3 Week business trip and I'm super stressed

bananaphone

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Hey everyone, so I have 2 cats aged 6 and 8 who've been by my side since the day I got them as little tiny ~4-6 week old kittens. I just recently got a new job and have to go to train for 3 weeks in a different state. Problem is I've never been away from my cats for more than 2-5 days, and when I was gone for those 5 days I only did it because I was staying at my Mom's (while waiting on a new place) and she was able to spend time with them throughout the day and they were familiar with her.

Now I know there are pet sitting services and I've already started to contact them, but I'm still super stressed. They have their routines every morning and I'm just worried that me being gone for that long like never before might mess with them in some way.

I hope I'm just over-thinking it but still would like some advice on what to do to make it easier on them and myself?
 

game misconduct

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i struggle with that seperation anxiety also with graycie luckily i havent had to be apart from her that long yet. is it possible for you to have a trusted friend or family member house sit for you during that time?that way your cats would still be on their home turf still plus you would have the chance to introduce them to the person caring for them while your gone
 
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bananaphone

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i struggle with that seperation anxiety also with graycie luckily i havent had to be apart from her that long yet. is it possible for you to have a trusted friend or family member house sit for you during that time?that way your cats would still be on their home turf still plus you would have the chance to introduce them to the person caring for them while your gone
I do not have anyone around at the moment, I just moved to this area and year ago and then the pandemic started so I haven't really had anyone over. I was even considering flying back for a weekend or having my mom fly out here but I don't think it would be that would really be worth the cost.

I think if it was even just 2 weeks it would be a lot easier to handle, but that extra week is whats really making me go oof.

I'm hoping maybe I can train good enough in the first like 5-7 days that I'm able to just go home early lol
 

FeebysOwner

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HI. I really can't help much, but I did once go through care.com to find a sitter for Feeby. I know each area will likely be different, but I was able to look at profiles, see references, talk with prospective sitters, and when I chose one, she came to my house to meet Feeby and learn what all I wanted done, step by step. Many of them are happy to do other simple chores as well, water plants, bring in mail, etc. Some of the sitters will even stay in your home for the duration if that is what you would want to do. Ideally, if you could find one that you like, I would suggest a few visits ahead of time - but, I don't know if you have the time for that. Ultimately, I didn't need the sitter, so I can't tell you about that part of the process.

Are you on the Next Door Neighbor web site for your surrounding neighborhoods? Sometimes, you can look for cat lovers that live nearby, and even solicit them for cat sitting help. They may even have people they have used that could refer you to sitters that they have used.

Additionally, other things you can do to try to help with your absence is leave worn, unwashed clothing available to be placed with the cats so they have your scent with them while you are gone. Given it is 3 weeks, you may have to seal some in plastic bags to be opened later in your absence, as I am not sure the scent would remain for the entire time.

You could also consider videos of you that could be played to your cats so they 'see and hear' you. You might even want to think about Skype sessions, if you think your cats would pay attention to you on screen - it would also enable to you see them directly.

Good luck - I hope you find a solution that makes you feel less anxious while you are gone!!
 

susanm9006

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If you have Wifi I would encourage you to pick up inexpensive camera that will let you check in on your cats. Wyze cam with SD card is only around $30, has great night vision and even lets you talk to your pets through it.
 

betsygee

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Oh, boy, I don't blame you for being anxious. I had a similar situation a couple of years ago. Normally I travel and hubby stays home with the kitties but this time, we were going on a three week trip together.

Fortunately we have an established cat sitter who came over twice a day for the whole time. We also had friends come by a couple of times a week during the day to visit and play with kitties. I left some clothing out for them, like my old flannel shirt, where they sleep so they had my scent, though I don't know how long the scent stays. My cat sitter was wonderful about sending texts and photos to let me know how they were doing. The cats were fine. I think it was harder on us to leave them than it was on them to be alone.

You're in a tougher situation, not knowing anyone who can look in on them, or knowing a good sitter. If you have a nextdoor.com type of website in your area, try asking for recommendations there. A kitty cam, as susanm9006 susanm9006 has suggested, is a good idea.
 
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bananaphone

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thanks for the suggestions, i went ahead and ordered a couple Blink camera's so I can login to the app and check on them and I'm currently arranging a sitter to comes once a day(doing 2 visits a day would cost me over $800 and I just can't afford that right now). I will definitely be leaving some clothes for them.

this is going to be more rough on me then them im sure, especially if they have someone coming over every day to feed them and take care of them.
 
