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Shy Kittens

mekkababble

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I have two of the sweetest kittens in the world- they're 8ish months and I've had them for 3 months. Since I got them, I've been working from home and spending as much time with them as I can (which is quite a bit!). They don't care for strangers but otherwise they're as happy as two cats can be.

Problem is that I got a new job where I'll have to (gasp) go into an office for 8 hours/day and make periodic international trips (I'm budgeting about 4x per year for 1 week< at a time). I'm concerned about how they'll do in an apartment for that length of time considering they're used to being doted on 24/7. They have plenty of toys and I've got a gamut of ways to entertain indoor cats when I'm out of the house. Even more so, what about when I travel? For two shy kittens, would it be better to have someone come stay at the house with them when I'm gone? Or drop in and feed them/clean the litter/throw out new toys and leave the cats to entertain each other?
 

catlover73

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Your babies will adjust to you going back to work. Just make sure you allow playtime and cuddle time when you get home.

I have a shy adult cat that gets scared of strangers and hides from them. I also have 3 other adult cats. When I travel my cat sitter comes over once a day. Three of my cats will interact with my sitter. She gives them cuddle time in addition to food, water and litter duties. My shy cat Starbuck tends to hide in specific places. My cat sitter peeks in to check on her and leaves her alone. Starbuck is almost 12 years old. I have had the same cat sitter for almost her entire life. I went out of town for the weekend in May and Starbuck actually asked my cat sitter for attention this time. My cat sitter spent 10 minutes sitting at my desk petting Starbuck this time. My cat sitter also has shy cats of her own that I never see. She knew to let Starbuck decide when she was ready to interact on her own terms. My cat sitter was very happy and suprised when Starbuck asked her for attention. My cat sitter is also a good friend so she also comes over to hang out when we are home. My other three cats treat her the same as they treat her when she is hanging out with us.

If you can find a cat sitter that is willing to come and spend some time in your home with the cats while you are around first that would be ideal. I would probably have someone check in them. If your kittens decide they want to interact with the sitter they will do so on their own terms when they are ready to. Make sure the cat sitter knows they are shy. Also make sure the sitter knows hiding spots to sneak a peak at them. I would try this route first. If the kittens decide they want to interact with the sitter then perhaps having someone stay with them would be better. My thoughts are that if they are really terrified of strangers having one living with them while you are travel would be to scary and overwhelming.
 
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ArtNJ

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Can't really add much to that. This isn't a remotely unusual situation. Your cats will be fine, whether they interact with the sitter or not.

They may have some mild to moderate stress from it, either way. I had a cat that would pee in my suitcase. And being swarmed and madly head butted when back has been common. But its never been anything serious or lasting.
 
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mekkababble

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Can't really add much to that. This isn't a remotely unusual situation. Your cats will be fine, whether they interact with the sitter or not.

I had a cat that would pee in my suitcase. And being swarmed and madly head butted when back has been common. But its never been anything serious or lasting.
Peeing in the suitcase? At least you know you're loved?

I know this is as normal as normal can be so it's Pet Parent Panic (tm). I almost talked myself out of not taking the job for the cats, but just as quickly talked myself back into it. My hope is they won't be too stressed once the travel starts- they do have each other for company after all- and that they won't turn wild without their daily treats and massages :)

Your babies will adjust to you going back to work. Just make sure you allow playtime and cuddle time when you get home.

I have a shy adult cat that gets scared of strangers and hides from them. I also have 3 other adult cats. When I travel my cat sitter comes over once a day. Three of my cats will interact with my sitter. She gives them cuddle time in addition to food, water and litter duties. My shy cat Starbuck tends to hide in specific places. My cat sitter peeks in to check on her and leaves her alone. Starbuck is almost 12 years old. I have had the same cat sitter for almost her entire life. I went out of town for the weekend in May and Starbuck actually asked my cat sitter for attention this time. My cat sitter spent 10 minutes sitting at my desk petting Starbuck this time. My cat sitter also has shy cats of her own that I never see. She knew to let Starbuck decide when she was ready to interact on her own terms. My cat sitter was very happy and suprised when Starbuck asked her for attention. My cat sitter is also a good friend so she also comes over to hang out when we are home. My other three cats treat her the same as they treat her when she is hanging out with us.

If you can find a cat sitter that is willing to come and spend some time in your home with the cats while you are around first that would be ideal. I would probably have someone check in them. If your kittens decide they want to interact with the sitter they will do so on their own terms when they are ready to. Make sure the cat sitter knows they are shy. Also make sure the sitter knows hiding spots to sneak a peak at them. I would try this route first. If the kittens decide they want to interact with the sitter then perhaps having someone stay with them would be better. My thoughts are that if they are really terrified of strangers having one living with them while you are travel would be to scary and overwhelming.
Thanks for the tips. I'll definitely try this once I've got a sitter I like who understands shy cats.
 
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