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Any vacation advise?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I am leaving for 6 days shortly. My one cat will be here alone. He is pretty self reliant type, I think he will be ok. My neighbor, who is quite good with pets is checking on him. I am putting out two cat litter pans and covering the floor with paper in case of problems. But neighbor will take care of litter, I just want to make it as easy as possible. I usually feed my cat wet food here and there but with possible bacteria I figured he could handle just dry for the week while I am gone.

Any other suggestions? I have no idea if he will miss me much. I considered a cattery but I think he would happier at home even if he is cooped up (he is normally indoor/outdoor) My neighbor offered to let him out here and there and come back to get him, is that wise? Would he likely get confused? Should I have him keep him in?
post #2 of 14
Honestly, I would have your neighbor keep him inside. He may get upset that you are gone, and she/he may not be able to find him to let him back in. I would also advise your neighbor to check the food bowls to make sure he is eating while you are gone. Depending on how he reacts, he could get depressed and not want to eat. In this case, I would ask if your neighbor could stay ahwile to feed him a bit of wet food. Also, I would leave a peice of clothing out that you have worn so that he has something with your scent on it. You could also leave the tv or radio on so that he has some background noise. I am sure he will be fine as long as your neighbor comes at least once a day, and makes sure he's okay.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I think you are right about the outside thing. I have no idea how he will react. He is so used to me being here. He sleeps with me every night.
And as time goes by and I am not there...will he think he has been abandoned and consider moving on?

I do usually put the music on for him, was considering TV too.
post #4 of 14
The best thing you can do to keep your cat happy when you are gone is to keep his routine as much the same as you possibly can. If possible, have your neighbor feed him at the same time/s he is usually fed, etc. I don't recommend leaving paper on the floor unless you want to come back to a huge mess. I know when my guys are bored, they have been knwon to rip an entire paper to shreads. If he is already litterbox trained, I'd leave it at that, as long as your neighbor will scoop a couple of times so he'll have a clean box to go in. One little thing you can do for him is to leave him something that smells like you by where he sleeps. For example, I left my night shirt that I wore the night before I went away in my cats bed while I was gone so they'd remember my scent and hopefully be comforted.
post #5 of 14
Has your neighbor met your cat? It's nice if they can be introduced before you leave, and the neighbor learns where kitty's favorite toys are, where everything is, including trash for the litter they take care of. When we cat-sit, we spend at least a half hour feeding, changing water, cleaning litter, sociallizing and playing, and may even watch some tv with the pet. I've been able to brush someone's cat who normally didn't like that, and our neighbor had the same success with one of our boys. Your cat will definitely miss you while you're gone!
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks, yes the neighbor is coming over Sat. to hang a bit with my cat. I hate to think of him missing me but I know he will. *sigh* and I will miss him.
post #7 of 14
I recently read wonderful advice for while you're away. Put away most of the toys a few days before you leave, that way, when your neighbor presents them they will seem more fun again! Ask her to rotate a couple of different toys each day! Give your neighbor a paper bag with the top folded down so it will stay open and a cardboard box and ask her to put one out one day and then a couple of days later, take it back and leave the other! Also, give her some catnip and ask her to sprinkle it around in some particular spot a couple of different days while you're gone. Be sure to leave some clothes you've worn around or something like a nightgown that you've been wearing for your baby to snuggle with! When I work long shifts, I like to call Sierra and talk to her on the answering machine! Please let us know how it goes!
post #8 of 14
You can also take the toys and sleep with them a few days before you leave. Get them as close to you as you can under the covers to transfer your scent on them. Then pop them in a zip loc bag and ask your neighbor to give the kitty one toy a day.
post #9 of 14
Here's another option (one which I think I'm going to take this year):

Pet Sitters International
post #10 of 14
You've already gotten some great advice, but as an "overanxious cat mom", I can make a few other suggestions. I have a list saved on my computer that I revise and print out whenever I'm going to be away, which gives exact feeding instructions (how much dry, how much canned, where I keep extra bowls and spoons), where the water bowls are located, instructions on scooping litter and where I store extra litter, baggies (in case they have trouble using the Litter Locker), etc., where the cat carrier is, plus the name, address and telephone numbers of our vet and directions how to get there. I leave cash for an emergency. I also have JC's tattoo and transponder numbers listed, and the numbers and email addresses of the places he's registered with. I also have a "missing cat" poster with his picture, description, numbers of family and friends to contact, etc., "just in case" he should get out.
post #11 of 14
Another piece of advice, in case he misses you a lot - close the door to your bedroom! I recently left my two cats for 3-4 days (first time). I had a professional cat sitter coming once a day for one hour. She had visited once before, so they had met her. She fed them, played with them and let them out on the balcony for a while, and they had behaved very well.

BUT - although they had all they needed, each other and a caring visitor every day, they missed mom, and one of them peed in my bed. Not funny.
So now the bedroom door is always closed when I leave the flat.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
I feel like he "knows", I know this is crazy but he is acting weird. Oh I am probably just projecting my stuff on him. I remember when I wasn't a pet "owner" for a long time I started to think pet owners were nuts. We are, but in a good way I think!
post #13 of 14
THey do know when we're leaving. We always talk to our boys, let them know when we're leaving, why, for how long, ask them to guard the house and give each other lot of love, tell them who is coming to take care of them and play with them, and reinforce that we're coming home! When we pack suitcases, they lay in them before we go and again when we come home! They are so smart. I agree with calling home and talking to them. They like to hear our voices (observed when we play back a message while one of us is present).

We've never had anyone pee outside the box while we're gone. We like them sleeping on our bed and wouldn't want to keep them from a favorite sleeping spot while we're gone!
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
I'm letting him have access to everything, except my computer while I am gone. I am even half way expecting some mess. But as long as he is fine it's all aok. My neighbor came over yesterday and met him. He is usually mellow with visitors but he jumped out of my arms when he saw him. Later though they seemed to connect fine, my neighbor is an animal person so I am sure the first reaction was just knee jerk on my cats part.

Well I can't worry, I have to let it all go. But I do feel like he knows I am going. He is hanging around me more and seems melancholy somehow. PLUS it's weird, he hasn't used his litter box in ages, mainly goes outside. But yesterday he was going in it all the time. Like he was getting used to it again.
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