I don't like to spend more than a day away from the house and leave the cats alone. People will argue that my girls are just cats, and they can fend for themselves, but they don't know the anxiety I suffer or realize the increased anxiety my cats feel with a long absence. However, there are a few times a year when I leave on holiday and leave me two cats behind.
While leaving your cats with a large bowl and food and water and a few fresh boxes of kitty litter is not an option for me, some people think this is alright. It's not. This adds undue stress and anxiety on your cats, but what are your options?
Depending on your budget and comfort level you can kennel your cats outside of your home, which is a popular choice. Some people hire a pet sitter to come to their home once a day to clean litter boxes and make sure there’s fresh food and water as well as play with your cats. Then there’s the low budget, leave you cats with a friend or family member or have them check in on your cats.
My personal choice is to have a pet sitter come into my home. This a paid service with set visits and I know why cats will receive good care while I’m gone. Keeping your cats at home reduces a lot of unnecessary stress because they are surrounded by familiar sights and smells. The only thing missing is you.
To help your cats deal with the separation, leave behind a shirt or blanket you use that has your scent on it. You can also buy plush pillows that have pockets specifically for an item like this. The pillow can be left where your cat sleeps of relaxes most to give comfort.
Before you leave, make sure your sitter has all the necessary information, like a contact number for you and emergency contact. Also, make sure your cats are properly tagged and all applicable microchipping and licensing information is available. A contact number for your vet’s office and instructions for what to do in an emergency are important as well. Be sure to let your sitter know other things like what temperature you intend to leave your house just in case something goes amiss with your heating and cooling and any medications your cats are currently taking.