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Where Can I Leave My Cat While On Vacation?

While we may want to take our cats on vacation, that may not always be feasible. Our Marina del Rey veterinarians have shared some options for places where you can leave your feline friend while away.

Where To Leave Your Cat While on Vacation

We understand that finding a suitable place for your cat while you are away can be challenging. You might be confused between leaving your cat at home or boarding them at a kennel. It is worth noting that while most cats can handle being left alone for a night, kittens under four months old and some specific cat breeds are more social and require companionship. Additionally, cats with medical needs or those that are recovering from surgery will need extra attention and potentially specific care. 

Leaving Your Cat At Home Alone

As mentioned earlier, most cats can handle being left alone for a night and may not even realize that you are gone as long as they are provided with enough food, water, and toys. However, young cats under four months of age and certain breeds such as Scottish Folds, Sphynx, and Ragdolls require human company for their well-being. Kittens under the age of four months should not be left unattended for more than four hours.

We strongly advise against leaving your cat alone for more than 24 hours as they are social creatures that require their owner's attention to feel secure and comfortable. They depend on you to ensure that all of their needs are being met. This is doubly true for cats with medical conditions who require extra care and attention, such as administration of medications on a certain schedule.

Have a Cat Sitter Watch Your Kitty

If you plan to vacation and leave your cat at home, hiring a cat sitter is a good option. A cat sitter can come in every day to clean the litter box, provide fresh food and water to your kitty, and offer them some cuddles and one-on-one playtime. This option is less stressful for your cat because they are in their own environment and can use their own litter box. Moreover, it is a cost-effective choice, especially if you have more than one cat.

You can ask a friend or family member your cat is already familiar with to take care of them or hire a professional sitter. Having someone familiar with your cat could help reduce their stress levels and make them feel more comfortable. However, a professional sitter knows how to care for a cat properly and can ensure all their requirements are met.

When hiring a cat sitter, make sure to provide them with all the necessary information about your cat's habits, behaviors, and needs. Every cat is unique, so make sure to tell the sitter about the time of day your cat eats, the amount of food they require, their energy level, and whether they need to be given medications at specific times. We recommend providing your sitter with a guide to caring for your cat so they know exactly how to meet your pet's needs.

Have Your Cat Stay at a Friend's or Relative's

If your cat is comfortable with going to another place, you might be able to leave them at a friend's or relative's home. The benefit of this option is that your furry friend will be constantly supervised and given more attention. However, if your friend or family member already has a cat that your cat doesn't get along with or doesn't like the person they are staying with, this may backfire and make your cat even more stressed than if they were left alone.

If you decide to leave your cat at someone else's house, we suggest dropping them off several days before your departure as a trial stay, so you can make sure your kitty is getting along alright. This way, if it doesn't work out, you will still have time to find another option for your furry companion.

Moreover, make sure the person you are leaving your cat with can 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 ensure your cat always has food and water, is supervised at all times, and gets 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.

Many cats suffer from separation anxiety, which can cause them to become stressed when left alone with strangers in an unfamiliar environment. However, you can take steps to reduce your kitty's fears. You can bring along their favorite toys, blankets, beds, or a piece of your clothing to make them feel more comfortable. You can also do a trial stay to help them get used to the setting and make sure they get along well at the facility.

It's important to communicate clearly with the boarding facility to ensure they understand your cat's needs and offer all of the necessary services. It would be best if you chose a kennel that you are comfortable with and that is well-run, quiet, and clean. Look for a facility with a separate boarding area for cats and dogs, and ensure your cat's kennel is large enough for the litter box to be kept in a separate area from their food and bed.

Check if the kennel has features such as a window for your cat to look outside and climate-controlled kennels. These factors can make a big difference in your cat's experience at the boarding facility.

From their perspective, we suggest evaluating the place your cat will be staying in to make sure your kitty will be comfortable and well cared for in your absence.

The Benefits of Boarding Your Cat

Here are the benefits of boarding your cat at a professional facility while 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 supervised during 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
  • Your cat's 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.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Contact our veterinary clinic at Shane Veterinary Medical Center today if your cat needs their vaccinations updated before staying at a boarding facility.

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