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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking about adopting a cat within the next year or so. Right now I'm in the process of assessing my lifestyle, doing some research, and trying to figure out if it's realistic and appropriate for me to care for a cat.

To all of you with cats as companions, what do you do about traveling? Do you leave them at home for someone to watch? Do you bring them along? How? Do hotels allow companion animals to stay with you? Etc... Share your experiences and advice!
 

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cats are pretty much a fully independent animal. although if you show them love, they will love you forever, they do fine on their own. as long as the litter box is clean, and there is a full bowl of food and water around, some toys, and some hidden treats around the house ( my cat likes hunting) he/she will be happy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, I've read that cats can't be on their own like that. They get lonely and need their companion.
 

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We leave ours at home, and our next door neighbour checks in on them twice a day. Since we have three cats (and a bunny) they keep each other company. Our neighbour feeds them, gives them some pets and playtime, and makes sure they're all alive.
She loves them, so I'm not sure what we'll do when she's not around to care for them. I guess we'll pay a housesitter.

My brother on the other hand has taken his two cats everywhere since they were kittens. They travel very well. But you'd have to do it right from the start; Pesto didn't travel all that great when we went to Toronto recently. She meowed all night, and we got almost no sleep. She's a cutie though, so she gets away with it.


some hotels are ok with pets, others are not. It really depends.
 

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Right now, my bf's mom looks in on them. I have three and I think if I only had one - it might get a little lonely. But the kitties seem to do fine. My kitties are very litter box tolerant - I just came back from a week ago vacation in Florida and the litter box (I have a giantic one) was fine the whole week with no cleaning. They still go in it (Yes, I know not the best thing).

I will be moving to California soon - a big trip and I will probably be flying my cats and I am not looking forward to it. They don't have much travel experience and have never been on a plane.

There are some hotels that are pet-friendly.

I think cats do better if they are left at home. But that is my cats. Dogs seem to do well on planes. There were several doggies on the plane to and from Florida and they seemed quite at ease. I didn't see any kitties though.

One thing to keep in mind if that you need a small enough carrier to fit air line regulations AND when you go through the security checkpoint - you have to take your pet out of the carrier. One of my cats doesn't like strangers so she will be VERY nervous. I am still considering driving and making frequent stops at pet hotels for my move- just so I don't have to take her out of the carrier at the airport. One of the other cats will I am sure 'sing' the whole flight and drive the other passengers crazy.


(ps. where are you located? We have four homeless kittens living in our garage right now - don't know where they are from. The kittens are going in there as I have one of my cat trees in there and I am sure they are having a lovely time on it.
We have enough cats or we would take them - they are so cute! We are looking for a suitable shelter that has room before we catch them up. I am in Wisconsin - if you decide to get a cat, you take one of the kittens. PM me if you do.)
 

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I think two cats are better than one. I left my four alone for two days and they did fine. They've never been alone longer than that. When my friend goes away for a week at a time, I go and take care of her kitties every day. I would feel better leaving my cats home and have someone look in on them daily, rather than take them with me. I would worry that something would happen to them if I took them with me, like they would somehow get out, get lost, etc. Plus I think it would be stressful on them. But I guess if you got them used to it from day one, it would be ok. I just never did it so I can't say how well they would do travelling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by evan_fabiani View Post

cats are pretty much a fully independent animal. although if you show them love, they will love you forever, they do fine on their own. as long as the litter box is clean, and there is a full bowl of food and water around, some toys, and some hidden treats around the house ( my cat likes hunting) he/she will be happy!
This is not really true. Cats can get lonely and depressed.
 

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I would swear that Thor was totally ticked off at me for leaving him those two days...it was like he wouldn't talk to me for a day and half once I came home....He acted totally indifferent and stand-offish when he is normally in my face, 24/7.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
When my sister and her fiance went to PA for the weekend, to visit some of his family, I watched her cat for her. Even though I was with her a lot, groomed her, fed her, gave her treats, and played with her, Snuggles still missed HER mommy and daddy. (Aunt Chelsea was NOT mommy, and she let me know.) She was very upset with them for leaving her, and let them know that when they returned. After that, for a good 2 weeks, whenever they left the room she was in she would chase them and stand infront of the door, she deffiently missed them and didn't want to be left behind again.
 

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I definitely think you should get at least two (preferably siblings who love each other). Cats get lonely by themselves, especially indoor-only ones. It's actually less daily effort to have more than one, since they're a little less needy for attention, and you won't feel quite so guilty going off to work, etc.

