What to Do with Cats When Traveling
Traveling can be an exciting experience, but it can also be a stressful one, especially when you have a furry friend waiting for you at home. If you’re a cat owner, you might be wondering what to do with your beloved pet when you’re away. Fortunately, there are several options available to ensure your cat’s well-being and happiness while you’re on the road. In this article, we will explore some of the best practices and tips for cat care during travel.
1. Hire a Professional Pet Sitter
One of the most popular options for cat owners is to hire a professional pet sitter. These individuals are experienced in taking care of cats and can provide the necessary care and attention your feline friend needs while you’re away. A professional pet sitter can visit your home daily, feed your cat, clean the litter box, and even spend quality time playing and cuddling with your pet. This option allows your cat to stay in a familiar environment, reducing stress and anxiety.
2. Boarding Facilities
If you’re unable to find a reliable pet sitter or prefer a different approach, boarding facilities can be a great alternative. Boarding facilities are designed to provide a safe and comfortable environment for pets when their owners are away. These facilities often offer spacious accommodations, regular feeding schedules, and opportunities for socialization with other cats. However, it’s essential to choose a reputable facility that follows proper hygiene practices and has well-trained staff.
3. Ask a Trusted Friend or Family Member
If you have a close friend or family member who is willing to help, asking them to take care of your cat can be a viable option. This approach ensures that your cat will receive personalized attention from someone they already know and trust. Make sure to provide detailed instructions about your cat’s feeding schedule, litter box maintenance, and any specific quirks or preferences your cat may have.
4. Consider a Cat-Friendly Hotel
If you’re planning a trip and prefer to bring your cat along, consider staying at a cat-friendly hotel. These hotels often have designated pet-friendly rooms with amenities tailored to cats, such as scratching posts, litter boxes, and comfortable bedding. Before making a reservation, ensure that the hotel has a pet policy that allows cats and provides a safe and comfortable environment for them.
5. Prepare Your Cat for Travel
If you decide to bring your cat with you on your travels, it’s crucial to prepare them for the journey. Start by getting your cat accustomed to their carrier well in advance. Leave the carrier open in their favorite spot and gradually introduce positive associations, such as treats or toys. Additionally, consult with your veterinarian to ensure your cat is up-to-date on vaccinations and obtain any necessary travel documentation.
6. Consider Sedation
If you’re traveling long distances with your cat and anticipate a stressful journey, consult with your veterinarian about the possibility of sedation. Sedation can help keep your cat calm and relaxed during the trip, reducing anxiety and discomfort. However, sedation should only be used under professional guidance and as a last resort.
7. Keep Your Cat’s Routine
Cats thrive on routine, so try to maintain their regular schedule as much as possible, even when you’re away. Ask your pet sitter or caregiver to replicate your cat’s feeding times, play sessions, and bedtime routine. Consistency will help your cat feel more secure and reduce any potential anxiety caused by your absence.
8. Provide Enrichment
Whether your cat is staying at home or in a boarding facility, it’s essential to provide them with mental and physical stimulation. Leave interactive toys, puzzle feeders, or catnip-filled toys to keep your feline friend entertained. In addition, consider leaving an item with your scent, such as a worn t-shirt, to provide comfort and reassurance to your cat.
9. Stay Connected
Thanks to technology, staying connected with your cat while traveling is easier than ever. Set up a video call or use a pet camera to check in on your cat and interact with them virtually. Hearing your voice and seeing your face can provide comfort and alleviate separation anxiety for both you and your cat.
10. Return Home with Care
When you finally return home after your trip, be prepared to give your cat some extra attention and care. Allow them time to readjust and provide plenty of affection and playtime. Cats may need a little time to settle back into their routine, so be patient and understanding.
Remember, each cat is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. It’s essential to consider your cat’s personality, preferences, and specific needs when deciding on the best course of action during your travels. By following these tips and considering your cat’s well-being, you can ensure a stress-free and enjoyable experience for both you and your feline companion.