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Need advice when traveling and leaving the cats by themselves

Cassie HartCassie Hart NashvilleMember Posts: 2
edited 23 July, 2012 in Cats & Travel
My husband and I love to travel, but usually it's only a night or two and we just give our two kitties extra food and water. They are a little mad when we come home, but they manage. We are going on a 4 night trip in a few weeks and I have a friend of mine stopping by one night to check on them. We are also trying to plan an eight day trip at the end of the year and I am already freaking out about leaving them all alone for both trips. I hate leaving them and it causes me to enjoy the trip less because I feel so guilty. My kitties usually sleep with me and hang out with me most of the night when I get home from work. How do you deal with feeling bad about leaving them for so long and how do you handle their care? We live about 4 hours from any family and that is too much to ask our friends to do. Thanks!


  • Arna CohenArna Cohen Member Posts: 565
    edited 6 July, 2012
    I don't recommend leaving your kitties alone for four nights and especially not for eight. What if the become ill or injured during that time? And can you imagine the litter boxes after that amount of time? I have a sitter come in once a day. You should, too, or at least every other day to make sure they're all right and give them fresh food and water and scoop the boxes.
  • Cassie HartCassie Hart NashvilleMember Posts: 2
    edited 6 July, 2012
    I did not say I was leaving them alone for 4 or 8 days. I am having a friend come in on the 4 days, but I was asking for advice on what other kitty mommies do when they are gone for long trips. I feel so guilty not being there myself but I plan on having someone look in on them. I am just looking for advice.
  • SammySammy Member Posts: 3,391
    edited 6 July, 2012
    Hi Chai :-h Our Mom also feels guilty whenever she has to leave us for overnight trips, I guess that goes along with being a pet parent. We have a relative who comes by 1-2 times a day to feed us and scoop our litter boxes when the pawrents are away, and we have had a pet sitter on a couple of occasions when the relative was not available. Mom is more comfortable leaving us in the care of someone we know, but we had a good experience with the pet sitters, so we wouldn't hesitate to use one again. Don't know if you have friends with pets who can recommend a pet sitter? You can also check with your vet's office, they can often recommend someone.
  • Arna CohenArna Cohen Member Posts: 565
    edited 6 July, 2012
    Sorry, Chai, my mom misunderstood your post. she says she always feels guilty when she leaves on long trips and thinks about us all the time and can't wait to get home to us. When she does get back, we ignore her as punishment. She's had the same cat sitter for several years and knows he's very reliable, so that eases her mind when she's away. Mom used to do cat sitting years ago, and she made sure to go beyond just feeding and scooping. She would play with the cats that wanted to play or just sit on the couch and let them sit with her for a while and get loved. We three, however, don't like strangers, so the faster the cat guy leaves, the better!
  • Dayna HickmanDayna Hickman ChesterMember Posts: 2,149
    edited 12 July, 2012
    Hi! Ie three dogs and two cats! We have a doggie door, so when we take a trip we have a neighbor (a young guy, my DH's cousin) stop by twice a day (morning and evening) and feed+check on everyone. We ask that he: 1. Feed twice a day 2. Walk the dogs once a day (or play with them in the yard) 3. Clean the cat box once a day And then we give him some money. :) It works great for us!!!!
  • Debra HoffmannDebra Hoffmann RidgewoodMember Posts: 1,174
    edited 13 July, 2012
    I wouldn't ever leave them-at this point, not even overnight. I ahve medically fragile cats and a rambunctious 1 year old. Do yourself a favor, speak with your vets office and see if anyone there does petsitting. My wonderful and extremely fantastic Vet tech helped us out. If you are in the Queens NY area, I can give you information on who I've used, and liked. I believe that having somoene you know who's 'cat oriented' will give a good peace of mind.
  • Cathy AudorffCathy Audorff Janesville, WisMember Posts: 3,812 ✭✭
    edited 13 July, 2012
    When my mom leaves us for more than an overnight away, she has a friend from her work who comes once a day to feed, check water, and make sure we are all okay. She leaves emergency numbers handy (place where she is going, cell phone, vet's number) and her friend often stays to watch a movie with us (she leaves him treats in the refrigerator so he stays a while). If he isn't going to be available, she has the number of a service that takes care of pets. Maybe you should check and see if there are any qualified pet sitter services in your area? They usually cost a bit, but they check on your pets and usually are qualified to do things like give medicines, if your pet takes something regularly. Remember to look into them before using them, to make sure they are good.
