Leaving your cat for a prolonged period, like three months, can be a challenging situation. Cats are creatures of habit and value stability. If you’re planning an extended trip, you should ensure your cat is taken care of physically, mentally, and emotionally. Let’s dive into how to manage your cat’s well-being when you’re away.
What about if you’re going away for less than 3 months?
Even if you are going away for a shorter period than three months, similar precautions and arrangements need to be made. Cats, like all pets, require daily feeding, fresh water, and attention. Consider the options of enlisting a trusted friend, hiring a pet sitter, or utilizing a cattery service.
Getting someone to come over and check on your cats
The best option when you’re leaving for an extended period is to arrange for someone to check on your cat regularly. This could be a trusted friend, neighbor, or professional pet sitter. They should not only feed your cat but also spend some time playing with and comforting them.
A cattery is a boarding facility specifically for cats. These can be great options for long-term care. They provide safe, secure, and engaging environments where cats receive daily care and attention from professionals. However, some cats may find the change of environment stressful, and not all cats get along well in communal spaces.
Can you leave your cats alone for a few days?
Yes, but ideally not for more than 24-48 hours. While cats are more independent than dogs, they still require fresh food and water daily, and their litter boxes need to be cleaned regularly. Also, cats enjoy companionship and can become lonely or anxious when left alone for too long.
Do cats forget their owners?
Cats have been shown to remember their owners even after extended periods. They recognize and remember the sound of their owner’s voice and scent. However, each cat is different, and reactions may vary when you return.
Do cats get lonely if they are left alone?
Yes, cats can get lonely when left alone for extended periods. Despite their reputation for being independent, cats are social animals. They form strong bonds with their human family and can miss them when they are away.
Is it beneficial to have two cats?
Yes, having two cats can be beneficial, especially when leaving them for an extended period. The cats can provide each other with companionship and stimulation, reducing feelings of loneliness and boredom.
How can you keep your cat entertained while you’re out?
There are several ways to keep your cat entertained during your absence:
Interactive toys can keep your cat engaged for hours. Puzzle toys or toys with hidden treats can stimulate your cat’s hunting instincts and keep them busy.
Cat trees are excellent for providing physical exercise and mental stimulation. They offer a space for scratching, climbing, and lounging.
Asking a friend (or neighbor) to come in and play with them
Enlisting a friend or neighbor to come over and play with your cat is a great way to provide social interaction and break up the monotony of your absence.
Cat puzzle feeders
Cat puzzle feeders are toys that also dispense food. They challenge your cat mentally and slow down their eating, making mealtime more engaging.
Do cats enjoy their own company?
Cats can be content in their own company, but they also need social interaction and stimulation. Too much solitude can lead to boredom, loneliness, and potentially, behavior problems.
How can you find good cat sitters locally?
Recommendations from friends
Friends, especially those with pets of their own, are great resources for finding trusted cat sitters. They can share their personal experiences and provide honest recommendations.
Recommendations from your vet
Your veterinarian is likely to know reliable pet sitters in your area. They can provide professional referrals based on their knowledge and experience.
Once you’ve identified potential sitters, check their references. Reach out to their past clients to understand their experiences.
Does your cat’s age make a difference when leaving them alone?
Yes, a cat’s age can impact how well they cope with being left alone. Young kittens and older cats require more care and attention. They might not be as independent or adaptable as middle-aged cats.
Should I cat-proof my home if it’s alone?
Absolutely. Before leaving, ensure your home is safe for your cat. Remove potential hazards, secure loose wires, and make sure all windows and doors are secure.
Will my cat think I abandoned him if I go on vacation?
While cats might not understand the concept of “vacation” or “abandonment,” they can sense changes in their routine and environment. If you’re gone for a long time, they might become anxious or stressed.
Do cats get anxious when you leave?
Yes, cats can experience separation anxiety. Symptoms can include excessive meowing, urinating outside the litter box, and excessive grooming.
Why does my cat cry when I leave?
Cats cry when their owners leave due to separation anxiety or loneliness. It’s their way of expressing distress.
Q: Do mother cats remember their kittens?
A: Mother cats do remember their kittens. They can recognize their scent and will show familiarity and preference towards them even after long periods.
Q: Is it better to have two female cats together?
A: It largely depends on the individual cats and their personalities. However, in general, having two cats can provide companionship and help alleviate loneliness when you’re not at home.
In conclusion, leaving your cat for an extended period requires planning and preparation. By considering your cat’s needs and making suitable arrangements, you can ensure they remain safe, happy, and healthy during your absence.