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Vacation Minus Cats

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hullo, all! I'm not sure if this is the right forum for this, but I think this is more of a "behavioural" concern than anything else, so here goes:

Next month, my boyfriend and I would like to go away for a week to someplace warm and sunny (I haven't had a vacation in more than six years, so I think I'm due! ). Last year, this wouldn't have been an issue at all, as we were living with another couple and their two cats, but now that we have our own place, it's just the two of us and our kitties.

We would prefer to leave our two cats at home, instead of boarding them at a kennel, partly because the costs of boarding them would be fairly prohibitive and partly because Spike, in particular, doesn't do well with change. We have a number of cat-loving friends we can call upon to come in and feed/water/clean the litterbox/play with our cats, and in all likelihood we would just ask one friend in particular to do it for us (she fosters cats for the Humane Society and our cats know her very well). There would be no problem with our friend(s) maintaining the same feeding schedule we have already established, and we know our cats would be well-looked-after while we're gone. (We could ask her to stay with our cats for the week, but then she'd be leaving her own cats--including her most recent bunch of fosters--alone, and that's not fair to any of them!)

My concern is simple: We've never done this before. Spike, in particular, can be very needy, and I'm not sure how he'll react to our absence or what he might do to "act out." We know of cats who will eliminate outside the litterbox or vomit when they're displeased with their owners, but neither of our cats have ever demonstrated this behaviour. That being said, we've never left them alone for more than a night, and even then, it was in a house with two other cats and two other people living there ... a very different situation than the one we'll be in this November!

One other option we have, aside from leaving our cats at home and having a friend come check in on them, would be to bring our cats back to the house we used to live in. (We moved in July, so it wasn't that long ago, but likely a lifetime to a cat!) The problem with this is that our cat, Spike, torments our friends' calico, and we don't want to stress her out (or her older brother, who is a senior cat and extremely skittish). Also, our friends have set up a free-feeding system in their home which doesn't work with our cats, but it would be unfair to ask them to disrupt their cats' feeding schedule just to meet our cats' needs, when it clearly works for their cats. I'm not terribly thrilled with this option, because it upsets four cats instead of just our two, but at the very least our cats would have company this way. (Incidentally, it took Spike well over a week to feel comfortable in his new home, so I'm not sure how well he'd cope with this situation, either. He just isn't that big on "change." Oz, on the other hand, could care less so long as he gets food and lovin'.)

Clearly, I'm hemming and hawing over the entire matter. I don't want to drop our vacation plans on a "what-if?" scenario, when I really have no idea how my cats will react to our absence (and I could really, really use a vacation ...), but at the same time, I don't want to make my kitties miserable! Any thoughts on this?
post #2 of 4
Thread Starter 
Anybody? Bueller? Bueller?
post #3 of 4
Originally Posted by Mirinae
Anybody? Bueller? Bueller?
We have been debating the same thing with our kitten for next summer. (Thinking way ahead) and I think we will just ask someone to come in and check on her each day. I think that sounds like it may be your best option. I think they will be Ok with that. If you have someone who could come love on them once or twice a day and feed/water/clean the litter out that would be good.
post #4 of 4
my in-laws have left their two cats home alone for a week at a time with lots of food and water and an automatic litter box, and they have been fine. their work requires they travel a lot, and they have said they won't get anymore pets after these have passed, but for now, the cats are okay with it. they don't even have anyone come in to check on them.

hope this might help to alleviate your concerns. if you're having someone check in on your kids, you'll be fine. the friend can address any problems immediately and contact you or your designated vet if needed.

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