My husband and I will be going away for a month, and we have two cats. We will not be taking them with us. Is it okay to leave them at the house for that time with someone coming in daily to feed, change water, and clean their litterbox? They do not have any special needs and mostly nap during the day. Last year, they went to my son’s apartment and may do so again. I am hesitant to leave them for the month. Will they be okay?
– Susan, Lehighton, Pennsylvania
Your cats will miss you, but they should be fine if someone checks on them daily.
Make sure your pet sitter replenishes water and food, sifts the litter box, and provides them with lots of attention daily. He or she should be very chatty with the cats and verify seeing both cats at each visit. Let your pet sitter know where your cats like to hide, so he or she knows where to look for them if they don’t come out. However, the cats will likely come out during every visit since they are hoping it will be you.
Ask the pet sitter to take pictures of the cats and text them to you during each visit. It lets you know the pet sitter has arrived and provides some peace of mind by seeing for yourself that the cats are alright. You also might consider installing a video camera for the part of the house where the cats typically hang out, so you can check in on them while you’re gone. (Be sure to let the pet sitter know if you do that.)
For their safety, give the pet sitter the name of the veterinary hospital you use and any pertinent information about their health. Set out their cat carriers in case he or she needs to take them to the vet.
When you return, your cats will either be delighted to see you, greeting you with long meows and body rubs, or irritated that you left them alone, making all sorts of short, but loud guttural sounds of their displeasure. You will know the difference. Either way, they will forgive you and be thrilled to see you again.
Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, children’s author, syndicated pet columnist, and pet expert with more than 30 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal