Dear Critter Corner: I’m planning a few short and long trips this spring to visit friends and family and am wondering what options are there to care for my cat Sophia while I’m gone?

There’s a quite a few different options available for your cat while you’re gone, depending on how short or how long the trips are, and based on you and your cat’s comfort level. One of the most common resources for providing care for your pet when you are away are petsitters. Check out a few different available petsitters and feel free to call them before your trip to see if their services and you and your cat’s needs are a good match. Before you leave, you could also meet them in person, and give them a tour of your cat’s daily routine, where their food/water is located, their daily medications if any, where they prefer to sleep during the day versus the night, how often their litterbox should be cleaned or refilled, their favorite hiding spots, what to do in an emergency, etc. It can be helpful to create a checklist for when the petsitter arrives along with an emergency contact list. Feel free to include steps for your daily food/water/playtime routine with Sophia, what medications she may be taking and how they are given, her vet information, along with a few good emergency contacts. There are also some handy electronic gadgets that can be useful when you’re gone, such as automatic pet feeders and water fountains that replenish the food and water on a daily basis. Some of these do need to be refilled every 24 hours or so, so do check them out and provide the instructions to your petsitter.

If you’re unable to find a suitable petsitter, try asking around to a trusted neighbor, friend, or family member that may be available to care for Sophia while you’re gone. It may be easier for them to not only check on Sophia and provide her with daily care during their visit, but they may also be able to provide companionship with Sophia for a longer period of time if they live close by.

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