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.

kinkyfuckery Mon 13-Jan-14 21:40:37

If he is social, which it sounds like he is, I'd not want someone to just pop in once a day. I'd take the cattery option.
My local cattery is £8 per night. I just factor the cost into my holiday budget.

WaffilyVersatile Mon 13-Jan-14 21:40:54

personally I would think that what you had arranged would be fine! far less stressful than a cattery

Tulip26 Mon 13-Jan-14 21:42:40

Get a recommendation for a cattery from a friend. He will have to be vaccinated with proof. I never use them, I get someone to come over, twice a day is plenty.

Be aware of open windows if you go away, mine got out of the first floor onto a sheer drop and didn't come back for two days. I was going mad with worry! Not like him at all so don't go through what I went through.

Joysmum Mon 13-Jan-14 21:43:11

Get somebody to pop in twice a day. No way I'd subject mine to a catery.

deadduck Mon 13-Jan-14 21:44:14

See, this is my dilemma: To weigh up company at cattery (do they get that there) against staying in familiar territory alone! I just absolutely want to make the right choice, especially because he's been unrooted once before.

Charlesroi Mon 13-Jan-14 21:44:26

I think it would be better to leave him in his lovely new home, if possible, as it's familiar.
Make sure there are a couple of water bowls (in case he kicks one over) around and get your sitter to check him twice a day. It probably won't cost much more than a cattery.
Be prepared for him to be very huffy when you get back grin

musicposy Mon 13-Jan-14 21:49:44

Our cat got injured (not badly but an abscess on his paw) just a few days before we went on holiday. My parents always come in a couple of times a day but suddenly I was very worried about leaving him - was this enough?

We spoke to the vet (who'd given him long lasting antibiotics) and said what do we do? a) keep to planned arrangement b) take him with us c) cattery.

I thought b and c had the advantage of someone keeping a good eye on him. But vet said a. Said cats are far better on their own territory if you can possibly find a way to do that. So parents came in as planned and he was fine.

It's a tricky one but I'd go for familiarity over company.

deadduck Mon 13-Jan-14 21:52:10

Thanks musicposy, to hear that a vet recommends that is reassuring.

musicposy Mon 13-Jan-14 21:53:07

Charlesroi lol to huffy! We always have to suffer a bit of tail waving and quite a lot of "who are you, IMPOSTERS, I've forgotten you even exist," until he can't keep it up any more and is all over us purring!

RandyRudolf Mon 13-Jan-14 21:53:48

I think if you're lucky enough to have someone pop in a couple of times a day he will be fine.

Silvercatowner Mon 13-Jan-14 21:54:19

My vet advised us to do the visiting person to the house thing rather than a cattery. Its what we've always done.

deadduck Mon 13-Jan-14 21:58:41

For those who lean towards leaving him home rather than cattery, do you think 14 days is too long? Should I opt for 10? I don't want to go at all anymore, pathetic

billyokey Mon 13-Jan-14 22:00:56

I would say avoid the cattery if you can, especially since you say he was bullied by other pets in his last home - there might be mean cats there!

WeddingComingUp Mon 13-Jan-14 22:01:27

We have an 'outdoor' cat who has a cat flap. When we go away a friend or family member comes over once a day to put food down. She can still come and go as she pleases through the cat flap.

I've always felt that this is better for her - her routine doesn't chance, she's in the same environment. Although I know she will be a bit lonely for a few days I feel this is better than the stress of moving her to a cattery where she'd be a lot more cooped up and have new people/noises etc.

oldgrandmama Mon 13-Jan-14 22:03:46

I'm a crazy cat lady. Leave the cat at home, with someone coming in twice a day to feed, sort tray and cuddling the puss. Play with him too if there's time. He'll be much happier than in a cattery.

RandomMess Mon 13-Jan-14 22:03:47

Keep him at home, perhaps someone from the family he came from could come visit as well as the bunny sitter?

deadduck Mon 13-Jan-14 22:05:45

Yes, wedding, with an outdoor cat...I always figure they've got lots of friends out there. Mine's an indoor one though, and the only company (other than the person who'll come visit twice a day) would be two indoor bunnies who he could stare at (they're in cages).

