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Going on vacation - two options for kitty. Opinions?

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  • Going on vacation - two options for kitty. Opinions?

    I'm having a hard time deciding what to do with my kitty when I go on vacation for 9 days later this month.

    Option #1 - Friend has offered to have kitty stay at their place. Kitty knows friend well. However, friend has recently gotten a new dog which friend says is fine with cats. I expressed concern since dog is new and big so friend said no problem - will keep cat and dog separated - however I am still concerned. Kitty is fine with dogs.

    Option #2 - Kitty can go to a kitty boarding facility. Kitty actually has a reservation there already so if I cancel, I lose my deposit (I'm ok with this). Kitty will have a floor to ceiling cat condo with a big bright window to look out of and 5 levels to hang out on. Kitty will be let out to play in larger area once per day.

    What should I do? My kitty is a middle aged, laid back dude. I'd like for him to go to friend's house, but I am concerned about friend's new dog.

  • #2
    Nine days? Send the cat to boarding. There would be no question in my mind. I would never leave my cats in someone's house where there are dogs. I don't really care what the dog's owner says about his "friendliness" to cats. I simply do not trust any dog not to chase or attack a strange cat.


    • #3
      There may be a third option. Check with your vet and see if she/he can recommend a good in home catsitter. They don't have to stay there all the time, just check in once or twice a day to check refresh food and water and clean the litter box. That way the cat gets to stay home in familiar surroundings, which can be very important for cat psyche. I have an excellent sitter. She also brings in the mail, lowers and raises the shades morning and night and feeds the birds. In the winter, the fact that there are human tracks in the snow around the outside of the house gives the house a more lived in look and in the summer she adds watering the potted plants to her agenda. It might be a little more expensive, especially if you have them come twice a day and do the extra stuff, but it's worth it, both for your peace of mind and the cat's comfort.

      If you can't do that, then definitely board. I wouldn't trust any dog that isn't familiar with my cat.
      If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
      Desmond Tutu


      • #4
        Visiting cat sitter is the way to go if possible. If not, I'd definitely choose boarding over at friend's house with new dog. That sounds way too stressful for kitty.
        What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!


        • Original Poster

          I can definitely have my boyfriend come once or twice a day and check on/feed/clean litter of kitty in my own home. I didn't really think of that option. Kitty is very social and loves to be around people but I don't think that boyfriend would mind coming over and hanging out for 1/2 hr or so a day. I didn't think of that! is 9 days too long to leave kitty without more than 1/2 hr - 1hr of human interaction per day?


          • #6
            I think kitty will be just fine with that arrangement. And much more at ease in his/her own home. I have 4 cats, so they keep each other company when we're away but we have this same arrangement with our sitter and they do fine.
            What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!


            • #7
              Depends on the kitty. I used to leave my cat for weekends and she 1) got into my closet and chewed holes in my sweaters and 2) after I locked the closet, crawled under my comforter and chewed holes in the blankets. She went to a kitty sitter after that.


              • #8
                Depends on the kitty. Some would be too stressed leaving home for that length of time, no matter how nice. Others will be too stressed being by themselves at home with out "mom". Ours never go out to board, someone always comes here to feed them. But, there are several of them and while they do get lonely, I think they are much happier at home. Same with my Dad's cats - I go feed them 1-2 times a day, depending on if I have to let them out/bring them in when it's nice weather, and they miss their mom and dad, but are quite alright with their familar setting
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                • #9
                  If kitty handle boarding I would choose that option. Sounds like a nice place and there will be someone there and kitty will have company all day. I would skip the friend's place, kitty isn't familiar with the house and too much chance of kitty getting confused or upset and getting out. If you had more than one cat I would agree with the pet sitter but since kitty will be alone 24/7 I think kitty will get lonely.
                  "My treasures do not chink or gleam, they glitter in the sun and neigh at night."


                  • #10
                    Personally, I try to avoid boarding my house pets (dogs in my case). If your kitty had health issues such that she needed daily meds or whatever, boarding at the vet clinic might be on the list. But if she's otherwise healthy, I would guess she'd be much happier at home in her usual surroundings.

                    In your situation, I'd try to have someone (BF, pet sitter) come to the house. Maybe BF could even stay at your place overnights so she's got the "usual" amount of interaction?
                    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MumboJumbo View Post
                      is 9 days too long to leave kitty without more than 1/2 hr - 1hr of human interaction per day?
                      Mine have been boarded for almost that long (8 days) and survived just fine.


