This time of year, we take trips to visit family over the holidays. Our cats are not the happiest travelers, so what’s a loving pet parent to do? Is it safe to leave your cat alone at home? That’s a topic I’ve meant to cover for some time, and now guest blog writer Maya Kinsley provides you with lots of great information to consider.
How To Leave Your Cat Alone At Home
Cats look pretty independent. They can spend hours alone while you are at work. Some of them don’t even like to be petted, but they still rely on us for social interaction and keeping them safe. You should never leave kittens, elderly, or health-challenged cats alone for a long time. If you are going away for longer than overnight, learn how to prepare your healthy, well-adjusted cat for this huge change. Your Mr. Fuzzy will definitely notice your absence. That’s what you need to know about leaving your pet alone:
During the summer season, you should not leave your cat in an enclosed space. When the heat arrives, your pet can be at risk of fatal heatstroke. So, if you are about to go on a short trip, make sure to leave the air conditioning on in order to avoid terrible consequences.
Consider getting a cooling mat for your cat. It might become your pet’s new favourite spot in the house. When you are at home, you can also leave a pack of frozen vegetables or ice cubes on the floor – it will cheer your kitty up.
During the winter, prepare a few comfy places for your cat. Also, make sure to keep her bed off the floor (floors get cold pretty fast). Consider leaving your thermostat on. The energy bills might be crazy, but kitties deserve the best.
If you don’t want your house to turn into a crash site while you are away, start using new technologies before you leave. For instance, you can get an automated pet feeder that will keep your cat’s food fresh.
Other than that, consider getting the best automatic cat litter box that will clean after your cat. It’s a pretty useful thing in any case, but especially if you aren’t home to scoop for longer than two days.
If you don’t have a self-cleaning litter box, just leave twice the number of litter boxes before you go.
Your kitty should stay hydrated when you are away. That’s why you should leave as many bowls with fresh water as possible, to make sure they don’t run dry or get spilled. You can also get your pet water fountain. It will encourage your cat to drink more water than usual which is especially important during the summer season.
Some cats may experience anxiety when their owners are not around — that’s why you need to take care of entertainment for your pet.
To keep your cat entertained when you are away, consider getting her new interactive toys. Some cats will also be happy to play cardboard boxes and paper bags.
However, if you don’t want your pet to make a mess, get some cat furniture such as fluffy beds, wood shelves to lounge, canvas wall hammocks, cat trees or other climbing opportunities like the cat mod.
You should also know about one free option – leave your cat in the room with a view. Cats love staring at birds in trees, or people passing by!
Other than that, have you ever heard of Cat TV? It usually shows birds, mice, and nature. Your cat might spend hours watching different videos.
A Cat Sitter
Vets don’t recommend leaving pets alone for longer than 24 hours. If you need to travel somewhere far, you should definitely ask your friend or family member to take care of your cat.
Also, you can always hire a professional cat sitter. Ideally, this person should be experienced, flexible, and patient enough. Experience is essential, especially in the case of your cat’s health condition.
So, if you finally decide to hire someone for this job, make sure to pass this information on:
- Your contact number
- Medication info (in case your cat needs some)
- Personality traits
- Contact to the vet
- Feeding times
- Your cat’s favourite toys and spots
- A list of spots where your cat may hide
Your perfect cat sitter will send your photos and messages to keep you updated. Also, this person should spend some time playing and petting your cat (if the cat accepts this attention) in order to avoid the development of anxiety. Some cats won’t want a stranger pestering them, so the cat sitter should be introduced before you take your trip.
The Bottom Line
Your kitty will definitely notice your absence! So, before you go on a trip, make sure to prepare your house so that your pet can feel safe when you are not around. You need to take into consideration the weather and the lack of entrainment. Also, your cat should have access to a litter box, scratch options, fresh water, and food. The best thing that you can do for your pet is to hire a professional cat sitter.
I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book giveaways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!
Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified cat & dog behavior consultant, a consultant to the pet industry, and the award-winning author of 35+ pet-centric books and Thrillers with Bite! Oh, and she loves bling!
This blog came at a perfect time. Thank you, Amy.
Excellent suggestions. I would just add that if planning a professional cat sitter have them visit the home a few times to get to have met the kitties and can ask more questions. That is what we did when we had a sitter for a special needs kitty. It worked out really well. We also swapped email addresses and text numbers to be able to contact each other more easily.
Yes, it’s important for cats to feel comfortable with the “stranger” in their midst. Great point. Thanks again for your suggestions!