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Old 12-03-2013, 01:24 AM
 
Location: Near Nashville TN
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We don't leave our cats for more than 12 hrs at a time. When we had the dogs and traveled we had someone come in once a day to make sure they had food and water and all was well. They were large dogs and didn't mind being outside when the weather was nice so no having to walk them. As for the cats, if the male should "block" he would be dead if no one checked at least twice a day. Since we have an RV, we take them with us if we'll be gone overnight.
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Old 12-03-2013, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Matthews, NC
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We use a pet sitting service. Our rule of thumb (sorry ladies from the old timey days) is that we have the sitter come once every 3 days. We always make sure to visually verify that the cats are not locked into a closet before we leave and prop all the doors open with a door stop of some sort. We also make sure to stock up on cat litter and food. Costs us 18 bucks a visit but I'm sure it is more where you live.
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Old 12-03-2013, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
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I think it depends a little bit on the cat(s).

Back in the day I left my cat for a week before. She had a jumbo litter box and would not refuse to use it even after several days.

These days, I would find that to be too long for any cat. But I would consider leaving new cat(s) for 2-3 days if they seem up to it.

Another thing that helps these days is video to check in on the cat. I bought an inexpensive (sub-$100) wifi camera that can at least keep an eye on one area that I know the cat will walk through (i.e. where the food is). Camera sends email with still photos when it detects motion and also allows for live monitoring and panning and tilting. That eases my mind in terms of leaving for a couple days without anyone checking.

Longer than about 3 days or so though I'd have a pet sitter come. My last "pet sitter" was a vet tech at my last vet. Asking at the vet is a good start towards finding someone if you don't know anyone else to check with. My vet also kept a list of others but both the techs essentially offered to do it with the choice of which tech being mainly based on proximity to their homes.

I think there are some cats who would not do well with even just 2 or 3 days alone though. This is a judgment call that you have to make carefully. Obviously there can be special circumstances like illness, but I'm talking just in terms of behavior. Arguably, even 2-3 days is long enough for the cat to get worried about the situation of not seeing the familiar people. But for most cats that wouldn't result in any serious issues at home. One must be wary of possible non-eating issues or other behavioral problems when leaving cats for days, though. In other words, it's not automatic that even just 2 or 3 days is an okay length of time to leave a cat.
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Old 12-03-2013, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
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It normally takes my 2 cats 2-3 weeks to empty their food and water dispensers. I use a large cement mixing tub that sits on a 7'x10' pond liner for their litter box. I could easily leave them for a week if necessary. I would definitely be anxious about leaving them for that long but probably bother me much more than it would bother them.
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Old 12-05-2013, 09:10 PM
 
Location: Mishawaka, Indiana
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This is the great thing about cats, they are pretty self sufficient. I left my 3 cats home alone for 4 days, came back and they were fine. Their food was empty, but I doubt it was more than a few hours, because when I poured them more they didn't come charging in for it.

Anything over 5 days is probably too much, but I think they can do 5 days alone. Just make sure you have at least 1 maybe 2 litter boxes set out, lots of food, and a lot of water. I use a dog water bowl, holds 3 gallons of water in there, usually lasts 7-10 days before I have to add more water.
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Old 12-06-2013, 03:25 PM
 
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I don't agree with anyone who has said cats are "self sufficient" or "fine for a few days".

Tell that to the cat who developed a urinary tract blockage from all that dry food, and no one there to notice he was dying in agony. Or the cat who got a cord around his neck and hung himself, his family only left him for 24 hours. Or the cat who knocked over a crystal bowl and cut herself deeply. Or the cat who starved to death because no one noticed she got shut into a bedroom before they left. Or the cat who knocked over his water and had nothing to drink, on a dry diet, for a week. A kidney failure just waiting to happen.

When a cat is left alone, his or her routine is messed up. The cat may not act the same as she normally does, because nothing else is right. They are at MORE risk of illness and accidents when left alone for any period of time.

Perhaps cats who are used to being ignored "might not notice". However hopefully most cats are loved family members included in everything, and certainly will notice, and feel stress, and react to that stress, if their humans suddenly disappear for days.

In my opinion, it is irresponsible to leave a cat alone like that. There should be someone coming in at least once a day, to check on the cats, clean litter boxes, refresh water, and put down wet food. And play and cuddle a bit, if the cat is willing.

And no cat should be eating that much dry food.

Last edited by catsmom21; 12-06-2013 at 04:21 PM..
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Old 12-06-2013, 06:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catsmom21 View Post
I don't agree with anyone who has said cats are "self sufficient" or "fine for a few days".

