Skip to main content

Cats at the office will become the next craze and we are here for it

With the shift to remote work prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees found themselves working from home, often with their pets by their side. Having a cat supervise your work throughout the day can have many benefits, including stress reduction and companionship. But just because more workers are returning to their offices doesn’t mean this trend of working with a cat alongside has to end. Office cats were already popular before the pandemic, and we think that they’re likely to only gain in popularity. If your workplace doesn’t yet have an office cat, now might be the perfect time to suggest the idea to management. Here’s why.

Cat sleeping on a keyboard
Bogitw / Pixabay

What is an office cat?

There are many versions of office cats, and the right option will really depend on your business model and your cat. Some businesses have open pet policies, allowing employees to bring in their pets. While this model works well with dogs, it’s a bit less common with cats, especially since cats don’t always love car rides or do well in unfamiliar settings.

What’s more common is for an office to have an official office cat that lives there most of the time. The cat might go home with an employee on weekends and holidays, but the office largely becomes the cat’s residence. This also works well for stores, where cats move in full-time and provide the perk of mouse control.

What are the benefits of an office cat?

Having an office cat can be beneficial in many ways. According to Business Insider, both cats and dogs can help to reduce stress and increase productivity. When a cat visits your workstation, it can be a reminder to take a break, which supports productivity.

Pets can also encourage office staff to interact with each other, and they’re great conversation-starters. This is ideal when you’re bringing new staff into the office since the pets can act as an icebreaker and help staff get to know each other faster.

An office cat can also be a source of company for workers who may be in their offices alone. The sound of purring can be relaxing, and taking a break to pat or play with a cat can get workers to leave their desks, which can help to relieve stiff muscles and increase worker comfort.

Kitten sitting on an office desk
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Is it okay to have an office cat?

Getting an office cat isn’t a decision that should be made lightly, and it’s important to consider how this arrangement will affect both the cat and the staff. First, make sure that you can provide a cat with a safe and healthy environment. Cats can be very social, and if there are only people in your office from 9 to 5, the cat will be alone most of the night. Would the cat be happy going home with an employee? Can you create an environment where the cat isn’t likely to escape, or are people coming and going throughout the day, and could the cat possibly get out?

If you can create a safe and healthy environment for the cat, then think about how having an office cat might affect your employees. Many people love cats, but that doesn’t mean that all of your employees will enjoy having a cat around all the time. Many people can have allergies to cats, and you don’t want to risk making an employee unsafe or creating a work environment that’s unhealthy for an employee. You’ll also want to think about where the cat will live in the office, where his litter box and food will be located, and how the business will pay for expenses like food and vet bills. You might decide that it’s better to allow employees to bring their cats in periodically, but this will also require careful planning.

If you do decide to bring in an office cat, then plan on having plenty of discussions with employees about the cat in advance. The more details you can identify and problems you can solve ahead of time, the better. Cats can add warmth and plenty of fun to workplaces, but they also need plenty of care and attention. You might need to try out different arrangements and determine which is best for your business, your employees, and the cat, too. With some careful planning, your employees can enjoy the perks of having a cat in the workplace, and the cat can enjoy being the center of attention of an office full of workers.

Editors' Recommendations

Paige Cerulli
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Paige's work has appeared in American Veterinarian, Business Insider, Healthline, and more. When she's not writing, Paige…
Why do cats’ eyes dilate? What your pet’s extra big peepers mean
Your cat might have big eyes because of darkness, excitement, or surprise
A cat snuggling on a person's chest

Sometimes you come home to a dark house, and through the pitch black of your living room, you spy two big round orbs. While it might look Halloweeny at first glance, this is actually just how your cat sees things. Cat's eyes seem to glow at night because they reflect light, a lot more than ours do in any case. Just as with other animals, you will see a kitty's eyes dilate, but what is your cat's pupils meaning? We'll walk through what your pet's eyes tell you about their feelings and physical state and when you need to step in and get your cat to a vet.
What does it mean when cats' pupils get big?

Big eyes on your cat could mean a few different things, some physical and some emotional. Rarely, you may find that your cat has a larger issue since occasionally dilated pupils can be medical in nature (we'll go into this more later). Fortunately, it generally doesn't have to do with any underlying condition and instead has everything to do with the current situation. Here are some reasons your cat might have extra large peepers.
They're hunting
Cats love to hunt and frequently do so at dawn and dusk — both inside your home and out of it. Your pet might not literally be hunting for prey, but they could still enjoy stalking their toys or food. When they're in hunting mode, you may see extra big eyeballs staring at the object of their interest.
It's dark outside
When you spend time in a dark room or outside at night, you'll almost certainly notice your own pupils get bigger. That's because our eyes open up to let in more light and allow us to see better. It's the same with your cat but theirs tend to stand out a bit more in part because of the prior mentioned reflectivity.
Something surprised them
If you've ever heard of eyes widening with surprise, this is what we're talking about. From a physical perspective, your globes are attempting to take in everything as quickly as possible, because this surprise could mean a bad thing. A wild cat could get startled by a predator for example and need that info to find a way to safety.
They feel anxious
You may discover that your cat has eyes that seem to dilate under certain conditions or more frequently than usual. It might mean they're experiencing some anxiety and want to destress. Ensure there is somewhere in your house where they feel secure and that the day-to-day routine suits their needs.
They're aggressive
Sometimes you might see your cat's eyes turn to slits before they get into a fight with another cat because narrowing the opening can help them protect their sensitive ocular region. On the other hand, having wide-open eyes gives your feline more information about their opponent. Pay attention to other signs of aggression, which will help you determine if this is causing the widening.
When do dilated pupils indicate a medical issue?

Read more
These useful tips can help you support your senior cat’s health
You'll have to pay special attention as your kitty gets older
Senior cat sleeping on a cat tree perch

If you're fortunate, you'll get to watch your cat age and progress through her senior years. But senior cats have different health needs than younger ones do, so the way you care for your aging cat will need to change in different ways, as well.
With certain health conditions becoming more likely in older kitties, staying on top of your cat's wellness becomes extra important. This may mean some additional time and vigilance, as well as more frequent trips to the vet. When you provide your pet with top-quality care, you can support her health and comfort as she moves through her golden years.

At what age is a cat a senior?

Read more
Cats chirping at birds is totally normal (and here’s why you should encourage it)
This adorable hunting behavior is nothing to be concerned about
A tabby cat with yellow eyes stalks low to the ground

Have you ever spied on your cat looking out the window, crouched and zoned in as if they're getting ready to hunt? This behavior is common among cats -- they're predators, after all -- but some felines even chirp at birds, squirrels, and other small animals. What exactly does this mean? You may hear these chirps and chatters while your furry friend is playing, lounging around, or even in hunting mode, and it's only natural to have questions.
This one is for cat owners who wonder, "Why do cats chirp at birds?" We'll review the reasons why kitties make this sound at birds and other small animals, as well as what -- if anything -- you should do about it. Odds are, these answers will make you smile.

Why do cats chirp at birds?

Read more