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bananaphone

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well im only on my 2nd night away and im already trying to think of how i can go home early. i honestly dont know if i can make it 17 more nights.

i checked the cameras probably 60 times yesterday and at least 30 today even though i was working for 9 hours.

my cat sitter is awesome but shes just feeding them and cleaning the litter. i really wish i had someone who could just be there for a couple of days
 

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Hey, it must be rough being away :alright:

How do they look on the camera? They do have each other, which is comforting. Unfortunately, you don't have anyone to keep you company; hopefully this thread can offer that to you a bit.

Are they playing? Are they pacing? They must be eating, and using the litter box ok.

Honestly, it might sound a little callous, but remember you have the 'benefit' of a human brain- you know what's happening, and how long you'll be gone for. I've found often, I've over thought/over stressed on something, and my cat has been so unfazed that I've felt a bit sheepish afterwards.

Has your work mentioned being able to leave early? Do you have flights already booked/would it cost you to leave? Would it potentially jeopardize your job?

17 nights feels like a looong time now, but if that pays off in the long term for job stability, or even in career advancement, your kitties probably won't be bothered by this once you're back (other than giving you some extra love when they do see you!). If you're stuck in your hotel room, maybe try to get yourself distracted as much as possible-it'll make time pass faster. It's good you checked a little less today, fixating on them will probably increase that stress! :vibes::vibes::vibes:
 

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Hi, I get why you are worried. Congrats on your new job!

If one of your cats stresses easily or has severe separation anxiety; then I would go to vet for a mild sedative for them now. I would also buy a pack of t-shirts. Wear one to sleep in for a night or two, then leave it on your bed for your cats, the day you leave. Then every 2-3 days seal a shirt in a ziplock baggie and overnight mail it for your pet sitter to lay on your bed for your cats. I would write down there schedule & arrange for the sitter to follow it. Along with the sitter hanging out and sitting on your couch for an hour each day (in case your cats want company.) I would also arrange for the sitter to be there for a daily call, where you can talk to your cats for 15-30 minutes every day. I love that camera idea; plus you can check to make sure the pet sitter is doing a good job. The good news is they have each other to comfort each other.

I had a bad MS attack last March that kept me in the hospital for a week. I can not tell you how happy I was that Jackie viewed Nana’s house as his second home, knew & got along with the cats (especially his brother/bff) & that he knew the people. We have a deal. If I go on a trip, she watches my cat. When she goes out of town, I watch her cats. Perhaps you have a friend or family member who lives nearby that you can make a similar deal with in the future? That way they can get to know the person before you leave.
 
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bananaphone

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i appreciate the replies, its making me feel a little better.

They seem to be acting pretty normal. I saw them playing around a little bit. The older cat who literally follows me everywhere(including using the restroom at the same time as me lol) seems to be watching the door regularly and doesn't seem to be sleeping much. The slightly younger cat seems more unphased. I watched him climb around yesterday then plop himself right on my computer desk where my keyboard would normally be so he seems to be chilling.

Its kind of how I figured it would go. My younger cat is a lot more independent, while the slightly older one is the one whos been attached at my hip since I got him. Crushes me to see him just staring at the door.
 

gilmargl

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Try not to worry too much. I was away for 5 weeks about 18 months ago. I was sick so I had other things on my mind. I knew that my daughter was looking after my 4 cats, but she is at work all day and has enough to worry about herself without spending time with the cats. They were being fed and the litter boxes cleaned but that was all I could expect. When I eventually got home, I expected them to ignore me at first. But, the most unfriendly cat, let out a loud, unhappy meow and jumped onto my lap.and wouldn't move - even though she was hurting me. A shy little cat crept into bed with me on my first night at home. A third cat carried on as if nothing had happened - but she hadn't been with me too long. The fourth cat, the eldest, whom I'd had since she was a kitten, seemed okay but her condition was deteriorating. Even after I'd returned home, she developed mats in her fur, lost weight, and started crying out at night. I took her to the vet, who removed the mats and took blood and urine, but could find nothing wrong with her. By this time, I was feeling better, was more mobile and getting back to normal. I finally made a special effort with this cat, taking her into the bathroom on her own with me, encouraging her to eat and drink, weighing her daily and it paid off. She is still a senior cat but she's keeping herself clean again and has put on weight.

The reason I am telling you this, is to give you hope! Three weeks are not long enough for your cats to forget you. They will not be too happy that you are away but, however they react when you come home, they will return to normal very quickly. You may have to spend more time with your older kitty, but you are healthy and I'm sure you will willingly give up some of your time to spoil her. Had I known that Mogi's "illness" was simply a reaction to my being away, I would have reacted sooner and given her more special attention.

Try to concentrate on your work - perhaps you will be allowed to go home sooner than expected, if you manage to finish early. Just wishful thinking?
 
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