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Where to Leave a Cat While on Vacation?

While we may think cats are perfectly content being alone, they are quite social. They also require consistent care and attention. This means that going away requires some planning. In this blog, our Grayson vets offer some suggestions on cat care while you go on vacation and explain why these are good options.

What do I do with my cat while on vacation? 

If you are going away, you must figure out what to do with your cat. Should you ask a friend or family member to stay with them? What about calling a boarding facility? While most cats can be left alone for one night, kittens under four months old and certain cat breeds, like dogs, require companionship.

Leaving Your Cat at Home While on Vacation

Most cats can be left alone for one night without any issues as long as they have enough food, water, and toys. However, young cats under four months old and specific breeds like Sphynx, Scottish Folds, and Ragdolls require human company. It's important not to leave kittens under four months old alone for more than four hours.

It's not recommended to leave your cat alone for longer than 24 hours because cats are social creatures that need attention from their owners to feel safe and comfortable. Your cat relies on you to provide them with care and meet their basic needs.

At Home With a Cat Sitter

When you need to leave your cat at home, a good option is to have a cat sitter come in daily to clean the litter box, ensure your furry friend has food and water, and provide quality one-on-one playtime and cuddles.

This option reduces your cat's stress because they are in their familiar environment, can use their litter box, and everything is where they expect it to be. It is usually the simplest and most cost-effective option.

You can ask a friend or family member that your cat knows to come in and take care of them, or you can hire a professional to watch your four-legged companion.

Having someone your cat is already familiar and comfortable with can help reduce its stress levels and make it feel more relaxed. On the other hand, a professional sitter knows how to take care of a cat properly and can ensure every need is met.

When hiring a pet sitter, make sure they are familiar with your cat's habits, behaviors, and needs, as each cat is unique. Inform the sitter about what time of day your cat eats, how much food it needs, your cat's energy level if medications must be given at specific times, and so on. It's a good idea to provide your sitter with a kitten care guide 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 staying elsewhere, you may want to consider sending it to a friend or family member's house. The advantage of this option is that your pet will be constantly monitored and given more attention. However, if they already have a cat with whom your kitty does not get along, or if your feline friend does not like the person with whom they are staying, this can backfire and increase your pet's stress even more than if they were left alone.

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 furry companion.

You should be sure that the person you choose loves cats and is happy to help. If not, you may want to find another option.

Boarding for Cats While on Vacation (Kennels)

Boarding and kennels aren't just for dogs; many facilities also welcome cats. This can be a great option for your pet when you are on vacation. Boarding facilities should be run by professionals who will ensure that your cat is always fed, watered, supervised, and given quality one-on-one time. Call in advance to ensure they have the space and resources for your feline friend.

Many cats can experience separation anxiety and stress when left alone with strangers in an unfamiliar environment. However, you can take steps to lessen their fears, such as bringing along their favorite toys, blankets, beds, or even a piece of your clothing. Doing a trial run at the facility can help your kitty become familiar with the setting and ensure they get along well there.

It's important to communicate clearly with the facility to ensure they understand your cat's needs and offer all the boarding services you require. Additionally, consider the feel of the kennel. Is it calm and quiet? Check to see if the facility has a separate boarding area for cats and dogs, and ensure that your kitty's kennel is large enough to keep the litter box separate from their food and bed. Look for features like a window for your cat to look out, climate-controlled kennels, and quality one-on-one time with the staff.

Take the time to view the place your kitty will be staying from their perspective to ensure your cat will be comfortable and well cared for in your absence.

The Benefits of Boarding Your Cat While on Vacation

Some of the benefits of professional cat boarding facilities include:

  • 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 choice where you will leave your cat while on vacation; take the time to weigh your options and ensure you are selecting the best option for you and your feline companion.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If you need boarding services for your cat in Grayson, contact our vets at All Creatures Veterinary Care today. They can provide local recommendations.

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