Although I really enjoy being at home and spending time with my loved ones, once in a while I like to travel and see something new. I like being as spontaneous as possible, but some things have to be prepared before I leave the house.
One of those things is the wellbeing of my two cats Minnie and Apollo. My first thought is always to just take them with me, but I know that it is not that easy to do so nor the optimal solution for my cats. The possibility of giving them to somebody else (friends, family or cat shelter) are out of the way. They like to stay in the territory they know and feel comfortable in. So whenever possible I leave them at home. But before saying goodbye to Minnie and Apollo I take a look at my ‘be gone-checklist’ to make sure they are just as happy when I come back home. So far it worked incredibly well and I (almost) don’t worry about my little babies and enjoy the vacation as much as possible.
So lets get to the checklist!
You need somebody you trust to check on your pet. In a perfect scenario you have a good relationship with your neighbour or somebody who lives close to. Give this person a spare key to your home. Ideally the person checks once a day, but every other day should be alright when you stick to this list. On top of that, give somebody else you trust (family, close friends) an additional key to your home in case of an emergency.
Food and Water
If you are like me, you want to put a minimal burden on the person who helps you out while away, I (and my petsitter) find it very convenient to have an electronic pet feeder to make the task of feeding a breeze. To find out which feeder fits you, check out my buyers guide! If you don’t have an electronic feeder, the petsitter has a little more work to do, but it is managable. Also make sure to have at least 2 separate bowls of water for your pet set up. Just in case one bowl gets knocked over.
The very basics are now covered and your cat should survive your abstinence. But thats not our goal here. I want to keep my cats happy as well. So lets get to the details.
Even though it is not the nicest of tasks, cleaning the litter box is a total must-do to keep your pets happy. Ask your petsitter to keep it fresh to prevent unfortunate surprises. And don’t forget to stock up on kitty litter before you start your trip!
Make sure your cat is able to freely roam around your house and has access to all the rooms it usually visits. To do so block all required doors from accidentally closing. A towel that you put between the door and its frame works perfectly fine.
Leave worn clothes that carry your scent in several rooms. This may sound strange, but your smell has a calming and comforting effect on your furry friends (that’s also the reason why cats love to lie in the laundry basket!). For my cats tshirts on my bed worked best.
Leave your blinds open. Watching what happens on the other side of the window is perfect entertainment for your cats. Additional points if you set up a birdfeeder close to the windows.
When you leave on colder days, leave the heat on. I recommend at least 16 degrees celsius to keep your pet from freezing.
When you leave on hot summer days, make sure your cat has a place she can cool off. Best suited for that would be a room not facing south with the blinds closed.
Unplug every cable you don’t need to be plugged in during your vacation. This reduces the risk of your cat knocking stuff over. And -this should be obvious- never leave anything sharp, dangerous or toxic lying around.
On top of the tipps above, you should give the number of your vet to your petsitter. Just for that extra peace of mind.
That is what I do in case of a vacation, weekend trip or business trip and it really helped me and my cats to feel more relaxed during that time. Hope this helps some of you!
Enjoy your vacation!
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