Leaving My Cat for 3 Months (What should I Do?)
If you have a long trip planned, you may be stressed about what you can do ith your cat, right? Well, there is only one good suggestion that I recommend.
What should you do if you’re leaving your cat for 3-months? If you’re leaving your cat for 3-months or anything near that time frame, you need to get someone else to look after them. Ideally a family member or close friend that has met your cat before.
later on, in this article, I will give you some options if you have a shorter duration, such as using a good pet camera (Click here to see why I rate this one) or you do not have anyone that you can trust.
What about if you’re going away for less than 3-months?
So far I’ve talked about what you should do if you’re going away for a long duration of time for example 3 months or more. But if you’re going away for less than 3 months? but greater than 24-hours, what other options do you have?
- Getting someone to come over and check on your cats.
Getting someone to come over and check on your cats
This option is only really viable if you’re going to be away for less than a couple of days. This option relies on you having a trustworthy friend, next-door neighbor or someone close to you who will come over and check on the cats while they still remain in your house, such as a friend or roommate (Click here to see what happens if your roommate wants a cat).
Therefore, you still need to provide food and water for them, this is one of the reasons why some cat owners use water fountains (Click here to see why I rate this one). Your guest will just come in and check that they are ok, are you with me?
A cattery is effectively a paid service where you can leave your cat for extended periods of time. For example, you may be going away on a vacation or working away from home. And, you know that getting a friend or relative to pop over is not going to cut it.
To be honest, there is mixed feedback with these catteries, some owners have even compared them to a form of “cat prison”.
This is based on them allegedly being kept in confined spaces and not having the same luxury as being at home or if they stayed with a friend.
Can you leave your cats alone for a few days?
If you are going away for a short weekend you may be thinking you can get away with leaving your cats on their own. The reality is it’s not OK. Anything more than 24-hours is really not a good idea. In fact, it could be called neglect.
The reason for this is your cat will run out of food very quickly. You may also find that your cat’s litter is in a complete mess.
Another key thing is they likely to run out of water. Which would mean that they could be in danger of serious health problems.
All of these problems are quite a lot to put on a guest who comes in periodically to check-in. They may or may not be prepared to deal with this problem in your absence.
Do cats forget their owners?
No. They are not likely to forget you. In fact, they will miss you. The confusing thing about cats is, when they miss us, they do not display this feeling in a very obvious way.
One of the biggest telltale signs is them urinating or defecating outside of their litter tray. Basically all over your lovely floor.
Although this sounds quite weird there is a known theory about them getting inflammation caused by absence, which can cause this to happen.
Therefore, if you notice that your cat has defecated outside of her litter tray. Do not think of this as an act of defiance, it is actually a natural reaction to her feeling that they’re missing you.
Do cats get lonely if they are left alone?
You may be wondering if your cat gets lonely if you leave her unattended. The short answer is yes she will feel lonely.
The reality is, cats are sociable animals. And, they really do appreciate your presence. They may also get separation anxiety. This is similar to the same despair that they may have had when they were separated from their mother at birth.
Is it beneficial to have two cats?
If you go away on holiday, long work trip or even just for a day while you’re at work, you may wonder if it would be better to have another cat to keep themselves happy.
The reality is, yes, it is a good idea to have two cats, in some cases. However, you need to have sufficient room and resources to be able to keep them satisfied. Or it will completely negate the benefits of having the extra cat in the first place, are you with me?
The benefit of having these two cats, assuming that you meet all the other prereqs, is that they will actually entertain themselves.
This comes to fruition especially in the night-time, when your lonely cat can play with their new cat friend, instead of bugging you and interrupting your sleep.
How can you keep your cat entertained while you’re out?
You may be wondering, if you leave your cat alone (what if you have an Abyssinian cat? click here) for a short period of time, such as while you’re at work, how can you keep them entertained?
The reality is, there a number of ways that you can do this. Some easier than others. Here are just a few suggestions:
- Cat Toys
- Cat Trees
- Cat puzzle feeders
- Asking a friend to pop in and play with them.
Using cat toys (Click here for my 3 best cat tunnels for entertainment), such as ones that are laced with catnip, can often keep them happy and entertained.