Tell that to the cat who developed a urinary tract blockage from all that dry food, and no one there to notice he was dying in agony. Or the cat who got a cord around his neck and hung himself, his family only left him for 24 hours. Or the cat who knocked over a crystal bowl and cut herself deeply. Or the cat who starved to death because no one noticed she got shut into a bedroom before they left. Or the cat who knocked over his water and had nothing to drink, on a dry diet, for a week. A kidney failure just waiting to happen.

When a cat is left alone, his or her routine is messed up. The cat may not act the same as she normally does, because nothing else is right. They are at MORE risk of illness and accidents when left alone for any period of time.

Perhaps cats who are used to being ignored "might not notice". However hopefully most cats are loved family members included in everything, and certainly will notice, and feel stress, and react to that stress, if their humans suddenly disappear for days.

In my opinion, it is irresponsible to leave a cat alone like that. There should be someone coming in at least once a day, to check on the cats, clean litter boxes, refresh water, and put down wet food. And play and cuddle a bit, if the cat is willing.

And no cat should be eating that much dry food.
Sorry a cat may chose to shed its mortal coils on the basis of pure catiness when you least expect it. But one does not follow a cat around to protect it against all they odd things that may happen. You can kill a cat by slamming a door...or, in my case, by the fact my balance is bad and I can easily step on one.

If leaving a cat alone for more than a few hours you take certain precautions. We have redundant food supplies, water supplies, and litter boxes and if challenged we are sure the little dears will pee on the carpet without batting an eye. An open commode provides an ultimate bail out of they get in trouble.

Cats are survivors. Dogs need company or they do bad things. Cats need bare necessities and they are fine.

I suspect that they do cat things when we are not around that we are not allowed to know about. Do you not find the odd thing that goes on when cats are alone?
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Old 12-06-2013, 07:05 PM
 
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Cats need bare necessities and they are fine.
This is a fallacy that needs to be laid to rest once and for all.

Cats are living breathing feeling social beings. They have dietary needs, hygiene needs, and social needs, just like any other living thing. They need and deserve so much more than "bare necessities". What kind of way is that to think of any animal, bare necessities, good grief.

I prefer my cats to have a loving happy shared life with me, not subsist on the "bare necessities"

And as I said before, cats left alone for longer than normal periods of time are much more likely to become ill or have an accident. When their routines are upset, they become upset. They may experience stress that can lead to illness, or unusual behavior resulting in accident or injury.

Hire a pet sitter.

Last edited by catsmom21; 12-06-2013 at 07:15 PM..
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Old 12-06-2013, 07:50 PM
 
12,973 posts, read 12,149,749 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catsmom21 View Post
This is a fallacy that needs to be laid to rest once and for all.

Cats are living breathing feeling social beings. They have dietary needs, hygiene needs, and social needs, just like any other living thing. They need and deserve so much more than "bare necessities". What kind of way is that to think of any animal, bare necessities, good grief.

I prefer my cats to have a loving happy shared life with me, not subsist on the "bare necessities"

And as I said before, cats left alone for longer than normal periods of time are much more likely to become ill or have an accident. When their routines are upset, they become upset. They may experience stress that can lead to illness, or unusual behavior resulting in accident or injury.

Hire a pet sitter.
If my wife cuddles our dog it is happy and content. If I cuddle my cat he protests and then bites me.

My cat weighs 18 lbs. When he does not want to...he does not want to..

Cats left alone mostly appreciate the opportunity to be free of us.

You obviously have projected your personality onto your cats. Mine wants none of that BS. He appreciates me. I appreciate him. And we try to avoid annoying each other.

YOu should try it. Your cats certainly would be happier.
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Ft. Myers
15,612 posts, read 9,671,076 times
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First of all, let me get this said........NO ONE LOVES THEIR CATS MORE THAN ME......NO ONE. They are a very important part of my life and I treat them exceptionally well. They are like family to me. However, they are animals and by nature are fairly independent and self reliant. They really don't care if I am at work for 12 hours and leave them alone, or if I am gone for a few days..........as long as they have lots of food, water, clean litter boxes, and a warm place to nap.

I think some people get hung up on cats (or pets in general) being these defenseless, needy little animals who constantly need our undivided attention. I grew up on a farm and we had cats and dogs who took care of themselves for the most part and who only came around at dinner time for some food.

As for the dangers some people outlined where a cat can have some medical emergency or get injured while being left unattended, what about when we are at work all day, or sleeping at night ? Do you hire a pet sitter to watch over them during those periods ? No, you don't. So my point is, as long as you provide a safe environment, put out lots and lots of food and water, and clean litter boxes, there is no sin in going away for a few days and leaving your cat at home. I feel that is a WHOLE lot less traumatic for the cat than taking them to a strange boarding facility and sticking them in a 2 x 2 foot cage where they know no one and feel they have been abandoned.

Don
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