Dear Critter Corner: I have a vacation planned in July and am wondering whether I should leave my cat Sheik with my mom or if I should have a pet-sitter come stay with her. Which do you think is the best option?
It’s definitely that time of year when summer vacations are planned and more folks are taking trips to enjoy the beautiful weather. There are a few things to consider when leaving your cat behind when going on vacation, whether it is a short weekend trip or a week-long adventure. Part of this will also be based on your cat’s personality and where your cat is typically most comfortable. Some cats are highly social and love meeting new people. Other cats tend to be more independent or aloof, preferring the comfort of their home and people they know well. For short weekend trips it may be ok to have a neighbor check on your cat, provide clean water and food, clean the litterboxes, and play with Sheik. For longer trips, you may consider having a pet-sitter alternate with your neighbor, and ensure Sheik gets plenty of social time as you’ll be gone and she’ll be alone for a longer period of time or you can have the pet-sitter stay at your home as well.
In terms of leaving Sheik with your mom, it will depend on how comfortable Sheik is in your mom’s home and with your mom in general. A few questions to think about include, does Sheik and your mom get along well? Has Sheik visited your mom’s home before and if so, was she readily exploring the home or hiding? Does Sheik eat/drink and use the litterbox regularly at your mom’s home? If the answers to these questions are yes, then Sheik sounds like she’s ready for her own vacation. If not, you can still try to help Sheik get accustomed to your mom’s home over a few weeks prior to the trip. The longer the amount of time you have for a trial period, the easier the transition will be.