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What to do with a cat when you’re going on holiday?

author Lucy Byrne | Sport and travel

Even when you cannot or don’t want to take your dog on your holiday with you, you still have many options what to do with it. You can take him to your relatives, accommodate it in a dog hotel, use dog-sitting and other things. It’s not that easy with cats. These mystical creatures are bound to a place, very strongly. And they also handle changes very badly, mainly the changes of environment.

Some cats can get used to a new home. I know some that go with their owners to cottages. But it needs quite a lot of work, patience and attention. But we can get deeper into this in another article.

So what can you do with your cat when you’re leaving? If you are leaving for a weekend, a cat is an independent animal and can be at home alone. We do that every weekend. We put enough bowls with water in the flat, refill the feeder for dry food and she gets a generous portion of meat right before we leave. And we don’t forget to leave some toys there for her to amuse herself. She barely realizes we are away for a couple of days. Or at least she looks like she doesn’t when we come back.

But what should you do when you are leaving for a longer period of time? It’s perfect if you have a friend or a relative who will go to your place to look after your cat and feed it. But not everyone has that option. In such case, you can order a professional caretaker. You need to choose wisely, you still let a stranger into your home; moreover, when you aren’t there. The best practice is to rely on reviews and others’ experience. My friend offers this kind of services so I know a thing or two about that.

Her advantage is the fact that she has a shelter for abandoned cats at home so she is really experienced in keeping them as well as treating them. She can take a quality care even of a diabetic cat. Your relatives may find it difficult to inject the cat or the cat itself could be the cause of troubles (we know how cats can behave sometimes). She can also properly react in situation when treatment is needed.

And what does this cat-sitting at your own place look like? Before you leave, an introductory meeting will take place at your home. During that, a person who is going to look after your pet will explain everything and you will describe him/her the character of your cat and agree on what his/her visits should be like. These usually include feeding, refilling water, taking out cat’s toilets, cuddling and playing with the cat. You can also agree on other potential tasks.

This introductory visit shouldn’t be skipped so you could meet the person who is going to take care of your pet. That’s why I recommend you pick a company that doesn’t employ part-time workers so you can be sure that only the one person you met visits your home. The caretaker should be interested in information you are giving him/her about the cat and also potentially ask questions on his/her own. He/she should want to know where the food for the cat is, where its bowls, toys or toilets are, where the litter is, what the cat’s favourite spots are, what toy it likes most and other things. He/she shouldn’t be looking around the flat and its equipment too much.

In the case you have no friend to look after your cat and you don’t want a stranger in your home, you can make the use of an animal hotel. But as I’ve already mentioned, most cats don’t like this and will be unnecessarily stressed. Some may even get sick because of that. But there is also the advantage that your cat is being watched over around the clock. If you decide to choose this option, rely again on reviews, go check the hotel in advance and you may also talk to its employees. They should be willing to explain everything to you. When handing over the animal, the same applies as for cat-sitting, they should be interested in your pet – how healthy it is, how it likes to spend time, what it doesn’t like and so on.

What do you do with your cat companions during holidays? As I’ve mentioned, my friend offers cat-sitting services so when noone from my family can take care of Míca I know where to turn to.