As a professional pet sitter, I often get the question from potential clients as to whether or not they need a pet sitter for their cat. There tends to be two scenarios.
The first scenario is the clients are going out of town for a couple of days and are wondering if they can “bridge the gap” by leaving cats to their own devices until they get home except for putting out a bunch of food and water. The second is they’re planning a longer trip and are wondering how often they need to have someone visit their kitties.
These questions are almost always driven by a desire to save money. While all of us want to cut costs, there are other factors to consider when deciding what’s best for your favorite feline.
Let’s start with the misconception that cats don’t get lonely. Anyone who says cats aren’t social creatures should spend a few days at my house having my three felines constantly following them around begging for attention. I’m not saying every cat loves to be around other animals or people but, in general, cats are very social animals. As such, they get lonely and stressed out when they don’t have company.
Cats also get bored with no one to interact with. Toys, cat trees, and a spot to watch the birds outside can help with this but, at some point, most cats are going to start looking for other forms of entertainment. When they do, that nice new pristine living room sofa will call to your cat a nice claw sharpening on furniture will entertain them. Destructive or undesirable habits in cats and dogs often start due to boredom and the best way to cure a bad habit is to not let it start in the first place.
Age is another consideration. Kittens of age three to six months generally need three feedings per day, every four to six hours or so. Senior cats may require regular medication or more frequent wet food feedings.
Perhaps most worrisome about leaving your kitty for extended amounts of time is the possibility of sudden illness or injury. Cats are curious by nature and tend to get into things, sometimes to their own detriment. They’re also notoriously good at hiding physical ailments. It’s nice to have someone who knows your cat and can recognize normal from slightly abnormal behavior watching out for them.
The length of time you can leave an adult cat alone depends on the cat, his diet, and your environment. Cats who eat dry food that you can make readily available may be left on their own for 24-48 hours as long as fresh water is accessible as well.
How often or if you have someone visit your kitty is of course a personal decision. For a few dollars, a reliable professional pet sitter can meet your cat’s needs while giving you peace of mind that your fur baby is happy and safe. If money is still a hurdle, at least ask a friend or family member to stop in. Isn’t your furry feline family member worth it?
Written by Elizabeth (Eliza) Burr for Lincoln Pet Culture. Eliza is the owner of two successful pet related businesses: Preferred Pet Partners, a pet sitting and dog walking company, and The Pet Business Coach, a coaching business for aspiring or current pet related business entrepreneurs. She maintains two blogs: one for pet parents https://preferredpetpartners.com/blog/ and one for pet business owners https://thepetbusinesscoach.dog/blog-page/. Eliza also supports various animal rescue and shelter organizations. She, her husband, and their three pets live in Nebraska. Visit her websites: www.preferredpetpartners.com or www.thepetbusinesscoach.dog.