The holidays are fast approaching! A season of family and joy - and lots of travel. While the impacts of COVID-19 may impact how many people are traveling this year, if your holiday plans do include travel be sure to take social distancing measures and wear protective face coverings when out in public. If you are traveling for the holidays, like many other pet owners across the globe, you might be wondering what to do with your feline family members while you're away from home.
For many, the thought of leaving their cats at home is difficult and stressful; and it can be a stressful time for cats too. But it doesn't have to be. Here some tips to help you and your kitty have a safe and happy holiday - even if you can't be there!
Tip 1...check your suitcase before you leave to make sure there aren't any cats inside! :)
Don't Leave Them Home Alone
When it comes to leaving your cat at home while you're traveling, never leave your cat home without someone to check in on them.
While cats give off airs of independence, they can't "fend for themselves" as some pet owners would like to believe.
So always make sure you have someone to check in with your cats to refill their food, water, clean their litter box, and give them some good TLC!
Find a Trusted Pet Sitter
Your first choice when looking for a pet sitter should be a friend or family member that your cat is familiar with - and that you know is trustworthy and won't flake. A familiar face will help ease your kitty's stress levels, especially if your cat is wary of strangers.
But your friends and family may be traveling, too, so the next best thing is a pet sitter with plenty of good reviews and recommendations, whether it is online or by trusted friends and family. Some pet sitters may even stay in your home while you are away to better help your cat stick to its normal routine.
The sitter can feed and interact with them and observe changes in habits that might indicate there is a medical problem. In addition to feeding and maintaining the litter box, the sitter should spend quality time with the cats — engaging them in activities they enjoy.
Write Out Detailed Instructions
Before you head out, make sure to leave detailed instructions for your cat sitter. Besides the usual feeding schedules and litter box notes, it might be a good idea to list your cat's favorite toys as well, so that the sitter knows the best way to get your cat to play.
Cats crave routine and love things that are familiar to them. So if your cat enjoys catnip, leaving some out for the sitter with instructions to sprinkle it on their toys or bed might be the purr-fect way to help put your cat at ease.
Remind Them Of You
Your kitty knows your scent and will probably miss you while you’re gone, and thinking about your cat missing you can cause you emotional distress, too.
You can help your kitty feel more comfortable if you leave a piece of clothing or a pillow that smells like you near her sleeping space, whether that is a comfy cat bed or an old cardboard box. It will help provide your cat with a familiar presence, and knowing that she’s more comfortable will help make you feel more comfortable, too.
Update Tags and Microchips
It never hurts to be prepared! If your cat is microchipped, be sure that the information on the chip is current and up-to-date with names, addresses, and phone numbers.
The same goes for collar tags, as well. In case the worst happens, such as your cat slipping out the door, it's always better to have this prepared than not.
Check In Frequently
Okay, so this one you'll probably be doing anyway! But there's no shame in calling in to check on your cat ... or asking to do a video or Facetime with your cat. Right? Right!
It's for your peace of mind as much as anything else, and a good pet sitter will appreciate and understand this.
Bring Them With You
If your cat is acclimated to travel and doesn't mind a short trip, it might be a good idea to bring them with you! Be mindful of what is best for your cat, though, as traveling can be stressful for cats who are not trained or used to the rigors of traveling.
If you're looking to take your cat with you on your next adventure, here are some helpful tips to make traveling with your cat a dream!
The holidays are a wonderful time to spend time with friends and family no matter the distance - as long as you take steps to make sure your feline family member is cared for too!