Leaving cat with a sitter for a week while on vacation vs boarding?

wali_the_cat

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Hello! So I'm due to be vaccinated for COVID soon. I'll be traveling with my mom to Hawaii in June for her birthday. I adopted my cat, Wali, age 7 and blind, back in October. Things are going great.

I'm worried about this upcoming vacation, however. I'll be gone for 7 days and am planning on having a sitter come feed/play with him twice a day while I gone.

I'm really worried though. Will Wali be ok all alone for so many hours? Will he be scared or lonely? He's really affectionate and I'm scared that he'll be traumatized by my absence. But he's my first cat so I'm not sure what the best course of action is.

Should I board him or is it better to leave him at home and have a sitter come twice a day??
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. Bringing in a sitter so he can be in his own home, IMO, is a better option. Does this sitter know your cat already? If not, set up some visits with the sitter so your cat can get used to them long before you leave. Show the sitter your 'tricks of the trade' with your cat, so they can mimic some of them. Ideally, your sitter will stay with your cat for a while during each visit to your home while you are gone.

You can also leave unwashed, worn clothing of yours in your home before you go so he smell your scent. Also, if your cat is used to sounds from the TV or music, you can set up timers for him to be able to hear those noises while you are gone. Even getting him used to some cat music now so you can use it while you are gone would be a good idea (David Teie's Music for Cats which is on Prime and Spotify, Cat In My Arms on Spotify and elsewhere, and RelaxMyCat). A ticking clock or heart beat toy might also be options while you are gone.

You could even consider setting up cameras to record his behavior, that you can watch in your absence so you know how he is doing and perhaps work with the sitter if you see something that would bother you.
 

fionasmom

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I think that a sitter is much better than boarding. Cats attach themselves to places very strongly and it will be much better for him to be where he knows it is home. If the sitter stays for a reasonable amount of time, he will probably be fine and not feel lonely.
 

verna davies

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I agree with FeebysOwner FeebysOwner , he will feel safer in his own home with familiar smells around him. As said above, leave some of your unwashed clothes around and if possible have the sitter continue the routine you already have set up. Does he know other people, friends, neighbours that could call in to keep him company?
 
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wali_the_cat

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I agree with FeebysOwner FeebysOwner , he will feel safer in his own home with familiar smells around him. As said above, leave some of your unwashed clothes around and if possible have the sitter continue the routine you already have set up. Does he know other people, friends, neighbours that could call in to keep him company?
I just moved to this town in September so neither me nor Wali have many friends in the area. However I do have kind neighbors so I'm thinking about transcending my social anxiety and asking them to pop in while I'm gone to give him treats.

* breathes through panic attack *
Thank you all!! I honestly don't know how people have children. My emotions can barely handle a cat!
 
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wali_the_cat

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Check out your NextDoor Neighbor site, if you have one. Introduce yourself, and ask if there are any neighbors that share your love for cats. That could start a good friendship! You never know!
I will do that!! I'm in a really hippie area and literally next door to an animal shelter so I think it will be easy to find good sitters :)
 

game misconduct

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we have left graycie at boarding for a few days each time or weekends but i :eek2: will wear the same t shirt for a week or more prior to boarding her:lol: soo its nice and saturated with arm pit stench a scent she knows as mine haha and then we take one of her lil cat beds and baby blanket she sleeps and leave it all with her at the boarding place they send us pics etc so we see how she is doing she never seems to stressed over it i think i stress more about it all if i trusted her not to get into things while alone i would hire a pet sitter
 
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wali_the_cat

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we have left graycie at boarding for a few days each time or weekends but i :eek2: will wear the same t shirt for a week or more prior to boarding her:lol: soo its nice and saturated with arm pit stench a scent she knows as mine haha and then we take one of her lil cat beds and baby blanket she sleeps and leave it all with her at the boarding place they send us pics etc so we see how she is doing she never seems to stressed over it i think i stress more about it all if i trusted her not to get into things while alone i would hire a pet sitter
Graycie was ok with boarding? Would you board her for a week???

I'm torn because Wali is blind, so he doesn't normally get into stuff, but if he did by accident it could be pretty bad...
 

game misconduct

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ahh i would she has been to this place a few times and was taken care well enough for a lil trust in them to build on my part but i dont think i would if graycie was blind most likely i would try and get a trusted family member or friend to house sit the stay week or have a pet sitter live in my house the week with hidden nanny :lol: cams installed
 

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I will do that!! I'm in a really hippie area and literally next door to an animal shelter so I think it will be easy to find good sitters :)
If you can afford a sitter, I would try care.com. It's much easier to hold someone accountable for the level of care you desire from the sitter when they're being paid for a service than when they are doing it out of their own generosity. You can audition sitters for practice feeds before you leave. This is really best if you also have a wifi camera to monitor the job they are doing. If they are a real professional, they know that cameras come with the job and they won't mind this. Before I left for a holiday weekend, I trained my sitter over three or four practice feeds. A good sitter will text you when they arrive and send you pictures (or video) of your cat so you know he's doing just fine. You can download pet sitter checklist templates off Google. You'll want to fill in things like vet numbers and emergency contacts as well as feeding instructions. And if you have medicine or supplements or any instructions beyond open can and spoon out food, I find that you can color code the supplements, the measuring spoons, and the printed instructions you'll leave for your sitter using colored stickers. This makes it easier for a sitter to match the instructions with that which she'll need to perform those instructions.
 

Jerseymeow

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We have boarded our prior cat with our Vet. You could see if your vet boards, or would do it for this special case. I also agree with others that your cat may be best at home. The blindness most likely has hightened other senses, so the cats sense of smell and touch are very strong.
This article is from the Best Friends Animal Society and may be helpful: https://network.bestfriends.org/filebrowser/download/695
 
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