Stress-free holidays without your cat

Are you planning a holiday, but can’t take your cat with you? Don’t worry, with some simple planning your cat can happily pass time without you.

We think of cats as highly independent animals. While this is true, your cat cannot be left alone while you go away; she must be looked after by someone else in your absence. Cats like routine, so if you are not away for long, have a friend, relative or professional come and take care of her at home to reduce any stress she may feel.

However, if you are going away for a longer period of time, your cat will need more constant care as extended isolation can cause stress and anxiety. Ideally organise for someone to come and stay in your home while you are away. If this isn’t possible, catteries or home stays are available. However, be aware that this change can trigger stress in some cats, and she may take time to adapt.

/So if your cat is going to stay somewhere else while you’re on holiday, how should you prepare for the change?

Preparing her for your absence

Give clear instructions about your cat’s needs to the professional or friend caring for her. This should include litter tray maintenance and food guidelines (kibble or wet food, amount and times). If you normally give her several meals per day, it may be useful to use an automatic food dispenser to ensure her usual timings are maintained.

Describe and explain her character, habits and behaviour. This way the person looking after her will be able to spot any unusual behaviour or health problems.

Finally, remember to send her off with some toys, her health records and the contact details for your vet. With a little preparation, your cat should adapt well to her temporary living situation, giving you peace of mind while on holiday.

80% - The sad percentage of animals abandoned during the summer holiday period (source: SPA)
Make sure your cat is used to her temporary home before you leave. A half-day or weekend in the run-up to your trip will make the transition easier for her.