“Oh, I just love my kitty so much!” is the most common quote among people who live with one. As such, it seems strange for us to run into a significant increase in cat abandonment once the vacation season starts.
What happens? Do we get tired of their companionship? Are they maybe in our way? Where did all the love we seemed to have for them go?
Unfortunately, these people don’t know what to do with a cat when they go on vacation, and so right away, they leave them to their fate.
This post is not for that kind of person. People who abandon animals are not welcome here. You can sleep soundly tonight.
For the rest of us, those who really love them and are simply looking for a temporary place to leave them, we want to give you several alternatives so that your little angels don’t notice your absence as much.
If your cat stays at home during the vacation
Cats are creatures of habit, and it’s difficult for them to adapt to new environments, so we think these options are the best for them: options where our cat doesn’t need to leave the house, thereby avoiding the stressful changes this would bring on.
1. Feeding your cat during your vacation
Although this might be the option we like the least, there are automatic feeders for them, which release a certain amount of food several times throughout the day, and bowls of water that refill itself so that our cat can drink and not get dehydrated. This can help us out of a bind when the vacation is rather short (we are talking 3-4 days).
The truth, though, is that like all man-made devices, this could mess up and our kitty could have a difficult time of things. Wait and see how your cat rebels when you come back home. Not to mention the litter boxes! The smell can be really “intense.”
In this case, it would be preferable for you to have another fluffy friend at home so that they are not alone. They could keep each other company, making our absence more tolerable. Worst-case scenario, you could also install a camera to monitor how things are going with your cats, but this is a bit paranoid.
As we told you before, the best thing would be not to have to choose the alternative of leaving them alone. As such, if you have another option, it would be better not to use this one.
2. Get your cat a babysitter
It doesn’t matter if it is your mother, your in-laws, a sibling, or even your neighbor’s kid: your cats will be very thankful to have someone who visits them periodically to see if they are okay and to feed them. On top of all that, they can even keep them company for a while.
Obviously, this option will be more economical for you if it is a close family member rather than another person you will have to pay for their troubles. What we do recommend is that this is someone you trust, because maybe you will come back and the cat will be fine, but the rest of your things will be gone.
3. Hire a professional
This may be the most expensive option where the cat can stay at home. These are people who visit our cats and take care of feeding them and cleaning up after them, as well as keeping them company, pampering them, and even keeping them active with toys.
They are people with extensive experience in caring for cats, and sometimes part of the money they earn goes into caring for the cats they rescue themselves. With them, we have the peace of mind that our kitties will barely even notice our absence.
Although this is a word that pertains more to travelers, we can include it here as well. Here, you “loan” your house to other people, normally travelers, free of charge.
The only condition is that they take care of it, water the plants, and take care of our pets, among other things. There are websites dedicated exclusively to this. There, people create a profile and gain “trust” through the comments left by the owners of houses they have stayed at. In this way, you can screen what kind of “companion” your kitties will have.
Both parties receive a free, beneficial service (they don’t pay for the stay and we don’t pay for cat-sitters), and everyone is happy, we assume. The primary goal of the people giving up their house is for it not to look empty in the eyes of potential thieves. In our case, it would be having our little friend taken care of.
If your cat must leave the house
If despite all the options we just gave you, none of them appeal or they are not possible for you, we have more alternatives here where your cat will have to leave the house when you go on vacation.
1. Take it to live with a family member it knows
Who better than your mother to take care of your cat? Or maybe your mother-in-law? Or possibly a friend?
Anyone your cat knows will be a person you can leave it with without the changes being overly traumatic. It is already enough for them to have to leave the house and mark a new one, so they feel at home; having to deal with a person they don’t know is just too much.
We needn’t mention that it is even worse if that person has another pet at home that your cat also doesn’t know. It can be rather difficult to reorganize their territory. The best thing would be if you could take your kitty’s belongings with it, like toys, its litter box, its food bowl, and the food it’s used to, mainly so that they have something familiar.
Personally, we believe that this is the best option in this group.
2. Have it meet your friends it doesn’t know
This is the same option as the previous one, except that your cat will not know its new companion. You don’t need us to tell you that everything mentioned in the last point can be extrapolated to this one.
We just want to remind you that when you come back from your vacation, your cat may be mad at you for a few days. And please let your friend know that the cat is part of your family and that you expect it to be treated as such. It is not enough for them just to stay in the same house.
Cats need love and affection, companionship, and they are not a mere decoration for the house.
3. Take it to a kennel
Most people don’t know what really hides behind many of these kennels. Generally speaking, they are perfectly adapted to dogs, but when it comes to cats, they tend to have too many gaps.
The best thing would be to visit them beforehand and go without warning so you can see firsthand what they are like. The best ones are easily identifiable online thanks to the positive feedback that people have left on social networks.
They tend to have an individual area for each cat and a common one so they can tolerate the company of other cats they don’t know at all. The place should be clean, not stink, be well aerated, have sunny areas, and an absolute necessity, it must be quiet.
Nobody would want their cat to come home with their blood pressure through the roof thanks to having spent days listening to barking or having constant visits from people they don’t know. It is also important to talk to the people who will be taking care of your kitty to know if they really like what they do and show their love for cats.
If we have decided on a kennel, it is necessary for us to inform them about everything related to our cat: illnesses they have had, if they take some particular medication, behaviors, shots, deworming, etc. We must also be sure to make our reservation well in advance.
4. Travel with cats
If after all that you have read, you still don’t know what to do, why not travel with your kitty? Now nobody said it would be easy, as cats need to have their space supervised to feel safe, but we’re also not saying it’s impossible. What will you need?
Be sure all their vaccines and deworming is up to date.
They still haven’t got one? Do you want them to escape, never to be seen again?
No, you don’t need to take him on the trip as well. You just need to pay him a visit so he can give your kitty a checkup and tell you if it needs any shots based on your travel destination. He could even prescribe something to calm your cat down during the trip.
This will be your cat’s comfort zone during the whole trip.
Preferably a car since you would then be the one in control of the time and your cat. If this is not possible and you have to take a bus, train, ship, or plane, ask the company if they accept pet cats. Have them give you a written authorization if so.
You can also send your little friend with a courier service that specializes in pet transportation, always being sure that they will treat it well. If you do this, be sure to get a vet checkup both before you leave and after you come back.
Be this a hotel, an apartment, or a house, make sure they accept animals. There is nothing worse than making your cat travel for hours only to find out that they cannot stay at the place you reserved.
Once you have arrived at your destination, remember that it will take the time to adapt before the cat starts exploring its new habitat. This is completely normal. Maybe it would be best to get our children used to traveling from a young age to avoid these sudden changes when they are older.
Other interesting questions
How long can you leave a cat alone?
Answer: We can leave our cats alone for up to 5 days, although we usually try to have someone check in on them when we’re gone for more than 3.
How long can cats go without food? How long can cats go without eating?
Answer: The length of time a cat can live without food depends on the condition of the cat’s body. Cats that don’t eat for long periods of time often develop hepatic lipidosis, otherwise known as fatty liver disease. Cats typically succumb to the disease after two to 10 days without food. In most cases, an obese cat develops hepatic lipidosis before a young, skinny cat does.
How long can cats go without water?
Answer: Although cats should always have clean drinking water available, a house cat can survive for a few days or sometimes up to a week without water. House cats were originally from desert climates, so they are predisposed to going without water for longer than most other household pets.
And after all this, we have only one question left: are you daring enough to take a vacation with your cats? Here are some examples of traveling cats that did it and even became famous on social networks.