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Do I or Don't I?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I have a question and I really need some help. I have a 14 year old siamese cross who is my baby. He's healthy and happy and very playful for his age. My problem is that he gets very depressed when I'm gone longer than to go to work. When I am gone for a few days, I have one of my sisters feed him and talk to him, but she says he just sleeps and won't have anything to do with anyone.

I'm going to be gone for about 10 days pretty soon and I'm wondering if it would stress him out too much to take him with me to a new and strange place or if it would be less stress for him to stay home.

Could someone give me some advice, please?

post #2 of 9

I can relate to your problem because I'm always concerned about what to do when I have to leave my cat. Every vet I've spoken to advises that the cat remain in his/her own home if at all possible. Cats are territorial, and leaving their "safe place" is always stressful, even if they are with their human companions. So I've had sitters for the past 20+ years whenever I have to leave.

My former cat would not interact with any of her sitters, but she also was fine so long as she was fed and her box cleaned daily. That is, she never seemed unduly disturbed by my absence. In fact, when she was ancient and rather frail, I had sitters who actually lived in my house, but that seemed to be more stress for her that just the visits because the sitters reported that she refused to be in the same room with them.

However, my current boy is the most social cat I've ever met. He loves everyone, and he loves attention. Since I'm retired, he's used to having someone around, but I'm going away for a week at the end of this month. So I have a woman who will live in my house and care for him, but since she works full time, I also have a teenager who will come after school every day just to play with him. This is something that I would never have considered with my former girl because she just didn't like "other" people.

Since your cat seems to be like my girl--i.e., not interested in interacting with the sitter, you might do fine with a sitter visiting to just feed and take care of the litter box while you're gone.
post #3 of 9
It's true about cats being territorial and get very upset if uprooted from their homes. However, I have seen exceptions. I've met a few people whose cats are very comfortable anywhere as long as they are with their humans. But their guardians have told me that they have a carrier (one has a big bag) where their cats can be placed in and feel safe. Perhaps your boy has such a "portable" home?
post #4 of 9
Where are you going? Is it someplace that allows pets? Long drive? Flying? A drive of more than a few hours or an airline flight could be more stress than the kitty can handle.

However, if the trip there and back isn't too long and you're going to be settled in one place for the whole 10 days, it might be less stressful to take him with you. You also have to take a carrier, litterbox, food, food and water bowls, bed or familiar blanket for kitty to sleep on. Figure on at least twice as much stuff for kitty as for yourself.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for the advice.

It is going to be a long trip with lots of moving around so I'm thinking that it might be better for him to stay home. I just worry about him when I'm gone.
But that was what I wanted to know, so thank you very much.

post #6 of 9
If, at 14, your cat has never traveled with yout before I don't think now is the time to test it. In fact, if you wanted to consider traveling with him I would suggest short car trips to start with. Then gradually work up to over night and longer periods... but honestly, I think home is best.
post #7 of 9
If your baby is not used to traveling, I would not take a senior visiting to a strange place for a week or so while you are gone from home. If your sister will babysit, let her do it - whether or not he sleeps a lot.

Better to leave him home then to put a lot of stress on a 13 yr old cat.
post #8 of 9
He sounds like such a love bug and very attached to you. That is sweet you care so much about your kitty to try to help him not get so down in your absence My cat is very social with me and anyone and everyone and would love to go with me, provided I could provide lots of attention the whole trip. Most trips I take are for specific reasons, so I can rarely take her. But she loves it when I do. She is not in her teens either.

Is your boy social? Have you considered getting another cat to keep him some company and perk him up if you are gone frequently? Many cats enjoy very much the company of another feline.
There are lots of good cats out there, and I am sure one that could compliment his purrrsonality.
post #9 of 9
I don't understand either why vets would be so black and white about cats being better off home. Some cats are very dog-like! I am currently training our third cat with car (he is quite hopeless ) because our boys get quite depressed when we are away longer - and that is even with a pet sitter that is awesome. I would like to be able to take them with us on some trips when we are away for more than a week.

When we had just two cats, I know they LOVED to come with us to family cabin. They did not love the trip but tolerated it. They were very much enjoying a log cabin with all the mousy smells, deer sightings and the extra outside walks they were getting. We weren't even with them all the time but they did not seem stressed. They actually seemed excited when we took the carriers out. (Unfortunately after having a bad trip experience with their new brother freaking out that has now changed...)

I am quite sure some kitties value their humans over the territory, and some destinations suit kitty travelers quite well. I sure would not take them anywhere but I would weight the pros and cons. I am really hoping we can get our boy more comfy in car for sure!
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