Cat owners have a few options for caring for their pets while they are away. Some owners are able to leave their cats alone at home for several days at a time by putting out extra food and water. While this works well for some cats, it can be problematic for others. If you have a cat that’s prone to over-eating, she can quickly exhaust all of her food. As well, the litter box may become full, leaving your kitty to find her own place to do her business. Generally speaking, leaving your cat alone at home is only advisable for short trips – if you’re going out overnight, she’ll probably be fine, but if you’re gone for a week, she might not do so well.
For longer trips, some pet owners choose to board their cats at a boarding facility. Many vets have such a facility, and the facility will feed and care for your kitty while you’re away. Some facilities offer extra options, such as play time or even massages for your cat! Before you pick a facility, check it out first. Make sure the facility is clean and well-staffed, and that the area your cat will be staying is big enough. Stay away from boarding facilities that have cat carrier-sized “cages” for their residents; your kitty needs room to roam! Also, be sure you understand the price before you commit to a boarding facility. Besides being expensive in general, some facilities have extra charges for things such as holiday stays or administering medication.
Another option that’s quite popular is hiring a cat sitter while you’re away. A cat sitter comes into your home to feed and play with your kitties. Depending on the sitter, you’ll get all of the benefits of a boarding facility without having to worry about transporting your cats to the facility and stressing them out in the process. Sitters are also great because they can handle other things around your house in addition to your cats, such as watering your plants or just keeping an eye on things. If you’re looking for a sitter, start by asking your neighbors or other cat owners – many have a sitter and are happy to recommend one to you. You can also try a site like PetSitting.com, PetSitters.org, PetSit.com, or the like, but make sure you spend time interviewing your potential sitter, since they will be coming into your home while you aren’t there. Many sitting directory sites offer background checks or have other membership requirements for their sitters.
Finally, whatever option you choose, be sure to give your kitty lots of love and attention before and after you leave! Cats miss their owners when they’re gone, and a loved cat is a happy cat!
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