Do we take our older cats on vacation this summer, or find a good petsitter?

Debra HoffmannDebra Hoffmann RidgewoodMember Posts: 1,174
edited 23 January, 2011 in Cats & Travel
Hi everyone, We are at a loss. We wanted to drive down to South Carolina from NY for our yearly vacation. Last year, we had a woman who I've known for years and has a Petsitting service. The year before, she looked after our cats, but this year, I have to be honest, I wasan't pleased. I'm not sure what happened, but one of our cats had peed in the kitchen closet, she had not emptied the kitchen garbage and there were maggots in the garbage....eeeewwwwwww!!!! (she told me that she does not touch the clients kitchen garbage cans, everything she opens goes out with her in a bag to the garbage. We had emptied the garbage, and as near as we can figure, my stepdad who's 81 came over and probably opened an extra can for the cats and threw the paper plates he used in the kitchen trash. (it stunk to high heaven, so that no one emptied it was shocking to me). My cats were in ok condition, but the apartment smelled as it had not before, and I was really upset-the cats like it clean too. The other thing was we had left plenty of litter, had changed the box right before we left, but the boxes were still sort of dirty. We would like to go away this year, but I am worried. I asked my vet about taking the aniamls wtih us, but she's concerned about the girls, as Bella and Natalie are both 'up there' at probably 13/14 years old, and she feels it might not be good for them. Ruffy has traveled with us before, and I'm not sure about Smokie, he was hiding under the bed when I came home and making little 'mew' sounds, and I am thinking I'd rather chance taking him than him being miserable without us. I'm in a Quandry. Looking for a good petsitter, and now not sure even about that-I knew this petsitter for 10 years, and had never had a problem before. I have tried to discuss it with her, but she feels thee was nothing she had done wrong! (she is a nice person, but this did put me off using her services.) Does any one have any suggestions? (We don't want to board them-we'd rather they be in their own home or with us.)


  • janice lancasterjanice lancaster temple gaMember Posts: 2,505
    edited 19 January, 2011
    I'd say it depends on your cats. I'm about to be 15 and just went on my first trip ever in November. Meowma was worried, but although I did cry some for about 30 minutes, I was able to see Meowma from my carrier and soon stopped it. When we got to the hotel, I enjoyed it right away, and everything went great. I ate fine, used my box, and slept with Meowma as usual. Since I don't eat my medicine well for anyone else, and I had fun, I get to go from now on as long as it doesn't involve flying. Mowma says the pet deposit cost less than a sitter, and she didn't have to miss me. On the way home, I was calmer than I was on the way out, and only whined for about 15 minutes.
  • Lisa DausmanLisa Dausman Member Posts: 5,216
    edited 19 January, 2011
    I would say, if your not used to traveling with cats, and all that is involved with it, don't do it, it is very involved, to keep them safe. And being that they are senior kitties, and not used to traveling, it is liable to upset them too much. Then there is, how are they going to react, staying in a hotel, that is another whole ball game, and where are you staying, once you get to SC? Other people there? How will they react to being in a new place they have never been in before? :D If the person who will be driving, does not stay at the speed limit, and is not a cautious driver, as in, they don't tailgate, weave in and out of cars, cut people off, etc, mol, do not even think, about taking them, mol. You would be putting them in serious danger. :-O But, I travel to shows, all over the east coast, 6-7 hrs one way is the norm, mine were trained as little kittens, and if you really want to take them, be very glad to tell you, what you need to know, and that might help with your decision. I am in the Syracuse NY area, where are you in NY? Paw mail me if you don't want to put it up here, might be able to recommend some people I know and trust, depending on where you are at. I do understand, your concern, about petsitters. Came back from a horse show early, was sick, my cats had no food and no water, and this was my brother, who was supposed to be taking care of them. Last year, came home late sun night from a cat show, to 2 sick 12 week old kittens. Petsitter at that time, gave them adult food, instead of the kitten food, which, was clearly labeled kitten. Let me know, if I can be of any help. =; :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D
  • Faye DufourFaye Dufour Destrehan, LA/New Orleans areaMember Posts: 4,648
    edited 20 January, 2011
    Bump's mom has an excellent suggestion. Also check with your vet for any people they might be able to recommend. I cannot understand someone not taking out the trash.....heck, if I do it in my house I certainly would not have trouble doing it in someone else's house...and yes, the aroma of cat food cats is NOT Chanel #5, same with litter boxes. Good luck, and keeping them at home sounds like the best idea. The New Orleans Kitties:-h
  • Debra HoffmannDebra Hoffmann RidgewoodMember Posts: 1,174
    edited 20 January, 2011
    thank you everyone, We're going to wait for Natalie the NatCat to recover before we do much else on looking into things.... we live in the Queens section of NY, and if we go, rent a condo that is pet friendly. We've been looking into that. Our Ruffy has traveled ok. The others haven't, and my Bella is my heart, and hates even being in the carrer when she's going to the vet. She cried when we were moving, too. I hated the panicked way she behaved when she first got here to the apartment when we moved....I don't want to stress her, but we do need a break from NY now and again. What got me about this petsitter was she was someone I knew well, and had volunteered at a shelter I worked at before she started catsitting. We had great luck with her in the past, and this experience both dissapointed me and shocked me-I've known her over 10 years. She has cats. She does this for a Living now, and I never expected to walk into what I did. Don't get me wrong, she would never mistreat the animals, or not feed them. But I did sort of expect them to have some common sense-if you see garbage, take it out, put fresh litter in the boxes if needed, etc. She did a very involved questionaire beforehand, and we had her watch them when we got married. However, we were not in the apartment then. We are not in the 'city' per se, but in one of the 'outer boros' and sometimes Manhattan people just won't do Queens. We're going to ask the rescue we work with sometimes if they know of anyone. thank you all...continuing to look into this...
  • Lisa DausmanLisa Dausman Member Posts: 5,216
    edited 20 January, 2011
    *If* you do go the petsitter route, I do know of a older couple, that show in my region, and are in the NYC area, couldn't tell you exactly where, mol, but can find out, if your interested. They always have their kittens in the top 10 in TICA, usually in first place, mol, and their other kitties, they show in CFA, are always in the top 10 too, haven't checked in a few weeks, but they are most likely in first place too, in our Region, mol. Very very nice people, they could recommend someone. Also our regional scorekeeper is in NJ, so she would know of someone too. :D Let me know, if ya decide to do it, I will email our scorekeeper, and put a post on our show board. :D I myself, would not even consider, taking a kitty that far, that gets upset, just riding to the vets, especially, if it is a senior kitty, mol, but, then again, I am on the overly pickey side. :-h Best of luck, whatever you decide to do. =;
  • janice lancasterjanice lancaster temple gaMember Posts: 2,505
    edited 22 January, 2011
    Your vet can give you a mild 'happy pill' for the nervous kitty. You never know, only ever going anywhere when it's going to be the vet's office is bound to have a bad effect. Before I went to North Carolina, Meowma took me for a couple of three minute trips to Wendys for a vanilla Frosty. So, while I whine for a while, I'm not overly upset to ride. I get to go 'on vacation' again next weekend, and my human aunt is going too so I'll get double petties.
  • Elizabeth KElizabeth K ChicagoMember Posts: 11,036
    edited 23 January, 2011
    I would say if you can find a better petsitter that would be a good idea. Travel can be very stressful, especially if your cats are older and not used to it.
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