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Leaving cats alone

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Just wondered how you all felt about leaving 2 cats alone for 2 or 3 days at a time. I have done it a few times already, but I'm just wondering if it's irresponsible of me or if it was "accepted" among cat owners. I have an automatic feeder that will dispense 2 meals (canned food) and they have access to all the dry cat food that they would want. I also put out an extra litter box and a few bowls of water.
Has anyone left their cats for this long or longer? Is it really a terrible thing to do?
I have to do it again next week and each time this comes up I wonder if it's the 'right' thing to do. The Cat Sitters charge $40.00 a day around here ($20.00 for each cat) So, I only use them when I'm going away for a week or more. And it's not like they stay at my house, she only comes in once a day, so what's the difference if I use the automatic feeders or have a sitter. Sorry this is so long. Any suggestions, advice or criticisms are welcome ,

Thank you!

post #2 of 19
We travel all the time, so that is the main reason I got a second cat. The company is good, and I don't feel so bad when I am gone for the weekend. If I have to be gone for more than four days, I have a neighbor come in and feed daily, and change the boxes for me. Leaving a single cat alone is much more cruel than multiple cats.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your response. So, what I am doing is ok? And I can leave them for 4 days without worrying? Should I be concerned that I can only give them 2 cans of food during that time? They usually split a can in the morning and another at night. So, they would really have to rely on the dry food to keep them full. Is that ok?

Thanks again for responding!

post #4 of 19
Hi. I just registered for this, so this is my first time. I have just been wondering the same thing. In a couple of weeks, I have to go on a business trip for 5 days and then 5 days later, I'm going on vacation for another 5 days! My mother does stop in on the days I'm not going to be home at all, but I still feel extremely guilty leaving my 2 cats alone. They do fight occasionally, but apparently only when I'm home. They're not exactly best friends, but I guess they keep each company somewhat. I always wonder if it really is that upsetting for them or do they just sleep all day. If I've had to go away for 2 or 3 days, I'll leave them alone with large amounts of dry food, etc. If anyone has experience with this, please let me know. Thanks.
post #5 of 19
Usually, my cats get a spoonful of wet in the morning and dry all day. In the past, about a year ago, I only had 1 cat, and he got a half can of wet daily. When we went on trips, he got a full bowl of dry only. He did okay with that. One thing that I do notice, is that he eats a lot more when we are away. Once I got another cat, I bought a feeder for dry food. It looks like a little water cooler bottle. It holds quite a bit of dry, about 6 cups, and seems to be okay.

We've been a cat family for over 6 years now, and haven't slowed down in our travelling. We are gone for two weeks at the end of the year, various weekends, and a week in May. Sometimes we take more trips during the year, depending on my husband's mood. It took me about a year to convince my husband to get the first cat, because he thought that with our travel schedule, it would be cruel to leave the cat alone. After we got our first cat, and took a trip, he saw that the cat was fine. A little clingy when we got back, he slept on my head/face with his paws wrapped around my neck, but he was okay.

My husband travels a lot, and the older cat won't have anything to do with him for his first few hours home. I think he's mad that my husband came home and took his side of the bed. Last summer, we got T.C. and now the older one, Nigel, has company when we are gone. I've noticed that when we get back, Nigel isn't so clingy anymore. Even though they are not bosom buddies, they know that there is another body in the house.

It still doesn't hurt to have someone come in once in a while, give them a few treats, and check on the condition of the house. Sometimes they leave "presents". But all in all, it's been better since we got Nigel a little "sister".
post #6 of 19
Thank you so much for your reply. I think I feel better about it now. I usually only went on long trips about once a year, but I guess they'll be OK. I just wish they could talk!
post #7 of 19
We have 6 cats and we take one long vacation away from home a year - usually about 9 days. We leave them alone the entire time - my mom usually stops in once. We leave A LOT of food and even more WATER! We've come home to a trashed house once or twice, but... the only bad part is that after 5 days I start to obsess about it, what if... the house burned down (which is my greatest fear), what if, etc. So if you are comfortable with it, your cats are healthy and you leave more than enough food and water (that they can't spill) I wouldn't feel guilty about it...

Hope that helps!

Heather V. Havel
Michigan - USA
post #8 of 19
The only time I don't leave them alone for a few days is if we're gone for more than a weekend. Since I have someone to pick up my mail anyway, I also have them come and change the water and the boxes daily. If it's only a weekend, (two nights max), then I feel okay to leave them alone.

I, too, start to worry after about 5 days. We take a long trip once a year for two weeks. I miss them more than I worry about them. It begins to feel strange not to have at least one cat sleeping on the bed with us.
post #9 of 19
We leave Sammy home alone, if we're only gone over a weekend, but we still have a neighbor check on him every day.

This year we're going away for two weeks, and a friend is going to house/cat sit for us. I wouldn't even consider boarding him, he deserves to stay in his own home.

He's the first pet I've ever had, so I guess I'm a bit over-protective of him. He's not the most friendly of cats, but he needs to have someone watch out for him.

post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
I know what you mean about "what if"... That's all I start thinking about is "the house definitely burned down" It's crazy I know.. but I can't help it.

