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ER! So much free time to travel! But how do you handle... cats?
Old 09-06-2018, 02:52 PM   #1
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ER! So much free time to travel! But how do you handle... cats?

As I finish up a two-week retreat in a part of the country I have spent many summers in, I am dreaming of being able to come out here for longer stretches of time once I am ER'ed. (and, given how wonderful these two weeks were, that might be coming sooner rather than later!)

But the one sticking point for me is my two wildly spoiled indoor cats at home. In the past when I've been gone for two weeks, I've had a friend stay at the house for a week, but this is the first time the critters have been alone for two weeks (with daily food/water visits from generous neighbors). I know they are "okay," but I also know I am going to pay for this when I get home--they will not let me out of their sight for a long time.

So, those of you who are traveling a lot--do you have cats? Do you have kids still at home who can be there? Do you hire housesitters? Any brave souls actually take cats with them on road trips?

(There's no way I'm going to board them in a cage for x weeks.)

These two are only six years old, so I don't think I can wait them out.

I imagine I'm going to have to go the professional housesitter route, but I was just wondering if any other Crazy Cat People out there have hit on a wonderful solution. Or am I giving them too much human emotion, and I should be just fine with them being at home for x weeks as long as they are fed and looked after daily?
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Old 09-06-2018, 03:06 PM   #2
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While I don't have any cats, a friend of mine does and he's been gone for up to two weeks at a time and uses animal feeders similar to these I found on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-...=animal+feeder
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Old 09-06-2018, 03:09 PM   #3
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I met a couple who brought their cat with them in their motorhome.

Each morning they let the cat out. And then they put out it's food inside the motorhome door. So the cat wanted breakfast and came back. And they shut the door. The rest of the day it spent inside.

When asked if they weren't afraid it would run away they said it never had - so not really. And it had a bluetooth or something so they could track it.
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Old 09-06-2018, 03:14 PM   #4
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We only have one cat, and he's nearly 16 years old so putting him in a cage for a long time would be too cruel (and that's what all the pet boarders around here do). We are extremely lucky to have neighbors who like cats and hardly ever travel. When we recently took a 30 day overseas trip, they came over twice a day to take care of ours. Food, water, litter box, and at least five minutes of playtime. It was great for us, and the cat thought it was just dandy.
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Old 09-06-2018, 03:24 PM   #5
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We have seen people with cats in their motor home. We take our dogs, have my son move into the house or hire someone to come to the house. No way I would board them.
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Old 09-06-2018, 03:27 PM   #6
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We have this https://www.aristocatshotel.com/ It's a lifesaver. Chika loves it there.

Coz
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Old 09-06-2018, 03:44 PM   #7
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Just be like all the other retiree’s here in FL and take your pets everywhere with you and essentially treat them like kids. Home Depot, grocery store, salon. Push them in strollers, talk to them in a baby voice, etc.
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Old 09-06-2018, 03:45 PM   #8
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I probably pay our kennel $750 a year to take care of Xena the Rottweiler. They also charge $15 daily to take care of cats.

If you leave a couple of clean litter boxes, enough food and a water.feeder, cats can go for a week on their own. We get.our daughter to look in on our 2 cats.I

Our car got mad last vacation and peed on a couple of comforters and.a wingback chair. Cats also get mad at us. Just.make.sure nothing where you leave them is made of cloth.
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Old 09-06-2018, 03:45 PM   #9
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That looks great, COZICAN. You're lucky to have such a place.
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Old 09-06-2018, 03:57 PM   #10
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Our spoiled, rotten, demanding fur-kid should be at least silver medallion with Delta. In his mind, we're just staff. Sometimes, he stays with DS. But if he's busy, the mutt goes with us. Then we sacrifice even more. Fur kids are not allowed in the point end of the plane, so we have to downgrade to premium economy (a true oxymoron).

Pekingese are high strung as a breed. Putting our peke in a kennel would be torture. Board him? Only when we board.
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Old 09-06-2018, 04:00 PM   #11
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Two cats and we have had neighbors fro shorter visits, house sitters for longer.

We have house sat for cats. Worked out for us and I think the owner.

Our cats were moved from Mauritius, CA, CT and more by car and plane.

My experience is they will adjust. I must say the Mauritius move was a long adjustment for one of the two cats.
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Old 09-06-2018, 04:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
We only have one cat, and he's nearly 16 years old so putting him in a cage for a long time would be too cruel (and that's what all the pet boarders around here do). We are extremely lucky to have neighbors who like cats and hardly ever travel. When we recently took a 30 day overseas trip, they came over twice a day to take care of ours. Food, water, litter box, and at least five minutes of playtime. It was great for us, and the cat thought it was just dandy.
30 days with just visits, and he didn't claw you to death when you got back? Interesting.

I will admit that I have Nest cameras that aren't really for security as much as looking in on the critters when I'm not home. And they do just seem to be pretty much acting as they always do. No sitting by the door watching for me!

