to not know what's best for my cat?

(71 Posts)
deadduck Mon 13-Jan-14 21:36:31

I've inherited a lovely 10 year old cat. Basically, he got kicked out of his old home by a friend of my DD, and she volunteered for him to come and live with us. He's been here for a few months, and we love him. He's perfect for us, especially because he's an indoor cat (I would not have any outdoor cats because of proximity to main road). I think he feels happy here despite us being out durning the day(apparently he got bullied by the other pets in his old home) and he likes us too. A lot. He sleeps with me every night and follows me round the house talking to me.
Here's my problem: I would like to go on summer holiday for a fortnight, abroad (I am from abroad, so it's a long-overdue family visit. I did think this through before (I thought) and planned for our lovely bunny sitter, who comes once a day, to feed and water him and chat to him. But now I'm not so sure any more. Is this enough? Would it be better twice a day? Is a cattery better (I am somewhat weary of that option). What do you do? I have no prior experience with cats, and don't think I could afford a house sitter I also never thought I'd get that attached.

wobblyweebles Mon 13-Jan-14 22:40:54

Maybe look for a house sitter?

Acinonyx Mon 13-Jan-14 22:46:56

We have a cat sitter come twice a day while we are away (up to 3 weeks). Cats are very territorial and like to stay in their own place. We tried a cattery once for our two cats - it made one of thm ill with stress! Being in their own space is very, very important to a cat (compared to a dog for example). Let the cat person meet them with you before you go - they will know and trust them and it will be fine. But being at home is the no one.

Acinonyx Mon 13-Jan-14 22:47:47

I forgot you have a bunny sitter - that should be ideal!

PiperRose Mon 13-Jan-14 22:49:37

Hi. Someone popping in once a day sounds fine to me. I used to arrange this when I had my two indoor cats when I was away and they were absolutely fine with it.

HOWEVER.. be prepared for a monumental strop when you come home. Chances are this cat will make you feel like the worst owner in the world when you get back. He will kid you that he has been abandoned, starved and abused by the sitter whilst you've been away, when in reality he's thoroughly enjoyed having the house to himself, sleeping in any bed he wants and convincing said bunny sitter to feed and cuddle him rather more than she should.

Relax, once he's made you pay and forgiven you, he'll come round. This is the way of cats

Caitlin17 Mon 13-Jan-14 22:55:15

I think the bunny sitter will be fine. I used to put mine in a cattery as all my cats have free access to the garden. It would be impossible to keep them in and I've had hated it if one went missing when it was only the sitter.

This was fine until we got the beautiful Oscar who was so traumatised by the cattery OH and I now no longer go on holiday together unless our son is staying in the house. Oscar can't cope with a sitter either. But Oscar is an extreme case.

I don't really think they get much more human company in the cattery than they would with a sitter and although he won't be in with other cats he will be aware of them in their pens and that might be stressful.

mygrandchildrenrock Mon 13-Jan-14 22:56:23

I have used both people coming into feed and catteries. If I'm going away for more than 1 week, I always use a cattery. There are some very good ones around, and I'm sure there are dreadful ones too!
The reason I do that is I worry about anything happening to our cat, getting ill, getting hurt and the responsibility that puts on someone feeding him, especially if we're abroad and not contactable. I know the cat could get sick/injured in a few days but I just feel more than a week would be pushing it.

Caitlin17 Mon 13-Jan-14 22:56:35

Is he vaccinated? He must be for a cattery and never use one which doesn't insist on this.

Some sitters might also require this.

Cataline Mon 13-Jan-14 22:57:14

Another crazy cat lady here saying avoid the cattery! He'll be much happier in his own home, doing his own thing with a little less attention than normal than he will in the totally new and probably stressful environment of a cattery- where he may not actually get all that much more attention anyway!

Caitlin17 Mon 13-Jan-14 22:59:41

my grandchildrenrock that's my thoughts too but for an indoor cat I would be happier leaving the cat with a sitter. For outdoor cats, I'm afraid they have to go to the cattery (or jail as Oscar calls it)

Floralnomad Mon 13-Jan-14 23:00:49

Presumably the person coming in will come in the morning then again in the afternoon/ evening so perhaps she/ he could put the TV on during the day for the cat . My mums indoor cat loves the TV .

