While we wish we could take our feline companions with us when we go out of town, it isn't always possible. In this post, our Austell vets share some ideas for places where you can leave your cat while you are on vacation.
Where Can I Leave My Cat While On Vacation?
Sometimes it can be hard to decide where to leave your cat when you are away. Do you leave them at home by themselves or board them at a kennel? While most cats are fine being left alone for one night, kittens under four months old and some specific cat breeds are like dogs and need companionship.
Leaving Your Cat Alone
As mentioned earlier, most cats can handle being alone overnight without much fuss as long as they have access to food, water, and toys.
However, it's important to note that young cats under four months old and certain breeds like sphynx, Scottish folds, and ragdolls may prefer human companionship. For kittens younger than four months, it's best not to leave them alone for more than four hours at a time.
Leaving your cat alone for more than 24 hours is not recommended. Cats are social creatures and rely on their owners for attention and a sense of security. They count on you to meet their care needs and ensure their well-being. By providing them with your presence, you help them feel safe and comfortable in their environment.
At Home With a Cat Sitter
When you need to leave your cat at home, a great option is to hire a cat sitter who can visit daily. The cat sitter will take care of essential tasks such as cleaning the litter box, ensuring your furry friend has food and water, and providing them with dedicated playtime and cuddles.
This arrangement is beneficial for your cat as it minimizes stress since they remain in their familiar environment with all their belongings and their usual litter box. It's also a cost-effective choice, particularly if you have multiple cats.
You can choose to have a trusted friend or family member who your cat already knows and is comfortable with, or you can opt for a professional cat sitter who has expertise in caring for cats.
Having someone your cat is familiar with can help reduce their anxiety levels and promote a relaxed atmosphere. On the other hand, a professional sitter has the knowledge and skills required to ensure your cat's needs are met appropriately.
When arranging for a cat sitter, make sure to provide them with detailed information about your cat's habits, behaviors, and specific needs. Each cat is unique, so it's crucial to inform the sitter about your cat's feeding schedule, portion sizes, energy levels, any required medication timings, and other important details. Consider preparing a comprehensive guide to caring for your cat to ensure all their needs are properly addressed during your absence.
Leaving Your Cat at a Friend's or Relative's Place
If your cat is comfortable going to another place you might want to consider leaving them at a friend's or relative's home.
The benefit of this option is that your furry friend will have constant supervision and be provided with more attention. But, if they already have a cat that your kitty doesn't get along with or if your feline friend doesn't like the person they are staying with, this can backfire and increase your pet's stress even more than if they were left by themselves.
If you would like to leave your pet at someone's house we recommend dropping them off for a few days before you leave as a trial stay so you can make sure your kitty gets along alright. If this doesn't work out you will still have time to find another option for your furry companion.
Also make sure the person you are leaving your cat with can meet all of your kitty's needs and is willing and eager to perform the task, if not, you may want to find another option.
A Boarding Facility (Kennels)
Boarding facilities and kennels aren't just for dogs; many of them also cater to cats, making them an excellent option when you're going on vacation.
When choosing a boarding facility, it's essential to select one that is operated by professionals who will ensure your cat receives proper care, including regular feeding, watering, supervision, and quality individual attention. It's advisable to call in advance to secure a reservation for your cat, ensuring there is availability and suitable space for your furry companion.
While some cats may experience separation anxiety and stress when left alone in an unfamiliar environment with strangers, there are steps you can take to alleviate their fears.
Bringing along their favorite toys, blankets, bed, or an item with your scent can provide comfort. A trial run at the facility can also help familiarize your cat with the surroundings and determine if it's a good fit.
Clear communication with the boarding facility is crucial to ensure they fully understand your cat's specific needs and can provide the necessary services. It's important to feel comfortable with the chosen facility, so consider factors such as cleanliness, efficient management, and a peaceful atmosphere.
Check if the facility has separate boarding areas for cats and dogs, and ensure your cat's kennel is spacious enough to keep the litter box separate from their food and bed. Additional features like windows for outside viewing, climate-controlled kennels, and opportunities for quality interaction with the staff may also be worth considering.
The Benefits of Leaving Your Cat at Kennel
Here are the benefits of leaving your cat at a high-quality, professional boarding facility while you are on vacation:
- Your cat will be supervised their entire stay
- Their feeding schedule will be the same as it is at home
- Your kitty's kennel will be cleaned daily
- The staff will notice if your cat is not eating or if they are sick
- Good kennels offer calming and relaxing environments for cats
- The staff can make sure your cat's medications are administered properly and on time
- You can call them to see how your kitty is doing
At the end of the day it is your decision where you leave your cat while you are on vacation, take the time to weigh your options and make sure you are choosing the best possible option for you and your feline companion.