I think I need to stop feeling so guilty.

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Originally Posted by COZICAN View Post
We have this https://www.aristocatshotel.com/ It's a lifesaver. Chika loves it there.

Coz
Wow, that's amazing. If I had one of those nearby, I'd do it.

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Originally Posted by Beer-man View Post
Just be like all the other retiree’s here in FL and take your pets everywhere with you and essentially treat them like kids. Home Depot, grocery store, salon. Push them in strollers, talk to them in a baby voice, etc.
Funny how people can do that with dogs, but start doing it with cats and you get labeled Crazy.
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Old 09-06-2018, 04:20 PM   #13
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We’re dealing with this same situation. In the past we used a wonderful pet sitter who came by the house twice daily to look after the cats, and she played with them a while and sent us daily updates via text message. Unfortunately she closed her business. We found someone similar who agreed to come twice a day, and she did. But the Nest thermostat said she came 4 hours apart. No good.

Now one of the kitties needs sub-Q fluids twice a week, so that complicates things. We’re looking for a new sitter but haven’t had any luck yet.
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Old 09-06-2018, 04:24 PM   #14
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I usually have neighbors/friends/family stop in every day or two. Cats generally don't mind warm weather, and I have radiant heat in the bathroom floor where they hang out much of the day in winter. The latest pair were rescue cats, skittish around strangers, so I just put out food, an extra litter box, and plenty of sources of water and might have someone check if it was longer than 5-6 days. They've done fine, but now that one has passed, the other seems lonelier with that, but I still don't think she'll come out for anyone but my son, so I think I'll ask him to come once when I'm gone for a week later this month.

If I thought she would travel well I'd get an RV and take her along most places, but she can't handle a 30 minute drive to the vet unless I give her anti-nausea meds. I don't actually travel that much. I'd probably do more if I didn't have a cat, but not that much more.
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Old 09-06-2018, 04:30 PM   #15
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I feel like I've won the lottery!!! Not only do I have no desire to travel, but also I have no cats.

Just jokin' around, carry on.....
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Old 09-06-2018, 04:34 PM   #16
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I have three spoiled indoor cats. I leave them alone all the time. The longest has been a month. I just put out lots of food, water and cat boxes. They entertain each other. When I get home they are all over me for about 10 minutes, then they are over it and go about their business. If I ever decide to be gone for more than a month I will probably hire someone to stop in every few weeks to check on them, although it probably won't be necessary. Cats are pretty self reliant.
Don't feel guilty, they aren't going to sit by the door and wait for you! They are cats, not dogs, lol.
If I only had a single cat, I would board it or have some stay in my home. But if you've got a couple, you can leave them alone without problems.
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Old 09-06-2018, 04:35 PM   #17
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I feel like I've won the lottery!!! Not only do I have no desire to travel, but also I have no cats.

Just jokin' around, carry on.....
And you have a cat avatar because....?
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Old 09-06-2018, 04:39 PM   #18
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I put my wildlife camera inside once when I was gone to see what they do. Got a great shot of one of them checking it out!
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Old 09-06-2018, 04:47 PM   #19
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I have three spoiled indoor cats. I leave them alone all the time. The longest has been a month. I just put out lots of food, water and cat boxes. They entertain each other. When I get home they are all over me for about 10 minutes, then they are over it and go about their business. If I ever decide to be gone for more than a month I will probably hire someone to stop in every few weeks to check on them, although it probably won't be necessary. Cats are pretty self reliant.
Don't feel guilty, they aren't going to sit by the door and wait for you! They are cats, not dogs, lol.
If I only had a single cat, I would board it or have some stay in my home. But if you've got a couple, you can leave them alone without problems.
I think part of the problem is that they have become infinitely spoiled with Fancy Feast canned food and a perpetually clean litter box. Our previous cats were much more dry food-based and less fastidious, so we often left them for a week without anyone checking on them.

Maybe the real problem isn't so much guilt as the mistaken notion that they care whether I'm around or not!

These two aren't exactly best buddies, but I do think it helps a lot for them to have the other around, just so life doesn't feel completely different when I'm gone.

But thanks for this data point!

And for the record, here they are.
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Old 09-06-2018, 04:51 PM   #20
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I used to leave our cats alone withmy sister or a neighbor looking in on them daily. But one time they were bad. Then the next time they were really bad.

So we take them to PetSuites. It's a chain for dog and cat boarding. The cat's are in their own "wing" away from the dogs. They offer "condos" and "villas". Both are multilevel and offer a "view" - either a bird feeder out a window or an aquarium view. It's far from a cage and they stay together.

Our cats get along there well. They're always a bit needy when we get home, but after a day or two of extra attention they are back to normal.

I feel a bit guilty about it, but they are really are perfectly fine. Safe and well feed.
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