For dog owners who are heading off on holiday, the question of what to do with their pooch rarely extends beyond whether it will stay in a kennel or with someone known to the owner. Strangely enough, however, it’s never so cut and dried when it comes to cats…
Cats are famously more independent than their canine counterparts, often happy to spend hours at a time on their own even whilst their owner is home. With this in mind, plenty of cat owners find themselves wondering whether or not their cat may be able to handle a week alone during their holiday.
So, should you board your cat, get a cat sitter or leave your feline home alone during your trip?
Should I Leave My Cat At Home?
The short answer? No.
Whilst cats don’t appear to require round-the-clock attention and are often fairly comfortable spending time alone – especially in familiar surroundings – spending multiple days at home without their owner could prove to be an incredibly distressing experience for them.
First of all, cats can become anxious a lot more easily that you might imagine. They are naturally rather attached to their owners, so to suddenly find that everything in their surroundings is as normal, except for the absence of their owner, would likely confuse a cat and leave them feeling nervous and uncomfortable. This feeling would only get worse as the hours pass by, too.
For this reason, leaving your cat alone for days at a time may also lead to attachment or abandonment issues that could prove problematic for years to come.
Another problem with leaving your cat home alone is that cats are creatures of habit, so it’s important that they are able to follow a routine when it comes to things such as eating and exercising. If you are planning to leave your cat for a couple of nights with plenty of dry food available, this may not seem like the sort of thing that will cause a problem, but the interruption to their routine may feel upsetting to them.
Couple this with the fact that they cannot come and go freely as they please (of course, you’ll be leaving your home secure) or play with anybody, you have a recipes for a pretty uncomfortable cat.
All-in-all, even if you’re only planning to be away for a few days, it’s always best to sort out alternative arrangements for your cat whilst you aren’t home.
Should I Get A Cat-Sitter?
When we say ‘cat-sitter’, we don’t necessarily mean hiring somebody to stay in your house around the clock to take care of your cat – that may be a little too excessive!
More often than not, a cat-sitter’s job can be as simple as asking someone that you trust to pop into your home once or twice a day whilst you are away to feed, exercise and play with your cat.
At the very least, it’s worth making sure that your chosen cat-sitter is:
- Someone that you know and that your cat is familiar with
- Just one person – having a variety of sitters will be confusing for your cat
- Willing to visit your home at least twice a day
- Able to stay for some longer visits, in order to allow your cat to go outside, eat, to play with your cat, etc.
- Willing to clean out your cat’s litterbox with each visit
- Someone with experience looking after a cat
We would also advise leaving behind a guide to looking after your cat, so that your cat-sitter knows exactly what to do. This should consist of:
- The times that your cat should be fed and what to feed them at each feeding time
- Anything that the cat-sitter should leave out for your cat – toys, treats, etc.
- Any signs that the sitter should look out for in order to ensure that your cat is not sick/distressed at any point
- Emergency contact details
In theory, there’s nothing too wrong with this idea if you are away for just a couple of nights, though it does depend on the age of your cat, nature of your cat and how much time they are used to spending alone. However, any longer than 2-3 nights and we would recommend boarding your cat.
Board Your Cat With Hollybank Kennels And Cattery
Here at Hollybank Kennels And Cattery, we have years of experience in providing the perfect home from home for all kinds of cats and dogs whilst their owners are away.
Our heated pens allow cats to snuggle up in the warmth in raised, enclosed sleeping areas during the night, with each pen fully equipped with an exercise area so that your cat can play the day away. Our team are specially trained to take the best possible care of your cat – we even have a 24-hour vet and a wide range of high-quality feed to suit your cat’s dietary requirements.
Our reputation for providing the best possible temporary care for cats and dogs is unequalled across the North West. If you’d like to find out more, feel free to get in touch.