When pet owners travel they have to of course think about their furry family members. I have friends who always board their dogs when they travel so the dog is not lonely and can be active with other dogs. It is difficult to travel with pets. What about cat owners? What do they do? Is it true cats are fine to be left alone for days when the family travels?
Most cats do seem very independent, don’t they? In the past I didn’t think anything of leaving my cat for 2-3 days. They had plenty of food, water and the whole house to roam in. What is the harm? For many cats there seems to be none. Our cat Ivan also seemed content and seemed no worse for wear a few times. Then one trip we came back to a very stressed out cat who was vomiting and needed vet care.
Our vet said that Ivan was suffering from stress. He had to take some cat valium, we had to put him on a gentler diet and we also discovered he had a condition that caused him to form urinary stones that could kill him. One was not necessarily related to the other. Regardless we nursed him back to health and he eats prescription cat food now and seems much healthier. We also do not leave him totally alone when we travel more than overnight.
We ask family and friends to come over and check on him and just hang out for 30 minutes to an hour and that seems to do the trick. We never come back to a sick cat anymore. He does miss us but people dropping by seems to soothe him and remind him that he has not been abandoned.
The first time we traveled after the pandemic we asked someone to sleep over with him because after having us 24/7 for nearly a year we thought it might be too stressful. This week, as we travel to the beach for three nights, we have “hired” a neighborhood teen who has cats and dogs to pop in and play with him for an hour a day. It is worth the cost to know our furry family member will be in good spirits when we return. For six years he has given us unconditional love – it’s the least we can do for him.