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vacation dilemna

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I've had my cat Joshua for about 3 weeks now.
He is still quite insecure about his new home and suffers from separation anxiety. He is constantly seeking attention and following me around everywhere.
I have been working on that and he is getting a little better.

Next week, I have to leave town for 3 days. I am not quite sure what would be best for Joshua. I can either have someone come over once a day to feed him, or I can leave him at a friend's house.
If I left him here, he might feel more secure because he is home... but he would be awfully lonely (he loves people). If I leave him at my friend's house, he might end up stressed by the new environment but would get lots of love and attention.

Any thoughts?

(and no... I don't have a friend who could stay in my apartment or spend much time with my cat here)
post #2 of 4
I'd leave him at his home and have a friend come by. LEave on soft music for him, and ask your friend to spend a little more time with him. I think keeping him home is important since he is new in your home.
post #3 of 4
Ah, I know what this is like:-).

For myself, I would leave Joshua in his new home. He sounds like he still isn't too used to it and it would probably cause him a lot of stress to leave it, go someplace new again, and then come back after three days.

There are things you can do to help him feel more comfortable while you are away.

First, you could pick up a Feliway Room diffuser - it emits the pheromones that make cats feel happy and relaxed - and it will ease his separation anxiety a bit. Second - and this is one of Hissy's favourite suggestions - wear a t-shirt or sweater and get sweaty in it so that it has a good 'scent' of you on it. Then leave them for Joshua like a security blanket that he can cuddle and sleep on while you are away. Third, leave the radio on on an easy-listening, or light classical, or talk radio (NPR is good in the States and CBC in Canada) so that it is low and in the background. Fourth, leave on some lights inside - but not a table lamp that can be knocked over accidentally; fifth, provide him with some sort of perch of a table that he can sit on near a window so he can look outside if he wants. If you have a bird feeder near by that might also make it interesting for him. Make sure that any blinds or cords don't have loops in the end that he can get caught in.

See if you can have someone come over to be with him twice a day - in the morning and in the evening - to feed him and clean his litter box, and to play with him a little bit. He would spend a lot of hours alone, but if you leave him some safe toys around and have someone visit, he should be fine and will probably sleep for a lot of the time.

I have had to leave my cats on their own over weekends when I was away quite often and had someone in to look after them. I never had any problems.

Oh, one other suggestion : - for your cat sitter, leave along with the instructions and contact phone number for you, a statement that you authorize her to take your cat in for veterinary assistance, if required. It is unlikely she will need it, but it is one less thing to worry about.

Hope this helps:-)

post #4 of 4
Wow, great advice Kathryn! I've had problems with Sakura when she's left alone for a weekend. Thank you!

marie p - I hope kathryns advice works for you! I know I'm gonna try it!
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