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Old 05-09-2003, 07:55 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Calgary, Ab, Canada
Posts: 83
can I leave my cat alone for 9 days?

I've never had to worry about a situation like this before, but now that i've moved to a new city i'm faced with it. I have plans to take a 9 day trip to kentucky and then florida and back.. but I don't know anyone to stop by and check on the cat. It doesn't seem right to leave my cat alone for a week. I'm pretty sure I could provide adequate food and water (tough, i dunno about the freshness).

Any thoughts, would this be cruel?... Anyone else left their cat alone for any amount of time? Should i be thinking about a cat kennel type thing?
Old 05-09-2003, 08:06 PM
Eve Eve is offline
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 22,064
No, you cannot. Either board the cat, or ask a local vet if they know of any reliable cat-sitters.
Old 05-09-2003, 08:07 PM
Peg Peg is offline
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 552
I would seriously consider a cat kennel.

1. You can get around the water freshness issue with one of those fancy water pump dealies.

2. You can get one of those food dispensers.

3. You can even get around the kitty litter issue with an automatic litter scooper (I don't know if it can take 9 days of crap though, literally).

You cat may be different, but as much as my cat may be independent, she really does prefer it when I am home. I've left her alone for a weekend and she seems OK with it (though she will follow me around the the first few hours after I get home, like she's afraid I'm going to leave her) but 9 days? That's not good. Plus, what happens with your cat if something happens to your house/building?
Old 05-09-2003, 08:15 PM
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: my own little world
Posts: 152
Anything over four days and I kennel the cat. Nine days is just too long. Even after four days she tells me all about how lonely she was when we get back.
Old 05-09-2003, 08:18 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Calgary, Ab, Canada
Posts: 83
ya, that's kinda the feeling i have too.
Old 05-09-2003, 08:27 PM
Peg Peg is offline
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 552

I know kennels can be expensive.... as Eve suggested, ask the local vet. Sometimes they have more inexpensive kennels too.
Old 05-09-2003, 08:34 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Calgary, Ab, Canada
Posts: 83
good news I think i might have a solution. I found a drop-by-and-feed-water-your-cat service. $15 a visit. Includes feeding, filling water, playtime, and litter duty.
Old 05-09-2003, 08:43 PM
MLS MLS is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 7,841
Do you have any friends who like cats? It has sometimes worked for me to get an apartment-dwelling single friend who likes (or at least will be kind to) cats to be a cat-and-house sitter while I'm away. The friend likes having an entire house complete with washing machine, etc., and the cats like having company. This also gives you peace of mind that the house looks lived in and is less tempting to burglars, and the mail is brought in. All at no cost to me!
Old 05-09-2003, 08:46 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Calgary, Ab, Canada
Posts: 83
The only problem I have is I don't know any people in this city yet, at least nobody i'd want hangin out in my house The closest thing I have is a co-worker that used to work with me in the old city. That's my best no-cost option.
Old 05-09-2003, 09:28 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Auburn, WA
Posts: 6,025
My wife and I used a pet drop in service the last time we were gone more than a few days. It was $12 for twice daily visits. She even took care of our rats.
Old 05-09-2003, 09:53 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Just outside the group
Posts: 2,736
I've never done it with a single cat, but I have with two. I set out multiple boxes, food dishes and had a watering system with a reservoir. No problems arose. They were both fairly well-mannered felines, not likely to go tearing around the house in my absence and I made sure there was nothing left out they could get hurt on. Of course, I originally intended to be away only over a weekend but was caught in an ice storm and ended up stranded for a week.
I'd say a lot depends on your cat's temperament and tolerance to being alone. Also, if you've got one prone to eat all his food at once it wouldn't work out too well.
Old 05-09-2003, 10:47 PM
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Texas
Posts: 198
We just took a 7 day trip to Kentucky over Easter and we left our two babies here at home alone. We knew we were going to have to do it because the price of kennels was just too high, so we started planning way in advance. We purchased an automatic food dispenser and let it run for months to make sure it was going to work okay while we were gone. We also bought a water dispenser that held a gallon, plus I left down several bowls. We also bought extra litterboxes so theirs wouldn't get too full while we were gone. My bf's dad did drop in several times during our absence to check on them, but he really didn't have to. They were fine. They were glad to see us when we got back, but didn't seem to have suffered any ill effects. I probably wouldn't do it again because I worried the whole trip, but it did work okay. I think the drop-by service sounds like a good idea. I plan on checking in to that next trip.

Good luck!
Old 05-10-2003, 01:00 AM
rsa rsa is offline
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 2,108
Heck, I've left my cat several times, a couple of which were about a week. I only feed her dry food and just leave two full bowls and a couple of large bowls of water. Based on how much food was left I assume that she just slept 20 hours a day.

