It’s not a secret that most cats don’t travel well and people will usually leave their feline family member behind when they head out on a family vacation. If you are leaving the city, you have a few options for keeping your cat safe while you are away.
Boarding a pet is always a great idea. Your cat will be kept secure and will have someone near them at all times. The down side is that they will be away from their surroundings for the length of time you are gone and that can initiate some stress issues in your pet.
If you choose to keep your cat at home, you can hire a pet sitter to come in at a certain time each day to make sure everything is okay, or you can ask a close friend or family member that you trust. Choosing to keep your pet at home can offer some comfort as they are in familiar surroundings. To add to their comfort, you can also consider these tips.
When our dog is around, he claims all things on the ground as his toy. So our cat doesn’t get much of her own things to play with. Leave a couple of toys out in the open for your pet to enjoy while you are gone. You can also leave a laser pointer for your pet sitter to use to play with your kitty each day (just keep it out of the eyes… theirs and yours). Even a small amount of activity can liven up their routine and help relax them while you are gone.
Clean the kitty litter
This is especially important while you are away. Litters must be kept clean. Cats can become particular about their bathroom and if they are used to being outside, then all of the sudden, they are inside for a week or more, their bathrooms will need to be kept clean.
Build up can cause a cat to tire of their toilet and search out other alternatives and once this begins, you will need to make a concerted effort to swing the behaviour back to a more desirable one. Have your sitter clean the litter once every one to two days.
Close off your unused rooms
This will help in the event your cat has tired of their litter as per the above. It will also keep your cat confined to where you would rather they be in your absence. Close off bedrooms, offices, bathrooms and basement access if possible.
Your cat will still have a lot of space, you will just have the peace of mind knowing that if you come home to a ‘smell’, you will know where it isn’t coming from.
Love and affection
Cats like to be loved on their own terms, but they still love to be loved. Ask your sitter to find your cat on each visit. If your cat’s temperament allows, ask them to pick up, pet and/or cuddle your cat.
Create a space for your cat
If you have a scratching post that your cat sits on, great. Make sure the place they spend all of their time when you are home is ready for them. You can move a comfortable chair in front of your window for them to rest on and look out, or place their favourite blanket in a spot you know they like to cuddle up in.
Tagged or chipped
If your cat has a tendency to run outside, make sure you warn your pet sitter so they can watch the door when they enter the house. On the chance they do get out, make sure your pet’s records are up to date and they have some way of identifying them should they be picked up and taken to a vet for identification. Alternatively let your pet sitter know when they usually come home (first thing in the morning, etc) after getting outside, so they can keep an eye out for their return.