Where should your cat go when you travel? The following guest post by Natalie McKee provides some insight on the options cat owners have when they travel.
Boarding cats is an option many travelers explore when planning their trips. You can’t just take them with, as you do with children, nor can you simply leave them behind. It takes work to find a good solution that will keep your cats happy and you worry-free. Wouldn’t it be so much easier to take them along to the Colosseum or the Louvre!
So what can you do with your cat when you travel?
If you’re going away, you might be wondering, “How long can you leave a cat alone?” Can you leave a cat alone for a week? A weekend, maybe?
If your house is a pet paradise loaded with fun toys and a cat tree for hours of entertainment, then perhaps. Believe it or not, cats are social animals and as much as they enjoy basking in the sun for hours, they can get lonely.
Leaving cats alone could be dangerous if they get too bored and turn on your furniture. And if they should fall ill or escape, no one would be able to care for them or find them. But if you’ve made every accommodation for your cat’s comfort and you’re only leaving for a day or two, you might consider this option.
If your travel plans are more extensive, however, or you have a new kitten, an older cat with medical needs, or a particularly needy feline, you’ll need to consider other options.
Cats prefer their own surroundings, so hiring a professional pet sitter is a great way to keep your cat in his favorite spots and keep him safe. These trained individuals know how to care for your cat, so you can trust their expertise! The only downsides to hiring a professional might be cost (although boarding your cat isn’t free!) and trusting that person in your home with all your personal effects.
Costhelper.com estimates that a professional sitter in the US will cost you between $10 and $65 per day, depending on how long you want the sitter to stay and what responsibilities they’ll have.
If you don’t want a stranger to have free reign of your home for a week, or need a more economical option, consider asking a trusted friend or neighbor to stop by during the day to play with your cat or even to sleep over at night. This doubles as house-sitting, which may give you peace of mind as you explore the world (especially if you don’t have a home security system).
You can likely spend less on a familiar face than you would on a professional. Keep in mind, though, that just because you love these people doesn’t mean they know how to care for your animal. Make sure you pick someone who either has pets, or whose judgement you can trust.