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Discussion Starter #1
I have a two year old domestic tabby and am planning to go out of town for several days this coming year to visit friends. The only solution I can think of for her during this time is to board her since having a pet sitter come in three times a day to feed her the way she is used to is very impractical where I live.

On the other hand, my veterinarian once told me that he recommends not boarding the animals he treats, presumably because of the risk of catching possibly contagious illnesses from other animals at the boarding facility. I have had several cats over the years and have never had to board any of them, including my current one before. Also, boarding in our area is very expensive (particularly if you find one that is particularly highly recommended and regarded, which is all I would ever consider).

Does anyone here have any experience with this or have any other thoughts on this subject? It simply seems like my only option at this point.
 

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If you're only going out of town for several days then I don't see the harm in not feeding her 3 times a day during that time. She is an adult cat and shouldn't have to be fed that often even though it's your regular schedule. If you can get a cat sitter to come in once a day, or twice ideally, then she should be fine if you are only away such a short time.

I would avoid boarding my cat if at all possible. Cats are very stressed out by being in strange places and the stress may also contribute to them getting sick. Do you have any friends (or friends of friends that you trust) who would be willing to cat/house sit for you and stay at your house while you are gone if there are no cat sitters in your area?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
i agree with heather. is their a neighbor that you trust to come in to feed/play and change litter? or a friend??
Thank you for the responses. My dilemma is that I live in a large metropolitan area and I simply don't have family and friends close enough to come in and take care of things. Also, the immediate area I live in is not an area where I can safely trust neighbors to come into my house while I am gone.

My cat only eats canned food so she eats at least 3 times a day. She also refuses to drink any water and the only water she gets is from her canned food. I have tried Drinkwell fountains, cat water bubblers and of course, plain water dishes and leaving a faucet slightly on. I have seen canned food automatic feeders but since they require ice packs, they are only good for very short periods of time. Also, the reviews on them aren't all that great.

My previous cat, whom I lost a year ago was a real gem. She would eat both canned food AND dry food and also drank lots of water from a water dish. If I needed to leave for a few days, I would make sure her litter box was good and clean, leave out large bowls of dry food and water and she was good to go for a few days while I was gone. Once I returned, I would return her diet to the canned food.
 

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Why would having a pet sitter come by be impractical? It would be much less expensive than boarding and a better choice for your cat. And if you live in a large metropolitan area, there are probably dozens of companies to choose from. And I would think twice a day would be enough for the few days you'll be gone.
 

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For me pet sitting would be the only option. However, this is mainly because of putting my 3 in a confined space together for a long period of time would be completely unfair. I would imagine having one cat in boarding wouldn't be so bad albeit your cat would find the experience stressful.
If you are going to board be very choosey about where you put your precious cat. Make sure it is nice and clean. Heated. Secure. All those kind of things. I wouldn't place a cat anywhere I wouldn't stay myself!
I have also heard that taking something your cat loves to sleep on that smells of her can remind her of home and might be soothing.
 

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Hi Scott - since you live in large metropolitan area, I think it should be relatively easy to find a reputable/trustworthy pet sitter. If you're wary of individual ads, look for ones associated with a larger company/service that is properly bonded and insured. And just about every good pet-sitting service will schedule at least one meet and greet/interview session at your home, so that both you and the sitter (and the cats of course), can get to know each other and ask as much questions as you have so you feel completely comfortable and at-ease with the person you're hiring.
 

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We have a boarding kennel nearby that we trust and requires all cats (and dogs) boarded there have their shot record on file. If we knew of someone we could trust, we might consider a pet sitter, but so far no luck.
 

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We have a boarding kennel nearby that we trust and requires all cats (and dogs) boarded there have their shot record on file. If we knew of someone we could trust, we might consider a pet sitter, but so far no luck.
Do they separate the Cat Area well away from the Dog Area??
Cats really don't do that well at boarding places...
Make SURE they have your Vets phone number!
Let your Vet know, that if Emergency care is needed...you pre-approve treatment!
You can set an amount that they can't go over, until you are contacted!
Have more than one way to get a hold of you!
Just some thoughts...
 

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I'd also recommend the petsitter. Cats are usually more comfortable at home. My cats hate going to the vet just for a visit, I can't imagine leaving them in a boarding facility for an extended period of time.

I've lived in 4 cities in the past 5 years and have hired professional petsitters in every one of them. My cats also only eat wet food, and I've hired the sitters to come in 2x/day to feed and play with them. This has always worked out well for me. I usually just google petsitters in the area and look for sitters that are insured/bonded. They usually come over to meet you and your pets for free before you agree to anything, so you can feel them out and make sure you feel comfortable with the situation. In large metropolitan areas, it is relatively easy to find someone reputable. Your vet is probably able to make recommendations as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the helpful responses. I am going to call my vet after the holidays and see if they have recommendations for pet sitters in the area.
 

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Thanks for all the helpful responses. I am going to call my vet after the holidays and see if they have recommendations for pet sitters in the area.
Scott, check out petsitter.com and NAPPS...
Great sites and sitters are licensed and bonded, you might have someone in your area!
 

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When I have gone away for up to a week, I used a waterer and automatic feeder with dry food (and extra litterbox or boxes). I feel bad for the cats suddenly being switched to dry but there are not many options. The feeder isn't even necessary, you could leave out a big bowl.

Ideally you would have someone peek in on them a few times, just to be sure, and give them brief petting. I don't have anyone nearby.

A week is doable, but I don't know what to do if I'm away for longer. Then I have the same dilemma, where I do not want to board them, but do not want to drop them at someone's house, or have a stranger over (someone just walking in, scaring the cats). But at least some pet sitters have references, so that is some reassurance to me.
 

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I was going to say what you are going to do, ask your vet, or someone in the vet's office that you trust, for a recommendation on a good pet sitter. Everyone I know always has good luck when they ask someone at their vets office. This is what I plan to do if I have to go. My cats also eat canned three times a day. I agree that being fed a decent sized canned meal once a day and then maybe a dry feeder would be fine. Trust me, if they nibble on the dry food, they will drink the water, I'm pretty sure. For just a couple of days, they should be ok with one meal a day and dry food, so just needing a pet sitter to visit once a day. If you ask around, especially at your vet, I am sure you will find someone that is highly recommended and great with cats and trustworthy.
 
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