Even though we often want to bring our beloved kitties with us on our travels, it isn't always feasible. Today, our Fort Collins vets share several options for places you can leave your cat while on vacation.
Where To Leave Your Cat While on Vacation
We understand how hard it can be to find a place for your cat when you are away. Do you leave them at home by themselves or board them at a kennel? While most cats are fine being left alone for one night, kittens under four months old and some specific cat breeds are like dogs and need companionship.
Leaving Your Cat At-Home Alone
As stated earlier most cats will be fine being left by themselves for one night and might not even notice you are gone, if they are given enough food, toys, and water. However, young cats under four months old and breeds such as sphynx, Scottish folds, and rag dogs, do best with human company. Kittens younger than four months shouldn't be left on their own for more than four hours.
We don't recommend leaving your cat alone longer than 24 hours because cats are social creatures that need their owner's attention to feel safe and comfortable. They rely on you to make sure all of their care requirements are being met.
Have a Cat Sitter Watch Your Kitty
If you want to leave your cat at home while you are on vacation, a good option is to have a cat sitter come in every day to clean the litter box, provide your kitty with fresh food and water, and offer them some cuddles and quality one-on-one playtime.
This option provides your cat with less stress because they are in their own environment and get to use their own litter box, and everything is where they are used to it being. This is also a cost-effective choice, especially if you have more than one kitty.
You can either have a friend or family member that your cat knows come in and take care of them or have a professional come in and watch your four-legged companion.
Having someone your cat is already familiar and comfortable with could also help lessen their stress levels and make them feel calmer. But on the flip side, a professional sitter knows how to properly take care of a cat and can ensure every requirement is being met
When having a cat sitter take care of your pet, make sure they are informed and understand all of your cat's habits, behaviors, and needs, because every kitty is different. Be sure to tell the sitter what time of day your cat eats, the specific amount of food they require, your kitty's energy level, if they have to be given medications at specific times, etc. We recommend providing your sitter with a guide to caring for your cat so they know exactly how to meet all of your pet's needs.
Have Your Cat Stay at a Friend's or Relative's
If your cat is comfortable going to another place you may be able to leave them at a friend's or relative's home.
The benefit of this option is that your kitty will be constantly supervised and given more attention. But, if your friend or family member already has a cat that yours doesn't get along with or if they don't like the person they are staying with, this can backfire and make your cat even more stressed than if they were left by themselves.
If you want to leave your cat at someone else's house we suggest dropping them off several days before you leave as a trial stay, so you can make sure your kitty is getting along alright. If this doesn't work out, you will still have time to find another option for your furry companion.
Also make sure the person you are leaving your cat with is able to meet all of your kitty's needs and is willing and eager to perform the task, if not, you may want to find another option.
A Boarding Facility (Kennels)
Lots of boarding facilities and kennels aren't just for dogs, many also offer services for cats. In addition to this, boarding is probably the best place to leave your cat when you are on vacation.
Boarding facilities should be run by professionals who make sure your cat always has food and water, is supervised at all times, and is getting quality one-on-one time. We highly recommend calling the facility well in advance to book your cat's stay to ensure they have availability for your furry companion.
Lots of cats have separation anxiety and can become stressed if they are left alone with strangers in an unfamiliar setting, but thankfully there are steps you can take to lessen your kitty's fears, such as bringing along their favorite toys, blankets, bed, or a piece of your clothing. You might also be able to do a trial stay, to make sure your cat gets along well at the facility and help them get used to the setting.
In addition to this, you should clearly communicate with the facility, to be sure they fully understand all of your cat's needs and that they offer all of the boarding services you and your cat require.
It's imperative that you are comfortable with the kennel you have chosen - ensure the place you are selecting is well run, quiet, and clean. See if the facility you are opting for is cat friendly with a separate boarding area for cats and dogs, and ensure your kitty's kennel is large enough for the litter box to be kept in a separate area from their food and bed. You might also want to check if it has features such as a window for your cat to watch outside and climate-controlled kennels.
We suggest evaluating the place your cat will be staying in from their perspective, to make sure your kitty will be comfortable and well cared for in your absence.
At South Mesa Veterinary Hospital our boarding facility is cat friendly, and our qualified and compassionate veterinary team will make sure all of your kitty's needs are being met. We are happy to answer any questions you might have about our services and offer trial stays to ensure we are the perfect fit for your feline companion.
The Benefits of Cat Boarding
Below we have listed the benefits of leaving your cat at a high-quality, professional boarding facility while you are on vacation:
- You can call them to see how your kitty is doing
- The staff will notice if your cat is not eating or if they are sick
- Your cat will be surprised their entire stay
- The staff can make sure your cat's medications are administered properly and on time
- Your kitty's kennel will be cleaned daily
- Good kennels offer calming and relaxing environments for cats
- Their feeding schedule will be the same as it is at home
In the end, it is your decision where you decide to leave your kitty while you are away. Take some time to carefully weigh your options and be sure you pick the option that makes the most sense for you and your furry friend.