                      • #12
                        We had "kitty condos" and offered boarding at the clinic where I worked. I have to say that many cats were not that comfortable. The noise, the different environment, different people, etc stressed the majority out. Some did really well IF they were used to busy households already. Many just kind of slept in their litter boxes and hugged the walls.

                        Will they survive? Yep. But many will be stressed, go off their usual food, have litter box disturbances, etc.

                        If it's an option to not do that for the first time for such a long duration, I would try to avoid it. I'm not a cat person FWIW. But I won't even board my dogs. They're friendly and like people, but they're used to living in the home. Not in a kennel.
                        A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                        Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                        • #13
                          My cats did more than survive. They got on just fine and came home in good shape.


                          • #14
                            For me, the option to have someone come in once or twice a day would be light years ahead of the others. My kitties are not overly socialized to leaving the house - except for the vet and moving days, which they despise.

                            The right cat would be just fine in that setup. I had one foster kitty live alone in my apartment for almost four months with just a daily visit. I didn't love that option but it was his most appealing one. He reveled in the attention when he got it, ate just fine, maintained his box and adjusted just fine when I got back with my two brute keeper-cats. Oh and those two cats handled five days of zero interaction just fine. I suspect their world just keeps on turning.. nap, zoom around the house, snack, stare out the window, nap, zoom, snack, stare, nap nap nap.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by caballero View Post
                              My cats did more than survive. They got on just fine and came home in good shape.
                              Like I said, some did great. But they were typically kitties who were very social AND were used to a high amount of activity in the house. The OP's cat sounds social as far as wanting human attention, but I get the feeling that she's used to being in an otherwise quiet house with one human maybe one guest at a time.

                              A better test would be a 3 day weekend. 9 days? Kitty could get pretty worked up. If there's a way to keep her home, I personally would.
                              A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                              Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                              • #16
                                I vote for house sitter or BF coming in daily.

                                I do a lot of house sitting for people and the animals are pretty happy in their own environment.

                                DH and I also had one cat that would come to our house for the week. He was a relative's cat with diabetes. They would have needed to board him at the vet's, which was really expensive. We volunteered to take him as we had previously owned a diabetic cat so we could do the shots twice per day. They didn't live close enough for us to go to their house twice per day. We had 3 big dogs at the time. However, Fitz had his own personal bedroom so he only had to see the dogs to and from the front door while in the safety of his crate.

                                My guys are good with cats. I have 6 cat so they are really used to them. However the lab can be overwhelming to new cats. If the cat is too passive he will pin them to the floor and lick their ears or rears. If the cat swats at him, even with claws in, he backs off and is all disappointed he can't love on them.
                                I would not subject a cat that is not used to dog to my dogs for only a 9 day trip. It would seem too stressful for the cat to make it worthwhile.

                                If your friend has a bedroom where your cat can be kept away from the dog I don't see an issue with that.
                                Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


                                • #17
                                  I'd do a sitter. Cats in particular much prefer to just stay home. Plus it's safer- no exposure to diseases, no chance for the cat to escape in a strange place.
                                  I think most cats would far prefer to stay home completely alone than go to a kennel or to another person's house.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Thanks for all the responses!

                                    I live alone with my kitty. He's definitely not used to hustle and bustle on a daily basis and is visibly upset in his carrier when he has to go somewhere (vet, when I moved). He came from a shelter environment where he was adopted, returned, adopted, returned and so on. I'm not sure why because he's been with me for a year and has been awesome but I don't want him to feel abandoned again (anthromorphizing much?). I've left him to his own devices with just a 1 time quick check in for 2 nights and he's been perfectly fine.

                                    I worry that 9 days is a lot for him to handle being alone with minimal interaction. He doesn't ever do anything bad - no chewing, no pooping outside box, no scratching. He's very well behaved but does thrive on interaction with people (ie. me). I wish I could have someone come and stay at my house but unfortunately this is not an option (don't know anyone who can do this). I am going away on a half vacay/half work trip and don't want to feel stressed out the entire time.


                                    • #19
                                      Well, there's always the "get another cat to keep the first one company" option.
                                      If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
                                      Desmond Tutu


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Louise View Post
                                        Well, there's always the "get another cat to keep the first one company" option.

                                        And besides that, this sounds like a "don't board" situation - would likely lead to a very unhappy kitty.

                                        Even if someone only comes once a day, if they can spend a few minutes paying quality attention to the kitty, doing whatever it is she likes to do best, that can be enough to get them by even if they're still lonely and missing mom
                                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET