Deciding on whether or not to leave your cat home alone while you are on vacation can be difficult. Cats are known for being independent animals, so it may seem natural that they can stay home alone. This isn't always the case, though, since cats can get lonely and there are many other concerns, such as safety. The following can help you decide whether to board your cat or not.
How old is your cat?
Very young cats can feel more anxiety from being left alone, and they are also more likely to misbehave due to boredom since they are likely more active. Older cats may have health concerns, such as needing daily medication, or they may not get around very well, which can make them more prone to an accident. Adult cats in their middle years that are healthy may be able to stay home alone for short periods.
How many cats do you have?
If you have more than one cat and they get along well, they may be able to stay home alone for a short time since the cats aren't likely to get lonely. If they tend to fight, though, it's a better idea to board the cats. Even small fights can lead to injuries, or a scratch can get infected, if you aren't around to check on their daily health.
Will they be checked on daily?
It's best to arrange for a daily visit with the cats if you opt to leave them home alone. The sitter or friend watching over the cats will need to check water and food, as well as spend some time with the cats petting and checking their overall health. Many cats hide from unfamiliar people, so you will also need to make arrangements for the sitter to spend some time with the cats so they become familiar with the person if they aren't already. This can be difficult, so boarding may be a better option if your cat is especially skittish.
Is your cat prone to anxiety?
Some cats are more anxious than others. Anxious cats may meow pitifully, refuse to eat, or hide in fear. Being left alone for long periods can trigger this anxiety in some cats, but they may also become anxious when in a strange place. If this is the case and you cannot get someone familiar to the cat to watch them at home, opt for a boarding facility that gives each kennel privacy so your cat won't be as anxious about the other animals in the room. Kitty daycare is a great way to look after your animals while you are away.
How long will you be gone?
Finally, how long is your trip? If you will only be gone for a couple of days, leaving your cat home alone isn't a big deal unless they have medical concerns that need attended to, such as daily medication needs. For more than a few days, boarding quickly becomes a better option since you know they will be monitored, played with or petted, and well tended under the watchful eyes of a caring staff.