Cats are pretty self-sufficient creatures, but that doesn’t mean you can leave your kitten alone while you go out of town. Even an overnight trip can be traumatic for a young kitten or a cat that is very closely bonded to you. You wouldn’t leave a five-year-old child alone to fend for herself for days, leaving a couple of boxes of cookies out so she doesn’t go hungry, so why would you leave your cat alone?
As a responsible cat owner, you have three choices for being sure your cat stays healthy while you’re away from home:
A trusted friend or family member – If you ask a neighbor or friend to take care of your cat, you need to know that he or she will be responsible and come to visit your cat at least twice a day, feed him, and empty the litter box. If you don’t feel absolutely sure that this individual will remember to do what you asked him or her to do, don’t put your cat’s life in their hands.
Boarding – Some vets offer boarding services, and a variety of other cat boarding facilities are also available. If your cat is very ill or needs daily medication, vet boarding may be a good choice. If you board your cat at a cattery, the facility will require proof that his vaccinations are up to date. Cats that are shy or easily traumatized may not handle boarding well.
A pet sitter – A pet sitter comes to your home, feeds your cat and administers any necessary medications, cleans the litter box, and spends time each day visiting with your cat. Because cats generally prefer not to travel, many people find a pet sitter a good option. Be sure to find out if the pet sitter is comfortable with cats (some are better with dogs or other animals) and if your cat is comfortable with the pet sitter. Pet sitting services can vary in price and quality, so be sure to check a potential sitter’s references before entrusting your cat’s care – and your property – to him or her.