s senses AND exhaust their energy is to go out for a neighborhood stroll! Let your cat sniff all the plants and watch some birds prior to your working hours.
Once they have exhausted their energy, feed them a delicious meal of breakfast to complete their morning routine. I’m sure they’ll feel satisfied with the play and eat session, and will snooze away while you’re focusing on work!
Tip #3: Provide entertainment to your cat at home
It’s quite difficult for your cat to stay quiet if they’re bored at home; but you can always be creative in trying to entertain them!
As we all know, cats have a natural instinct of hunting for preys. Unfortunately for house cats, they mostly do not have the opportunity to catch anything while they are staying at home.
In order to keep your cat mentally alert and occupied, try to hide some treats after your morning play or outdoor exploration sessions, to keep them busy during your working hours.
Once your cat has understood that there are “little surprises” at home, they will start to navigate and investigate every single corner in the house. This activity will definitely help them to stay entertained; at the same time, keep them feeling rewarded for their effort of hunting!
For other ideas to keep your cat entertained in the house, check out my blog 7 Ideas to Have Fun with Your Cat Indoor.
Tip #4: Share your workspace with your cat
If you are already sharing your life with your beloved cat(s) at home, why not consider include them for your workspace setup?!
It doesn’t hurt to have an extra cat bed by your side, so they could rest along you if they wanted to be part of your work schedule. Also, keep some small cat toys and treats within reach to be prepared for a quick play session.
Trust me, it will save you some unmalicious ankle bites if your cat is down for a quick play. It’s possible that they just merely want your attention while trying to figure out what else to do in the house.
Tip #5: Keep your cat away during any important meetings/tasks
Although it is not ideal to keep your cat away, while you are working from home; but there will be occasions when you have important tasks or virtual meetings which cannot afford ANY distractions.
In that case, you could keep your cat in the backyard with a harness and leash, so they could entertain themselves in a safe and enclosed area. I usually use the flexi-leash (Code: ARCHER10) to provide Archer some space and flexibility while he explores the backyard.
If you live in an environment without an outdoor space, such as, a backyard or front porch, try to find an enclosed area in the house. Fill the area with plenty of toys, a cat bed, and litter box, so that your cat could be entertained for the duration of your important task or meeting.
Once your work obligations are complete, check back with your cat to ensure they are comfortable in the space, and let them out to their regular areas within the house.
Working from home will be the new normal for many people. While it takes time for us, humans, to adapt to the new ways of living, it will also take patience to make our cats understand our routines.
If you are struggling to find the most suitable way to integrate your cat’s daily routines into your work schedule, try a variety of activities and times to find the best combination.
Finally, don’t forget that the BEST part about working from home is that you can actually SEE your cat’s every single day. When the work is done, you two will have a blast together!