Since I graduated from college and lived on my own, I’ve always had cats. It began with just one — Gotham. She was a perfect companion who liked to share my coffee and sit on my desk. Then came Gatsby. She liked to sit on my lap and shed her white fur everywhere.

While both of these cats have gone onto that great big litter box in the sky, today, Lupin, Helix, Rune and Tuxito are all my live-in feline friends. Lupin is five, the twins are two and Tux is four months.

They’re a crazy crew of fur, claws and mischievous behavior, but I love them so.

I tell you this because, having them around as I entered into the life of a freelancer has made all the difference, and I never even expected it.


Although dogs are the most popular pet, over 86 million homes in the US have an animal companion. This includes everything from pups and kitties to birds, fish, reptiles and more.

Pet ownership is also on the rise, jumping from 56 percent in the late 80’s to 66 percent today.

Many people became new pet owners during COVID, whether that meant adding another animal to your existing pack or starting with your first. We got Helix and Rune as the pandemic was leveling off, but still count them as our COVID babies.

What this all means is that: 1. There are plenty of people out there who love animals as much as you and 2. There’s a large group of people who understand how wonderful it is to work from home with an animal companion or two.


They may not be great at taking some of your own work off your plate, but pets provide additional services as your furry coworkers. For me personally, most of my pack of cats sleep in my office all day. They’re my constant companions and if I need a moment, I never have to walk far for some soothing purrs and pets. I may even get someone to sit in my lap every now and then.

Lupin is also my protector, growling like a dog every time someone comes to the front door.

Having my cats around reminds me to take breaks from my computer whether it’s to feed them, clean up something they’ve knocked over or even go see what kind of bird they’re talking to through the kitchen windows.

But, it’s not just empirical evidence that tells me pets make good coworkers, there is actual proof that working from home with pets around is a good thing.


Numerous studies available now illustrate the fact that owning a pet improves both physical and mental health. Petting an animal can lower blood pressure and reduce stress. Specifically for dog owners, having a pet may mean your work breaks include a little exercise too. Overall, pet ownership and a person’s sense of general happiness are often interconnected.


It’s also said that having a pet around where you work can help improve productivity. It’s also a way to connect with clients or coworkers even if you’re remote. Working from home and having your pet crash a Zoom meeting is a great way to get people talking about their own animals, taking some time to connect as humans rather than solely focusing on work.


Getting so much time with your pets, even if you’re also working, also provides you with an opportunity to bond with them more. Even though each cat has a favorite person once my entire family is home, I definitely feel a deeper connection across the board because we’re together so much. They may run to say ‘hi’ to their favorites as the day winds down, but if my computer is open, I usually have 1-2 feline companions keeping me company.


Pets aren’t for everyone, and I get that, but if you can keep an animal close by while you work from home, all the better. Not only can you give that pet extra love and attention, but their presence will help you bring your best self to your home office each day. I don’t know what I’d do without my four fur babies. #catmom

Cover photo by Lesly Gregory, a close-up of Rune, my only girl. She’s my shadow.