  • BambergcatBambergcat Member Posts: 838 ✭✭✭
    edited 14 July, 2012
    We just went away for a week. I got my husband's sister a plane ticket to come here. She has grand kids here so that works well. Then, I have my neighbor's adult daughter who lives right next door to come in. I do have a daughter but she lives an hour away and is very busy. I do pay the neighbor's daughter money to come in. I leave emergency numbers- the vet's number, an all night pet hospital's number, my daughter's number, my cell number, and the poison center's number. I write all instructions down. My cell phone number and email address are given too. I leave enough food for four more days than we are going. I also leave all play toys where the sitter can use them as well as the cats. If I worry before leaving, they go to the vet for a check up. It helps with peace of mind. Then, on my bed when I leave, I leave some of my clothes, not many that have my smell on them. It helps them, believe it. I do leave extra litter for the sitter. If you don't have a sitter now, check Angie's list or a recommendation from a friend. Have them sit for a practice run.....Then, enjoy your trip knowing that you covered all bases.....We had a wonderful time.....and cats did well even in the heat wave. I left instructions about air conditioning too. Since the cat sitter in next door, she turned it on for the hot hours. With a medical cat, I hire someone who can give the meds. ....
  • melissa muttermelissa mutter West ChesterMember Posts: 10,189
    edited 15 July, 2012
    You can find professional pet sitters in your area here National Association of Professional Pet Sitters or PSI
  • Joanna EvansJoanna Evans Cape TownMember Posts: 28
    edited 21 July, 2012
    I feel you, I am the worst, I worry and stress permanently, I cured it by putting my kitties in a cattery while I am away, an excellent one hat is clean and I know the owner and an trust her. Else, I would go mad on my holiday knowing they ar home alone... Honestly... Us cat moms :)
  • Jennifer NovakJennifer Novak DC (But my heart is still in BMember Posts: 595
    edited 21 July, 2012
    My landlady has always watched my cats for me over the years when I travel. It's easy for me because she lives right upstairs, and she loves animals. She feeds twice a day, scoops and she even sticks around for a little while to play with them. It also works well because both of my cats -- Coop now and my bridge baby Felix -- both enjoyed her company. But I get nuts when I have to leave Coop. So we designate a time for her to call me -- usually every other day if I'm on a long trip. And I automatically know that nothing is wrong if I haven't heard from her in the off-times. Also, if I'm traveling somewhere where my cell phone won't work, like to Europe, I'll tell her to use my phone and call the hotel when I know I'll be in the room. That way, she doesn't have to worry about the phone bill. Sometimes, just to hear that they're eating and pooping and playing makes you feel better. I know it's helped with my anxiety over leaving Coop when I travel. I also leave her the phone number of our vet AND the phone number of a good friend of mine who has cats and doesn't live too far away, just in case of an emergency. Hope this helps! Purrs, Coop's Mom
  • Sarah ClarkSarah Clark Ruston, AustinMember Posts: 689
    edited 23 July, 2012
    Way back when we were free feeding dry food I went on a 3 day trip and left two cats at home. they had 2 full feeders of food, 2 gallons of water (one gallon in each water feeder) and 4 litter boxes. They were fine. This was also when the weather was mild and we didnt have to worry that the power would go out while its 100 degrees out. But once we started timed meals, and especially now that they are wet timed meals- they go to the cat hotel for our trips. I still worry, but the nice thing is I can call the pet hotel and they will tell me how they are doing and on one occasion took the phone to them so I could talk to them. Annabelle wasnt eating very much but after I talked to her on the phone she got her appetite back more. Each time we have moved they end up spending the night at the pet hotel also for moving day. Its less stressful and I dont have to worry about any escapees. especially when we have people helping us to move. What I did this last time was we first brought them here to the empty house so they could smell it out and get a feel of it. We had this place for a few days before the actual 'move' date so we made a few trips over here with the cats. I even bought a new cat tree and it was the first furnature to be brought into the house- along with a litter box.So while we brought in small things (clothes and things that easily go into the car) the cats got to roam around the new place. Then after the big move, when we picked them up from the pet hotel we brought them straight here to the new place and they settled in right away. all thier stuff was here (they checked!) Anyways I went off on that tangent to say that I do love using the pet hotel services (we have a local petsmart pet hotel that I really like). They even put up with my strange request: I bring my own jug of water because I dont give them tap water at home and I dont want the water to make them more stressed out. Anyways I hope you remeber on vacation to enjoy yourself. Dont be afraid to call and check in with your pet sitter or with your pet hotel either. Leaving some clothes that smell like you is always a good idea. I carry a couple toys in my pockets for a day or two then leave the toys with the girls so they have my scent.
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