Posted December 16, 2020 in Trending by Rachel Champion
Does your new coworker have whiskers? Many cat owners have probably noticed that cats seem to sense when the attention is off of them, and working from home is no exception. If you have a cat and work from home full-time or occasionally, your cat may be demanding attention while you are trying to focus. Giving your cat their own space in your home office can help them feel included while giving them a place to call their own.
Here at Jeffers, there are quite a few people who share their home office with their furry feline. The CEO of Jeffers, Ruth Jeffers, cats are constantly making appearances during video calls, and she loves it! She has even started creating a space for her cats in her workspace. We love that idea and thought we would share a few tips for creating a cat friendly home office.
While working from home, your cat may have decided that your workplace isn’t complete without them. Your cat might be using your computer as their personal heating pad, or they may even be walking over your keyboard when you are in the middle of typing.
Similar to us, cats need places in their home to call their own. Making your home office cat friendly will help them feel comfortable and secure in their environment. In turn, it is less likely that they will try to claim your space as theirs.
Below are a few items that can help your cat feel like they have a space in your home office.
One of the best things about working from home is being able to sit in your office wrapped up in a blanket without facing judgment. But as most cat owners know, cats love blankets just as much, if not more, than you do. Putting a blanket on your lap during meetings encourages your feline friend to cuddle up with you instead of on top of your keyboard.
Bonus Tip: If your cat likes to burrow or hide when they snuggle up in their bed or on their heated pad, you can use a blanket to make them a hideaway. Place the blanket on a surface with space underneath it, and place the pad or bed underneath the tented area.
Cats are naturally attracted to warmth for biological reasons, which means your computer is like a personal heat pad for your kitty. Just like cats like to have a “sun spot”, your computer is just as appealing. Instead of fighting with them for your laptop, you can provide them with their own source of heat. A self-warming heat pad works great for cats because it captures and radiates their body heat to keep them warm. Plus, it doesn’t have to be plugged in, so you have more options on where you place it.
Bonus Tip: If your cat likes to be up high and enjoys making a home on your desk, place the pad on top of your desk. This may help you take back your laptop and still allow them to have a great spot for “supervising”.
On average, cats sleep about 15 hours a day. Jealous? Play into their love for naps and all things comfortable by having a comfy cat bed in your office or work area. This may not work on “boomerang” cats because no matter how often you push them away, they seem to want to hang out more. However, some cats may be happy to have a place to call their own in your home office.
Need a little more incentive for your cat? A window perch for cats will give them all-access to cat TV. Then they can focus on birds, squirrels, and of course, awkwardly staring at your neighbors with no shame.
Bonus Tip: Is your cat not a fan of perches? If you have a cat that prefers to be closer to the ground, place a cat carrier under or near the window where the light shines. Put a blanket or bed on top so they can still get their sunbathing time.
Distractions while working from home are a struggle many people face. Your cat may be meowing constantly, or they may even jump in and out of your swivel chair so much that you are starting to get motion sickness. Luckily, there are ways you can keep them occupied while you get your work done.
While it’s important not to reward your cat for bad behavior, their cries for attention could be a sign of boredom. As great as it would be to get paid breaks to go play with your cat, this is usually not possible. Instead, there are a few things you can do to keep them occupied while you are trying to focus.
Here are a few ideas to help keep your cat distracted while you work.
Even though you might be jealous that your cat gets to play while you work, having a few cat toys on your or near your desk can help distract them when you are busy and they decide that they just need attention. If your cat loves crinkle toys, they are great to have near you while you work because the noise will grab their attention and keep them occupied.
If the sound is too distracting, shiny toys are also a great option. They will still stimulate your cat’s senses, and you can focus on work.
Bonus Tip: Does your cat get the “zoomies” every time you hit “connect” on a conference call? As soon as your boss starts talking, does your cat have an idea that will revolutionize the company and has to throw their two cents in? If your cat is meowing or hogging the camera like the superstar they know they are, keep a toy near your desk to throw when they are demanding attention.
Depending on how your cat reacts to catnip, it might just be the secret tool that keeps you covered while working. If catnip has no effect on your cat or causes your cat to run wild, toys without catnip would probably be best. But if catnip causes your cat to chill out, it’s a great option to help bring the focus back on you and your work.
Reward your cat for all the hard work they’ve put in “supervising” with a tasty cat treat. If you made a habit of feeding your cat before and after work, they may be confused about when their mealtimes are and start demanding food constantly. Giving them a few treats throughout the day can help them adapt to having you around more often. Plus, they are great to throw to distract your cat when they decide to drop in on a conference call.
Bonus Tip: Using a treat jar to hold your cat’s treats works great because it is easier to open and helps keep the treats fresh for longer. Plus, the noise from shaking the treat holder is irresistible to cats and will help gain their attention.
Working from home is like having a “Bring your pet to work day” every day. And while it is a dream come true for most cat owners, it still comes with its challenges. Creating a cat friendly home office is both beneficial and fun for both you and your new coworker.
So, hopefully, the next time you get an invite for a conference call, your cat won’t respond with, “Yeah, I’ll be there.”
Click for Jeffers’ full selection of cat supplies.