The day of departure for that long-awaited vacation has finally arrived! You busy yourself stuffing an extra tube of sunscreen in your suitcase, making sure all of the windows in the house are shut and locked, and printing out your boarding pass. You’re grabbing the car keys and checking the time when suddenly you hear a questioning “meow” at your feet. What have you planned for your cat while you’re away? Will he stay home with a sitter, or have you arranged to leave him at a boarding facility? If there’s one thing that you should avoid doing at all costs, it’s leaving him home alone with just a bowl of food and water—even if it’s only for a couple of days.
Why can’t my cat be left home alone?
Although cats have a reputation for being largely self-reliant and capable of getting along well on their own, there are quite a few issues that could arise if you were to leave your pet alone in the house for an extended period of time. First and foremost, our feline friends are notorious for disliking sudden and unexpected changes in their daily lives. When he notices your absence, your cat will likely feel stressed and anxious, possibly exhibiting out-of-the-ordinary destructive behaviors. This could also be a result of boredom, as cats enjoy and require adequate stimulation throughout the day. If you aren’t around to play with him, don’t be surprised if you come home to find shredded rolls of toilet paper in the bathroom or clawed up curtains.
What about his feeding schedule? Left with only a bowl of food and stale water, your pet could overeat and get sick; on the other hand, he could be too upset to eat at all. A cat that is accustomed to getting fed at a regular time twice per day will not make a smooth transition to this kind of change.
Make sure your cat is cared for.
Your kitty might be an independent spirit, but he still relies on you for food and love. When you’re not around to fulfill those requirements, make sure that someone else is! It could be a neighbor or a professional pet sitter—as long as he or she is reliable and responsible. Your other option is to leave your four-legged friend at a reputable boarding facility or pet lodge. If you are in need of a recommendation, feel free to consult your trusted cat veterinarian! The experienced and caring team at the Cat Clinic at Cherry Hill would be happy to help you determine the best course of action as you plan your summer getaway.