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How long can I leave my cat - fed, but unattended?

(23 Posts)
aNoteToFollowSo Fri 20-Nov-15 06:49:11

Hello, I badly need the collected experience and advice of MN. We are going away unexpectedly over December for two and a half weeks (17 nights, to be precise).

My local catteries are all booked up. Would it be okay to leave my male, two-year old, spayed cat at home, if a neighbour comes in twice a day to feed him?

I feel bad - it seems awfully long without a family to give him the pampering and attention he is used to. But he has never enjoyed the cattery anyway. He always comes back sneezing and full of mucus (with one eye half closed) which the vet says is due to the stress of being away. So perhaps home would be better? Or will he be horribly lonely and traumatized?

I would be so grateful for advice about or experience of this. Google has nothing useful to say (most advice about leaving cats alone seems to be alone and unfed).


Hurr1cane Fri 20-Nov-15 06:53:10

Personally I never put my cats in a cattery and always get someone to come and feed them if I'm away. Will they change the litter tray as well though? Because they don't like being dirty. Cats are different to dogs in that they don't mind solitude, my ragdoll doesn't like it if I go away because he has abandonment issues, but I think it would be worse for him if I left him in a cattery, because he doesn't understand.

aNoteToFollowSo Fri 20-Nov-15 06:57:18

Thanks Hurricane. My cat spurns his litter tray now and goes outside instead. So there i no litter tray problem, but that is one of my worries ...what if he gets lost when we are away, though he never has before.

What's the longest you have left your rag doll? Was he fine?

Bostin Fri 20-Nov-15 07:08:13

We do this and the neighbour pops in every day. We have also paid someone to visit for 30 mins a day. My cat doesn't like it when we go but at least she is at home and she would hate the cattery more.

OrangeSquashTallGlass Fri 20-Nov-15 07:08:29

Is your neighbour the sort of person who would enjoy a kitty cuddle every now and then? When we go away we ask a friend to come in and have a cup of tea/watch tv every now and then. That way the cat gets some company/a play/a cuddle.

Our friend loves this although I can imagine not everyone could be bothered! Is it worth asking?

OrangeSquashTallGlass Fri 20-Nov-15 07:09:48

Also, I'm another one who thinks home is preferable to a cattery in terms of lowering stress.

VimFuego101 Fri 20-Nov-15 07:10:07

We have a cat sitter come in once a day for ours - I'm sure they're happier staying in their own home.

aNoteToFollowSo Fri 20-Nov-15 07:10:10

Thanks everyone. That would be ideal Orange but this is a busy neighbour who wouldn't have time for anything other than a quick top up of the food bowl.

Two and half weeks just seems so long .

aNoteToFollowSo Fri 20-Nov-15 07:10:42

Very encouraged though that people here think it is perfectly do-able.

Bostin Fri 20-Nov-15 07:11:19

Do you know any baby sitters you would trust to pop in?

Merrybertie Fri 20-Nov-15 07:13:59

We have a cat sitter come in to fed the cats twice a day. She changes their litter tray and gives them a cuddle. I get a text everyday to say they're OK. It's £8 per day and they get to stay in their own home and not be stressed out/get ill at a cattery.

NapoleonsNose Fri 20-Nov-15 07:16:17

Whenever we've been away for two weeks, we've always had DM or a neighbour pop in to feed twice a day. Our old cat used to take umbrage at being left and often would stay out an extra day or so, leaving us to worry about him. He always came back though. Our latest cat has only been alone for a couple of nights, but again, its been fine.

everybodylovesdogs Fri 20-Nov-15 07:17:35

Leave a couple of radios on as well so the house isn't silent.

OrangeSquashTallGlass Fri 20-Nov-15 07:19:48

Could you pop into your vets and see if there are any reliable pet sitters they know of?

Vinorosso74 Fri 20-Nov-15 10:19:24

Cat sitter or neighbour would bexpect fine. If your catime likes human company make sure it's someone who will spend a little time with them.
When our neighbour has looked after our cat he's come prepared with his 'paper so he can do the crossword while she half lies on him.

NoSquirrels Fri 20-Nov-15 10:27:09

No one you know fancies a weekend break at your house, free of charge (and money for a takeaway etc. thrown in)? If someone would come to stay for a couple of nights in the middle, the neighbour plan is totally fine, imo.

Cat sitters exist for this reason, because cats prefer to be at home and don't like catteries, and plenty of people go away for 2-week holidays. Better if they'll spend at least 15 minutes or so fussing them, though.

Ours was always fine alone for a stretch, and just used to haunt the neighbourhood for cuddles, I think! But we lived in a small cul de sac and lots of available kids for petting duties.

100greenbottles Fri 20-Nov-15 16:17:29

I've never used catteries and always either had people staying, or paid a catsitter to drop in every day - I'd recommend that for at least some of the time. I have 2 cats though so they have company. As ever with cats, who really knows ? They do sleep a lot!

Redberrypie Fri 20-Nov-15 16:21:55

I have done it for two weeks, but I know the neighbour used to make a fuss of her when she came in.

Be prepared for a bit of back lash though, my cat always attacks me upon return hmm, but soon forgives.

ProfYaffle Fri 20-Nov-15 16:24:52

Depends very much on the personality of the cat ime. Our original cat never minded being alone, she'd pop next door if she fancied some company. The male cat next door doesn't mind too much either, I feed him for the neighbours, he mostly snoozes in the garden when on his own. Our next cat loathed being alone. He actually followed some people home when we were away and couldn't find his way back! We only got him back after a local leafletting campaign.

cozietoesie Fri 20-Nov-15 20:59:07

The only time I left one of my boys without me for a good while was my Darling Twoago - and that was 'circumstances'. He was a (desperately closely) bonded Siamese so I was expecting a backlash but in fact he was pretty well OK.

He was with someone that I trusted to look after him fairly well though and he came through it fine although it was a bit longer than the two and a half weeks you're talking about. I think he should be OK if you trust the neighbour to do right by him. Do you? (I sense some reservations about them.)

fufulina Fri 20-Nov-15 21:07:04

We use - we've had two house sitters, one for 15 nights over summer holiday and one for four nights over half term.
It's about £80 to join the site, for a year, and you can post as much as you want. Pet sitters are rated by other people they have sat for.

I love having someone at the house - no money changes hands at all (the £80 is to join the site), and they focus on giving the pets company.

I wouldn't leave our cat for longer than a night without someone here; she is very affectionate.

Heyheyheygoodbye Fri 20-Nov-15 21:09:47

Pay a cat sitter. We pay for them to come twice a day for half an hour. Worth every penny!

aNoteToFollowSo Sun 22-Nov-15 16:25:00

Hi all and thank you for your responses. Cozie I trust the neighbours. I think the hesitation you hear is that this is a very affectionate cat, and I know the neighbour won't stay to give a quick stroke or kitty cuddle. I am going to investigate cat-sitting options, based on the suggestions above.

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