By Ashley Watson
Recently, Best Friend’s Magazine published a piece entitled, “Cubicle Cats,” along with some wonderful pictures of cats in various offices. While many offices are dog-friendly, there aren’t too many that are cat-friendly. The article discusses the benefits of having an office cat, so we decided to explore this topic as well.
How to Choose an Office Cat
It’s not surprising when we find a house cat at the vet’s office, but in a corporate setting? It does take a special office and generous employees to accept a cat and share the responsibilities of taking care of the cat. There are several local veterinary clinics here in Vermont that have adopted an office cat. Typically, this happens when a stray wonders up to the door and refuses to leave. And a vet’s office is the ideal setting. After all, the cat can get medical care without needing pet health insurance! This is especially beneficial to cats in need of special care, just like Jerry (pictured right) at Affectionately Cats in Williston, VT. Jerry is diabetic and needs regular medication, and he gets exceptional care and lots of attention at this feline only clinic.
In the article, Best Friend’s Magazine interviews veterinarian and interim president of the Animal Rescue League of Boston, Martha Smith. She tells them that because not all cats are suited for office life, it is “important to match the animal’s personality with the setting.” By the same token, not all offices are suited for cats. Coworkers with allergies and office settings that are dangerous for the cat can be major obstacles. If your workplace is small and open to the idea of an office cat, The Found Animals Foundation has some great tips on how to integrate an office cat.
Benefits and Challenges of an Office Cat
While there are many benefits to any office pet, including reducing stress in the workplace and making the office more friendly to customers, an office cat does have a few advantages over an office dog. Cats can use the litter box instead of having to go out. They are also quieter and less destructive, especially if you give them a scratching post. Perhaps the most challenging piece for stray cats is figuring out how to divide up the responsibilities of a full-time office cat. Playing with or petting the cat is easy, but figuring out who will feed the cat and empty the litter box, and what happens to the cat after hours can be a burden, unless this is decided before adopting an office cat.
In the Best Friend’s Magazine article, the author also interviews a company that actually includes cat food and vet visits in their budget, and their CEO takes care of the cat on the weekends since she lives nearby. Once you figure out all the details, the benefits of having a purring and furry friend at your side at work can be very rewarding for everyone involved.
Do you work in a cat-friendly office? Tell us about the rewards and how you overcame any challenges on Facebook.