DorotheaHomeAlone Mon 13-Jan-14 23:01:35

Definitely leave him where he is. Our cat stays put and receives human guests once a day! We bribe our friends to spend a bit of time there rather than just dumping food and going. If you could leave nice food and WiFi passwords might your bunny person be prepared to hang out for an hour or two a couple of times? Our cat loves the human company like yours but gets over her huffiness quite quickly once we're home.

sunshinemmum Mon 13-Jan-14 23:07:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Rhubarbgarden Mon 13-Jan-14 23:10:31

You are a lovely person for adopting a ten year old cat, and worrying about what's best for him. flowers

JainaProudmoore Tue 14-Jan-14 01:03:33

I can vouch for catteries, but it will really depend on his nature whether he will be happy there.
I think because 2 weeks is a long time, you may find he will be in a huff with you on your return regardless of if he is visited or goes to a cattery.
As PiperRose said, he will try to make you feel like a terrible person when you get back! smile

Scarletohello Tue 14-Jan-14 01:13:09

Maybe you could find a local cat loving MNetter who would be happy to help cat sit for you...?

FastWindow Tue 14-Jan-14 01:20:55

Oh yes, the Huff. Our Burmese used to do this thing where she would sit very close to you, but with her back turned smile

lookatmybutt Tue 14-Jan-14 01:30:48

If your cat likes being with humans a lot, I'd say do look into a cat hotel (cattery). Ask for local recommendations - can you ask your vet, or do you have a local pet shop or anyone you know? I've never used one myself, but everyone I know that has says how great they were: how well their cats were taken care of and how all the staff fell in love with their mogs.

If your bun-minder is OK with it that might be perfectly fine too. My boy cat was OK was twice a day visits from my parents and he's LOVES PEOPLE AND WANTS TO LOVE EVERYONE ON THE PLANET. Even though my parents just kind of said 'hi' for two mins and just chucked food and water at him (not many cuddels sad ). I was in hospital for nearly a month and also just got a new girlcat (she was fine with just minimal helloos because she only likes me).

I think bun-minder should do a good enough job, but if you can find a recommended cat hotel then I think it would be better perhaps.

birdmomma Tue 14-Jan-14 05:26:56

Cats hate catteries. The option you had planned is by far the less stressful option for a cat. I would never put my 4 pampered cats in a cattery. Less than 4 days, i just leave lots of food out. more, i get house sitters in.

Blithereens Tue 14-Jan-14 07:36:52

Every cat I have ever had has preferred a good sitter to a cattery. It sounds like you've got someone reliable; I think that's fine. Cats like to be in their familiar home. Just make sure she has your vet info and ring your vet to give them her details and make sure they'll treat him if he needs it and you can pay when you get back.

Slapntickleothewenches Tue 14-Jan-14 08:14:29

Our DCat is like yours, incredibly sociable and very attached to us. He goes happily to the cattery and seems to thrive on the constant attention there. We had friends come in twice a day for a long weekend once and he was very out of sorts when we got back.
In your position I would try and spend a couple of days away and see how he is with a cat/ bunny sitter popping in. If he is melodramatic like ours and is unhappy with it then look at your local catteries. If he's fine then leave him at home.
FWIW there is huge disparity between our local catteries. DCat goes to one which is the height of luxury and staffed by pretty young girls and the batty old owner- he loves it there but I wouldn't use a couple of the other local ones for my precious boy smile

satintaupe Tue 14-Jan-14 08:36:52

We have a pet sitter visit our cats once a day. She spends time making a fuss of them and they know her now.

Before we discovered the pet sitter we used to put them in a cattery ('cat hotel'). It was lovely, and they had their own room together but they hated it! We'd pick them up and they'd have lost weight and would be extremely clingy. They could hear other cats miaowing which distressed them and they wouldn't eat properly.

They are so much happier staying in their own environment; they're happy to see us when they get back but aren't clingy and look happy and healthy. The pet sitter writes a diary so we can see how they were each day. Visiting once a day is fine for our cats as they have each other for company.

KittensoftPuppydog Tue 14-Jan-14 08:44:16

I used to make friends stay at my house...
They didn't mind because I lived in a tourist destination though.

Stinklebell Tue 14-Jan-14 08:48:29

I've always left mine at home and my neighbour comes in twice a day to feed them

I've used a cattery once when we were moving house, they were there 4 nights and they all found it really stressful. My elderly lady didn't forgive me for ages

Stricnine Tue 14-Jan-14 09:06:11

Definitely keep him at home if you can .. we've two outdoor cats and they used to get put in the cattery but they hated it and 'lost' their territorial rights when they came home. (they have now sorted out a neighbour who looks after them when we go away and they're much happier when we come home)

I appreciate the territorial issue is not such a problem with an indoor cat, but if he's settled and happy at home, don't disrupt this. Cats are not generally social with other cats, so it's you he'll miss either way.. but he'll be less stressed at home.. especially if said visitors can play or chat for a bit!

ComposHat Tue 14-Jan-14 09:15:04

Another indoor cat owner who votes for letting the cat receive visits twice a day. We haven't left composcat yet, but we have a cast of eager visitors for her to be sniffily indifferent to for when we go away.

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