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Discussion Starter #1
What do you do with your cat/s if you have to leave for a week or more?

I'm thinking of leaving him in the street, horrible as it sounds, because I don't see a better option. Trapping him to take him to a pension or a friend's yard will be a nightmare or very expensive if I need a professional trapper, and not necessarily a better experience for him than the streets I took him from, where he knows the field and the other cats. I'm just concerned that this is a long trip (10 days). I don't have a car, so taking him anywhere is a problem too, because I don't think they're allowed on buses and taxis.
 

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I am going away next Tues for 9 days and am boarding all 3 of my cats in a no cage facility. It is expensive, however. I am paying about $700 for them to stay there, which averages out to $90/day, but I know they will be safe, well cared for, and they will be together for the duration of my trip. This should be less stressful for them.

I don't think leaving your cat on the streets is a great solution. All kinds of things can happen to him while you are gone. Could they have happened before when he was a stray? Yes, of course, but wasn't that at least part of the point of rescuing him from that life? Will anyone be feeding him while you are gone or are you expecting him to fend for himself while you are gone?

I really do not think this is a good idea since he can get physically hurt or get sick or get parasites, but I will say no more on the subject. I think I have made my point clear. I really do hope you reconsider.
 

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It seems awfully cruel to me to turn him out and leave him for 10+ days during a vacation once you've taken him in and started feeding him.

I couldn't imagine a friend wouldn't watch him for you. It wouldn't be expensive to buy a carrier and then tuck him into when he's in the house.
 

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I have never left for more than 3 days since getting my babies. However, my boyfriend and I will be going to Seattle in the spring as a college graduation present. My mom and my boyfriend's sister will both come over at least once a day to see them. I will still be worried though :(.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm thinking of taking him to a cat pension. I can't leave him in the street, after seeing yesterday how dependent on me he is when he's outside.
 

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When I have to go away, I have someone look after my girls -- either one of my kids or (if they can't) a cat sitter. Do you know someone who could come to your place once or twice a day to look after him? BTW, what's a "cat pension"? I've never heard of that term.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
A cat hotel, a business that is usually a house prepared especially to look after cats when their owners have to go away.

No, of course I don't have someone to come take care of Prince a few times while I'm away, that's why I have to take him to a hotel. The alternative is a friend's yard, which is about 1 hour away and I don't have a car, nor do I like the idea of him being free to disappear while he's at her place and having to fend for himself among all her yard cats while she's at work all day every day. I think it's better in that case to leave him here downstairs in the street, where at least it's his territory and he knows the other cats very well...
 

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Not the best solution, but it's better than leaving him on the street. If there's no one to watch over the cat, fill up a large flat under-bed plastic storage bin that you can buy cheap at Walmart or Target with a lot of cat litter, in addition to filling up the regular litter box. You'll need a lot of litter space to compensate for not having it scooped. Then use automatic feeders. The downside is that they can only eat dry food out of the feeder, but it won't be forever.

Auto Pet Feeder - Dog - Web Exclusive - PetSmart

Petmate Le Bistro Pet Waterers - Dog - Free Ship - PetSmart

I haven't tried these personally, but I often think about what I'd do in the event I would need to leave my 2 cats home alone and I didn't have anyone to help.
 

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I think that solution would work for a weekend or a few days but with any extended visit I'd say boarding him would be safest.
 

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You might try calling your vet and asking them if they can recommend a responsible cat sitter. Sometimes someone on the staff will do this on the side and often those who have a business will leave their contact info there. They may even offer boarding services at some vet offices.

My in-laws are German and after five years with my husband, I finally went to Germany last summer. We were there for two weeks and I too know noone where I live who could watch our cat, so after much debating between boarding and a cat sitter we opted for boarding. I don't know if she was happiest there but I knew she was in good hands. Fortunately she forgave us for putting her through the whole thing.

Good luck!
 

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You say you don't have anyone to ask, but what about some kind of cat sitter? Like a reputable person. If you ask a vet or similar places they might have suggestions. My neighbour has an elderly lady come over to take care of her dogs while she's gone, she does it for a living and is very well thought of, I imagine you could find someone like that. They could come once or twice a day to your house and feed him. It would be less expensive than a boarding vacility and less stressful since he would be in a place he knows. I know he likes going outdoors too, but I think given the choice he'd rather be in your apartment with food rather than outside (he's put those days behind him now) or in a place he doesn't know.
 

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Why not ask your vet and see if they offer boarding? I know some vets do....When we went on our trip we had my Pug boarded at the vets office...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I don't want to leave him alone inside the house for 10 days, even with my neighbor or a sitter coming in once a day to feed him and play with him. Prince is used to going outside, and not used to being alone / indoors for such long periods. I guess I'll have to dish out the money for boarding... I'll try with the vet first, I think that's a wonderful starting point... This may not be the only time it happens, as once-twice a year I have to travel for work, and if I have to travel to the USA again like last year, it's a long trip because it's so far (but they have Petco there, so I'd love to go!!!).
 

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I have been using this make of feeder for several years now;
Amazon.com: CSF-3 Cat Super Feeder, Stand, New Bowl and Timer: Kitchen & Dining

notice all the DIY way people install this thing:
http://www.super-feed.com/small.html

I like that the timer is independent of the feeder because I like to dispense a little bit of food every 3 hours (8 times each day). One of my cats gorges and throws up, so after considering a lot of eating gimmicks to keep him from gorging, this gradual feeding schedule worked out the best for us. it may not look as polished and decorative as other $100-$200 feeders, but I'm confident it will last the lifetime of my cat which is all that matters. the small company of guys who do customer service also make and sell these feeders, so they really are very helpful and responsive, and you will be able to get spare parts and service on this feeder years from now when the other "designer" feeders are long discontinued.
some tips when using any mechanical shoot feeder; try to use uniformly made pellet style kibble (circle oval square triangle). If you use some of the strangely extruded kibble that comes out as an "X" or an "H" or a "Y" it may occasionally jam up or dispense unevenly. I would not use the high protein potato suspended kibble as they get very dusty and can crumble and gum up such a feeder. my best luck using this feeder has been with any brown rice suspended medium protein chicken kibble. my cats are only 8 pounds, so it's possible larger cats could knock over or knock around a feeder to get more food out of it, so keep that in mind when planning your purchase and how/where to install it. I don't use the base they sell, but instead have my feeder mounted on 2x4" beams and added another metal collar strap to keep it stable from hungry cat vandles.
 
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