Going on Vacation - What Would You Do?

KittyFriday

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I'm going on vacation for about a week and am unsure if I should board my cat or have a pet sitting service come in and take care of him. The price (I think) is pretty comparable.

When I went on vacation a couple of years ago I boarded him at a different location and he had a terrible time - but they had a communal cat room that they just kind of threw him into and he was bullied (and they didn't tell me anything about it; I just noticed his scratches). The place I'm looking at now mainly boards dogs so doesn't get a lot of cat traffic, but they do have a dedicated cat room. They have webcams in the rooms so you can watch them, and the cats themselves stay in multi-tiered cat kennels. They do play with them during the day, and will let them out to roam the room, look out windows, play on cat furniture, etc. but I think I can request they not do that if other cats are there. He'd still have plenty of space in his kennel. It's also in the same complex as his vet, and I can send food, treats, his bed, etc. to keep him comfortable.

If I have the pet sitting service come they will come once a day to play with him a bit (if he doesn't hide), make sure he has food, fresh water, and they'll take care of his litter box. They'll also grab my mail for me, which is just kind of a plus, and let me know if anything is amiss. They send updates via Slack or text. I worked for the service many years ago and they have great reviews, so I do trust them, although admittedly my paranoid side comes out a bit and thinks "what if they forget to lock my door when they leave?" little things like that.

I think he'd be happy staying in his own home, but he's pretty social so I don't know if he'd get lonely having only one visitor a day. Plus, he can be a little skittish around strangers so he may not even get any attention, he may just hide. If the boarding kennel doesn't put him with other cats, he'd get a lot more attention there because people are there all day and they'd drop in to check on him, plus he's generally a lot more friendly in those kinds of environments, maybe because he expects to see strangers there vs. in his own home.

What do you do when you go away? Any thoughts?
 

Furballsmom

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Hi, I think having a pet sitter is better for him. Even if he were to hide, he will have all of his things in his own territory, and it will be all around less stressful for him :)
 

Margot Lane

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Pet sitter, plus maybe radio played low? Could you get an actual house/cat sitter?
 

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i would just board my cat i have a place i trust and used before they are good about sending daily pictures and updates on how graycie is doing . if i had a person i could trust i would just lock :biggrin: them into my apartment with graycie until we got back paid really good of course.
 

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We did kind of something unorthodox but our neighbour comes to feed our cats and medicate them as needed but my father in law stays at the house with them.

Do you have a nieghbour who could also come by at another point in the day? Or family member? You can also set up a nanny or pet cam if you want to check in from home.

Another option I have taken part in is having them moved to a friend's home temporarily who does not have pets. Previously my late cat and elderly cat have LOVED this option. Whole new place to explore, someone to always have fun with them -- this sounds like the kennel for your cat. My younger boys would be scared we are leaving then there forever so we would not be able to do this with them.

Conclusion: your personality of your cat will let you know. If they are confident and sure that you'll return, then you could board them.
 

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I go away for up to 8 days a few times a year. I have three cats. They are in my sun room its12 by36 and they have two automatic feeders one programmed in am, and the other at night plus two water fountains. I know they will last ten plus days. I have a wfi camera focused on the feeders. Cats hate change. Once one of the feeders jammed, and I called someone to make sure they had enough to eat. Much cheaper then paying someone, and the cats don't need to be stressed! They are fine all the time! Good luck, your cat will be fine without all the stress! And if you add the camera you can keep an eye on your cat. They run to the feeder when it goes on!
 
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KittyFriday

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Thank you for all of the replies! I, unfortunately, don't have anyone who can come stay at my house during that time and my friends all have pets of their own so it would be kind of hard to send him with someone else. I usually send him to my parents' but they are coming along with me, so no go there ha.

I'm just torn because I like the idea of someone coming in to see him and check on things, but I always fret about something happening in the house while I'm gone and he'd be there all alone and no one to really help him until the next time the pet sitter dropped in. I do have an alarm system, and a couple of cameras; I could also set my Alexa to play music at certain points (not sure I want to leave the TV on for 7 days straight). If he was boarded I wouldn't have to worry about anything happening in my house because he'd be somewhere I know they monitor regularly and where people are pretty consistently.

i forgot to mention i marinade a t shirt for weeks to a month and then leave that stinky smelly gross shirt with graycie when we board her
Can you specify - do you mean you just wear a shirt consistently for awhile and then send that along? I could do that. I figured his bed and his food and treats would be helpful. I'd send a toy but he only has a couple and they're only fun for him when he can shoot them around the room; however, if he was the only cat there and they let him out I suppose he could do that.
 

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Can you specify - do you mean you just wear a shirt consistently for awhile and then send that along? I could do that. I figured his bed and his food and treats would be helpful. I'd send a toy but he only has a couple and they're only fun for him when he can shoot them around the room; however, if he was the only cat there and they let him out I suppose he could do that.
yepp work out in it sweat in it :lol:gotta saturate the shirt with my stench so graycie feels securei suppose a pillow case would do also :rolleyes:still trying to talk gf into giving hers up
 

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I don't have an answer, but it seems like having someone come in would be less stressful maybe. The facility I would use if I had to board mine have enclosures for the individual cats. Putting a cat in a community room is never a good idea.
That said, we have not taken a vacation in years, and when we did go to visit family, we did it separately so one of us would be here with the cats.I guess we are weird.
 

