Although it would be wonderful to take our feline friends along with us whenever we need to be away from home, it isn't always possible. So today, our Monterey Park vets share some ideas for places where you can leave your cat while you are on vacation.
Boarding Cats While On Vacation & Other Solutions
Deciding what to do with cats while on vacation can certainly be a challenge. Do you leave them at home by themselves, or board them at a kennel? Cats are fine being left alone for one night, but kittens under four months old and some specific cat breeds need companionship.
Leaving a Cat at Home While on Vacation
As we mentioned above, most cats will be fine if left alone for one night and might not even notice your absence, provided with enough food, fresh water, and toys. However, young cats under four months and breeds such as sphynx, Scottish folds, and rag dolls do best with human company. The youngest kittens should not be left on their own for more than four hours.
We do not recommend leaving your cat alone for more than 24 hours because cats are social creatures that need their owner's attention in order to feel safe and comfortable. You are responsible for making sure that all of their needs are being met.
At Home With a Cat Sitter
A good option for when you have to leave your cat at home is to have a cat sitter come in every day to clean the litter box, make sure your furry friend has food and water, and provide them with some quality one-on-one time.
It provides your cat with less stress because they are in their environment and can use their litter box, and everything is where they are used to it being. This also makes for an economical choice, especially if you have multiple kitty collections.
It is possible to have a friend or family member that your cat knows come in and take care of them, or you could have a professional come in and watch your four-legged companion.
Having someone your cat is already familiar with and comfortable with can also help reduce their stress levels and make them feel more relaxed. A professional sitter knows everything about properly taking care of a cat and can make sure every need is being met.
It is important to have a pet sitter who is aware of your cat's habits, behaviors, and needs because every kitty is different. Be sure to tell your cat's sitter what time of day they eat, how much food they require, your cat's energy level, if they need to be given medications at specific times, etc. We recommend providing your sitter with a guide to caring for your kitten so that they know exactly how to meet all of your pet's needs.
Leaving Your Cat at a Friend's or Relative's Place
If your cat is comfortable going to another place, you might want to leave them at a friend's or relative's home.
The benefit of this option is that your furry friend will receive constant supervision and receive more attention. If your friend already has a cat that your pet doesn't get along with or if your feline friend doesn't like the person they are staying with, this can backfire and increase your pet's stress even more.
If you would like to leave your pet at someone's house, we recommend dropping them off for a few days before you leave as a trial stay so you can make sure your cat gets along alright. If this option does not work out, you will still have time to find another option for your furry companion.
You should also make sure the person you are leaving your cat with can meet all of your cat's needs and is willing and eager to perform the task. If not, you may want to find another option.
A Boarding Facility (Kennels) For Cats
Many boarding facilities welcome cats and dogs these days. For many people - and their feline friends - this is the best option for your pet when you are on vacation.
Boarding facilities should be run by professionals who will ensure your cat is always fed, watered, supervised, and receives quality one-on-one time. You will also need to call them well in advance to make sure they have room for your cat.
Many cats can experience separation anxiety and may be stressed out by being left alone with strangers in an unknown environment. You can take steps to lessen their fears, such as bringing along their favorite toys, blankets, bed, or even a piece of your clothing. You can also do a trial run to make sure your kitty gets along well at the facility. This also helps them become familiar with the setting.
You should also communicate with the facility to ensure that they understand all of your cat's needs and offer all of the boarding services you and your cat require.
You must be comfortable with the kennel you choose. Make sure it is clean, well-run, and quiet. Check to see if the facility you are selecting is cat-friendly with a separate boarding area for cats and dogs and that your kitty's kennel is large enough so that the litter box is kept in a separate area from their food dish. The features that you may want to check out include windows for your cat to watch outside, climate-controlled kennels and quality one-on-one time with the staff.
Take the time to view the place your kitty will be staying in from their perspective, to ensure that your cat will be comfortable and well cared for in your absence.
At Veterinary Healthcare Center, we have a cat-friendly boarding facility and a professional and qualified veterinary team that will care for your cat. We will answer any questions you may have and offer trial stays to make sure we are the perfect fit for your pet.
The Benefits of Leaving Your Cat at a Kennel
Wondering if leaving your cat at a kennel might be a good option for you? Here are a few of the benefits of leaving your cat at a high-quality, professional boarding facility while you are on vacation:
- Your cat will be supervised their entire stay
- Their feeding schedule will be the same as it is at home
- Your kitty's kennel will be cleaned daily
- The staff will notice if your cat is not eating or if they are sick
- Good kennels offer calming and relaxing environments for cats
- The staff can make sure your cat's medications are administered properly and on time
- You can call them to see how your kitty is doing
At the end of the day, it is your decision where you leave your cat while you are on vacation. Take the time to weigh your options and make sure you are choosing the best possible option for you and your feline companion.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.