Vacation anxiety!

Weathergirl16

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Apr 1, 2020
Messages
9
Reaction score
6
Hi everyone! Hoping for some advice... We adopted my (now) 10 month old kitten in February and since the covid-19 pandemic, have been home with her basically all the time since March. We have never, ever left her alone overnight. We have two weeklong+ trips coming in the next month and I am so concerned about her being left alone. We have already secured a cat sitter to come feed/play with her once a day while we’re gone. We also have a camera in the house that can monitor her. She sleeps with us every night and is always in the room with one of us, so I feel like us being gone for days will really stress her out.

Any tips? Is it worth taking a weekend trip before we leave to see how she does overnight? we are working on training her to be more comfortable in the car so we potentially could take her with us on the second (longer) trip but that would involve her getting used to another house.

To add to this, she seemed to have some kind of viral flare up at the end of April that my vet suggested could be due to stress and a change in routine. I’m worried that another change while we’re gone will cause it to flare up again...
 

PMousse

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Joined
Nov 10, 2017
Messages
242
Reaction score
948
Location
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
That's awesome that you have already secured a cat sitter and have a camera. Great job!

Cats, like dogs, can experience separation anxiety. I'm not saying that you cat has it; just a general comment. So I find that the advice that animal workers have been giving to dog owners since the pandemic began applies to cat owners, too, which is that try to leave her alone at home every day for a bit, and gradually increasing your time away. That way she gets more and more used to being alone for an extended period of time, and that'll make the change from seeing you 24/7 to not seeing you for a week or more easier.

Having said that, cats are usually pretty good at dealing with being left alone for an extended period of time. They sleep a lot during the day, and if you provide her with enough stimulation like food puzzles, cat trees or access to vantage points, maybe a perch to watch activities outside of the windows, she should be okay.

The first time I left my first cat alone for a weekend trip (but she did get a cat sitter to come in every day for food), my cat was totally okay but I was a mess as I missed her so much. So take care of yourself, too.
 

FeebysOwner

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
10,084
Reaction score
12,919
Location
Central FL (Born in OH)
Hi. No chance on getting a friend/family member/neighbor/etc. to stay in your home while you are gone? Someone who could spend some time visiting your home beforehand in order to 'friend' her? I personally think that would be ideal - and at the other end of the spectrum, once a day is really not enough. I say this primarily because of what appears to be a viral related issue that may have been tied to stress/routine changes that you have already experienced with her. Maybe some combination of cat sitter and another person to stay in your home overnight? Anyone you have taking care of her needs to be a familiar person to her before you ever leave.

Any way you decide to go, make sure you leave behind worn, unwashed clothes of yours in the house for her to be able to lay on or nearby. Using Zoom or Skype, etc. with the cat sitter to actually have her hear your voice, and possibly see you, during your absence might be helpful as well. You might also consider setting up some music or TV on timers (now, to get her used to it), so that she has some familiar noises to hear when the house is empty. Timers on lights might also be a consideration.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4

Weathergirl16

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Apr 1, 2020
Messages
9
Reaction score
6
Hi. No chance on getting a friend/family member/neighbor/etc. to stay in your home while you are gone? Someone who could spend some time visiting your home beforehand in order to 'friend' her? I personally think that would be ideal - and at the other end of the spectrum, once a day is really not enough. I say this primarily because of what appears to be a viral related issue that may have been tied to stress/routine changes that you have already experienced with her. Maybe some combination of cat sitter and another person to stay in your home overnight? Anyone you have taking care of her needs to be a familiar person to her before you ever leave.
Our cat sitter is coming before we leave to meet her. I wish I could afford to pay her for more than one visit per day... We live far away from family and don’t have anyone able to stay at the house right now. She hasn’t met any strangers in a few months, but is pretty confident and opens up quickly.

My husband and I were both working all day The first month we had her and have left her all day a few times since then, but never overnight. Thanks for the suggestion about the clothes, that makes a lot of sense!
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5

Weathergirl16

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Apr 1, 2020
Messages
9
Reaction score
6
The first time I left my first cat alone for a weekend trip (but she did get a cat sitter to come in every day for food), my cat was totally okay but I was a mess as I missed her so much. So take care of yourself, too.
I already have anxiety about my leaving her! We will be a plane-ride away so it’s not like we can come home easily.... she’s like my shadow so I know I will miss her!
 

minish

minish first..
Adult Cat
Joined
Nov 21, 2016
Messages
155
Reaction score
201
She will definitely be unhappy and it's not ideal, but it's OK to leave your cat at home for a while. It's much better than taking her to unwanted car-rides and new places she will definitely be less comfortable in. Minish moves around 3 different homes every year a couple of times and each time, even if it's the places she knows to be hers and her family's, she goes through a period of adapting, gaining her sense of territorial control which is crucial for a cat's well being (2-3 days in minish's case in the familiar settings).
When you return, give extra love and attention. If the house is undisturbed, it means she has slept it off most of the time. if you see signs of mischief, it means she's been bored. ın that case, offer more outlets (birdfeeders, more toys, someone who can stay longer..)
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7

Weathergirl16

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Apr 1, 2020
Messages
9
Reaction score
6
She will definitely be unhappy and it's not ideal, but it's OK to leave your cat at home for a while. It's much better than taking her to unwanted car-rides and new places she will definitely be less comfortable in. Minish moves around 3 different homes every year a couple of times and each time, even if it's the places she knows to be hers and her family's, she goes through a period of adapting, gaining her sense of territorial control which is crucial for a cat's well being (2-3 days in minish's case in the familiar settings).
When you return, give extra love and attention. If the house is undisturbed, it means she has slept it off most of the time. if you see signs of mischief, it means she's been bored. ın that case, offer more outlets (birdfeeders, more toys, someone who can stay longer..)
Thanks :). We will be gone for a week, having never left her before. I am very worried about it! She has a cat perch by the window and bird feeder, and I will get her some new toys that we will put out before we leave (might even leave a new one for the sitter to use). I already feel guilty about leaving her....
 

Pjg8r

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
Oct 3, 2017
Messages
438
Reaction score
574
I usually travel a weekend a month and a week away every three months. I do have my pet sitter come twice a day. Depending on your kitten’s feeding schedule once a day isn’t the greatest but I do know how expensive a good sitter can be. Will you sitter be sending you daily pictures when they visit and an update on eating, litter box, etc. That really put me at ease to know the person was there and my cat was interacting with them.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9

Weathergirl16

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Apr 1, 2020
Messages
9
Reaction score
6
I usually travel a weekend a month and a week away every three months. I do have my pet sitter come twice a day. Depending on your kitten’s feeding schedule once a day isn’t the greatest but I do know how expensive a good sitter can be. Will you sitter be sending you daily pictures when they visit and an update on eating, litter box, etc. That really put me at ease to know the person was there and my cat was interacting with them.
I actually purchase an automated feeder and water fountain for Mishka a few weeks ago to get her feeding schedule on track for breakfast and lunch (because my schedule is totally OUT of whack!). We feed her wet food for dinner and I figured I’d have the sitter do that while she’s here. The sitter will send us photos and updates!

Do you find that your kitty is more destructive or anxious while you’re away? Do you take any other precautions like putting away plants or unplugging things?
 

Pjg8r

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
Oct 3, 2017
Messages
438
Reaction score
574
I don’t have any plants. Sometimes one of mine has shredded toilet paper or gotten a cabinet door open but the sitter has taken care of it. I’ve never had one who was a “chewer” so I’ve not had to unplug anything.
 
Top