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Should they stay or should they come?

Marcie BrimerMarcie Brimer Member Posts: 3
edited 29 March, 2015 in Cats & Travel
Hello there! :^: I am a graduate student with 2 very sweet 1.5-year-old kitties. Winter break is coming up and I will be going to visit family for 2 weeks. I am considering taking the cats with me this time. In the past when I have gone on trips I have left them at home and a super wonderful cat-sitter has come to care for them once a day. They are familiar with her and like her, but they are pretty shy and I know they are more stressed than usual when I leave them. The longest I've left them so far has been for 10 days. Since this trip will be a full 2 weeks I was thinking about bringing them with me. However, I am worried that this will cause them more stress than being left alone with the cat sitter for 2 weeks. They would have to put up with 2 8.5-hour car rides and would have to get used to a brand new environment (my in-laws' house). By the time they start getting used to the new place it would nearly be time for us to go back home. I can't decide! Of course I would love to have them come with me. I miss them a ton when I leave. But, ultimately, I want to do what's best for them! |^| |^| What would you do?


  • Sharon DaltonSharon Dalton Member Posts: 3,728
    edited 15 December, 2014
    You must not be the first person to be in this quandry. I'll just give you the benefit of my similar experience. I'm a senior citizen with a vacation home in the mountains, about a 5 to 6 hour drive from home; when I visit there, all three house cats go with me. I admit: they hate the trip, but they're good travelers. They've all been doing this for many years (7,12,13), so they know the ropes. First, make sure your cats are chipped AND wear a harness with every bit of info on it. MIne wear their rabies tags, their insurance tags, their i.d. tags. On the i.d. tags, I have both my home and vacation numbers; you should put your number and your parents' number. And get a small dog harness for each of them, with a leash; do NOT get a figure-8 harness, which seem to be popular, because the cat can be hanged if it catches up on something. I'd recommend the largest carriers you can fit into your vehicle - one for each cat - big enough to hold a bed and a small litter box. You can buy throw-away boxes cheaply. I find that mine don't generally eat or drink on the trips, but your trip is longer, so it would probably be a good idea to stop somewhere and offer water - saved from a can of tuna would be good, entice them to drink. Be certain to leave teh leashes attached at all times (small leashes are soft - the cat can lie on them without discomfort - and keep hold of the leash when opening the carrier. When you get to your parentes', put the cats, still in their carriers, into your room; leave a light on if it's dark. Put your own things there, close the door and go greet your family. The cats will hear your voice, and that will reassure them. After a while, go in and open the carrier doors. Put down a *little* food and some water; reassure them - and leave them to explore, making sure to close the bedroom door. By the next morning, you should be able to leave the bedroom door open and let them explore the new surroundings. Mine have made the trip to the mountains so many times now that they're just as much home there as here. If you take the cats now, while they're young, and get them used to their "vacation" home, it will be the same as home to them. One caveat: they might not like traveling - mine don't - they hide if i change clothes in the morning, for that's a sign that I'm going out and it might mean THE TRIP! Some cats like it; some don't. YOu'll just have to see how yours are. All that being said, cats do tend to be territorial; I read somewhere, long ago, that dogs are attached to people, but cats are attached to places. I have no idea if this is true, but just put it out there for your consideration. It might be that your cats will be less stressed in their own environment with a catsitter whom they know and you trust. The thing is - we miss them so! I was in hospital for 2 nights last week; even in my drugged state, I missed my Althea. It's your choice, of course, but perhpos making the cats 'world travelers' now will make life easier for them. Whatever you decide, God bless you for caring so deeply.
  • Garett Marvel WilsonGarett Marvel Wilson Member Posts: 27
    edited 25 January, 2015
    I honestly would leave them with the cat sitter, if it just 2 weeks long visit, even though it seems long actually, but since cat don’t like traveling and changing leaving them where they have get used to, is in my opinion the best choice.
  • Ron TitusRon Titus HaliburtonMember Posts: 4
    edited 2 February, 2015
    I think it is much better to leave them home, cats are creatures of habit and this trip would really disrupt that. But only you know their personalities so go with your gut feeling on what is best for them.
  • kayla claytonkayla clayton Member Posts: 11
    edited 29 March, 2015
    Never trust a stranger with your pets. If it is at all possible, have a family member take care of them, but there are too many stories of pets being killed by a sitter. A close friend of mine had their cat looked after by a sitter, the sitter opened up a window (with no screen on it) and her beloved baby fell 8 stories down. She survived, but is crippled for life.
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