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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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Vacation and the Cat

I'm going on vacation with my family to Newfoundland for 3 weeks which I do every summer in a little over 2 weeks. The problem every summer is what do we do with the cat. We have done everything in the 4 years we've had her, she has stayed with my friend who gave her to me but she now has a dog which I'm not comfortable leaving her with because Smudge has never been with dogs, she has been with a few other friends, and last year was the worst of all, we boarded her at a kennel. I called every day to make sure she was doing good, which they said she was, meanwhile when we picked her up from the kennel she had fleas, huge matts stuck in her fur, her white feet were yellow, and it took her a month to get back to normal. So kennels are not an option, and I'm having a very hard time finding someone I'm comfortable leaving her with because everyone has dogs now.

She's a pretty shy cat unless its the family, has been known to hide for up to 8+ hours when furnace people come, and is scared of men and small children. She is fine with the family and is very much a suck up and will wake up from sleeping and follow me if I change rooms. Everyone keeps telling me to just bring her with us, but she's never been in the car for more than vet trips, which she has never gotten sick or used the bathroom in the car and I don't know how she would do for 2 and a half days driving, with a hotel and being on a ferry. The only bad car ride she has had was to the kennel where she was shaking, panting and snotting/drooling.

I'm really at a loss of what to do and with the date getting closer I need to figure it out. I don't know if I should bring her, and if I do how I should go about it, I know not to leave her loose in the car so she would either be crated or harness/seatbelted in. Or what to do with food and water and bathroom usage, we drive for around 12 hours, stop in New Brunswick to sleep and then drive to the boat (10 hours) and take it over night and then drive to the house which only takes 2 or 3 hours. It's really hard to find anyone to watch her in their home and my parents don't really want someone coming in our house. I'd really appreciate some help because I have 17 days to figure all of this out.
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 01:16 PM
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Sounds to me like taking her with you would be too much stress for her. Have you considered hiring a pet sitter to come to your home while you're away? - probably needs to be a female sitter. Can your neighbors or neighbors' kids come look after her a few times a day?
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 01:28 PM
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In the past I have always had a neighbor come over and feed and check on the cats. I use my next door neighbor or a neighborhood teenager. I pay them a little bit and bring back something from the trip. The vacation I just got back from, I had a friend come over daily and check on the cats, I told her to feel free to hang out for a while and watch tv or whatever and spend some time. My cats would be much too stressed if I tried to take them anywhere or board them.
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 01:29 PM
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I would hire a pet sitter. Travelling is stressful for cats and not much fun. She'll be happier at home. Find someone who will come in twice a day to feed her, clean her LB, and play w/ her.
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 01:31 PM
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Re: your parents not wanting strangers in their home--professional pet sitters are licensed and bonded--very safe. More here: National Association of Professional Pet Sitters
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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I have but my parent's dont really want someone coming into our house when we're not there. And we aren't on a friendly basis with any of our neighbors and the ones we are we don't know them very well because they're new and their kids are toddlers. It's hard to find someone to watch her that doesn't have a dog, smaller kids or men and we don't live in the best area to use a advertised pet sitter or something from kijiji. The only person I've found so far that could come can only come once a day which wont work because she eats wet/dry mixed. No matter what we do really, she won't be a happy camper.
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 01:38 PM
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The only downside to the pet sitters/home-visitors is the expense, but the price is usually comparable to boarding. Here (Calgary) most are $25/visit (so it's really more economical to have them come once a day if you can swing it, instead of twice). They all say they play with your pet for 1/2-hour or hour and water your plants, but I don't believe it. They come and feed, scoop the box, and leave. Some of the more tech-savvy services will email you a photo each day, which is great.

I agree with you on boarding. My partner lost two childhood cats to boarders - one "ran away" and was never seen again, the other "fell" while playing and broke a leg, but apparently it happened just before they came to pick her up, which is why no medical treatment was given and the cat had to be put down when they finally got it to the vet.
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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hoofmaiden- I tried to search for a pet sitter using your link and it says none are found. I have also checked the ones on kijiji that say they are licensed and bonded but it really isn't practical, 20$ a day for two visits for 3 weeks, thats almost one way for the whole trip, $420! We wouldn't be able to afford that.
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 01:43 PM
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Sorry, I didn't see the reply...

If you have a person that can only come once a day, that's fine, you can work around it. Of course cats don't like their routine upset, but they can give her a double-serving of the wet food and top-up the dry each day during the visit, and she'll be fine.

The only thing I have to say against using friends and neighbours is some of the people I've used in the past have been a bit negligent. Even if you pay them, sometimes there's an attitude of them doing you a favour, and they might not be so good at cleaning up other messes (hairballs, etc), or they bring their kids with them. Professional pet sitters are better in that regard.

You could ask the neighbours with toddlers, though? Offer a bit of money and they could treat it as a lesson to teach the sproglet responsibility.
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 01:45 PM
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Well, you've listed all the options and written them all off in your posts.

Take her - It's a long trip and she's had car issues before.
Board her - Bad experience
Leave her with friends - your friends all have dogs and there is no one you feel comfortable with
hire someone to watch her - Your parent's don't want strangers in their home.


I think that about covers all your options...... you're going to have to pick one.

For HER safety and comfort ('cause really, that's all I care about ) I would suggest biting the bullet and hiring a pet sitter to feed/care for her. Either that or don't go with your parents. Stay home.
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