I am posting this question for a friend (yes, really ).
She has been asked to take a job house- and kitty-sitting for the summer.
She has two cats of her own.
What to do? Take her cats along, where they would be restricted to the nice big kitchen because they have claws and the kitchen has no carpet or upholstered furniture (but the walls have corners, of course!)?
Or leave her cats to "house-sit" in their own (and her) home, about 10 minutes from the other house, and go by every day to visit with them, check food, water, clean litter boxes, etc.? Stay and play and cuddle.
The kitty she would be sitting is declawed and has the run of his house; her kitties would not have free access to the house because they have claws, don't know the resident kitty, and could take to marking territory, besides all the other things kitties can do on the loose!
I think that to move her kitties to a strange place would be more traumatic for them than to remain in their own home with each other and frequent regular visits from their human.
But I have no experience with this sort of situation. I do have kitties but have never left a kitty to "house-sit" my house for more than a couple of days at a stretch.
Someone suggested a possibility of declawing her cats and moving them to the other house, but I am very much against declawing, and besides, I think all 3 cats would be traumatized.
Please ... if you have any experience of this, or thoughts, please let me know and I will share them with my friend! We have open minds, so feel free to share pro-con thoughts on declawing as well.
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If it were me, I would leave her cats at home and plan on visiting once or twice a day, especially as she is only 10 minutes away from them. The cats will be perfectly fine, and much more comfortable in their own home, than in a strange place in a strange cat's territory. And I doubt that the person she's housesitting for expects her to be glued to the house 24/7.
Definitely do not tell her to declaw. It's painful enough for kittens that many vets around here won't do it even then. For an adult cat it would be an extremely horrific experience.
Good luck and, tell her to have fun getting to know her "new" kitty.
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I would never take my cats to a house that was not mine for any length of time, especially if there were other cats in the house. Too much risk of cats not getting along, and potential pee issues due to that. Were I in this situation, the only solution would be to visit home daily to take care of my cats.
Assuming that she actually wants to take the job, I'd say leave the kitties at home and just spend as much time there as possible. Trying to uproot cats is a recipe for disaster. If she comes home after work every day and maybe cooks dinner at her own place, they'll have some routine to look forward to and she can still sleep at the other place and spend time with that cat.
I'm not 100% against declawing (had several perfectly successful experiences with it) but it is NOT warranted in this situation and no surgery should be done unless it is warranted. A permanent fix to a temporary dilemma = not wise.
I had a pet-sitting gig where I was a half hour away from my home, and I definitely didn't bring my kittehs since I was sitting for an ill-mannered Golden Retriever. I can't imagine the cats would be any happier dealing with the smells, sounds and maybe occasional sights of Strange Cats.
Another thing to think about -- really, why would she have to just "drop in a couple of times a day" at her home? What does she think pet-sitting involves? She ought to be able to spend at least one weekend day at home -- if she is working full-time I agree the evenings might be rushed going from place to place, but if she is working part-time or not at all, there ought to be plenty of time so that neither place is a "drop in" visit.
For the Golden Retriever gig, I had to come home from work and feed my horses, dog and cats each evening. Then pack up and go to the pet sitting house. I did have a friend feed my at-home critters in the a.m. -- THAT would've been tough. But I was able to do plenty for the dog, just like the owner's schedule when they are at home and working all day.
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