Don’t Leave Your Cat Home Alone

CatChannel behavior expert, Marilyn Krieger, CCBC, gives advice on keeping your cat happy and healthy when you're on vacation.

Q: I recently got a Bengal kitten; he’ll be 4 months old next week. He has adjusted very well to our home and our family. My question is: What do we do when we go on vacation? Should we have someone he knows stay at the house with him? Do we take him with us? Or just leave him alone? I don’t want to traumatize him because he has done so well, but we’ll be planning a vacation soon, and I need to be prepared. 

A: I don’t recommend leaving a cat alone without anyone to care for him when going on vacation. Cats need to have daily feedings and fresh water, and they need their cat boxes cleaned every day. They also need to interact with their vacation caregiver on at least a daily basis.

A few cats enjoy the travel experience, but most do not. Most cats do best when left at home, in their own environment, with a pet sitter, family member or friend visiting once or twice a day. The person who comes in to take care of your cat while you are on vacation should spend time with him, grooming him, playing and giving him lots of love and attention. The vacation pet caregiver can never be you, but he or she can help keep a cat healthy and happy while you are away.

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