5 Tips For A
Guilt-Free Vacation

Is the guilt of leaving your cat home alone interfering with your travel plans? Cats may be independent by nature but that doesn't mean they don't miss you when you're away. Believe it or not, there is a way to leave your feline friend at home guilt-free. These five simple tips will prepare you and Whiskers for a worry-free vacation.

Cat playing with mouse toy

Find a friend for Fluffy

Even the most anti-social cats need a little daily contact. Whether you hire a pet-sitter, ask a neighbor or corral a family member, make arrangements for someone to visit your cat on a daily basis. A daily visitor will keep your cats' life unaltered by ensuring proper food supply and clean living quarters. In addition, a little social interaction will let Fluffy that know you'll be back soon and you'll have peace of mind knowing all is well at home.

Keep your cat busy

Time flies when you're having fun, and the same holds true for our feline companions. Make sure you leave out plenty of cat toys to play with throughout the day. Products like cat scratchers can help keep your kitty from scratching up furniture out of boredom, while catnip toys are a great way to keep them entertained. No matter what toys your cat prefers, make sure you ask their chosen daily companion to spend a few minutes playing with your cat. The more fun your cat has while you're away, they less he will notice you ever left.

Stock up on favorite foods

Before you leave your kitty home alone, take inventory of how much cat food and treats you have in stock. You'll want to ensure there is enough to last your entire vacation and then some. Over-stocking food for your kitty will keep your worries at bay if run into a delayed flight or any weather conditions that may extend your time away from home. Reducing changes in your pet's feeding routine helps keep them happy and healthy.

Don't neglect kitty hygiene

You wouldn't want to bathe in a dirty bathtub,and your cat doesn't want to go potty in a dirty litter box. It's very important to ensure that your feline's litter box remains fresh and tidy. The daily visitor should be in charge of scooping the litter box daily and replenishing the litter as needed. Keep additional litter, waste bags and scoopers handy to make this an easy and quick process while you're away. If you're off on a quick weekend getaway and haven't arranged for a friend to stop by, prepare two litter boxes so your kitty has extra room to do his business.

Secure your home

Make it a point to double- and triple-check your home entry points. It can be easy to overlook an open window or an unlocked door when you're rushing to get out of town. Open windows and doors are an open invitation for curious cats to explore the great outdoors (not to mention a "welcome mat" for intruders who'd like to help themselves to your belongings). A few extra minutes to secure your home will ensure a peaceful trip for you and your feline friend.

Watch: Talking cat left home alone

This is the first and last time that Trapper the cat was left home alone.

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Comments on "How to leave your cat home alone"

Roberta Peteru April 05, 2014 | 12:20 PM

When our family went on a 3 week holidy we put Miah into a cattery - best thing we did. With our 'now' cat Cuddlez, she's very independance and if we were to go away again we would be fine with setting up a nice sleeping space for her outside or in our garage and we are fortunate to have a couple of good mates who are responsible cat owners to rely on to come change her water & top up her food daily. If we didn't have anyone reliable we would just put her in a cattery.

Amy April 05, 2014 | 12:05 PM

I travel for work and have to leave my cats. I have 2 kitties who were feral rescues at a very young age and are bonded to each other. It does make it better because they keep each other company. I have a great cat sitter but it is definitely not the same. My pet sitter does a great job but one of my kitties is extremely anti social and even though I have used the same pet sitter for 8 years "T" will not come out from under the bed. She will occasionally come out when my parents are around. In a perfect world I wouldn't travel but if I want to be able to support my self and my kitties travel is part of the deal. If I have to be gone for a long time (3-6 weeks) I make arrangements to take them to my parents house (~400 miles away) or have my parents come and stay at my place with their cat. It makes a huge difference.

Emmy March 18, 2014 | 9:41 AM

There is a thing called Petcube, it's designed to watch cats and dogs and play with them from a smartphone. I don't think it will replace a catsitter, but with thing and with a catsitter I would probably leave my cat at home for a few days.

