Changes In Your Cats Environment
Cats adore routine and thrive on it, to the point that changing anything can potentially cause them to become stressed. When cat owners go on a vacation a lot of things change for their pets, including the absence of their owners, different feeding times, less attention, new people, and sometimes new environments if they are being boarded.
It can take your cat anywhere from five days to two weeks to adjust and accept a new routineand sometimes even longer.;Just consider how long it takes some cats to accept new cats into their homes or to adjust to a new house. Both of these situations demonstrate how inflexible cats potentially are. A stranger, such as a pet sitter, who doesn’t adhere to the routine also adds stress to your cats life. By the time your cat becomes used to the new routine with the pet sitter you return from vacation and change their daily routine again. You also no longer smell familiar to your cat because they havent been able to refresh their cheek-rub markings while you’ve been away. As a result, some cats hide, become defensive, or exhibit unwanted behaviors.
Hire A Professional Pet Sitter
You want a fully insured individual or company. This ensures youre both protected should an accident occur. Seek a professional that is part of the;International Boarding and Pet Services Association ;if possible.
Consider placing a;nanny cam;in your cats social areas as we suggested above. This allows you to check in on your felines wellbeing. You can then communicate changes or suggestions to your sitter to better the experience for your cat.
Recommendations To Leaving A Cat At Home On Vacation
As it is not always easy to find someone willing to live in your house during your absence, if you choose to have someone visit your cat daily instead, it will be essential for them to;
- Clean the sandbox.
- Play with the cat.
- Give medication .
Since cats are very sensitive, it is common to notice that cats stop eating during the absence of their owners. This fasting can result in health consequences, such as: hepatic lipidosis or kidney problems. For this reason, in addition to the above, we highlight the necessity of insisting that the person looking after your cat makes sure that your cat is eating and drinking.
Water consumption is essential and if a cat’s drinking fountain or water is dirty, your cat may not drink. By not drinking your cat can suffer from symptoms of dehydration. In general, cats prefer to drink from water sources. They favor this drinking method because moving liquid shows them that the water is cleaner.
Their litter box should be cleaned daily and it is essential that all this information is transferred to the person in charge of caring for the cat.
In addition, if your cat is very susceptible to stress, we recommend investing in a pheromone diffuser . These diffusers aim to calm and relax a cat’s environment.
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Anxiety About Leaving Your Cat While On Vacation
No one is more familiar with the anxiety of leaving your pet behind while traveling than I am. Except maybe my therapist who has to talk me down off a cat-centered ledge every time I get ready to leave for a trip.
Regardless of how long or short your trip, its never easy to leave a pet behind. Because of this, I definitely go above and beyond the call of pet ownership when it comes to leaving cats at home while on vacation. Therefore, you may notice a common theme in this post.
While its intended to be a practical post on helpful things you can do to make this time easier on your cats, its ultimately a guide to coping after youve left your babies to their own furry fate. Most of the things I do to take care of them while Im gone are more for my own sanity than for their entertainment. The plethora of cardboard boxes is all them though.
Also check outIf youd prefer not to leave your babies for too long, check out my post on tips for planning quick trips to help minimize the time youre gone but maximize its potential.
Talk To Your Veterinarian
As always, if you have any particular concerns about leaving cats at home while on vacation, reach out to your vet. They do more than just poke, inject, and snip-snip.
I hope Ive made it even a little bit easier for you to leave your fur babies at home while you travel. It can definitely be an anxious time for all involved pawties but there are things you can do to reduce the stress.
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Vacation And Separation Anxiety In Cats
Vacations are meant to be fun for people, but due to the change in routine, they can unfortunately be a cause of stress for cats and result in behavior problems and separation anxiety. Cat behavior problems can occur during the owner’s absence, while being transported, or when the owner returns. While some cats can cope with traveling, staying in hotels, or being boarded in a kennel, most cats are better off when they stay in their own home with a pet sitter. This, of course, isnt always possible, but thankfully some steps can be taken to lessen your cats stress and the likelihood of behavior problems at vacation time.
