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Old 07-12-2012, 10:07 PM
 
Location: Southeast Missouri
5,812 posts, read 17,350,751 times
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We're going on vacation tomorrow afternoon. We'll be gone about nine days.

We have three indoor cats. We also have one outdoor cat. Our neighbor's kids are going to feed and water the outside cat, but we're not sure we trust them to come in the house (one inside cat frequently tries to escape).

We've left our cats for about a week before, but never nine days. We don't really have anybody we trust to look in on them. Cat sitting and dog sitting is not really an occupation around here. None of the people we know here in town really are cat people. We have two small dogs, but my Grandma is caring for them at her house. If we kenneled the dogs it would cost $26 a day for both dogs and they would be in the cage 23 hours a day. I'd imagine kenneling cats would also mean they would be locked up most of the time.

We wish we had somebody to look in on the cats, but we don't really. None of the cats have any medical conditions we know of. They are ages 4 1/2, 3 and 3. I have three litter boxes set up and 16 pounds of food I can leave out (probably overkill, but better safe than sorry). Of course we will leave the air on. I'm not sure about water. Will it evaporate while we're gone? We'll leave a lot of water bowls out. Last time we were gone this long we left the toilet lid up. Yes, I know toilet water is not good for them, but it was moreso a backup in case their other bowls got empty.

I hate leaving them this long unattended, but we can't really afford to board them, and they would not like it. Any advice on how to prepare for it?

Thanks.
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Old 07-12-2012, 11:19 PM
 
Location: In the real world!
2,178 posts, read 8,891,872 times
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I have 4 cats and when I was working, my job took me out of state for 28 days at a time. I left my cats at home but I had my daughter who came in to check on them every several days and a pre-arrangement with their vet for their care should something happen while I was gone. They should be alright but I would be more comfortable (if they were mine) if someone came in and looked in on them every few days.
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Old 07-13-2012, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Near Nashville TN
7,201 posts, read 12,970,108 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STLCardsBlues1989 View Post
We're going on vacation tomorrow afternoon. We'll be gone about nine days.
I know many would disagree with me but if I couldn't afford to board them and there were no friends or relatives to stop by at least every other day.. I would *not* go on the vacation. But that's just me and my opinion. Too many things can happen while you're gone, the water evaporating is only one of them. And that alone can mean death for the cats if all they have to eat is dry kibble. Cats have been known to get claws caught in things, get themselves caught in or behind furniture, tangled in electric or phone cords. Males can "block" and will die quickly but in great pain. If they're used to canned food kibble can cause them to become very constipated. A vacation is only a memory when you get home.... the cats are living sentient beings.

What about your friends at college? Surely you have friends there. Not one of them would be willing to stop by every other day for gas money and a few extra bucks for pizza?
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Old 07-13-2012, 07:41 AM
 
Location: Near Nashville TN
7,201 posts, read 12,970,108 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laura707 View Post
I have 4 cats and when I was working, my job took me out of state for 28 days at a time. I left my cats at home but I had my daughter who came in to check on them every several days and a pre-arrangement with their vet for their care should something happen while I was gone. They should be alright but I would be more comfortable (if they were mine) if someone came in and looked in on them every few days.
When we would fly to NY for a visit with my family there, we had a college age relative come and stay the week. It was very convenient and she was reliable and dependable. She took care of the three dogs, the pond fish and any other pets we had at the time. Now we have an RV so take the cats with us. The dogs are now at Rainbow Bridge......
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:15 AM
 
7,059 posts, read 14,576,457 times
Reputation: 10550
Quote:
Originally Posted by =^..^= View Post
I know many would disagree with me but if I couldn't afford to board them and there were no friends or relatives to stop by at least every other day.. I would *not* go on the vacation. But that's just me and my opinion. Too many things can happen while you're gone, the water evaporating is only one of them. And that alone can mean death for the cats if all they have to eat is dry kibble. Cats have been known to get claws caught in things, get themselves caught in or behind furniture, tangled in electric or phone cords. Males can "block" and will die quickly but in great pain. If they're used to canned food kibble can cause them to become very constipated. A vacation is only a memory when you get home.... the cats are living sentient beings.

What about your friends at college? Surely you have friends there. Not one of them would be willing to stop by every other day for gas money and a few extra bucks for pizza?

I think actually many would agree with you. I know lots of people who don't go on vacation, or take 'separate' vacations, because of the pets.

