Leaving 3 indoor cats while on holiday

by Sabine


Thank you for providing this excellent service.

I have a pretty straight-forward question: I have 3 indoor cats aged between 3 and 5 years. I have had them since they were kittens, and I have never been on holiday.

However, I am planning to go away for 10 days and have a friend who will feed them and clean their litter tray once a day.

I know it sounds a bit silly, but I am so worried about leaving them. Do you think that 3 cats will be ok if someone just comes in once a day?

I just need some kind of reassurance as I almost feel guilty for planning to go on holiday.

Many thanks,

Dear Sabine,

I know all too well how you feel about leaving your cats while you go away. I rarely go away, but when I do I worry too much before I go and while I'm away. That's in spite of the fact that I've had many cats over many years and nothing has ever happened to even a single one while I was away.

It's normal to feel some concern, but everyone needs a vacation or has other reasons to have to be away from home occasionally. Please don't feel guilty. You're obviously a very loving cat parent for even thinking this way and that alone means you will make good arrangements for them.

There are a few different options people have when they have to be away from their cats. Some people board their cats, others take them along on their trip, and some have a family member, friend, or pet sitter either live in the house or come in to feed and care for the cats once or twice daily.

Most of the time, the best option for a cat is to stay in its own home with someone coming in to provide care. Cats hate to be in an unfamiliar place, so they don't like to travel with you and don't like to be boarded.

The exception may be if you have a cat that needs close observation and/or medication due to an illness or chronic condition. In that situation, you have to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of boarding your kitty in a veterinary hospital or other competent facility. Even then, the best alternative may be to let your kitty stay at home, but only if there is someone that is absolutely able to monitor and provide any needed medication and preferably stay in the home while you are away or at least come in several times a day.

It sounds like your cats are in good health and don't need any special care. In that situation, they should be fine while you are away as long as you trust the person that is coming in to care for them. I have always preferred that cats be checked twice daily rather than once, but I know many cases where the sitter has come in once daily and everything has been fine.

Your kitties will definitely miss you while you are away on your trip, but, again, you shouldn't feel guilty. You are making arrangements for their care and being a responsible pet owner. Whatever time your friend can spend playing with them and giving them attention will, of course, help them feel a bit happier. The other great thing about your situation is that your cats have each other for comfort and company.

I can certainly understand your feelings, but try to relax and have a good time! Your kitties will be very happy to see you when you return.

All the best,
Dr. Neely

Comments for Leaving 3 indoor cats while on holiday

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Nov 07, 2015
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Oct 14, 2015
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Don't be afraid. Your cats won't be bored cause there are three of them. They'll get food thanks to your friend. The only thing that they'll miss you but they will be ok. There is nothing to be worried about.

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