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Do Your Cats Know When You’re Leaving Town? Feline Perception & Facts

Written by: Lorre Luther

Last Updated on March 3, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Sad, calico cat sitting, looking through small front door window on porch

Do Your Cats Know When You’re Leaving Town? Feline Perception & Facts

Anyone who has lived with a feline companion has likely had an experience when they attempted to pack a bag for vacation and noticed the disapproving looks of their cat, so it makes sense to wonder if cats know when you’re getting ready to leave town. While we may never know exactly what goes on in cats’ heads, they can likely tell when someone they love is getting ready to head off and leave them alone.

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Which Activities Tip Cats Off That You’re Getting Ready to Leave Town?

Cats are observant creatures and likely get the drift that something is up far before your suitcase or travel bag appears.

Because they’re so tuned into the rhythms of their humans’ days, cats probably notice when you start doing extra laundry to get ready or spending more time than usual in front of the computer making last-minute arrangements.

Cat on travel luggage
Image By: Niik Leuangboriboon, Shutterstock

How Do Cats React When They See You Making Preparations to Leave?

Cats can have a range of reactions when they realize their owners are getting ready to head out for a trip and will likely be away for a while. Some take things in stride and go about their business, while others decide to” help out” with packing by sleeping in the suitcases. Others decide to get extra affection while they can and attempt to spend lots of time with their humans.

Why Do Cats Love Suitcases So Much?

Cats love hanging out in suitcases, and some find a corner and nap away; others wait until the suitcase is at least partially full of clean clothes and position themselves right in the middle of the suitcase.

They can be creative in their efforts to thwart attempts to move them so packing can continue. Cats likely enjoy napping in suitcases for several reasons: they’re full of clothes that smell like their favorite person, and they generally love snuggling into enclosed spaces like cat condos, laundry baskets, and suitcases.

cat sitting on an opened suitcase
Image By: Monika Wisniewska, Shutterstock

What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Pet Sitter?

While cats can generally fend for themselves for about 24 hours or so, they need someone to come in and take care of a few things if left alone for longer. They need to get fresh food and water and have their litter box cleaned at the very least.

A bit of daily playtime can help keep boredom at bay, and regular visits from a pet sitter are a great way to ensure that cats have companionship so they don’t become lonely while their owner is away.

Cats do better at home than being boarded, partly because of their intense territoriality, which makes it stressful for them to spend time in places without the comforting scents of home. Hiring a pet sitter allows cats to get the care they need right in the comfort of home.

Do Cats Ignore You When You Return From Vacation or Being Away?

Cats can react in different ways when their owners return after being away. Some take their person’s arrival in stride and keep going without missing a beat. It’s also pretty common for them to be standoffish and need time to adjust. Some can even become aggressive.

Vacations can be unpleasant for cats. Not only do they need to adjust to a new routine, but they also have to determine how to entertain themselves in new ways.

They can be less welcoming than usual when their owners return since they come home with the scents of new people and places, which can be confusing for cats.

female hand petting sad calico maine coon cat
Image By: Kristi Blokhin, Shutterstock

Are There Ways to Make Things Easier for Cats While You’re Gone?

There are a few easy-to-implement methods that may make your absence easier on your companion. Leaving behind a T-shirt or something that you’ve worn and has your scent gives your cat something to remind them of you they can snuggle up to while you’re away.

You can also take a bag with clothes you’ve worn around the house and change into them before greeting your cat for the first time after being gone. Arranging video calls with your pet sitter can also be a great way to stay in touch.

Cats recognize their owners’ voices and know when you’re calling their names, so why not take advantage of technology and give your buddy a quick call to say hello?

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Cats most likely know when you’re leaving town before you give them a goodbye cuddle. They probably pick up on household routine changes, such as laundry being done at different times than usual and owners spending more time wrapping up loose ends and making arrangements.

Cats react differently when they see their humans getting ready to head out of town. Some are okay with the situation, and others can become anxious or cry for extra cuddles.

Cats form deep bonds with their owners, and it’s common for them to miss their humans while they’re away. Leaving clothing that smells like you and checking in with regular video calls can help cats maintain a sense of normalcy with you while you’re gone.

Featured Image Credit: Andriy Blokhin, Shutterstock

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