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How to leave your cat home alone

Virginia Chavez is a Phoenix-based freelance writer covering pets and lifestyle in the Southwest. In addition to regular contributions both online and in-print, Virginia locally owns and operates two pet care and supply businesses. For t...

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.

More on cat care

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