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Working from Home with Cats? 6 Tips to Stay Productive


a woman working on her laptop

Even before the recent global pandemic, remote work and working from home were becoming more common. Working from home appears to be here to stay for many people, but if you have cats, you know how easy it is for your feline friends to distract you from your daily tasks. Here are six tips to stay productive working from home with cats.


The 6 Tips to Stay Productive While Working From Home With Cats

1. Close the Door

cat near door at home
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

If you have enough space at home for a separate office area, help yourself stay productive by closing your cat outside the door. Not only will this minimize distractions from your kitty but also other family members and pets. While this solution seems simple (and it is), not everyone has a work-from-home space with a door to close.

In addition, some cats view closed doors as a challenge rather than a deterrent. Meowing and paws under the door rattling to get in will certainly not help you to be productive! Don’t worry; we have some other tips for you.

2.  Tire Them Out Before You Start Work

cat playing with owner
Image Credit: Dora Zett, Shutterstock

Cats tend to sleep for most of the day, and if you spend some time tiring them out in the morning before you start work, they may leave you alone long enough to be productive.

Laser pointers, teaser wands, balls, and other active play objects are good choices for this task. Even if your cat is less active, just spending dedicated time snuggling or petting them before work may be what they need to let you do your job in peace.

3. Give Them Something Else to Do

tabby cat on a cat tree in a room
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

Keep your cat distracted while you’re working by providing a stimulating environment. Ensure they have food, water, and plenty of toys for self-guided play. A cat tree or cat shelves will allow your cat to climb and be active on their own.

Place a feeder outside a window so your cat can be entertained watching the birds, or consider asking a friend to come by and play with your cat during the day when you can’t. You could also hire a pet sitter to do this. If you’re able, getting your cat another kitty playmate can keep them distracted from you so you can be productive.

4. Provide Their Own Space

White cat on the bed purring
Image Credit: JonasOgrefoln, Pixabay

If your cat isn’t happy unless they’re close to you, create a cat-friendly space in or near your work-from-home spot. Give your cat their own bed close to your desk but far enough that they won’t distract you. Consider a small cat tree or cat cubby if space allows. Make sure your cat has plenty of food, water, and a freshly scooped litter box before you start work. If they’re settled and full, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to work in peace, at least for a little while.

5. Take Cat Snuggle Breaks

white cat with the owner
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

It’s a good idea to take a break every couple of hours when working from home, so why not take the opportunity to give your cat some attention? If your kitty knows to expect regular breaks for attention, they’re more likely to leave you alone when you work.

Taking breaks around the same time each day can also help your cat develop a daily routine. A few minutes away from your computer can help you recharge, and your cat will appreciate the chance to play or snuggle.

6. Give Them Their Own “Laptop”

cat sitting on a silver laptop
Image Credit: Simon Hrozian, Unsplash

A cat snoozing on your computer keyboard will undoubtedly decrease your productivity! Unfortunately, something about that piece of equipment seems to attract cats. Rescue your workday by giving your cat an alternate “laptop” to snooze on.

If you have an old laptop or damaged keyboard, set it up in your office to give your cat their own space. At the same time, protect your working keyboard from dust and cat hair by installing a cover.


Are Certain Cat Breeds Better Choices for Work-from-Home Situations?

If you work from home and are considering buying or adopting a cat, you might be curious if some breeds are better for your situation. While there’s no way to predict the personality of individual cats, some species are known to be more vocal and attached to their owners.

For example, Maine Coon cats commonly follow their owners around the house and never stay far away; they may not enjoy being shut out of a home office. Exotic breeds, like the Siamese, are notoriously vocal and can easily disrupt your productivity with their talkative nature.

Older, laid-back cats might be easier to deal with than an energetic kitten that needs constant supervision. At the same time, getting a kitten used to a daily routine that involves leaving you alone can work with training.



As we learned from our list, you have options for staying productive even if your new cat is clingy or loud. While it’s worth being aware of some of the personality quirks of a particular breed, you don’t necessarily need to avoid them just because they might be a bit more challenging to your work-from-home life. These six tips can help you satisfy your boss and your cat.

Featured Image Credit: Corinne Kutz, Unsplash


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