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Vacation & 8 Week Old Kitten

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well, it looks as if we've solved the problem of sending the kitten out to it's permansnt family at only 7 weeks because WE'RE going to be his permanent family. But it creates another big problem because we do have a 12 day family vacation scheduled right around his 8 week mark. It's to visit a family member who has been ill so it's not very optional. Kitten is litter trained and is taking to solids very well and if he keeps going in this mode should be done with formula around then.

I know that there are no ideal solutions here given how young he is and the length of the trip. Could this kitten be left here at home provided I had people who know cats come in 3 times a day that would both care for it and spend time giving it attention? Or would you suggest other arrangements?
post #2 of 15
pippen---- I have NO clue but glad you asked! We go to FL for about 9 days near the end of Aug and my cat is due the end of June so the babies will also be about 7-8 weeks. Normally my inlaws come and love the cats while we are gone once a day and my friend stops by once a day at the end of the day. so was going to have to ask the same thing in a few mo!
post #3 of 15
With a kitten that young, I'd want a full time house sitter.
Kittens, as I'm sure you know, can get sick easily and go downhill rapidly.
I'd want someone there all of the time in case of an emergency.
post #4 of 15
We had to leave the country when ours were about 10 weeks old. We had people coming in several times a day to feed and play. I also spoke to the vet ahead of time and let them know that we were to be out of town, and if there was a need, the sitters could bring the kittens in and our account was to be charged. There weren't any other people with 8 kittens in our town, so it wasn't hard to figure out who we were.

As a matter of fact, there WAS an emergency with our momma cat, who almost died from an intenstinal blockage. She required emergency, expensive surgery. Make sure you designate someone who can make those tough, instant decisions for you. Thank goodness she did exactly as we would have done.
post #5 of 15
Yes, I'd make an arrangement with the vet, and with some close family. Leave the vet's number very handy for your family members, and have them pop in around 3-4 times a day. Have the kitten in a kitten-proof quarantined area of your home, with water and fresh litter available at all times. In the event of an emergency, have your family member take the kitten to the vet, and have a payment arrangement set up with the vet before you leave. Also, make a checklist of needs/daily tasks for the family member(s) to complete...should look something like this, as an example:

9:00 a.m. - Breakfast for kitty (warm up 1/2 can of wet food; 8 secs. in microwave); leave out for 30 minutes; refridgerate the rest. Set out bowl 1/3 c dry food. Play with kitten for 20 minutes.

12:30 p.m. - Refill dry bowl of food (if empty); replace fresh water. Play with kitten for 20 minutes.

3:00 p.m. - Scoop litter (if poopy); play with kitten for 20 minutes. Comb fur.

6:30 p.m. - Refill dry bowl of food (if empty); play with kitten for 20 minutes.

9:00 p.m. - Supper for kitty (other 1/2 can of food; nuke for 8 secs.); refill dry food. Check water. Play with kitten for 20 minutes.

Obviously you'll need to find someone dedicated to checking in several times a day, and someone who has the time and commitment level to do as you're asking. If you don't have someone in mind, let us know, and we'll think of plan B.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'd feel better if there was a mama cat or even another kitten but this is the only pet we have except for one aged betta fish who is not good company these days.
post #7 of 15
I think your biggest worry, as someone said, is probably the kitten eating something it shouldn't and having an intestinal blockage. If you can confine the kitten to a particular area, and ensure someone comes in frequently to play with it, then you can hopefully avoid accident. Remember that kittens might eat something out of boredom that you wouldn't expect them to eat otherwise--like toys!!
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks, this helps. I'm pretty sure I can get responsible cat loving people I can trust to come in. I know every arrangement has it's pros and cons but I would rest easier knowing he's on familiar turf.

He has been chewing and the last few days has reminded me of a teething toddler. Are there any toys, etc. you could recommend that I could leave that might be safer for him?
post #9 of 15
Originally Posted by Pippen
Are there any toys, etc. you could recommend that I could leave that might be safer for him?
Anything that can't be chewed up, anything that can't shatter or otherwise fall apart, anything he can't get paws or teeth stuck in and anything that will not fit in his mouth.
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Arlyn
Anything that can't be chewed up, anything that can't shatter or otherwise fall apart, anything he can't get paws or teeth stuck in and anything that will not fit in his mouth.
That sounds like a stainless steel room.