Leaving Cats While On Vacation
The most common option among tutors is to leave the cat at home and ask someone you trust to visit and care for them a couple of times a day. Undoubtedly, the best environment for a cat is their own home, therefore, it is always advisable to leave your cat at home on vacation. They must however, always be under surveillance. We must put emphasis on the fact that you should NOT leave your cat at home alone while you go on vacation.
Cats are very susceptible to change, so taking them to an unknown place, whether it’s a friend’s house or a feline residence, will most likely result in the development of stress and anxiety. Unless your cat is very sociable and adapts easily to different environments, we discourage this option.
Feline ethologists and psychologists advise choosing to leave your cat at your home with a friend or someone you trust. You can ask a friend to live at your house for the time while you are away. Cats are also very susceptible to , therefore, having someone in the house while their guardians are away, will aid in deterring this.
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How Long Can Cats Be Left Alone
While most cats can handle short periods of time on their own , the practicalities of owning a cat quickly, um, pile upsuch as with the litter box.
This, in addition to access to fresh food and water, is why most experts recommend leaving cats alone for no more than 24 hours.
If youre just heading out for the weekend, its a good idea to have a friend or relative pop in to clean your kittys litter box and refresh food and water. But most likely, your cat will be fine overnight.
Have A Family Member Or Friend Your Cat Knows And Trusts Stay Over
Trust is a big deal to your cat. If a family member or friend can become your cats surrogate cat mom or dad while youre away, you should have little to no issues.
Having the person stay and adapt your routine is the best for your cat.
However, this isnt always possible since your family or friends have their own lives. They should try to adhere to your schedule as much as possible with feeding and cleaning their litter box. Playtime is important too and shouldnt be skipped.
Your family member or friend should arrive a week or days before your leave. This provides ample time for your cat to adjust to their presence if needed. Have them take over the duties prior to you actually leaving.
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Preparing Ahead Of Time
Our Final Thoughts On Keeping Your Cat From Missing You While Youre On Vacation
Being a cat mommy or daddy doesnt mean you cant take a vacation or business trip. However, cats and their behavior go hand in hand with their sense of security and routine. Sometimes this can cause adverse behavior and stress.
To counteract potential problems, consider alternatives to leaving your cat completely alone. Provide their basic needs by taking them with you, having a family member or friend stay at your home, use a boarding service, or hire a professional.
These steps can bridge the gaps in your absence. Your cat might still miss you, dont get us wrong, but theyll be healthier and happier until you come home.
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Bring Things To Keep Your Cat Comfy
If youll be traveling by car and youll have easy access to your animal, be sure to bring bottled water and your cats favorite food along for the ride. Its also a good idea to bring a smaller, travel size litter pan and some cat litter in case your cat needs it, as well as any toys or products from home that you feel might bring your cat comfort while en route.
Why Hire A Cat Sitter
I preach the importance of peace-of-mind a lot on this blog and, again, I cant stress that enough when leaving cats at home while on vacation.
Yes, hiring a cat sitter is yet another cost associated with traveling, but the weight it bears for you is so significant. Knowing your pets are being cared for and worried about by someone else so you can have a stress-free vacation is priceless. I dont even bat an eye at these costs anymore. Besides, hiring a cat sitter is less expensive than you probably think and worth. every. penny.
Plus, youll get daily updates and photos from someone who is specifically in your life to care for your cat. Theyre not a friend or neighbor casually checking in to make sure your pet hasnt burned the house down. Cat sitters have one job.
You might likeAs a cat lover, you might like to read about the time I spent working at Carole Baskins Big Cat Rescue . True story.
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Should I Board My Cat Or Leave Him At Home
Ultimately, your decision to board your cat or bring her along on a trip should take into account the nature of your trip as well as your cats unique temperament and any underlying health conditions. Whatever you decide, you deserve an enjoyable vacation knowing that your kitty is safeeither with you, a close friend, or a reputable kennel. ;
If youre planning to take your cat along on your trip, there are a few things you can do to ensure the trip goes smoothly. The most important issue is to make sure shes comfortable being inside her cat carrier. This is vital, whether youre traveling in a car or on a plane. If shes never been in a carrier before or seems unhappy, set aside time before your trip to get her used to it in intervals. That can start with getting her familiar with just being inside of it for a few minutes, then transitioning to enjoying a short car ride in it.
