Many pet owners feel guilty about leaving their cats behind when they go on vacation, but with a little preparation, you can relax and enjoy your time away, knowing your cat is in expert hands. In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to take care of your cat while you’re away.
Tip#1 Make a list of kitty needs and set up a rotation of cat sitters
The easiest way to ensure your cat always has everything they need is to make a list of their needs and ensure the rotation of pet sitters. That way, you can always be sure that someone is available to take care of your fluffy friend when you’re away. On the list of kitty needs, you need to include:
- a scratching post
- a bed
- a brush
- necessary medication
- water fountain, food and water bowls
- night vision devices.
Again, it’s important to have a regular rotation of cat sitters so that your fluffy ball doesn’t get too attached to one person. Before leaving, prepare and complete a cat sitter info sheet, including all important information about your pet, what they like and dislike, their normal routine, play area and favorite toys. Don’t forget to include emergency contact information to you, your vet, and your friends or family members. You can find some templates on the internet or purchase our digital templates in our Etsy shop.
Tip#2 A reputable house sitter
Nowadays, some platforms offer services combining cat sitting and house care while you are away. We have interviewed Ian who set up one of the oldest sites in this niche. He has shared what pet owners can expect from services of such kind and how to understand whether or not a cat sitter is a suitable, trustworthy and reliable person you are you are looking for.
Tip#3 A trusted friend or family member
If you know a reliable person who is on friendly terms with your pets and you can trust them, you can invite them over to come and stay at your home to take care of your cat. They should be willing to feed and change water for your cat, as well as clean the litter box and provide some playtime, and be even prepared for some spilled messes or accidents which can always happen with an active pet.
Tip#4 Set up a feeding schedule
One of the most important aspects of taking care of a pet is establishing a feeding schedule. Pets need to eat and drink on a regular basis in order to stay healthy.
A feeding schedule should be based on the age, size, and breed. Puppies and kittens need to eat more often than adult dogs and cats. Smaller pets need to eat more often than larger pets. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Make sure you know the ins and outs of your cat’s wants and needs. Dogs and cats that are active outdoors need to eat more than those that spend most of their time lounging, catching the sun and reviewing the pillows indoors.
Providing clean and fresh water is also important, as pets should have access to it at all times… even if changing your wet socks and cleaning up this spilled drink can be annoying. Pet owners should inform cat sitters or other persons who will be caring about their pets about their feeding times and drinking habits.
If your trip is shorter than 3 days (e.g. a weekend one), you can buy an automatic pet feeder.
Tip#5 Find a reliable boarding facility
A boarding center is also worth considering as they employ professional pet and cat sitters, who understand their needs and unique personalities. Boarding facilities will provide professional constant supervision, care and love. A center is a wise solution if you live in a big city with a lot of different options, your kitty is older and wiser or has special needs, as they are very dedicated to creating an environment for cats in calming and comfortable surroundings. Also, if your plans change and you will need to suddenly and unexpectedly extend your stay, it will be easier to negotiate a longer stay with the pet hotel. If you are a happy owner of multipet or multi-cat household, check out their prices to understand how expensive this solution might be.
Tip#6 A cat sitter in their home
Cats are usually attached to their owners, surroundings, and familiar scents. If you cannot find any person who will be regulary visiting your kitty in your home, this option will be better than leaving your fluffy ball alone. Again, you need to prepare and provide all stuff your kitty needs to decrease their level of stress and anxiety caused by traveling to a new place.
Be careful, if a person who offers their service has never cared for cats or has other pets in their household, they might have the best intentions but might be unprepared for the chaos your cat will bring, and might not know your cat’s needs and demands. Some cats will like their new companions almost immediately, while others will need from a few days or even weeks to warm up to them in a new place. Make sure that your friend knows how to introduce cats in the right way and what are the warning signs indicating problems and conflicts might arise.
Take your kitty a couple of days beforehand to settle down in the new place so you will be able to help in case of any unplanned situations.
Tip#8 Taking your cat with you
The last choice can be taking your cat with you, particularly if you will be travelling long distances or internationally. Before your journey, learn more about regulations of airlines if you will be flying by plane and find out if there are any cat-friendly hotels or places on your way. In this article, we have covered everything that helps you prepare yourself and your pet if you will be travelling long distances.
Tip#9 Leaving your cat alone
Before leaving your furry baby alone, you need to consider all possible options available. Generally, it is recommended to leave your pet unattended only for a very short period of time. Feeling alone might cause stress and health-related issues in cats, particularly if you change their routine quickly and unexpectedly.
Leaving your cat behind when you go on vacation can be a tough decision. But with a little preparation, it doesn’t have to be a bad one. If you have any further questions, follow us on Facebook.
How To Take Care Of Your Cat While You’re On Vacation: FAQ
Is it okay to leave cats alone for a week?
It’s usually recommended to leave your cats unattended for maximum 3 days. If you are planning a longer journey, find solutions to ensure good care for your kitty, e.g. engage a friend or a professional pet sitter who can visit your pet daily, find a reputable pet hotel, etc.
Leaving Your Cat Alone – For How Long?