Cat Trees are great (Click here for my best cat trees). This is because it keeps them entertained even if it’s just for a short duration.
Asking a friend (or neighbor) to come in and play with them
This is obviously more complicated. Because you need to involve a third party. But, it can actually keep them happy and reduce their anxiety while you are away.
Cat puzzle feeders.
These puzzle feeders (Click here for my best slow feed puzzle feeders) are good for keeping your cat food while you’re away. They also add entertainment into the mix while you’re away as well.
Do cats enjoy their own company?
Yes, cats do enjoy their own company. In some cases, this may seem confusing because at times it seems that your cat doesn’t even notice that you were gone, right?
Don’t let this deceive you because they do generally miss you and appreciate your presence.
How can you find good cat sitters locally?
If you are struggling to find a good and trustworthy friend or relative to look after your cats in your absence you can consider getting a cat sitter.
Recommendations from friends
The challenge of doing this is finding a reputable one that you can rely on. The best way to do this is to get recommendations from friends that may of using a service before.
Recommendations from your vet
Failing that you could speak to you on local vets to see if they have any good recommendations because they have a large number of pets that may even have a stronger recommendation and a friend or family.
Failing both of these you can also consider referencing an unknown cat sitter. This is to make sure that they have had a good reputation in the past.
However, you need to understand that references can be faked. And, therefore, it is important to do your due diligence on these references to make sure that you are not duped.
Does your cat’s age make a difference when leaving them alone?
Yes. Age does make a difference when considering leaving your cat overnight. This is because older cats are more sensitive to changes, may need medication, and are easily stressed with changes.
A younger adult cat is more likely to cope with being left alone because they are more versatile. Also, when considering long durations, like 3 months, these changes, and new faces can cause stress.
Should I cat-proof my home if it’s alone?
Yes. It is a good idea to cat-proof your home as much as possible if they are left alone. This includes keeping sharp objects from them, closing doors in rooms that have fragile objects, like precious ornaments.
This can also include checking for potential places they can escape or objects that could cause injury. Truthfully, it’s not possible to cater for every possibility. However, you can try and cover as much as you can to reduce the risks.
Will my cat think I abandoned him if I go on vacation?
It is possible for a cat to act strange when you return from vacation. The theory is the absence has caused your bond to be challenged. And, could have made your cat believe you may have abandoned it.
Some cats will even act aggressive or just out of character. Don’t take it personal. It is quite common for this to happen. And, it’s likely to go back to normal with some time.
Do cats get anxious when you leave?
Yes. Some cats do get anxious when you leave. This is commonly known as separation anxiety. It can cause a cat to get extra vocal. Meaning, it’s meowing excessively, or crying.
Some cats may do this a lot at first. But, as they grow older and get used to it this may change. It’s not much different to us humans. With time we will adjust.
Why does my cat cry when I leave?
Your cat may cry when it’s left alone because it is feeling lonely and exhibiting signs of separation anxiety. This crying, or meowing may be distressing at first. But, in time, most cats will get used to it.
They will eventually build their own routine around you being away, assuming you regularly leave it alone. For example, heading off to work daily.
In this section, I am going to answer some questions related to cats and traveling without them. If you have any other related questions you need answering drop a comment below.
Q: Do mother cats remember their kittens?
No, they won’t, even after a short period of separation. If you have a new kitten in your family and you are giving them away you may wonder if your cat may even remember them in years to come.
The reality is a cat is very different from us. They recognize people based on their scent rather than vision. Therefore, they have very limited recollection of people they may have met in the past. Even if its their own offspring.
The reality is once a kitten is removed from its mother and it is put into a new environment. It will have a whole new scent around it. Meaning, the chances of your cat remembering its own kitten, even after a couple of months of separation, is very unlikely.
Q: is it better to have two female cats together?
No, unless they are kittens. If you are considering getting more than one cat you may wonder how the best way is to group them together. Getting two female adult cats together may sound like a good idea but that’s this can also be problematic if they have not grown up together.
Two female kittens that have grown up from birth will definitely be your best option.
And it almost goes without saying that two adult males is a big no-no. This is due to the inevitable territorial arguments and fighting.