Any cat owner can tell you the worst part of traveling is leaving your precious kitty home without you. It makes us nervous and anxious because we think of all the things that could go wrong, and we imagine our cats meowing sadly without their favorite humans around to cuddle. It makes it hard for us to enjoy our trip. But there are some things we can do as cat owners to reduce our own anxiety while our fur babies aren’t with us. Here are some tips for relaxing on vacation while your cat is at home.
Find A Trusted Pet Sitter
Your first choice of pet sitter should be a friend or family member that your cat is familiar with and that you know is trustworthy. But if your loved ones can’t take care of your cat for you, the next best thing is to research a trusted pet sitter with plenty of reviews online. A good pet sitter will stay in your home while you are away so your cat doesn’t feel anxious in a new environment. You and your cat should meet your pet sitter beforehand to get familiar, and you should have some peace of mind knowing your kitty is in good hands.
Leave Detailed Instructions
Make sure your pet sitter, no matter who you choose, knows your cat’s schedule, including feeding and medicine. Also make sure your sitter knows about any quirks or unusual habits your cat may have. For example, if your kitty likes to try to escape when the door is opened, your sitter needs to be prepared. It never hurts to leave too many instructions. It’s better than not leaving enough. Leave vet information, local contacts, and anything you can think of. Knowing that your sitter is ready for anything will help put you at ease.
Place A Comfort Item Near Your Cat’s Sleeping Space
Your kitty knows your scent and will probably miss you while you’re gone, and thinking about your cat missing you can cause you emotional distress, too. You can help your kitty feel more comfortable if you leave a piece of clothing or a pillow that smells like you near her sleeping space. It will help provide your cat with a familiar presence, and knowing that she’s more comfortable will help make you feel more comfortable, too.
Update Tags And Microchips
It never hurts to be too prepared. If your cat should escape while you’re gone, you should have updated tags or microchips that will help you be reunited quickly. Losing your cat while you’re away may be one of the worst case scenarios that a cat lover can imagine, so make sure if that happens, your fur baby can be easily found and identified. Having identification available should help ease some of your fears.
Keep Goodbyes Short
Goodbyes aren’t just stressful for you; they also clue your cat into the fact that your leaving and add a whole new level of anxiety for the both of you. Keep your goodbye short and sweet. You may hate to leave without doting on your cat for a few minutes, but it will help in the long run. If your fear is so extreme that you think this may be the last time you’ll be able to see your furry companion, profess your love the night before with all the snuggles you can. But when the time comes to walk out the door, do it quickly. Your heart will hurt less.
Check In Frequently
There’s no shame in calling to check in on your cat. You can even arrange a Skype call with your pet sitter to check on your kitty and say hello. Chances are good that your cat won’t care much for a version of you on a small screen, as animals only sometimes recognize us that way, but it will give you some peace of mind to check up and see that your cat is alive and well. Don’t be afraid to ask your pet sitter for a detailed update on all of your cat’s daily activities.
Get A Pet Camera
There are plenty of pet cameras out there with lots of reviews. Many of them will allow you to watch your cat through an app on your phone, and some even let you talk to your cat or play with a laser pointer remotely. Some can be a little pricey, but if you absolutely need to be able to see your cat whenever you want in order to feel comfortable, it’s money well spent. You can find one of our favorites, the Petcube Play on Amazon.
Take Your Mind Off Of Your Cat For A Bit
Your cat is probably always on your mind while you’re away, but it’s important to take some time to distract yourself. Enjoy your trip, and take the time you have apart from your cat to do some things for yourself. Live in the moment for a while and try to realize that your cat is doing just fine without you for this short time. If you’ve taken steps to reduce your cat’s anxiety while you’re away, you should be able to rest at ease. Your cat’s sitter is just a phone call away, so try to take it easy for a bit knowing that you’re not as far away as you think.
How do you relax on vacation while your cat is at home? Let us know in the comments below!