We leave early Monday and here's what I've done:
-Called the vet to prearrange
-Lined up an adult for early am, noon, and night.
-Got a responsible preteen who has/likes cats to come in midmorning and late afternoon. I left very appealing snacks and soda plus gift cards for movie rental and a pizza in the fridge to encourage him to hang out here.
-Left written feeding schedule, contact info for us and vet, etc.
-Made a form so the caretakers could make note of anything usual like missed feedings
-Got plenty of food, litter, etc. Left $ in case they need anything else.
-Tub of toys to rotate

I still need to clean/kitten proof and will start that today as my packing is almost done. When I asked for help with this I couldn't have seen down the road but now he's hit this age I see what you mean about the potential for boredom. He's into everything!

Have I covered all the bases? I feel as comfortable as I'm going to be about the caretaking arrangements. I'm still a little nervous about night since that's the one time he likes to cuddle up near/with me. My kids are wondering if he'll remember us when we get back.

Sigh...I'd better get crackin' on the rest of the packing and the house!
post #11 of 15
Sounds like you have everything taken care of! I'm sure that he'll remember you when you come home. When I got my puppy a few years ago, he was like 8 weeks old when we had our vac. scheduled...we took him to my grandma's house, and he still remembered us when we came home...so yeah, he should. And not to mention, he's still in YOUR house with all the same smells and such... Best of luck...

post #12 of 15
I'd have someone come in a few times a day. But I also would confine the kitten (that young) to one or 2 rooms supervised. For its safety and your piece of mind

I know I had a litter of rex kittens about 2-3 months old and we took them with us on vacation (ex-husband) to his parent's house in the country. I took along my cat cage to keep them in.

But it was hot and the house had no air conditioning - we ran fans in the room but wound up losing a kitten to the heat. So from then on, if I had kittens at home, I would NOT leave them - he (ex) would go alone and I'd stay home.
post #13 of 15
Get a stuffed animal for the kitten to sleep with... Also take your shirt even if it is super dirty it weill have your smell on it and let the cat have it till you come back
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Roger! Stuffed animal and dirty shirt in place.

One more question, is it possible he'll learn to leap from the floor to the countertop in our absence or would that come a little later?

This one is prompted this morning's discovery of how to get on the kitchen table from the chairs. We walked in and found Pippin enjoying a pancake breakfast. I guess this means we'll be getting the dishes off the table a little sooner from now on....

We had kind of a scary thing happen yesterday but it was probably good because it made my eyes sweep wider as far as kitten proofing goes. He was playing inside of a paper shopping bag and his head slipped through the twine handles and he started rolling in play, twisting the handle around his neck. I was right there and grabbed him but I could tell he knew he was caught. I'll be doubly vigilant when I do my final walk through tonight.

Thanks for all the help--I'm a lot better prepared because of your help. My dad has just finished a second bout with cancer or else I would postpone this trip.

Oh, my kids have announced that when we get back they think we need another kitten named Merry to go along with our Pippin. I told them to wait a bit before mentioning that to their dad...
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks again to everyone who gave advice to get through this. My kitten and caretakers got on as well as I could have hoped for in a situation like this and I called every 3-4 days to check on them. Each time I got some variation of the same report (He's full of vim and vigor, trying to escape to outside, etc.) but if they told me he was sitting around in their laps enjoying being petted I would have been seriously worried! I had mentally prepared myself for the fact that he would be bigger but it still surprised me when I saw him.

I know there are others in the same boat and I will mention that one thing I was glad I did (especially since I had multiple caretakers) was to leave a chart for them to record a note at each check so they could keep track of what went in and what came out. Since intestinal blockage was a main concern expressed here (and happened to a friend's cat right before we left from a hair band) I stressed watching that. The chart allowed them to make minor adjustments in food as needed and for me to suggest a change when one caretaker read the previous days to me. Also, if anyone has kids/preteens/teens in their caretaking lineup, I highly recommend making hanging around appealing. The pizza and movie gift cards I left behind were gone as were the snacks and soda.

We were all wondering if Pippin would remember us when we got back because 12 days is a long time in the life of a young kitten. I suspect the answer is that we were a distant memory. My kids have spent a lot of time with him but I've been the primary person and he spent a lot of time sniffing me. I felt bad when I hit the sack and he didn't take his customary place beside me but that was ridiculous on my part given it was 3am and he'd been awakened and had a wild romp by then. When I woke up he was right where he always was so I felt a little better.

The one trouble area was that we came home to a kitten that was more aggressive than when we left. He's a very feisty fella to begin with so I'm sure now that the constant TLC and attention he gets when we're home helps keep the edge off. He's toned down again in the two days since we've been back but it did worry me.

Thanks again and I hope this will be of help to others as well.
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