Traveling with our feline companions isn't always recommended or even possible. In this blog, our Westminster vets share some suggestions 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 what to do with 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 need companionship.
Leaving Your Cat Alone
Most cats will be fine if left alone for one night and might not even notice your absence if provided with enough food, fresh water, and toys. However, young cats under four months old and breeds such as sphynx, Scottish folds, and rag dogs, do best with human company. Kittens four months or younger shouldn't be left on their own for more than four hours.
We don't recommend leaving your cat alone longer than 24 hours because cats need their owner's attention to feel safe and comfortable. They rely on you to make sure all of their care requirements are being met.
At Home With a Cat Sitter
An option for when you have to leave your cat at home is to have a cat sitter come in every day to clean the litter box, make sure your furry friend has food and water, and provide them with some quality one-on-one playtime and cuddles.
This will hopefully be less stressful for your cat because they are in their environment and get to use their litter box, and everything is where they are used to it being. This is also can be a cost-effective choice, especially if you have more than one cat.
You can either have a friend or family member that your cat knows come in and take care of them or have a professional come in and watch your feline companion.
Having someone your cat is already familiar and comfortable with can also help reduce their stress levels and make them feel more relaxed. On the other hand, a professional sitter has extensive knowledge about properly taking care of a cat and can make sure their needs are being provided for.
When having a pet sitter take care of your pet make sure they know all about your cat's habits, behaviors, and needs because every cat is different. Be sure to tell the sitter what time of day your cat eats, the specific amount of food they require, your cat's energy level, if they have to be given medications at specific times, etc. We recommend providing your sitter with a guide to caring for your cat so they know exactly how to meet all of your pet's needs.
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 cat.
Also make sure the person you are leaving your cat with can meet all of your cat'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 and kennels aren't just for dogs, lots of boarding facilities also welcome cats. This is also probably the best option for your pet when you are on vacation.
Boarding facilities should be run by professionals who will make sure your cat is always, fed, watered, supervised, and get's quality one-on-one time. You will also need to call them well in advance to book your cat's stay to ensure they have availability and space.
While many cats can have separation anxiety and might be stressed out by being left alone with strangers in an unknown environment, there are steps you can take to lessen their fears such as bringing along their favorite toys, blankets, bed, or even a piece of your clothing. You can also do a trial run to make sure your kitty gets along well at the facility, this also helps make them familiar with the setting.
You should also clearly communicate with the facility to make sure they clearly understand all of your cat's needs and that they offer all of the boarding services you and your cat require.
You should ensure the place you are choosing is clean, well run, and quiet. See if the facility you are selecting is cat friendly with a separate boarding area for cats and dogs and that your kitty's kennel is large enough so the litter box is kept in a separate area from their food and bed. You may also want to see if it has features such as a window for your cat to watch outside, climate-controlled kennels and if they offer quality one-on-one time with the staff.
Take the time to view the place your kitty will be staying in from their perspective, to make sure your cat will be comfortable and well cared for in your absence.
At Wachusett Animal Hospital our boarding facility is cat friendly to ensure all of your cat's needs are being met, we will happily answer any questions you may have to make sure we are the perfect fit for your pet.
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 cat'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 to see how your cat 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.