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Anxious about leaving my 1 year old cat while away

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by Tova Widerberg, Nov 19, 2018.


  1. Tova Widerberg

    Tova Widerberg PetForums Newbie

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    Hello!
    I'm brand new to this site, just joined because I need some opinions, help or suggestions- anything!

    I've a 1 year old boy cat named Max. He's very social and he's quite a Mommy's boy and wants to be around me at all times (bathroom, even!). He's not necessarily shy and gets along with most humans he's met so far.
    So, here comes my problem.
    Max is used to me being at home most of the time as I am studying online, and he's only spent two night away from me and my boyfriend since we got him.
    In January, however, me and my boyfriend are going to sweden to visit my family for 6 days and I'm worried sick about Max already. We used a pet sitter when we went to glasgow for a night and although Max was fine I wasn't completely satisfied with the sitter as she didn't keep us updated even though she promised and it was the first time we left him alone, even though she did everything we asked for I couldn't enjoy my weekend since I didn't have a clue if he was fine or not.

    So- should I just find a new pet sitter and go through as many as needed until I find one that I trust and Max connects with or should I let him stay at a cat boarding place?
    I know it's less stressful for cats being in their own home but I am so worried about leaving him alone for this long.
    There are no family members or friends of my boyfriends we can ask either unfortunately.

    What would you do? What do you think I should do?
     
  2. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

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    Hi and welcome. It's hard to answer your question as it really depends on Max and on you.

    Despite the cat sitter not updating you as much as you wanted how did Max cope with the experience. Was he stressed when you got home, show any different behaviour or did he take it all in his stride? It sounds like you have plenty of separation anxiety but did he ?

    My cats love being around if I am about all the time but adapt well to a pet sitter visiting. They are strongly bonded to their territory and leaving it to go to a strange location with unfamiliar scents and sounds would stress them badly so I have never gone down the cattery route. The cat sitters I have employed over the years I have researched thoroughly and spent time getting g to know them.

    If you decide to go down the pet sitter route again be sure to make your exact requirements known including the frequency of the contacts you require. It can be hard for pet sitters to strike the balance right. Some customers really don't want frequent communications and some do. Because I know my cat sitter quite well I tend to only need an update when they first arrive and before they leave at the end of the care period plus updates if they are concerned. But everyone is different.

    If the pet sitter was overall OK just didn't text etc enough perhaps you can explain the level and type of contact you want. Bare in mind that most cat sitting people have a large list if clients and very busy days so writing g lo g essays about the pet jn their care each time might be hard but they should be able to manage some pictures and some texts/whatsapp and a few photos.

    The alternative is a cattery. Whether your cat feels comfortable in a cattery depends on the cattery and your cats personality. They can feel more secure to owners but make sure you do a thorough check and check on containment procedures as well as all aspects of care. Other posters will be able to talk about the pros and cons of varieties more than me.

    It would be worth doing a trial overnight at the cattery or with a cat sitter to see if you are happy before your longer stay away. That way if there are any issues they can be sorted ahead of time.
     
    kimthecat likes this.
  3. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

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    Oh and just to add. It's possible to set up a pet cam to keep an eye on Max. Most kits come with an app so you can access the footage on line so you can reassure yourself everything is OK. Something to consider perhaps.
     
    kimthecat likes this.
  4. LJC675

    LJC675 PetForums VIP

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    I agree with @kittih it sounds like maybe you are more stressed than Max, how much communication do you want? You say last time you were away for 1 night. I would maybe just want a check in to say everything was OK.
    My cat sitter doesn't text and send pics etc. We contact each other just before the days away (about a week before) just to check both parties are OK with the dates still. I leave her a note reminding her of feeding etc, she texts at the start with an OK but then only again if there's an issue. So if I'm away for say a week, I may only get 1 text as an all ok at the start. I trust her that if all is ok then that's great and she will contact me if needed.
    So I would try to be reasonable about comms from the sitter, but if you want something every day then get it agreed up front with her. Were you happy with everything else?
    Is it an actual sitter (i.e. stays in your house over night) or someone who comes in to feed and check on Max a couple of times a day?
     
    kittih likes this.
  5. Tova Widerberg

    Tova Widerberg PetForums Newbie

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    Hello!
    I understand that cat sitters have a lot going on, but the fact that she didn't even send me a text after feeding despite me texting her and asking bothered me. Max was fine, he gave us a good shout when we got back but he didn't seem stressed by the experience.

    I'm considering maybe leaving him alone overnight sometime soon, so go in the evening and come home early the next day just to see how he actually copes. I have no doubts that the cat sitters aren't doing their job- they're probably great and loving but I want someone who Max connects with and someone that understands that he's not used to us being away.
    I normally leave the radio or tv on when I leave the house for him so I'll have to make sure they do the same thing!
     
  6. Bertie'sMum

    Bertie'sMum Obedient Cat Slave

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    I always use a local cattery if I'm going to be away for more than a couple of nights. (Only a couple of nights and my lovely neighbour takes over).
    The cattery I use is very well run and the owner is a lovely lady who spends time with all the cats in her care. regularly playing with them and grooming them - the pens are spacious and heated in the winter. If you decide to use a cattery visit a few between now and when you are going away so that you can get a feel for which one might suit Max best.
     
  7. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

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    I think you have to find someone you trust. It sounds as if this cat sitter didn't follow instructions so I can understand your concerns. Why not start researching catteries and cat sitters in your area. Perhaps be prepared to travel a little out of area to get a good range of choices. Once you get a feel for all the options and see how the various providers come across you will have a good idea what will suit you best.
     
  8. Tova Widerberg

    Tova Widerberg PetForums Newbie

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    She does both, but she came once the morning we left (we left at about 5am) and again the same evening and the morning after. All I'm really asking for is a quick text saying they've fed him and if he's doing okay. Apart from that everything was fine even though she did seem a bit stressed when I met her the first time. She's a legit sitter and does this for a living, but it did bother me that she couldn't send a quick text. I probably am way more anxious than Max! But I just want to feel calm and feel that I'm leaving him in good hands.
     
  9. Tova Widerberg

    Tova Widerberg PetForums Newbie

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    Oh my god that might be the best thing I've heard!! That would definitely make me feel better if I could keep an eye on him whilst away. Thank you!!
     
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