As much as we'd love to bring our beloved feline friends along when we travel, it's not always feasible. This blog post offers suggestions from our vets at Jackson on safe and suitable places to leave your cat while you're away on vacation.
Where Can I Leave My Cat While On Vacation?
Deciding on the best place to leave your cat when you're not around can be a tough call. Is it better to leave them at home alone or board them at a kennel? While some cats can handle being by themselves for a night, young kittens under four months old and certain cat breeds require companionship, much like dogs.
Leaving Your Cat Alone
As previously mentioned, most cats can manage fine overnight without their owners and may not even realize they're gone if they have access to adequate food, water, and toys. However, certain breeds like sphynx, Scottish folds, and rag dolls, as well as kittens under four months old, thrive with human companionship. It's not recommended to leave kittens under four months alone for more than four hours. We advise against leaving your cat alone for more than 24 hours since they are social animals that require their owner's attention for safety and comfort. Your cat relies on you to ensure that all of their needs are met.
At Home With a Cat Sitter
If you have to leave your cat alone at home, a great option is to hire a cat sitter who can come in daily. The sitter will clean the litter box, ensure your furry friend has enough food and water, and give them some quality playtime and cuddles. This method can help reduce your cat's stress levels as they remain in their environment and can use their familiar litter box.
Additionally, it is a cost-effective option, especially if you have multiple cats. You can either ask a friend or family member whom your cat knows or hire a professional to take care of your four-legged companion. Having someone your cat is already comfortable with can help them feel more relaxed, while a professional sitter can ensure that every need is met. It is crucial to inform the sitter about your cat's habits, behaviors, and needs since every cat is unique.
Make sure to provide your sitter with a guide to caring for your cat, including the time of day they eat, the amount of food they need, their energy level, and any necessary medication schedules.
Leaving Your Cat at a Friend's or Relative's Place
It may be worth considering leaving your cat with a trusted friend or family member if they are comfortable staying elsewhere. This option has the advantage of providing constant supervision and more attention for your furry companion. However, if the place already has 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 alone.
To avoid this, we suggest that you try a trial stay for a few days before leaving, so you can ensure that your cat gets along well in the new environment. If it doesn't work out, you still have time to find another option. Additionally, it's important to make sure that the person who will take care of your cat can meet all of their needs and is willing and enthusiastic about the task. If not, it's best to find another option to ensure your furry friend's safety and well-being.
A Boarding Facility (Kennels)
When you go on vacation, it's not just dogs that need boarding and kennels - many facilities also welcome cats. Boarding your cat with professionals is probably the best option for their care while you're away. The facility should ensure that your cat is always fed, watered, supervised, and given quality one-on-one time. Make sure to book your cat's stay well in advance to secure availability and space for your furry friend.
Some cats may experience separation anxiety and stress when left alone with strangers in an unfamiliar environment, but you can take steps to ease their fears. Bringing along their favorite toys, blankets, bed, or even a piece of your clothing can help. A trial run can also familiarize your cat with the facility.
Clear communication with the boarding facility is crucial to ensure they understand all of your cat's needs and offer the required services. When selecting a kennel, ensure it is clean, well-run, and quiet. Check if the facility has a separate boarding area for cats and dogs and that your cat's kennel is large enough to keep the litter box separate from their food and bed. Additional features, such as a window, climate-controlled kennels, and one-on-one time with staff, may also be important to you.
View the facility from your cat's perspective to ensure their comfort and safety while you're away. At North Madison Animal Hospital, our boarding facility is cat-friendly and staffed by a professional, qualified veterinary team. We ensure that all of your cat's needs are met and offer trial stays to determine if we're the right fit for your pet. Feel free to ask us any questions you may have!
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 kitty'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 them to see how your kitty 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.