Thanks to everyone for all of their tips and suggestions...I feel so much better now, and will 'try' to have a good time this weekend and not obsess 'too much' about them... ;o)

Thanks again,

post #11 of 19
Thanks so much, everyone. I do leave a large dog bowl filled with dry food and one for water. But even though my mother stops in, I am always imagining the worst like a fire or someone breaking in and they get out (I don't care about my stuff, just my cats!). They've never been outside. I just feel like a bad "mother" leaving them for so long. But since they can't speak for themselves, we'll have to assume they find "cat things" to do when we're away. They do make a huge mess when I'm away, like playing with toys they haven't touched in months!
post #12 of 19
Sounds like there are the same fears out there about our children getting out of the house in case of an emergency. I have my cats collared and tagged, as well as computer chipped. If they ever get out, they will have a good chance of getting back to me. During the earthquake here in the 80's, there were hundreds of animals in shelters with no owners to claim, as many thought they were gone for good. The cats with the collars and/or chips made their way home. After that, I made sure that my children were tagged and chipped. Also, I am getting a sticker to put on my front door that tells emergency crews that there are pets inside. I read an article about how fire fighters do not know what is in a house, but if they see that sticker outside of your door, they know to go in and look.

With these precautions, I don't worry too much about emergencies, just that I miss them.
post #13 of 19
I leave Kitty alone for a couple of days at a time several times throughout the year. I have tried taking her to stay with friends once or twice, but it never works out (made the attempts several days before we left at a time I could go with her to see how sge would react. She is kind of antisocial with other animals and goes ballistic if she sees any . the only people I would consider leaving her with have a cat of their own, so I never had any luck with this)

We leave the radio on for her so there is some background noise for her, and a couple of lights so she can choose dark or light rooms. Extra food, and I fill the water dish she hates to use and leave the bathtub faucet on a light trickle. Change the litterbox right before leaving. Ask a friend to stop in and check on her if she will be alone for more than a weekend.

When we get home, she will be all lovey-dovey towards my hsband and the kids, but she ignores me for at least a few hours or even a full day if it was a long trip . She doesn't eat that much when she is home alone, but will pig out after we are back!
post #14 of 19
hello! okay well we leave alot too and our cats .. normally we just put a bowl of dry food down and make sure it never gets empty all day ... then sometimes we give them wet food... its more of a treat than a daily meal. but when we leave we normally get a huge bowl of dry cat food and a huge bowl of water and put it in the basement along with the litter box. . I dont know... I men that sounds cruel to what you all prepare for your cats. But we get back from a week away and the cats are perfectly fine. They still have food and water to spare by the time we get back. One time we let the cats stay outside( we have outside and inside cats) and we put the food on the porch. but when we go back our cat was missing... it was soooo sad.. we dont do that anymore.
post #15 of 19
Well, I'm off again. I will try not to worry about the cats this time. I guess they are fine when I'm away, just lonely. But it's hard not to feel guilty. Thanks everyone for your thoughts on this subject.
post #16 of 19
I leave my 2 alone for a period of no longer than a long weekend. I put out a lot of food, an extra bowl of water, and an extra litter box. If I am going to be gone longer than that, I have somebody come over to check on them, scoop the box, etc. A few times I have found things like rolls of toilet paper unraveled, but nothing serious.
post #17 of 19
Wow am I paranoid?! I am sure my little one would be fine if left alone for a few day (over the weekend, something like that). However I was never able to get myself to do that. I could not live with myself if something did happen and I could have prevented it by having someone like a pet sitting service check on him 2x a day (I know they are not cheap but......) or have have my parents, friends house/pet sit while I was away.
Please do not take this a criticism I only speak for myself.

:paranoid3 :paranoid2
post #18 of 19
I'm leaving today to go to LA & will be gone until sunday. I have no family around & all my friends are transient like myself and travel a lot. basically I have noone to come over & sit. plus my 2 girls are so skittish that they wouldn't come out if anyone came over anyway.

I bought a self feeder, a self waterer and I have a littermaid self cleaning box. to have someone come over & give them food & water would be one thing, but they are covered in that area, the litter box will remain clean and they don't want to be around people so it doesn't make sense to have someone come over to play with them. they would hide the entire time. if I didn't have 2 I would feel bad about leaving 1, but they have so much fun together and play a lot.

I have done it one other time when I had to go home for a funeral & had no problems. they didn't even 'punish' me for leaving. they acted the same way as they do when i've gotten home from work.
post #19 of 19
Hiya everyone!
I see we're all kindred souls here
I also leave my cat alone from time to time. I don't travel that much but when I go visit my family it'ss usually a weekend or a wek at the most. I never leave him all alone for more than three days though. I always leave plenty of dry food for him and a large bowl of water but the problem is that he's very fastiduous about his litterbox and after two days he seems to think it's unappropriate anymore
That's why whenever I'm gone for more than three days I always have someone to clean the box (usually my boyfriend :laughing and play with him (Eric is very sociable and dislikes being left alone).
Although he's always fine when I get back I always feel guilty about leaving him - he's mommy's boy and spoiled rotten
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