For longer trips that require you to leave your cat behind, you can leave him in the capable hands of a trusted friend or at a good kennel. If it reassures you, you can even check in throughout your vacation to ensure that your feline friend is thriving! And while youre planning out your trip, consider introducing a supplement that can provide an extra boost while your cat is in the kennel. Wapiti Labs Chest supplement is formulated with natural herbal ingredients to provide support for normal respiratory function and health, providing you further peace of mind.
You Cant Take Your Cat With You But You Dont Want To Stress Out Your Cat
You have many options to ensure your kitty is well taken care of and exposed to as little stress as possible while youre gone.
None of them can guarantee your cat will not develop separation anxiety. Youll find with kitties, in general, there are no promises.
The video above highlights different ways you can help your kitty have a low-stress experience while youre away.
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Visit The Boarding Facility
drop by unannounced for a tour. The facility should always be clean and staff should be gladly willing to give you a quick tour. There should also be plenty of fresh, clean water and cool off options for your pet. See how the current guests are acting. Are they having fun? Would your pet fit right in?
Take Your Cat To A Pet Hotel
While we normally think of pet hotels as more of a âdog thing,â more and more pet hotels are accommodating cats successfully during their ownersâ absence.
Of course, a pet hotel will be a totally unknown place for your cat, unless you travel regularly. Cats do not cope very well with unknown places, people, and situations, which is worth bearing in mind.
On the other hand, pet hotels make a big effort to;create a calm and cat-friendly environment. Besides, pet hotel;personnel are professionals â at least, they should be. They;can give constant, competent care to your cat. They wonât fail to notice if the cat is not eating or has any health problems, and they wonât let anything bad happen to your cat during his stay at the hotel. Itâs their job and they know what to look out for.
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What To Do With Your Pets When You Go On Vacation
As the owners of a loving, older cat and former dog owners, we know all too well the hassle of trying to figure out what to do with our pet while we travel.
Whether youre gone a week or six months there are three main options for your pet when youre on vacation. You can have someone take care of your pet in your house, have your pet go to someone elses place or take your pet;with you. What you do with them depends on how long youre traveling, how much money youre willing to spend and how much you trust others to take care of your extended family.
Should You Take Your Cat With You When You Travel
You and your vet will be the best judge over your cats personality and ability to travel. Unless your cat is naturally calm and its allowed, you should leave your cat at home in the environment it knows.
Your cat could become just as stressed out. Cooped up in a hotel room all day isnt a vacation for your cat. The only good part about it is they will have you, but youll still disrupt their routine and surroundings.
This doesnt include the additional stress of traveling, such as flying or car rides. We only recommend taking your cat for domestic travel unless youll be abroad for months or moving.
Foreign countries;have different laws, procedures, requirements from you, and quarantine restrictions.
If you do take your feline with you, make sure you book a pet-friendly hotel early and arrange your method of transportation.
Flights can be extremely stressful for cats, and youll need to learn your airlines domestic and foreign pet policies;and adhere to them.
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Using Rover For Cat Sitting
Rover is such a great platform and it has made it so easy when leaving cats at home while on vacation. The platform itself is incredibly user-friendly and all charges and information are clear. Its a stress-free partnership.
Find potential cat sitters
Finding a list of potential sitters is a breeze. Simply check cat and Drop-in Visits then enter your zip code. It will show you a list of sitters near you and you can scroll through their profiles.
For me, the most important factors are reviews and number of repeat customers. From there, you can message them privately to ask questions or inquire about particular dates and/or services, etc.
Another reason I love Rover is for its communication. Through the Rover platform you can communicate with potential sitters without having to give your personal information. Afterwards, you can message with them at will and have a record of everything in one place.
Additionally, when your sitter arrives at your house, youll get a text and/or email letting you know he or she has checked in and is at your house. You get another when they check out.
Then you get an update in your Rover account with full details of the visit: what the sitter did, anything special they feel you need to know, how your cats are doing, etc. These messages also come with photos of your pets each and every time. Micromanagers love constant detailed accounts! Yes!