I'm one of those who prefers to just stay home. I'd never leave my cats overnight, let alone anything longer. I have a couple of cyber friends who are professional pet sitters. Now if either of them were near me I might consider it. But..I don't have anyone I trust to do it, so I stay home.

But then, I don't like to travel anyway. For people who do, it makes sense to find someone they can count on to pet sit when they are gone.

SLCB1989, why not ask at your vet. A lot of vet techs do pet sitting on the side. Perhaps there is someone there you can trust, to stop in at least every other day to fill water bowls, put down wet food to supplement the kibble, scoop litter boxes and do a head count.
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:23 AM
 
Location: zone 5
7,329 posts, read 14,516,386 times
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Is one of your outside doors in a room you can close off? The person checking on your cats could keep the door to that room closed, then there would be two doors between your cats and the outside and that might keep them from escaping. If I'm coming through a door I don't want the cats slipping through, I open it a crack and put my foot through the door first (carefully). Any cat waiting there is afraid I'll step on them and goes off another way.
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Southeast Missouri
5,812 posts, read 17,350,751 times
Reputation: 3366
Quote:
Originally Posted by =^..^= View Post
I know many would disagree with me but if I couldn't afford to board them and there were no friends or relatives to stop by at least every other day.. I would *not* go on the vacation. But that's just me and my opinion. Too many things can happen while you're gone, the water evaporating is only one of them. And that alone can mean death for the cats if all they have to eat is dry kibble. Cats have been known to get claws caught in things, get themselves caught in or behind furniture, tangled in electric or phone cords. Males can "block" and will die quickly but in great pain. If they're used to canned food kibble can cause them to become very constipated. A vacation is only a memory when you get home.... the cats are living sentient beings.

What about your friends at college? Surely you have friends there. Not one of them would be willing to stop by every other day for gas money and a few extra bucks for pizza?
I don't have any friends at college. I'm very rarely on campus. I also live a half-hour from school.

We have planned this vacation for months and after three funerals already this year and weeks in the hospital/nursing home we really need it.
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Southeast Missouri
5,812 posts, read 17,350,751 times
Reputation: 3366
Quote:
Originally Posted by catsmom21 View Post
I think actually many would agree with you. I know lots of people who don't go on vacation, or take 'separate' vacations, because of the pets.

I'm one of those who prefers to just stay home. I'd never leave my cats overnight, let alone anything longer. I have a couple of cyber friends who are professional pet sitters. Now if either of them were near me I might consider it. But..I don't have anyone I trust to do it, so I stay home.

But then, I don't like to travel anyway. For people who do, it makes sense to find someone they can count on to pet sit when they are gone.

SLCB1989, why not ask at your vet. A lot of vet techs do pet sitting on the side. Perhaps there is someone there you can trust, to stop in at least every other day to fill water bowls, put down wet food to supplement the kibble, scoop litter boxes and do a head count.
There was one lady at our vet's office who dogsits, but I don't think she cat sits. We live a half-hour from our vet (or any vet, or anything really) and most would not want to make that drive.

My sister's friends are checking in on her two cats, but they live 1/4 mile from her. It's a lot simpler when you have people you trust living around you.
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Southeast Missouri
5,812 posts, read 17,350,751 times
Reputation: 3366
Quote:
Originally Posted by subject2change View Post
Is one of your outside doors in a room you can close off? The person checking on your cats could keep the door to that room closed, then there would be two doors between your cats and the outside and that might keep them from escaping. If I'm coming through a door I don't want the cats slipping through, I open it a crack and put my foot through the door first (carefully). Any cat waiting there is afraid I'll step on them and goes off another way.
The house is mostly connected all the way through. The only way to shut them off in one room would mean to shut them off from air conditioning. Our front and back door don't have any doors in front of them. Our main issue with having the neighbors do it is that their kids would be doing it, and the kids may not be responsible enough to not leave the door open. The neighbors kids will feed and water our outside cat.

I wish I could have somebody look in on the cats, but we really can't think of anybody who would. Our closest relatives are old and don't make the drive here often (it's a half-hour drive for them as well), and I don't have a lot of friends my own age.

I shouldn't have asked, I guess, since I know leaving them here is really the only option. I just want to know about how much food and water I should leave out.
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Old 07-13-2012, 10:06 AM
 
Location: zone 5
7,329 posts, read 14,516,386 times
Reputation: 9655
Maybe you could put a dish under a faucet and leave it trickling or at least dripping. It would collect in the bowl but overflow and stay fresher. 9 day old water would have a lot of stuff growing in it!
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