Katmando March 18, 2014 | 9:14 AM

There is no simple answer to how to leave your cat for a few days alone at home. It really depends on the relationship you have with your feline friend. I can say that we ( my cat and I ) are really close and trust each other implicitly. However, we have been close friends for 12 yrs. I always give him plenty of attention - so I know when I leave for a few days he will notice that I am gone but he also knows that I will return usually with a new cat treat or toy. We are fortunate enough to have neighbors that can be trusted to check on him, his food litter and so on. But it only occurs once in a great while. Anyway, do the best you can and feel comfortable with it and things will work out.

anony August 05, 2013 | 7:31 PM

idiotic advice, all the tips depend upon the mysterious "daily visitor", who will feed your cat, play with your cat, clean the cats ---- box, and maybe even give your cat a happy ending. I hate idiots writing bs, and people waste time reading it, thinking it is genuine advice. a person who has never even owned a cat could do better than this. not everyone can call someone to come to their house and deal with their cats disgusting excrements. if you had such a person to call, you wouldnt be googling for ideas. many people who own a cat live far away from family and friends, be it for school or job related reasons. it is probably why they got the cat in the first place. even if you do have friends in town, who the hell would ask their friend to come clean the cats ---- box? i can understand watering the plants, and collecting mail, but seriously? i would be ashamed to even ask my own parents or brother to come to my house and clean my cats crap.

sahar July 07, 2013 | 2:18 AM

I have to leave for 6 weeks and have to leave my 4 cats (5 months old) in the house alone. My housekeeper is supposed to come and look after them twice daily in the morning and afternoon. She will give them food and change the litter; but she will not play with them!!. I am still worried that the helper may not regularly visit the kittens. I am also concerned that the cats may flip their pot of water. Is there a way to secure water supply for the kittens? a more stable pots? I am also concerned about their psychology; they are very affectionate creatures. I appreciate any tips.

Marc March 19, 2013 | 2:36 AM

I don't agree with the title - I think you should feel fairly guilty for leaving your cat more than a day or so. If you didn't there would be something wrong. I get somebody to stay at mine who I trust to look after my 3 but I still feel bad about it and only go if I must for work or, more recently, my father passed away so I have had to go - but I otherwise don't leave my cats ever just because I feel like going on holiday. I miss them and don't want to leave them anyway. You should never be 'guilt free' because it wouldn't be natural. It doesn't mean you shouldn't leave them but a little bit of guilt is healthy and means you really care for your cats - its a natural response. Guilt in of itself is not a good thing and serves no purpose other than to tell you something.

Judi Halliburton January 26, 2013 | 2:06 PM

As I was saying..., a major misconception about cats is that they are independent. Cats attach EMOTIONALLY to THINGS and A ROUTINE! If 'things' are disrupted, they have a problem with it. If a routine is disrupted, cats have a problem with it. In my practice, the number one behavioral problem I dealt with in cats was, Breaking Litterbox Training. The first question I asked my client was, "what changed in your household?" "Did you rearrange the furniture?" "Did a work or school schedual change?" After a few more questions I would hear, "oh my god, my husband retired," or "we had the carpets cleaned," or "we left her alone, but it was only for 3 days."

Judi Halliburton January 26, 2013 | 1:49 PM

Cont' sorry hit the wrong key. As it all applies to the article; if you leave your cat home alone for, even, a short vacation, you are very likely going to come home to "a different cat."

Seriously? June 12, 2012 | 1:22 PM

Seriously? This article is basically, "Get a catsitter to do the stuff catsitters do." What a waste of an article.

Selena May 23, 2012 | 12:43 PM

I agree and follow all of the above whenever I leave to go out of town. I have two cats and one is definitely more anti social than the other. Each time we leave for vacation, we always make sure to have a neighbor come to the house twice a day (or if we trust them enough, we offer for them to stay at our place for the time being). We always pull out the cat food (dry and wet) and leave it on the counter with a note for whoever is taking care of them while we're gone. We make sure they know to change the litter box every day (since we have two, they are quite messy at times) and brush them when they can. Our cat that doesn't interact as much, always seems more upset when he sees us packing for our trips. He will usually sit in our suitcases as his way of letting us know he is not happy with our departure. We usually bring out their toys and place them in open spaces as a reminder that they have something to keep them company. By having a trusting neighbor to watch the animals, we encourage them to stay for a few hours and make themselves at home by watching some tv or cooking dinner at our place. By doing so, this makes the cats feel comfortable in their own home instead of it being a quiet empty house. We never worry about them escaping since they are indoor cats and we don't encourage whoever is watching the house to open any windows/doors etc. Since both our cats are siamese, we don't often worry about their time alone as they enjoy it more than we assume. Occasionally keeping the blinds open for them to sun bathe is most of the time enough for them to enjoy their peace and quiet while we're away.

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