If your cat is not the bitch that mine is, he or she may be a bit more upset with being left alone that long. So, YMMV.

In any case, I can't imagine why you would need an automatic feeder.
Old 05-10-2003, 09:09 AM
Charter Member
Charter Member
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 38,721
I've left my cat alone for up to a week, but he has a cat door, so doesn't use a littler box; also my neighbor comes in every couple of days to top up the dry food and make sure he's okay. He surely is glad to see me when I get home -- as in I have to stop and buy milk before I get home because it would just be too freakin' cruel to go out again the same day.

If you can afford the drop-by service you found, I think that's your best bet.
Old 05-10-2003, 10:16 AM
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Texas
Posts: 198
We HAD to have an automatic feeder. Our cats don't seem to know when to stop eating. If we left down bowls of food, they would be out of food in like 2 days.
Plus, the vet said we needed to put them on a diet. That's the easiest way we found not to overfeed them. Before we got that thing, I would feed them, my bf would feed them, I'd feed them... etc. We are at home at different times, so we never knew if the other person had fed them or how much. Now the feeder does all that worrying for us. We just set it at the amount/time and let it go.

I'd still go with the drop-by service though.
Old 05-10-2003, 10:32 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Calgary, Ab, Canada
Posts: 83
Yay! The co-worker I mentioned before has agreed to stop by every couple days to check on the cat and feed her and change the water and such. Problem solved!
Old 05-12-2003, 12:48 PM
Peg Peg is offline
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 552
I'm glad you found a solution! (The drop-in service sounds like a good number to keep handy though.)
Old 05-12-2003, 01:07 PM
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Over by dere
Posts: 27,023
We went for four days, but we had a friend go in and check on the kids. They were fine, but I wouldn't go longer than that.
Old 05-12-2003, 02:11 PM
Charter Jays Fan
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Oakville, Canada
Posts: 38,384
Oh, you CAN leave a cat alone for nine days. Cats are pretty hardy animals. Despite the whining for food they like to display, they'll be fine even if they run out of food and water a day early.

The question is, would you want to? Hard to get cat urine out of your mattress...
Old 05-12-2003, 03:30 PM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: In the Dreaming
Posts: 21,598
RickJay has a good point. Cats can be vengeful little bastards.

When I lived alone and had two cats, I would leave them for up to a week at a time. Just fill some extra (large) water containers, top off a couple of food dishes, clean the boxes before I left and not to worry.

Upon returning home, my overly spoiled boy would growl and bite my forehead to let me know he was mad at me for leaving, then lick it a whole bunch and cuddle in my neck to let me know how glad he was to see me.

But married, with six cats between us, we have someone drop in once a day when we're gone. Fortunately, my step-daughter lives 2 blocks away.
Old 05-12-2003, 06:02 PM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Pacific Grove, Calif
Posts: 17,493
Or call your local SPCA & see what they have for you.
Old 05-13-2003, 12:24 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: B.G.Wa.
Posts: 101
As long as you're sure it has plenty of food, water and a place to relieve itself you're ok. Cats will kind of "shut down" when left alone. They don't need company or something to do. Make sure the temperature etc. will be OK. (don't leave it locked in an old car in the summer heat.) The fewer distractions, the better. Garage worked well for me one time for a week or so. Cat was very loving when I returned.
Old 05-13-2003, 07:55 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Female in Kansas
Posts: 6,953
I think it's pushing it a bit to leave the cat alone for nine days, but it could be pulled off. If there's any chance you could be delayed in getting home, you'd better make extingency plans now. If the chances of this happening are too high, I'd probably go ahead and kennel the cat.

I'd consider leaving a radio on for "company" for the cat though. Not too loud, and not classical or country. (Those genres have violins, which hurt kitty ears with their high undertones.) Probably a talk radio station would work. It seems to work, from my personal experience.

Definitely, you need someone to check in to make sure kitty is doing ok. Things should be ok, as long as you make certain there will be enough food, and water for several days past the time you will be gone. Cleaning up cat shit isn't that bad a thing, if kitty isn't starved or dehydrated.

Now for a cautionary tale:
My mother's kitty was very timid, and they had to leave for a few days. They thought she would be ok, and even though they hired someone to check on her, things went horribly awry. My brother's friend told us she refused to eat, or drink, and that she did nothing but sleep. He said she seemed lost, and sad. As far as we can understand, she died of a broken heart, thinking she had been abandoned.

The moral of the story is, make certain kitty's temperment can handle being alone. Some cats just can't. My mom's kitty was a waif that she took in. I guess she just could not cope with solitude.

Good Luck to you and kitty.

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