Is It Better to Board A Cat Or Leave At Home When You Leave

Not every cat breed loves to travel. Or maybe you’ve tried traveling with your feline friend and it was a nightmare, you may be wondering “is it better to board a cat or leave at home?” This is a very common question because people don’t want their cat to miss them or sit at home lonely.

In most cases, it should be fine to leave your cat at home when you leave home. As long as you have someone that you trust to come in and check on them once in a while. If you don’t want your cat to spend the days by themselves, you may want to consider boarding them at a facility that can provide them great care.

Whether you’re leaving for the holidays, on vacation, weekend trip or just a short day trip. This article will help you get the best care for your four-legged friend.

Leaving Cats Alone for 2 Weeks

Whether you’re leaving your cat alone for 10 days, a month, or leaving cats alone for 2 weeks, they still require the same basic things to survive and thrive.

You need to ensure that they have a safe environment where they can’t get hurt or slip outside and get lost.

You’re either going to have to have someone come by and check on them once every few days. If you want them to have more day to day care, then you can take them to a cat boarding facility.

Leaving A Kitten Alone Overnight

Older cats will be fine to leave alone for one night. As long as they have fresh water and food, they may not even realize you’re gone.

A kitten that is younger than four months should not be left alone for more than four hours. Kittens require more attention than an adult cat.

Leaving a Cat With Friend While On Vacation

If you’re going to a destination that doesn’t like cats, there’s nothing wrong with asking a friend to stay with your cat. I’ve stayed with a friends cat while they went away for 6 days.

You will miss your cat while you’re vacationing, especially, if they love to travel. However, it’s totally understandable that you can’t take your cat on every trip you take.

Leave Them Emergency Contact Information

Whether you’re boarding your cat or leaving them with a friend, you’ll want to make sure that you leave your contact, and veterinarian information.

I’ve done my fair share of pet sitting other people’s cats while they were away. Nothing has ever happened, but you definitely want your pet sitter to know where they need to take your cat does get sick or hurt.

Leaving Outdoor Cat While On Vacation

An outdoor cat is more independent than an indoor cat. However, you never want to leave your outdoor kitty outside while you’re gone.

You’ll be able to enjoy your vacation if you know that Fluffy is safe from passing cars, stray animals, people poisoning them, other people’s escaped pets and other unknown pitfalls that can havoc for an outdoor cat.

Cats Love Company

Some felines may seem like loners, but the truth is that they do like human companionship.

Some cats can suffer from separation anxiety like dogs. This can lead to destructive behaviors like excessive crying, marking territory and other anxiety behaviors.

Some cat breeds have the personality of dogs and leaving them alone for a few hours can provoke intense anxiety. Cat breeds that won’t like being left alone are:

  • Sphynx
  • Scottish Folds
  • Birmans
  • Ragdolls

Just like dogs, cats can get into a surprising amount of trouble when left alone.

You’ll be amazed at how differently your self-contained and suave feline acts when they’re left alone.

Where Can I Leave My Cat While I Go On Vacation?

I know you love traveling with your cat, but if you just have to leave them behind, there are two options. I’ll share them with you to help ensure that your cat is safe while you’re away.

Home Care vs. Boarding

Home care is when you leave your cat in their familiar environment and ask a friend, family member, or sitter to come into your or stay at your home while you’re away. They give your cat attention, food, water and make time for playtime ensuring that your cat is safe and no issues arise.

Boarding requires you to take your cat to a different facility that boards cats. You will have to schedule a visit in advance to make sure that it is suitable for Fluffy. Look for a facility that is clean, smells good, and is relatively quiet.

Facilities that have a lot of loud noises, such as barking, excessive meowing, or loud employees can create great stress in your feline.

Arrange for A Pet Sitter

Try to find someone that has interacted with your cat and your four-legged friend is comfortable with. Some cats tend to be shy around new people and they won’t understand why this person keeps coming into their domain.

Ask your friend or sitter if they can visit with your pet twice per day. If they can stay at your home 24/7 that will be better.

They should check your cat’s food, water and clean out the litter box, or change out the disposable litter box. If your cat loves being outside, they may even want to take them for a walk using the cat harness.

Either way, your cat will appreciate human interaction while you are away. It’s a great way to minimize the stress that your cat will feel while you’re away.

Kennel Your Cat

You’ll have to put your cat in their carrier and take their personal items such as food bowl, water bowl, toys, treats, and harness to another facility.

If your cat has never been there, they will be scared and unsure of what’s going on. When you leave them in unknown territory and around strangers, they can struggle with separation anxiety.

Bottom Line

Unfortunately, your cat can’t always travel with you. It’s nice to know what your options are if you do have to leave them alone for a few days.

Make sure that you ask whoever is taking care of your cat to send you lots of updates and pics. You’ll feel much better if you can see your cat while you’re away on vacation.

Following these tips will help make the process of leaving Fluffy behind a lot painless for both you and your cat. Before you know it, you’ll be planning your next trip with your cat and they will be ready to travel with you.

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References and Further Reading

Friedewald, C. DMV, – Leaving Your Cat Home Alone

Parr Road Animal Hospital – Leaving Your Cat While On Holiday Tips From Your Local Atlanta Veterinarian