How To Integrate An Office Cat

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Since the very beginning, the Found Animals Foundation welcomed people and dogs of every race, breed, and color. We’ve had big dogs, little dogs, black dogs, skinny dogs, pure-bred dogs, and very-mixed dogs. However, we have yet to employ any felines. Sure, we have had the occasional cat intern (aka foster kittens), but no feline has ever filled a full-time position in our office.

In came Max:

Brown tabby cat laying on a desk

Max is a 7-year-old Domestic Shorthair that joined our team this month. The Found Animals staff was incredibly excited to meet him and have affectionately dubbed him “Office Max.”

Max’s resume listed that he had previous work experience with dogs, so we were confident that he would not have any discomfort in a canine-friendly workplace. On his first day, Max was very forward and friendly with all his human coworkers and it seemed like he was going to have a very easy time adjusting to the office life. Unfortunately, there was an awkward interaction between Max and two of his canine co-workers, which resulted in this…

Tabby cat hiding under a desk

Making friends in a new office can be tough, so I sympathized with Max. I bought him a crate and provided all the necessary comforts (a cat bed, litter box, and water bowl). Now, he seems a little more confident in our office space. We also plan to enroll him in the next anti-discrimination training in hopes of easing tensions with his canine coworkers.

tabby cat in his crate

Want to integrate your own cat into the workplace?

Follow these steps to make the transition a little easier than Max’s first day at the office:

  • Take it slow! Any new environment can be stressful for any pet. Monitor your cat’s comfort and let your kitty set the pace. If possible, consider bringing your cat in for half-days or on days when the office is really quiet.
  • Make it comfortable! Do your best to make your cat feel welcomed and at home. You can bring familiar items from home (e.g. bedding, scratching posts, treats, and toys) that can help your kitty adjust to your office.
  • Have a hiding place! Cats are all about hiding, especially when they are still getting used to a new place. A pet crate is a great way to provide your kitty with his own fortress of solitude, plus it can double as a place to stash your cat when you need to be away from your desk.
  • Be realistic! If your cat is struggling in the office, then he may never become the workplace pet you’ve always wanted – but that is OK! Being an office cat can be really stressful, and it can be a difficult task for even the most confident of kitties. For most cats, living a quiet life at home is perfectly fine.
tabby cat sitting on a desk

We will continue to track Office Max’s progress on our blog, so stay tuned!

Have you ever had an office cat? Have any questions about cats in new places? Tell us in the comments. 

6 Responses

  1. Stephanie says:

    Is Max available for adoption? My husband just loves that sweet face and wee are looking to rescue/adopt a cat that is similar to Max. Please email me, thank you!

    • Annie M says:

      Hi Stephanie, Thanks for writing – Max has a mama & isn’t up for adoption, but if you are in the L.A. area, we have a lot of great cats in need of homes at our two rescues (Cat Adoption Center & Adopt & Shop,) you can visit the adopt a pet page to see pictures and read about personalities. We get and adopt out many fine looking and sweet cats!

  2. Sarah says:

    I love this idea! I have an extremely social Siamese mix who hates being at home alone all day. My big concern is the litter box. Where do you put it? Is the smell an issue? I scoop twice daily at home but there is still odor, especially right after a #2

    • Annie M says:

      Hi Sarah, We’ve never had any problems with stinky litter boxes oddly. Employees that have offices or cubicles just tuck them in a corner and we have a dumpster out front. We just scoop and deposit in the dumpster as needed. We have a lot of tiny foster kittens that employees are also allowed to bring in to work, they are a lot messier so it is not uncommon around here to be giving quick baths in the bathroom sink. Max is really social too and whenever anyone stops by his office he flops over for a belly rub. He loves coming to work with his mum. I hope you can bring your cat to work! Let us know how you make out. Take Care!

  3. Nathan says:

    Found this blog from a google search. It really interests me because I have been working from home for 2 and a half years now and have had my two cats for the same amount of time.

    I’m just now moving into an actual office space, which is conveniently right next door to where we live.

    I have one cat, that is with me almost at all times, in my lap or by my feet throughout the work day and always wants to cuddle at night. I feel that he is a little depressed when I’m gone, and is always waiting in the window for me to get home.

    SO.. I’m thinking maybe I can bring them to the office? Do you have any advice? I don’t want them to be scared, the last time I moved they stayed in a box for almost an entire day!


    • Alyssa says:

      I would be very careful with bringing two cats into the same space. It’s like bringing home a new kitten and introducing it to the old cat. If a cat is used to having the place to itself, he or she will feel more territorial than if there are other cats around. It’s a good idea to introduce the two cats by keeping a wall between them, but allowing them to smell each other. Put their food dishes near the door so they associate the other cat’s smell with something good. Also playing with them near the other cat helps, but if you’re working you might not have the time to do so.

      I myself have two cats and recently moved into an office that allows employees to bring their pets. However, we almost always have at least one dog there, and I’m not sure how my one cat (the one I want to take with me) does around other dogs. I also am worried about her natural curiosity (she likes to explore everything) irritating my co-workers. She’s very affectionate and sometimes claws when she’s happy and “kneading dough” with her paws. If she could adapt I would love to have her with me. She loves to sit in my lap when I’m working at home, and it’d be very soothing to have her there. I just want to make sure that I don’t bother anybody first.

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