If you have a cat, traveling might be a problem, no matter if you’re gone for just a couple of days or the whole summer. Not knowing what to do with your cat while on vacation may even become the reason to cancel your plans altogether. But it shouldn’t be that way.
In this article you are going to learn what to do with your cat while on vacation, how long cat you leave your cat alone, and is it okay to take your cat with you.
And luckily, you have many options where to leave a cat while on vacation. Which to choose depends on several things. Does your cat crave for company, is he indoor or outdoor cat, has he changed (successfully changed) surroundings before? Is your cat stressed because of your absence? Is there a good place for your cat to stay? Are there other pets and are they friendly or not, and how many cats do you have.
Leaving your cat at home
One of the most common, and in our opinion the most reasonable, option is to leave your cat at home and have someone coming over daily.
Advantages of a cat staying home during your vacation are many. Your cat’s stress will be lower if he stays home. You don’t have to worry how and when to drive your cat to another place and, and a person who takes care of your cat may also look after the house, water plants and feed your fish, as well.
So, do you need to find someone to take for your cat?
Many people ask us for how long it is okay to leave a cat at home. Most sources say that overnight is the maximum,which is reasonable. We say you should find someone to take care for your cat if you leave your cat at home for longer than 24 hours. For a cat, fasting for more than a single day will not only reduce his weight, but may also leave a serious impact on the health.
That is, you need someone who could come to your house at least daily, while twice daily is more preferable.
Feeding sure might be trusted to an electronic cat feeder, however, you’d still want someone check if it’s still working, and there are plenty other tasks, as well. Such as, refilling water bowl, scooping the litter box, playing and talking to a cat, or simply supervising in case something unusual happens.
Should you choose a friend or a professional pet-sitter? There is no golden answer. For a cat, it’s a big game changer if the person is not a stranger. On the other hand, professional pet sitter knows the job inside out, and, highly likely also has some understanding of feline behavior.
Whoever you choose, make sure the carer knows all habits of your cat. For 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
Absence of the owner is a common cause of stress in cats. Make sure the carer pays close attention to your cat’s water intake, food consumption and litter box usage. We recently took care for our friends’ cat during their holidays and the cat refused to eat at all for the first days. This is extremely worrying. We managed to solve this by serving fresh, nice-smelling meat to the cat, while in different cases other solutions may be more useful.
Send your cat to a friend or relative during vacation
Is your cat okay with moving to another place? Then sending a cat to the grandma’s house may be just right.
Advantages of sending your cat to a friend’s house is that your cat gets more attention and constant supervision. Downsides are that it’s not easy to find someone who is willing to accommodate your cat, especially if you have more than one. In certain cases the cats stress may be higher than leaving him home.
To lower the stress, you can send your cat few days prior to your departure and check how things are going, and, if something is not right, you still have some time to figure out a plan B. If your friend has other pets it is crucial that they are getting along with your cat.
Also, don’t push it on people the way they can’t refuse and answer 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. Find someone who loves pets and is happy to do it.
Take your cat to a pet hotel
While we like to think of pet hotels as more like a “dogs’ thing”, more and more pet hotels are accommodating cats successfully during their owners’ absence.
Of course, pet hotel will be a totally unknown place for your cat unless you are traveling every month. And cats do not cope that very well with unknown places, unknown people and situations.
On the other hand, pet hotels put in high effort to create a calm and cat friendly environment. Besides, pet hotel personnel are professionals. At least, they should be. They 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. It’s their job and they know what to pay attention to.
Take your cat with you
And the final option is to take your cat with you. But, to be honest, it’s not that very good of a choice in most cases.
Actually, it is okay to take a cat with you on very rare circumstances, such as:
Your cat is used to travel since the kitten-hood, you are staying in the same location for most of your vacation, the destination is a friendly environment to your cat, and, of course, you have to check if your accommodations allow pets in the first place.
As you see from above, now not knowing what to do with your cat while on vacation shouldn’t be a reason to cancel your journey. There are enough options to accomodate your cat during your absence, and, if everything else fails, in some cases you can take your cat with you.
We ourselves are very lucky that most of our relatives love pets and they are happy to look after our three cats and a dog. In such circumstances, the better solution is to have someone come to your house frequently, while back in time when we had only one cat, the most convenient solution was to send her over to our relatives. You now have options, and the choice is yours.