If you have a cat, traveling might be a problem. No matter if it’s a holiday for couple of days or a year long transcontinental expedition. You have to figure out where to leave your cat.
Most cats do not like things to change. They want everything as is. However, the problem is that moving away for some time does not leave a “stay as is” possibility. Something has to change. Whether it’ll be changing of surroundings or lack of company for some time.
Which to choose depends on several things. Does your cat craves for company, is he indoor or outdoor, has he changed (successfully changed) surroundings before? Is there a good place for your cat to stay? Are there other pets and are they friendly or not?
Leaving a cat at home
You have to find someone to take care for your cat if you choose to leave him at home. That is – someone who could come to your house at least twice a day and do whatever has to be done. Feeding, of course might be trusted to an electronic cat feeder, however, you’d still want someone check if it’s still working, and there are plenty of other tasks, as well.:
- Pouring water
- Scooping a litter box
- Checking for health issues
- Letting a cat in or out if it’s an outdoor
Those are not easy tasks and it is not always possible to find someone to take care for it. Besides that, he has to do it with joy and very good if the cat knows him. Absence of the owner might be huge stress for a cat and if he is being cared by a total stranger his depression may rise extremely high.
However, there are several advantages of this choice. Your cat stress may be lower (it really depends on your cat’s habits and the alternatives available) if he stays home. You don’t have to worry how and when to drive your cat to another place and a person who takes care of your cat will look for your house as well.
If you managed to find a great person for this task, explain him all habits of your cat as this information might be crucial. In example, some cats do not eat if the bowl is half empty. Some do not go on a litter box if it has been used at least once and some love to hear classical music in the morning and jazz after dinner. Knowing those tiny details may save a lot of trouble for everyone.
Also you both has to be aware that absence of owner may cause a depression in your cat. I once took care for my friends’ cat during their holidays and he refused to eat at all for the first day. Take a note that couple of days with no food may cause irreversible damage to your cat’s liver.
I managed to overcome this by offering him fresh meat to improve his appetite. But it may and may not work for other cats. If this happens – make sure your cat gets medical attention as necessary. Leave your vet’s contact information to a person who takes care of your cat.
Give your cat to a friend or relative during vacation
Is your cat okay with moving to another place? Some cats may feel depressed if away from home. If you decided that your cat has to stay at your friend’s house, then better check first if it is okay with your cat.
Send him some days prior to your departure and check how he’s going. If your friend has other pets it is crucial that they are getting along with your cat.
And is your friend or relative pleased if your cat stays at their place while you are away? Don’t push it on people that are like “umm… okay, I’ll try… but you owe me!” First, you are risking of ruining relations with them and second (and more important) – they might not care for your cat with the best intentions.
However, if you found a person that is happy to accommodate your cat and the cat has a lot of fun in his temporary home it is a huge advantage over leaving your cat alone for most time of the day.
Take your cat to a pet hotel
Pet hotel will be a totally unknown place for your cat unless you are traveling every month. This will impact your cat negatively as new place, new people around will make a stress for him.
However, there are good side of the medal as well. Pet hotel workers are (or at least should be) professionals and can grant constant care for your cat. They won’t miss if the cat is not eating, they won’t miss if he has any health problems and they won’t let anything bad happen to your cat during his stay at the hotel.
Take your cat with you
Taking your cat with you on a holiday is not always possible.
At first your cat has to be used to travel. You can’t take him for a long, long trip the first time. Start by visiting some place nearby without staying over at night. Increase length and distance of travels if your cat feels comfortable.
Also it is not a good idea to take your cat on a trip that involves a lot of moving around. Most cats do not like driving in car or flying a plane and it is better if you just go to one place and stay there for some time.
Take a note that not all places are suitable for your cat. Does a hotel you are staying at allow pets? Will the place be okay for YOUR cat. Some cat’s love to sleep all day on a couch, but some like to be on action most of the time. Check if your holiday destination provides it.
It might be very good for your cat to be with you during vacation if the travel conditions, destinations and your cat’s habits meet the requirements stated above.
I am lucky as most of my relatives love cats and there is no problem to leave them at their place. It gives a constant care for my cat and also he has an ability to escape boredom that would overwhelm his mind if he had to stay at home alone. Besides that my cat hates driving so it really is not an option to take him with me. And which option would you choose if you had to leave your cat for some time?