Cats don't tend to travel well. Also, I would not leave cats completely alone for more than about a day.
 

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some hotels do have "pet friendly" rooms, you just have to call ahead and ask.

depends on how long you're going away for. my cat has been left alone for up to 4 or 5 days and done just fine. he was grouchy but he got over it. that was when he was on strictly dry food though and i could leave a big bowl full and it'd last him the whole time. now he gets canned food so someone has to feed him when i'm away. most cats are content with being fed once or twice a day but because mine was sick and is now picky he needs to be fed often in small amounts, if his food starts to dry out he won't touch it. so we've started taking him with us now when we go away for longer than a day unless someone can come in often and feed him.

there are herbal travel anxiety remedies you can buy that are supposed to help. the one i tried just made him drool a lot.
 

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Four or five days alone without someone checking on a cat is just too long and I would consider that negligent pet guardianship. The animal can have an accident or medical issue in that time and need care. People have come back after a weekend and found that their cat has a bladder infection or swallowed a piece of string or something, and more time without care could kill their cat.

And if the cat is completely alone inside the house, she is also likely to become lonely and somewhat fearful or depressed.
 

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I've gone 4 or 5 days leaving your cats alone seems acceptable to me. I'm presuming she had someone check in on them at least once a day, I doubt anyone who cared for their animals would just leave them completely alone for 5 days. Like you said, that's just flat out neglect.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiz View Post

I'm presuming she had someone check in on them at least once a day, I doubt anyone who cared for their animals would just leave them completely alone for 5 days.
I read it as leaving a cat completely alone for 5 days (e.g. leaving a big bowl of food that would last the whole time...) I agree with you that if someone responsible checks in on the cat at least once, a day, 5 days is no problem (especially if the cat has a companion; a single housecat with just a few minutes of socializing per day, depending on the person checking in, would likely be lonely).
 

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My cats travel to my parents' house with me if I'm going home for more than just a few days. You have to put up with 2 1/2 hrs of "MROWOWOWOW!" but other than that it's not so bad. Since they've both lived at my parents house (with me) in the past, they're very comfortable there, so other than the drive, it isn't too traumatic for them. I do not, however, take them on short trips home since I don't think it's fair for them to be stressed out in the car that often, and its not worth it for a long weekend. I also don't take them other places, since it takes them so long to get used to a new place, I don't want to stress them out with that.

When I am NOT taking them, I make sure someone can watch them. If I'm just going away, my bf feeds them (he feeds them half the time anyway), in the past when we both went away, our neighbor fed them, but now we have a new neighbor and I don't know who will feed them. I can't just leave out food/water because they'd eat all the food in the first 20 minutes then be starved until we came home again.

It is nice to have two though so they can keep each other company.

And I also disagree with evan_fabiani. My cats are VERY people oriented and get lonely even when we go to work for the day. Once we get home, they climb all over us and get excited, much like dogs do. Granted, they're more self sufficient than dogs are, but they still would get upset if they were left for too long. They do better with eachother than alone though (I know this from past experiences where one was hospitalized).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you all for your advice and opinions! This is very helpful.

I will look into adopting more than one cat. I'd hate for a cat to feel lonely when I'm in classes or at work.
 

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Agreed that they dont travel well, and you will probably want a pair if youre going away regularly so you only have to arrange outside feeding, rather than cuddles as well. Also wanted to point out the long term aspect though--for 15 years we left mine for holidays with either with someone staying with her, or a neighbour popping in daily and it was fine.

Now she is OLD, which means there are often days when she tweaks a muscle and is limping, which (a) needs someone who knows her well there to tell if it is serious and needs a vet or not, and (b) needs someone who is capable of getting her into a basket to the vets if necessary (given that last week she bit my mother so badly she still cant move two of her fingers). She also goes off food regularly and often needs tempting with freshly cooked chicken or fish to eat again.

There is no way any of our neighbours can do this for us (or even that I would trust any experienced cat person who didnt know Minnie personally to do it) and so our family can no longer all go on holiday at the same time. If my parents go away for the weekend, I have to move in with her. Giving her the care she requires and maintaining a normal social life at the same time would be virtually impossible if there weren't three of us who know her funny habits and are used to handling her.

My long-winded point is that it is ok getting a couple of kittens now and expecting them to be fine for a week or two being looked after by the neighbours, or left with a big bowl of food over the weekend. However, if you expect your lifestyle to still involve a lot of travelling in 10 years, you need to consider carefully whether you will have developed sufficient infrastructure to deal with their increased demands at that time.
 
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