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Antique Housecat: Board or Stay Home?

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  • Antique Housecat: Board or Stay Home?

    My housecat is around 14yo (shelter cat).
    In the past when I've gone away for more than a week, I've had my farmsitter check on her every couple of days.
    I leave a huge bowl of dry food - measured in daily scoops - so 5 days away = 5 scoops - and plenty water.
    Farmsitter will feed canned food and make sure there's water.

    I buy disposable litter pans and place them near her regular pan so that chore is odious when I get hoime but what-ev,

    This month I am going to be gone for 10 days and I'm considering boarding the cat instead of leaving her home.

    She's getting pretty old and has trouble eating the dry food since she's had 2 canines and a molar removed.
    It still gets eaten, but slowly and she's always begging for canned food.
    I give her small feedings when I'm there - frankly I think she may be a bit senile & forget she just ate, so I don't want to overfeed.

    I know cats are most comfortable in their own homes, but I'm concerned she may not do well this trip with just the farmsitter looking in on her.
    I could ask him to up the eyeball check to daily and feed larger amounts of canned food 2X daily (he comes for horses 2X).

    She mostly sleeps all day long except when she hears me in the kitchen, then she will beg for food.
    Open floor plan - her napping spot on the couch is directly adjacent to kitchen.

    What say the cat experts here?
    Board or stay home?
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
    Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

  • #2
    I'd have your horse sitter check her daily and keep her supplied with canned food at home. Cats like home, old cats like routine and aren't happy with change.
    If you can keep her home that's the choice I'd suggest.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!


    • #3
      I vote for home as well, as long as your farm sitter will most definitely check on her, give her a couple skritchies, and call your vet & you if something goes wrong.

      Agree that staying home sleeping all day would be much less stressful than in a boarding cattery.

      At home for 10 days without you she might wonder where you are and what has happened - although sometimes I think my cats are like "Hallelujah! we've got the house to ourselves," and "Oh, you're back. You could've stayed longer. When's your next trip?", in a boarding kennel your cat will have no idea that you're coming back after 10 days. All she'll know is that her life has drastically changed; she won't be able to see that it's temporary.


      • Original Poster

        Yeah, I am definitely leaning towards keeping her home.
        Last trip was just 4 days so I did not ask farmsitter to check on her, but he did.

        Whenever I'm gone & get back she makes a huge fuss, following me & demanding food & pets, so I'm thinking she'll be happier at home instead of boarded.

        *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
        Steppin' Out 1988-2004
        Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
        Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


        • #5
          I'm glad you're leaning towards home. Especially with an older cat. If she's getting a bit senile, as you indicated, she'll be especially confused. When I leave, I always have a cat sitter come in. I just feel better knowing that they're safe at home. Of course, with five, it would kind of break the bank to board them all.
          If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
          Desmond Tutu


          • #6
            Another vote for leave her at home!!!
            What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!


            • #7
              Definitely keep her at home. We boarded an older cat and dog when I was a kid and they had a really, really hard time.

              Crazy idea, maybe: do you have a young friend who would come over to read to her? my brother's exwife used to do this for her ancient cat, because she did have a good friend with a second grader they were trying to encourage to read. Kiddo brought over a storybook every day and sat on the couch and read to the cat, mom walked through the house and made sure the water heater hadn't exploded, and it was a win-win-win situation.


              • #8
                Leave her home, if possible. She will do much better. Cats just don't take stress well.
                “Pray, hope, and don't worry.”

                St. Padre Pio


                • #9
                  I'd leave her home and have someone check on her daily. Too bad you don't have a friend who would do that. I've done daily feedings/cat pan cleaning, etc., for friends at their homes. With my own cats, I always took them and my dogs to stay with my parents when I traveled. My cats rode as well as my dogs on road trips to visit family for holidays as well.

                  I have a 20 yr old, a to-be-17 yr old next month, and a 10 yr old cat. I leave them with my mother when I travel. The 20 yr old eats more now than he did when he was a little kitten. Canned food daily, and the "temptations" dry food.


                  • #10
                    Home is also safer for her health

                    I at one time would board my kitty out when I had to go out of town. Until the time I brought her home (she was in her teens then) only to have her become seriously ill just days later - serious enough that I almost lost her. She did recover and in fact lived to the ripe old age of 22, but I from then on left her at home with a daily cat sitter visit. I think exposing an older kitty to potential infection in a boarded situation when they are going to be under stress is just not a good idea.
                    Only one cat - must not be totally crazy yet!


                    • #11
                      Is your antique cat, like Early American? Louis XIV?

                      I wouldn't move a fragile cat too often.... unless it was insured properly.
                      The armchair saddler
                      Politically Pro-Cat


                      • #12
                        When I was in high school, I worked at a vet clinic that boarded dogs and cats when their owners were on vacation. The cats really did not do well being boarded. They spent most of the time terrified, and growled/scratched/completely flipped out at employees when we had to move them to clean cages. It also really sucked for them because they spent the entire time in a small cage (like you would see in an animal shelter). I always felt truly terrible for the boarded cats. Most of them were honestly too upset to be consoled.

                        The dogs, on the other hand, usually did great. But they also got to go for walks, etc., and the really good ones got to be loose in the common areas while we were there cleaning.


                        • #13
                          Add a few bucks per day to what you are paying the farm sitter and have them check on the cat for you. I am sure your cat will appreciate staying home. Maybe you can get the farm sitter to empty/replace litter pans too.