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Holiday Kitten Care: Leave Them Home?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone! I'm new to the site (so glad I found it!) and will jump right in with this:

I adopted two kittens about three months ago (they are now 5 and 6 months old). My boyfriend lives with us, so they are like his babies too, and we are at odds about what to do over the holidays. There will be 5 days where both of us will be gone. The bf wants to take them to his home, which is a five hour drive each way and is home to two cats already. I feel like uprooting them for 5 days is a terrible idea and would prefer to hire a service to visit them each day we won't be there. It's less expensive than I expected, I have good references from friends and the kittens would be able to stay at home.

The bf's big concern is that he doesn't want them to feel abandoned; my big concern is that I want them to be where they feel safe and comfortable, even if it means being a bit lonesome for a few days. I feel especially strongly about this because of our experience bringing them home. Alex adapted very easily, and I'm sure he would be okay in almost any situation. Evie, on the other hand, had a more difficult time. She didn't come out of her safe corner for nearly two weeks unless it was very quite and nobody was moving. It took almost two months for her to feel fully comfortable and show us the full spectrum of her sweet personality. She's a very sensitive, cautious kitten, and I worry that putting her through that would scar her for life!

If anyone has input on this situation I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks for taking the time to read this long post
post #2 of 12
I'd leave them at home for sure. Five hours in a car is a LOT, and would also greatly limit your freedom while traveling (restaurants, rest stops, etc.) Any time you move pets, there is the increased risk of losing them (door left open-panicked cat--you get the picture.)

Good luck with your decision.

post #3 of 12
I also vote for leaving them at home and hiring someone to come in 2x a day to check on them, clean up on them. Cats don't adjust to change that well, dogs do a little bit better and I think they travel better, too, IMHO.

My BF always hired someone to look after his cat - a tech from the vet practice he used. Cato knew her and liked her and yes, he would be a little lonely, but not as stressed as he would have been had he been boarded or in a strange place.

I'm sure the real experts (I'm not) on this site will have some good suggestions for you.
post #4 of 12
IMO its too much going on during the holidays to be carting them off to strange places with strange cats (takes a LOT longer then 5 days to adjust to new cats).

So I vote for leaving them home (they have each other to play with) and hiring someone to come in and feed/clean pans and maybe play with them for 1/2 hr or so.
post #5 of 12
Another vote for leaving them home. They have each other for company most of the time and if you have someone trustworthy to come and check in on them then that really is the safest approach. There are way too many things that can go wrong taking them with you on a trip.
post #6 of 12
I also definitely think you should leave them home. From my experience kitties get much more distressed from travel than from being alone for a few days. As long as they are well-cared for by a petsitter, they should be fine staying at home.
post #7 of 12
have they every traveled before?

my 8 month old Fiona comes with me when i go out of town to visit the bf. its about a 2 hr car ride both ways. no other cats there

she's also came home with me for a week. 7 hr car ride, 1 new cat.

she is the most adaptable cat i've ever seen. she LOVES the car (has one of the seats on the passenger seat), LOVES new people, and LOVES other cats. she has attachment issues (was fostered before) and there isnt anyway i would leave her home alone while i'm gone.

i would say it depends on the actual cats. if they havent traveled before i'd say leave them with someone to look over them while youre gone
post #8 of 12
PIKate - I'm echoing the opinions of the other posts. We are in the same dilemma as you are. We have to leave the kitties at home for a week while we're celebrating Christmas with family. Ours are going to be nearly 6 months at the time, but I hate leaving them alone and it's the first time we're doing it. Hopefully it will work out with someone checking on them 2 times a day. Best of luck to you
post #9 of 12
We're going to be gone for a week over the holidays and my husband and I were having the same discussion about what to do with our new kitty...

My folks live an hour away, so over Thanksgiving we took her with us to visit them as a dry run to see if we thought she'd do okay if we left her with them. Long story short, it was a disaster!! She cried the whole way there and back, and the entire time was very frightened of being around both new surroundings and new people. I spent the whole trip feeling very anxious and worried - MUCH more than I would have been if we had just left her alone with someone checking in, and we were even there with her. We decided right then that she would be more comfortable in her own home. At least if she's afraid of the new people coming by, she knows all the hiding spots here!!

Everything I've read suggests it's always better to leave them in their familiar environment if at all possible, but I'm a big believer in trying things and finding out what works for you - all cats are different. Hopefully you'll find something that makes all of you as comfortable as possible - good luck!
post #10 of 12
i say leave them at home. my friend is a vet tech and pet sits as a side job so people don't have to board their dogs and cats when they are away, it's just easier on them to stay in their own home.
post #11 of 12
Riley did WONDERFUL travelling and visiting over thanksgiving. He enjoyed the car ride, and settled right in to the inlaw's house as if he had always lived there. I plan to take him when I travel for Christmas for 2 weeks also.

However, for your two, I suggest leaving them home with someone to come in and care for them each day. Especially if one of them is a bit nervous anyways, and there will be strange cats at your destination. If you were going to be gone for weeks, it might be different, but for 5 days I think they will be better off at home together.
post #12 of 12
I'm also voting for leaving them home, but for a different reason. I am going to be the voice of the kitties who's home you are "invading" for 5 days.

My house is my cats' sanctuary. I would be really upset if someone coming to spend a week with me decided to bring their animal with them! My blind friend is not even allowed to bring his service animal to my house! I know she is fine with cats...she likes to chase them but she doesn't eat them. But my cats are not used to dogs and so dogs are not allowed in my house!
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