“I’ll leave enough food and water for him to eat while I’m gone and he’ll be fine”.
There is a widely held belief that cats are self-sufficient and can fend for themselves. The results of this erroneous assumption include cats left to fend for themselves while their humans enjoy a vacation away from home as well as being left alone for hours every day without the benefit of a companion or environmental enrichment.
Often cats are chosen over dogs because they are said to be more independent and self-sufficient and require less maintenance then dogs. That is somewhat correct because cats use a litter box and don’t need to be walked and they spend a lot of time napping. Regardless of the differences, cats still need fresh food and water every day and their litter boxes need to be scooped minimally once a day. Additionally, cats need companionship and mental stimulation. Leaving them alone while on vacation or for hours every day with nothing to do and no one to socialize with can lead to depression, obesity, destructive behaviors, and death if an illness is not noticed soon enough.