Pet sitting services for your cat could be the best solution when you go away. Staying in its own home environment is probably the least stressful solution for the cat while you’re away on holiday. You will need to arrange for a kindly, reliable friend or neighbour to visit the house at least once a day — and preferably twice — to feed and look after the cat. It is bound to be lonely but at least it will have shelter and food, and home is always preferable to a cattery — with all its strange sights and smells.
Everyone has a right to their annual holiday, but the thought of leaving the cat behind can be a great worry. Your cat obviously can’t come with you, so you’ll need to make alternative arrangements.
Planning a holiday means more than just booking the air tickets — it also means making plans for the cat. While dogs are often quite happy travelling long distances on holiday with their owners, cats tend to prefer their home territory. Your cat will probably be happiest remaining on familiar ground.
If you are only away for a weekend, you could leave enough food, drink and clean litter to last over that period — unless the weather is very hot in which case the food may go bad.
If you’re going away for longer, you will need to arrange for a kindly, reliable friend or neighbour to visit your home at least once a day — preferably twice — to look after your cat. This means supplying fresh food, milk and water, and renewing the litter daily. A good sitter will also spenda little time with your cat —stroking, talking to and playing with it — which should help to fill the cat’s day and prevent it missing you too badly. Of course, it helps if they like cats!
HELPING THE SITTER
Make sure that your cat sitter knows where to find everything he or she will need in your absence —food and tin opener, if needed, clearly being the most important. Leave the cat’s carrier out, in case of an emergency, and write a note listing the following information:
• your telephone number
• the vet’s telephone number
• detailed feeding instructions
• instructions about medication, if appropriate
• insurance details, if applicable.
Don’t forget that this is quite a chore and responsibility for your kind friend or neighbour, and make sure you bring them a present back from your travels.
Your cat is bound to be lonely and miss you while you’re away, so leave a few treats for it as compensation.
Home is also a better option than a cattery because of the risk of picking up diseases.
If you’re only going away for the weekend and you want to leave your cat enough food to tide it over, dry food is the best sort to leave out because it does not deteriorate like fresh or canned food.
Whatever the length of your trip away from home, it makes sense for the cat you leave behind to have a cat flap so that it can be independent and come and go as it pleases.
It is possible, these days, to hire a cat sitter, who can either come into your house twice a day to feed the cat, or who can even stay in your house while you’re away. An added advantage of this latter set-up is that the house is never left empty, which reduces the risk of burglary. Professional sitters do this for money, obviously, which can add up. But in the absence of a friend or neighbour, this is a very good arrangement, particularly from the cat’s point of view.