ALL ABOUT DOGS and CATS   Resource Center for Canine & Feline Lovers
You've been planning your vacation all year, but your
cat may not be as excited as you are to have you
away from home. Although many people believe cats
prefer to be on their own, kitties get lonely and can
become anxious when their surroundings change. As
a responsible pet owner, you will want to make sure
your kitty is safely and comfortably cared for while
you're on vacation.
Vacation Care Tips for Your Cat

by Andrea Sparks
The following tips can help you ease the stress on you and your feline friend when you're
away and give great ideas for cat supplies to keep your cat comfortable.

Caring for Your Cat While You're Out of Town:

Hire a pet sitter.
You should never leave your cat home alone when you leave for extended periods of time.
You never know what could happen while you're away, and having someone there will
help keep your kitty safe. Your cat can also get lonely and even suffer from separation
anxiety, which can cause your kitty to damage your belongings, become too anxious to
eat, urinate or defecate inappropriately, or engage in other anxiety-driven behaviors. To
keep your cat safe and calm, you'll want to find a pet sitter that both you and your cat can
trust. Someone your cat already knows, such as a family member or close friend, is ideal. If
you need to hire someone who your cat does not already know, invite the pet sitter over
to meet your cat before you leave so that your cat and her sitter can become familiar.

Notify your veterinarian.
In case of emergency, your veterinarian should be aware that you are on vacation and
that your pet sitter is authorized to bring your cat in for medical care. Leaving your pet
sitter with your vet's phone number, as well as other important numbers, is a good idea as

Provide fresh food and water.
The last thing you want to do is leave your cat without food or water, and you'll want to
make sure your kitty gets fresh food and water every day. While a pet sitter can often
times take care of these needs, you may want to invest in a replenishing cat feeder and
cat water fountain that provide fresh food and water throughout the day. Self-replenishing
pet supplies are a great option if your pet sitter needs to be away during the day.

Make sure the litter box is kept clean.
Most kitties will avoid using a litter box that is too dirty. To avoid accidents in the house,
you may want to invest in a self-cleaning litter box. It'll promote good potty habits while
you're away, and give your sitter one less chore to worry about. Cats are sensitive to
change though, so if you choose to purchase a self-cleaning litter box, you'll want to give
your cat time to adjust to it before you leave and to keep it around after your vacation, too.

Keep your cat entertained.
Make sure your kitty has access to all her favorite cat toys while you're away, and teach
the pet sitter how to use interactive toys to play with your cat. Playtime with kitty will help
create a bond between your cat and her sitter, making your vacation time fun for your pet,
too. Purchasing a cat condo or cat tree is another great way to keep your cat busy
because it provides cats with everything they love -- a place to scratch, climb, hide, play
and sleep.

Boarding your cat.
This should be a last resort, as many cats are extremely sensitive to changes in
surroundings and routines. However, in the case that you are unable to hire a pet sitter to
care for your cat, boarding your pet at a professional boarding facility is a better option
than leaving her home alone.
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It is rarely a good idea to take a cat on vacation.  Even pet friendly hotels and motels
rarely accept cats. So unless you are visiting tolerant friends or renting a home, Puss
is better off with friends at home or being boarded.