what do you do with your cats on long trips? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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what do you do with your cats on long trips?

Next year me and my SO plan to fly to my parents house for a week. I usually travel there alone because he works, but next year he really wants some time off to see my family.

Within a year we've acquired these 2 cats and we have no idea what to do with them when we go on the trip. Were not going for a while yet and I'm already worrying about it!

We have nobody here who could watch the cats for us. His mother is deathly afraid of any animal so that isn't even an option.

I'm scared of the idea of hiring a stranger to come here every day and feed them and do litter boxes. I also don't like the idea of boarding for multiple reasons, the entire trip I'd be stressed and depressed wondering if the cats are okay or if they think we've abandoned them.

What do you guys do?
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 02:23 PM
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Well you covered about all the scenarios that I know of. I have had a friend of my daughter's come and stay at my house and that worked out well.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 02:24 PM
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Best thing I ever did was find Liz, my petsitter.

I interviewed a few of them and chose her because the boys seemed to adore her (and she looked clean, smart, and seemed like a great person). She is a vet tech at a Vet Hospital less than 1/2 mile from my apartment so I felt I could trust her to handle any medical issues that might pop up. She was made aware of MowMow's UT issues and knew to keep and eye on how much urine was in the box. Her office so close made 3 trips a day easy for her and she spent her lunch hour here eating, watching TV, and keeping them company (and she got paid for it.. win/win). She was recommended to me by my downstairs neighbor so I knew someone who had a GREAT experience with her.

It was an unbelievable relief each night when she'd send me a text photo of the boys so I knew they were safe and seemed happy. She'd also send me a plain text (no photo) in the mornings so I knew they were OK.

When I got home they didn't even seem to miss me. They were content, the apartment was clean (she MUST have tidied, because my boys trash the place on a regular basis), and the boxes smelled fresh and tidy. She even ran the vacuum for me.

For years I've avoided vacations where I couldn't take MowMow (and then came Book which made it more difficult) and it was a major weight off my shoulders to know that I can go anytime without worrying about them. Liz will take GREAT care of them and they'll be just fine without me.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 02:39 PM
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I have a fantastic pet sitter as well. Same as mowmow I had a few come by and picked the one Leelu liked the most. I trust her completely and have known her for years. She actually has a second key for my place at all times. I figure if I'm in accident or something happens, the most important thing is that she can go in and look after my little furbaby. Thankfully she's also very patient with my paranoid tendencies and is happy to provide a daily update when I'm away.
I also think Leelu is by far the happiest at home in her own environment. You can probably find one in your area as well. Mine isn't cheap, but it's well worth the money for peace of mind.


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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 02:47 PM
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All that Zuma said. My girl is 15 PER trip and I had her in 3X a day. It added a chunk of change to my vacation bill but was SO WORTH IT including the 25.00 tip I gave her because she just ROCKS.

I was also thinking recently about the key idea. The next time she sits for me I think I'm going to tell her to keep the key and ask if Ican give her # to the apartment complex as an emergency contact (or give her # to my NoK so they can call her if something should happen).
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 02:49 PM
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Definitely pet sitter. I am also lucky to have a great one. Even my shy boy just loves her! She stops by twice a day to feed them, clean the litterbox, play and cuddle with them, ect. She also will vacuum, dust, mop, or any other small chore while she is there. I come home to two happy boys and a clean apartment! It's just wonderful. She also texts me pictures of them while she's there! I really think this is the best, least stressful route.

If you are unsure of having someone there, you can always get a nanny cam to be sure they acted appropriately.




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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 03:26 PM
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I use a pet sitting service. The owner of it always took care of Simon. For the girls, it has always been one of the lady employees. She is great. The service itself is insured and bonded. They gave me a choice of a single hour visit or two half-hour visits. I chose the two shorter visits. As part of the service, if anyone will be taking care of my pets who hasn't come before, they have to come first and meet me and them. They write down EVERYTHING: from where the carpet cleaner is kept to my neighbors' names to what temp I keep my thermostat, in addition to the usual feeding/litter instructions, favorite toys, emergency contacts, and building key code. They text daily updates as well as leave a detailed log for me at home.

Usually my friend takes care of the girls because they love her, but when I use this service, there isn't much drop off in quality, in my opinion.


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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 04:16 PM
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If you can't find someone to stay in the house or come over 2x a day, ask your vet if there are catteries or boarding places where you live. We have several excellent pet boarding places here where I live. The cost is reasonable and they have large pens and play areas available. You are smart to start planning now - AND be sure to have a back up plan if Suzie decides she doesn't want to do it.

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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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My SO is NOT okay with a stranger coming into our house, no matter how credible they are. He works from home and has a lot of expensive equipment laying around. He doesn't even trust a nanny cam. He's more paranoid than me! I'll have to see what we can do :\
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 06:16 PM
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I have a suggestion!

As a pet sitter I've dealt with people just like your SO, and I totally get where he's coming from. Here's a few things you could do that might put him at ease:

-get key locks for your bedroom, home office, or other rooms with valuable things. (I've had two different clients do this and it doesn't bother me one bit. If it makes them more comfortable I'm all for it!)
-Call your vet (who you hopefully trust) for a recommendation. Most vets will have at least one sitter they know well and can suggest.
-Make sure the sitter is bonded, or has insurance. You can also ask if they've had a background check done. I'm currently going through the process of 'making things official' and one reason is because I've had a few different people ask about back ground checks.
-Ask the sitter to come meet you ahead of time. I always do a free visit so the owner can meet me, introduce me to their pets, and feel safe allowing me into their home. An understanding sitter should have no problem with this.
-Ask if you can pay with a post-dated check. I have about 3 clients (2 of whom are the door lockers ) who always leave me a check dated for the day after they come home. This way I feel safe knowing I have a check, and I'm sure it helps their peace of mind as well.

TBH I think its best for cats to stay home and have someone come see them. Kitties are such homebodies that kenneling anywhere can be way too stressful and can cause medical issues. yes, I'm a bit biased, since I do home visit pet sitting...but I wouldn't kennel my own cats either!

Do you have a co-worker who has cats that you might trust? You could offer to trade pet sitting now for you doing the same for them later???
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