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Thank you for all of the replies! I, unfortunately, don't have anyone who can come stay at my house during that time and my friends all have pets of their own so it would be kind of hard to send him with someone else. I usually send him to my parents' but they are coming along with me, so no go there ha.

I'm just torn because I like the idea of someone coming in to see him and check on things, but I always fret about something happening in the house while I'm gone and he'd be there all alone and no one to really help him until the next time the pet sitter dropped in. I do have an alarm system, and a couple of cameras; I could also set my Alexa to play music at certain points (not sure I want to leave the TV on for 7 days straight). If he was boarded I wouldn't have to worry about anything happening in my house because he'd be somewhere I know they monitor regularly and where people are pretty consistently.
It sounds like you're more comfortable having him boarded. I would certainly send him with a blanket or shirt that smells like you and perhaps some feliway spray if you'd like or some special treats the staff can give him to make his experience enjoyable.

If you're calmer about leaving him, he'll register that.

Ps. I'd feel badly about the constant music as well 🤣
 

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oh do make sure if they board dogs also and if so where do they keep the dog kennels in relation to where the cats are housed along with hw often the litter is cleanedi request zero contact with other cats when they let her out to play
 
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KittyFriday

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oh do make sure if they board dogs also and if so where do they keep the dog kennels in relation to where the cats are housed along with hw often the litter is cleanedi request zero contact with other cats when they let her out to play
Good point, thank you! I do know the dog areas are all separate and in the back and the cats are kept up front. I'm not worried about barking stressing him out too much, as I have a dog who is a barker so he's used to that. I just really need to emphasize that he's not good with other cats so I'd prefer he stay alone.
 

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Good point, thank you! I do know the dog areas are all separate and in the back and the cats are kept up front. I'm not worried about barking stressing him out too much, as I have a dog who is a barker so he's used to that. I just really need to emphasize that he's not good with other cats so I'd prefer he stay alone.
thats why i request that with graycieshe hasnt really been around other cats since she was 5 months old :biggrin:i dont want anybodies dirty cats around my lil princess:lol:
 

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Personally, I would board. Anything could happen during the hours the pet sitter wasn't there and if your cat doesn't come out for the pet sitter they might not know. Boarding them ensures that someone will have eyes on them on a regular basis. It also means that if one of my cats stops eating or has potty problems there is a person who will notice it in a timely manner and know how to take action. I just think that the risk of medical issues is too big to leave it up to chance that a pet sitter will notice or even be able to take action should something happen while I am gone. I haven't had to board often (yay!) but the few times I have: 1) get an old towel that I am fine losing and keep it under the sheets in bed for a few days. That soaks up scents and ensures I won't care if it gets lost or destroyed. 2) I buy a cheap cat cave type bed, can usually find them a TJMaxx of HomeGoods for less than $15, and send it with them. I buy one because there is a real chance my cats won't use it again once we get home if they are scared at the boarding, bad memories and all that.
 

neely

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I'm not worried about barking stressing him out too much, as I have a dog who is a barker so he's used to that.
Just out of curiosity, since you mentioned you have a dog too where will he be when you're away?

I just really need to emphasize that he's not good with other cats so I'd prefer he stay alone.
All the more reason for him to stay home in his familiar surroundings with all the common scents and smells. We've never boarded whether our dog or cat(s). I found a very reliable pet sitter through word of mouth in the neighborhood and thank my lucky stars. She comes twice a day for our cat, feeds him, cleans the litter box, plays with him, takes in our mail, waters our plants, and watches tv with him. :biggrin: Could you have the pet sitting service come 2x a day? Should you go this route I'd definitely want to meet the person who would be coming beforehand. Best of luck and please let us know what you decide. :alright:
 
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KittyFriday

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My pup will be coming on the trip as well. He's reactive to strangers/has anxiety so boarding or pet sitting really aren't options for him, plus he has some currently undiagnosed health issues that make me a little wary to board even though he's fully vaccinated.

I'm leaning a bit toward having someone come in; I plan to contact the pet sitting service today with a list of questions to see what I think.
 

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I boarded my cat on all my trips (brought her bed, a shirt I would sleep in for two weeks straight) and her food. She did well when she could be in an enclosure where the other cats aren't visible. When other cats were visible (even when she had a cat cave from home), she got stressed out. Same for when she could hear dogs barking (we are a dog free home though). I liked having her boarded because she got a lot more attention and she craves it as a social kitty. Now that she has more health problems and has gone blind, it is a challenge to find a place that would board her with her needs but I especially would board her now if I needed to be away and had the option. She needs the care and monitoring that a once or even twice a day sitter can't provide. The cost evens out, like you said.
 

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I've done both. If I had to do it now I would board my pet. I couldn't trust anyone I know to properly feed my cat or clean the litter box so if the routine is going to be disrupted I'd rather the cat be at a place where she has monitoring vs someone coming over once a day.
 
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