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Away from home, TRUE kitty behavior emerges

823 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Julz
I wanted to share my story of my Christmas vacation with everyone. I got to take a few days off for Christmas this year and wanted to go back home to spend it with my parents. My kitty sitter was out of town and I can't afford to send them to the boarding place so Sammy and Alex and I bundled everything together for a super fun road trip!
My boys had been to their Nana's and Gpa's before, (a couple long weekends after I got them when I didn't have anyone to watch them and didn't want to leave them by themselves). My parents have two cats of their own. Sadie and Sookie are both 15 and very frail, each with their own health problems (thoughts for Sookie please, my parents don't expect her to last much longer). The first time they visited, my boys were perfectly behaved and Sookie even played with them. Sadie would hiss and fuss a bit but by the time they left she would sit away and keep her eye on them without too much of a problem. This general 'okay-ness' with one another was the only reason I brought them home instead of finding another solution.
WELL. Two and a half hours of yowling is not fun. In case you were wondering. Which I'm sure you were. Buh. Not doing that again any time soon.
Once we were at mom and dad's I set up their litter and food and water and let them get all settled into their guest room. Alex freaked out. He's always been the more nervous of the two (relatively) but for a solid ten minutes he just sat growling. He hissed at everything that moved and some that didn't. He attacked his brother a couple times and hissed at my mom. Just not a happy cat. I wasn't expecting this as they had been so good all the other times we had traveled, even to the vet. I didn't get the door shut fast enough while leaving once and of course they both took off. They cornered Sadie and after much hissing and growling and screaming, we finally got them separated and back into their room. I bought calming collars for Alex and Sadie, who was just as upset as Alex. No effect other than making a huge mess. This is all on day one.
So needless to say, we learned quickly. Each pair of cats was allowed out in shifts, boys to get exercise, and the girls to use the litter box. Horrendously stressful situation for everyone. To pound in the lesson that my boys are not road trip cats, they hated to be shut in the room. Especially if they could hear people in the rest of the house. They would sit by the door and run their claws down the back repeatedly. They didn't damage anything but the noise of the claws on the wood and the banging of the door in it's frame was ridiculously annoying. They would do it at night, too, even though I slept in the same room to keep them company. Ruurg. Not much sleeping went on this week.
Moral of the story, cats like to hide their true bratty natures until they are taken to see Nana and Gpa. Also, bringing kitties home is way more stressful than hunting down a new kitty sitter.
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Sounds awful! After boarding two cats in the '80's, I decided to try something else. Cat sitters are too expensive for me. So for the last 25 years or so, I leave the cat(s) at home with a dry feeder, lots of water in big containers and plenty of litter boxes. I have done this for as long as 8 days once. The cat(s) have always been fine, not nearly as stressed as boarding and transporting. Food, water and a decent litterbox are necessities for cats, we are sort of optional. Sure, the condo cold burn down or the cat could get really sick but these are very low probability events. I am willing to take those small risks.
I didn't realize I put this in behavior, I meant to post it in the chat forum.
The first couple times I took them home, they were fine. I really wasn't expecting them to be so ridiculous. My mom was so excited to see her grandkitties and I don't get to bring them home much so I thought it was a good way to go. So now I know that my cats are not traveling cats, like yours Robert.
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