WeddingComingUp Mon 13-Jan-14 22:06:36

We're going away for a fortnight this year which is the longest our cat will have been left. I've planned on asking my dad to pop in for a bit longer just on a couple of occasions. Even if he can just stay for a couple of hours, have a cup of tea and make a fuss of her whilst watching TV for a bit.

Knowing our luck the times he comes for a longer stay she'll be out and miss him completely!

WeddingComingUp Mon 13-Jan-14 22:12:17

I don't think mine has any outdoor friends! She's a lovely animal to us but she seems to hate other cats and chases them out of the garden if she sees any!

It's what's put us off getting another cat as I don't think she'd take to it at all.

whois Mon 13-Jan-14 22:15:40

Not catery! Get someone to pop in once or twice a day would be belter.

deadduck Mon 13-Jan-14 22:16:24

Random, the original plan was that they'd look after him, but it's my DD's BF (they're 18), and right now, it doesn't look as if they're going to last the duration. And I don't want to think what he'd do to my cat if my DD dumps him!

claraschu Mon 13-Jan-14 22:22:48

We just took care of our new neighbours' indoor cat for 3 weeks (dropping in every day). The cat was always very glad to see us, and a bit lonely I am sure, but perfectly ok at the end of 3 weeks. Catteries are very stressful for cats.

WelshMaenad Mon 13-Jan-14 22:30:02

Someone popping in will be fine, honestly. And you're my new favourite person, your concern for your new friend is adorable. grin

Dambusters Mon 13-Jan-14 22:39:58

My cats a would prefer a visit or 2 a day that being in a cattery.

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

We use a cattery, the accommodation is actually more plush than ours usually is grin I think if he is a house cat he would be fine with twice daily visits. My ten year old mog is currently doing a wall of death around the living room chasing a postit, so we go for the option with some exercise. Most are more sedate at ten grin

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.

Stellaface Tue 14-Jan-14 09:18:01

I'm not averse to catteries, had to put my 7month old kitten in one for nearly three weeks at one point, and she was soooo crazy for us when we picked her up, which was actually lovely, felt truly adored smile As she was quite young, she got loads of attention, extra time out of the 'cell', playtime, etc etc. I was utterly traumatised at leaving her and arranged for a friend she knew to go visit her so at least there would be a familiar face... but really not necessary, she was absolutely fine. Thing to remember is that people who choose to work in catteries usually adore cats, so even the grumpiest moggy will get attention!

The only word of caution would be to check and recheck the collection times - we were told we had definitely got an out-of-hours collection arranged so we could bring her home pretty much straight off the plane on a Sat eve, but I got a voicemail whilst away to say that they'd got that wrong and didn't do out-of-hours collections on Saturdays. Aaargh. It was only going to be 6pm, but they shut at 5pm sad so we had to wait til 9am Sun (yes, we were there on the button!) to get her.

If we're only away for short periods (say 2-4 nights) then we get neighbours to pop in and feed her. She isn't really huffy or particularly attentive when we get home after these trips - more 'oh, you're back. I need more food. Now. And why have I not been allowed in the living room for the past three days? This is not on.' Etc smile

He'll be fine at home with regular visits. May be worth putting a radio on a timer so he's got some background chat going on every now and then.....

deadduck Tue 14-Jan-14 12:28:13

Thanks all, I feel a lot better now reading through your experiences thanks I will go with the bunny sitter, and trust that he'll be ok, and I'll probably aim for a ten day holiday instead. Having been majorly uprooted once before, I think it's best if he stays home. I have also potentially lined up a friend as a house sitter but he's still deciding if he's allergic to cats or not

ComposHat Tue 14-Jan-14 12:34:27

Good idea frosty I do that when I go out for our cat. She likes Radio 4 Extra the best, lots of talking.

This might be a good idea if you've not got one already:

Pet fountain

So he always has a supply of running water when you are away. It just needs topping up every day or so.

