We love our pets. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t have them. They might be expensive to look after, and they might occasionally tear the furniture up or exhibit other behaviors we find less than desirable, but we wouldn’t trade them for the world. We can’t imagine life without them, and we like to imagine that they feel the same way about us even if they can’t verbally express it.
When your pet is a cat, everything we’ve said above counts double. There’s just something about cats that human beings are programmed to find adorable. That’s why there are so many cat memes on the internet. It’s also probably the reason why there are so many cat-themed online slots at internet-based casinos. It might seem like a strange connection to make, but people wouldn’t make online slots like “OMG Kittens” if there wasn’t a willing audience there to play them and spend money on them. Going away on vacation and leaving your cat alone for several days, though, can feel like a bigger gamble than any online slots website could ever offer you.
Although we’re told that cats are supremely independent, that isn’t necessarily the case. Your cat will definitely miss you when you’re not there, and if you’re away for an extended period of time, it might become anxious or depressed. Feline anxiety is a very real condition, and it can lead to permanent behavioral changes if your furry friend begins to suffer from it. You can’t just stay at home and never go on vacation again, so what can you do to make their life better? Let’s take a look.
Organize Regular Company
Your cat doesn’t need someone to be at home every moment of every day, but they do appreciate having someone to cuddle them, speak to them, and generally interact with them on a daily basis. It helps them to feel safe and secure. A cat should never be left alone for more than 24 hours for the good of their own mental health. That means you’re going to have to organize a cat sitter if you plan to be away for a week or more. That might be a trusted friend or family member who you’re happy to allow into your home when you’re not there. Failing that, you should be able to find a professional pet sitter on the internet. An hour a day should be all your cat needs to stay in its daily routine and stem off the worst effects of separation anxiety.
House cats tend to be more unhealthy than cats that are allowed to go outdoors because they have less space and opportunity to blow off steam. If you’re away from home, your cat might have to become a house cat temporarily, and so you’re going to have to provide a way for them to keep fit and amuse themselves until you come back. In practical terms, that means getting hold of some cat furniture and cat toys. A brand new cat scratcher will hold their attention for a time, but consider more interactive toys like cat climbing frames and puzzle ball feeders. Throw in a few new chase toys for good measure. The more toys they have to distract them, the less they’ll focus on how quiet and empty the house is without you.
Keep To Routine
Cats are creatures of habit. Even though it might seem to you that they sleep most of the day, to your cat there are definite nap times and definite feeding times. It’s bad enough that you’re not around to ‘talk to,’ but if their routine is interrupted, things are even worse. You might not be able to get your cat sitter to come to your home at the time you would normally feed your cat, so consider buying a timed cat feeder as well. The larger cat feeders can hold several days’ worth of meals at once, and release those meals at pre-programmed times consistent with when your pet would normally eat. If your cat has never used an automatic feeder before, trial it with them before you go away so you can ensure that they’re not afraid of it, and they know how to use it.
Leave Plenty of Water
The majority of cats don’t drink much water in one sitting, but they do still need it regularly, and they’ll become dehydrated quickly if they run out. If your sitter can only visit once a day and your cat develops a sudden thirst between those times, they might be forced to go an uncomfortable length of time before their next drink. You can avoid this one of two ways. You might want to consider leaving extra bowls of water out around your home for them to find, or you could splash out (if you’ll excuse the pun) on a cat water fountain. The advantage of the latter is that the fountain refills itself and shouldn’t need replacing or topping up before you come home again.
Consider A GPS Tracker
No matter how well you’ve prepared for your pet before you go away, you’ll still worry about them for the whole time you can’t see them. You can ease that worry a little by getting a GPS tracker attached to their collar. Not only will this act as a quick confirmation that your cat is fit and well at home, but it will also alert you if something unexpected happens like your cat suddenly escaping from your house or getting trapped somewhere. You’ll then be able to pass that information on to whoever you’ve entrusted with your cat’s care. You might not be able to see or hear them, but you can still check in on them and their welfare.
They’re famously sulky creatures, but your furry friend will eventually forgive you for going away and leaving them on their own for hours. The better they’re cared for while you’re away, the shorter than forgiveness period will be – so follow this guidance, and you’re more likely to be greeted by a happy, friendly cat when you get back!