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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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Travel or Loneliness

So here is the situation.

My cat Kittykins is very shy. I've had family here for the weekend, and it's been fairly stressful on her. She isn't super affectionate to begin with, but she has been on edge. Either under my bed, or cautiously walking around and hissing at other family members if they came close. She lets me pet her and some family members. Point is she is naturally very shy, and seems to get stressed out easily. She is almost 1 year old, and pretty big for her age.

I would have liked to spend some time alone with her to kind of recoup from the weekend but circumstances prevent this. My girlfriend (lives with me) had to go out of town, and I just accepted a job out of town that will last 1 month.

For this job, I'll be staying in a hotel for a week, then either an apartment or extended stay hotel. This first hotel allows pets. The others probably will. It is about a 2 hour drive. I have driven with her before and it is slightly stressful on her but she doesn't really freak out.

Here are my two choices.

A. Take her to the hotel with me. Keep her with me for the month, probably moving once after the first hotel is up. If anything doesn't work out I can take her back home. Pros are that she will be with me, cons are that the ride and move may be stressful.

B. My next door neighbor can take care of her. He would feed her twice daily, hang out for a little bit. She isn't super affectionate with him but will come up to him. I would be home about once a week, each week for the next month. I could also get my sister to drop by maybe once a week to try and play with her.

I just don't know enough about cat behavior to know what the right decision is. I don't want this stress to cause permanent damage, but being alone for that long sounds like it could be stressful to. I would be very grateful if anyone could shed some light on how each choice would affect her.

I am generally a very responsible pet owner, but this slew of very unexpected circumstances has put me in this situation.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 07:30 PM
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My cats have always been happier staying at home.
I used to work for a design firm where I'd go on road trips for up to a month at a time.
I had friends and co-worker coming by several times a day.
You might want to have several people rotating coming by, even if she's shy they could stay a while and watch TV.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 07:55 PM
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Every cat is different, but I've always taken my pets with us when possible. I think the comfort of haivng us around is greater than the stress of a new place. And the more they travel, the less of a big deal it is.

My daughter's cat has always traveled with her. First to and from school (4 hours each way) at least monthly, then to her first post-college job (20 hours by car), and finally to her current job (another 5 hour drive). She has also flown to and from our home several times with great succes..

We take our cats with us when possible. They've been coming to the lake with us weekly, on trips to see family. They've been to hotels and done well.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you very much for the input.

I made the decision to bring her along. The drive was a little rough. She was calm and quiet, but was acting as though she was being taken to the vet to be put to sleep! Just buried her head in the corner of her cat carrier (which was open), with a kind of high pulse.

She walked around the hotel room growling for a little bit, but she's doing great right now. Sleeping next to me as we speak
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 11:57 PM
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Yay! That was my vote, just read this thread and didn't realize you were traveling right away. I'm glad you brought her with you.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 11:58 PM
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Well I'm late to be posting, but for a shy nervous cat I would have had her stay with your neighbor. What's the cat going to do all day when you're off working? You will have to notify the hotel that the cleaning staff must never leave the door open when they are cleaning because you have a cat in the room. Better check out the room thoroughly. A friend of mine had a shy kitten find a hole in a motel bathroom....cat squeezed through the small hole and was never seen again. No amount of coaxing or food lured the kitty out, and the motel refused to tear up a floor or a wall to find it.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 12:00 AM
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His cat will probably be doing the same thing she does while he's off working when he's living at home. Sleeping.

I would hope that the employees of a hotel that allows pets would be smart enough to be careful about opening doors and cleaning.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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That story about the hole is terrifying! After a quick spot check I think I'll be okay. Kittykins is pretty big for her age as well.

I'll just keep up the Do Not Disturb sign for the week. Not really much of a problem. I don't need a fresh towel every day...

I'll keep an eye on how she is during the day. The hotel room isn't too much smaller than my apartment, where she hangs out and sleeps when I'm not home. I'll leave the TV on for her. Luckily my hours aren't crazy so she won't be alone for a long time.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 12:12 AM
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Even if you put the Do Not Disturb on the door, I'm pretty sure you can call for fresh towels any time you want.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 05:52 PM
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I'm so happy for you that it turned out right!

In my experience with Prince, his preferences are, from best to worst:

1. At home with me (of course)
2. At home alone
3. Away from home with me
4. Away from home with someone else (this means he'd rather be home alone than somewhere else not alone)

The Royal von Meouw Dynasty: His Royal Highness the late Prince von Meouw,
Her Royal Highness Princess Gatita von Meouw, Nikita Duchess of Meouw and
His Highness Cuchi-Cuchi, next in line for the throne of Prince von Meouw.
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