Meerkatwhiskers Tue 14-Jan-14 15:51:52

Keep him home. We've done both and although my 9 yo never minded the cattery she is a home girl so likes staying at home. She is glad to see us when we get home too. Unusually. We had stroppy cats too lol. Mind you she acts like she hasn't seen you for a week when she has been out the garden 20 mins lol

Oh and go for the 2 weeks. He won't mind wink

AcheyFanny Tue 14-Jan-14 15:57:46

My Mum just left her three at home for 12 days with a friend going in twice a day. They were fine, she reckons they have no comprehension of time.....

We used a great local cattery a couple of times in the past but found our cats were a bit unforgiving and quiet for a while after.

deadduck Tue 14-Jan-14 19:06:01

ComposHat, thanks for the pet fountain, that looks ace.

Radio 4 or TV sounds like a great plan, too.

ComposHat Tue 14-Jan-14 19:26:21

That's okay, our cat went for the fountain in a big way. I managed to confuse her by moving the fountain this morning. She's not the sharpest tool god bless her.

I thought two years of radio 4 would have turned her into a feline genius, but alas not.

ForalltheSaints Tue 14-Jan-14 19:30:55

My parents cat is fed twice a day by neighbours when they are away, and they reciprocate when required. Once a day is not enough in my view.

HesterShaw Tue 14-Jan-14 19:33:37

God, this is such a dilemma isn't it sad

A cattery for two weeks is a long time. We have used them in the past for a weekend, but alas no more as our total bloody prima donna puss developed a "thing" about them and went on hunger strike and afterwards acted as though she had been maltreated - cowering, yowling, being sick on purpose etc.

She hates catteries. She loathes strangers. She would completely freak out if someone she doesn't know i.e. not me or DH came in to feed her. Stroking? No fucking way! So we have to take her to my parents or his - both 300 miles away - if we go on our holidays. Weekends away, she has to come with us.

She is 11 years old. How long do cats live, again?

HesterShaw Tue 14-Jan-14 19:34:30

But yes, the radio is a good idea. A talky station.

ComposHat Tue 14-Jan-14 19:38:20

If people cant get in more than once a day. An An automatic feeder might be a good idea.

Lovethesea Tue 14-Jan-14 19:38:26

I agree home too. We did with ours for the first time last summer and they were fine with someone popping in twice a day.

I just remembered they sleep 18 hours a day so it passes quickly anyway!

Bootycall Tue 14-Jan-14 19:42:08

what's all the Cattery judgyness?

mine go to a fantastic 'holiday home for cats' and come back as spoiled rotten. I also don't worry as I would with someone just popping in.

mrsjay Tue 14-Jan-14 19:47:06

I love you have a bunny sitter smile I had my cat in a cattery once she hated it and was very stressed when she got home so we always got our neighbour to do it cat was an outdoorsy cat though but my neighbour or my aunt sometimes would feed her and pet her once or twice a day I think if you pay your bunny sitter grin to cat sit and come round to see your cat 1 or 2 times a day would be better for him imo

deadduck Tue 14-Jan-14 19:58:52

hehe, Hester. Up to 20 years, I read..grin

HesterShaw Tue 14-Jan-14 19:59:32

I'm not judging catteries. My bloody cat is. I would love if she didn't pine and go on hunger strike at a catterym it would make my life way easier.

mrsjay Tue 14-Jan-14 20:01:37

that is how i felt hester but it just wasnt worth the hassle poor cat was just so stressful and because jaycat was an oudoor cat she couldnt obviously go for a wander, I am not judging catteries honestly the one i used was lovely

whois Tue 14-Jan-14 23:08:38

Yes, wedding, with an outdoor cat...I always figure they've got lots of friends out there

Cars are territorial and solitary. They don't have friends 'out there'!

LEMmingaround Tue 14-Jan-14 23:14:00

definately leave him home - get someone to pop in a couple of times a day and to make sure he is indoors of a night

LEMmingaround Tue 14-Jan-14 23:16:47

whois - you clearly haven't read slimky malinki wink

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