The Star-Herald

Who’s your boss?

Just a reminder that the Central Aroostook Humane Society will have a booth set up at the Spring Trash & Treasure Sale this weekend, May 1 and 2. Stop by and say hello and check out the wonderful treats that we will be selling.

Since every cat owner knows who’s the boss at home (the cat is, obviously), working from home with a feline colleague can be a challenge as you’ll have to take care of tasks while dealing with a cat that just won’t leave you alone. But there are many benefits of working at home as long as it is the right fit for you, your feline boss, and your employer.  

Since COVID-19, your home may also be your office, but for your cat, your home is just home. This difference of opinion may be confusing for a cat that is used to being in charge of the palace. Follow these 3 tips to create the best environment to ensure work productivity and maintain a happy home for you and your cat. 

Have a cat-friendly home office space 

Cats are used to having freedom to go where they want, when they want. And that includes your lap, your laptop, your printer etc. Usually, the cat will want to sit in or on the spot that will be most inconvenient for you at any given time. When you are off the clock, it can be quite cute; but a needy cat that won’t let you work during office hours can rapidly turn into a liability. 

Try setting up a bed, a perch, a hammock or other comfy spot that your cat can curl up on and still keep an eye on you. Make sure your cat is fed, always has clean water, and has a clean litter box before you start your workday. If your cat’s needs are unmet, you will hear about it whether you are working or not. While you may never be able to keep your cat off your workspace and completely out of your way, don’t get frustrated. Your cat just wants to be near you, and that is one of the best perks of working from home. 

Enrich your cat’s environment 

Since you are busy with work, make sure your cat stays busy too. If you cat is bored, you will quickly become the object of feline attention. Have a scratching post, toys and other interesting objects to stay occupied. You can also establish a routine which includes playtime before work starts, and scheduled cat breaks during the workday. Cats will respond to routines, so be consistent.  

Quality playtime will also be good exercise and your cat may be ready for a nap after your morning playtime or scheduled breaks. After all, nothing is more interesting to a cat than a freshly printed report, spreadsheet or important document.  

Don’t get frustrated when your cat distracts you

No workplace is perfect and working from home with a cat will probably not be purrrfect, but it can be workable. Be patient and flexible, even if your cat is not. Have reasonable expectations and don’t get stressed. We all know that cats are curious by nature, so it may take some time for your cat to get bored with your work.  In the meantime, appreciate and be grateful for the show of love and attention that your feline is bestowing on you.

More helpful tips can be found at petsbest.com.

Hope to see you all at the Forum this weekend.  Please be responsible, spay and neuter your pets.

Gloria J. Towle is the secretary and a member of the board of directors for the Central Aroostook Humane Society.

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