RECESSIONISTA By janea kelley
Get the Best Care for Your
Cat While You’re on Vacation
as much as we love our cats, most of us can’t be home with them 24/7, 365 days a year. There’s bound to be a time when we have to be away for longer than an overnight trip. So, what are you going to do with your cat
when that time comes? let’s review our options.
Ask the neighbor’s kid
✓ pros: Cheap or possibly even free;
he or she lives next door or nearby.
✖ Cons: Teenagers may not be
responsible enough to show up
every day and actually spend time
with your cats. They may not understand how to handle a cat properly,
notice signs of illness, or deal with
➜ My view: Better than leaving your
cat alone for days, but you get what
you pay for.
Have a friend house-sit
✓ pros: Someone will be with your
cat most of the time, which reduces
her stress level; your home will be
more secure because it’s occupied.
✖ Cons: Your friend may not be as
Hire a cat sitter
cat-savvy as you are and might miss
signs of illness or stress. He or she
may not do things like cleaning litter
boxes daily. Other kinds of accidents
can happen, too; I had a house sitter
who almost set my place on fire
because of a cooking accident.
➜ My view: If you really trust your
friend or family member to show
up, know the signs that something is
wrong with your cat, and not burn
your house down, this is a reason-
✓ pros: A professional that
understands cat behavior
and health will visit your cat
every day. Your cat’s schedule will be uninterrupted,
and he’ll have the security
of being in a familiar environment. A cat sitter can bring in
your mail and check that your
home is secure. Probably not as
expensive as you think.
✖ Cons: You may be
someone you don’t know very well
coming into your house while you’re
away. If you don’t check references,
you may be disappointed in the
services you get. It’s more expensive
than the neighbor’s kid or having a
friend hang out at your house.
➜ My view: The best and most
cost-effective option, and the one I
use for my cats.
Have your cat boarded
✓ pros: Your cat will be at a “kitty
hotel” under the care of professionals skilled in animal care. Depending
on the facility, the staff may be able
to manage cats with special medical
✖ Cons: Most cats find it stressful
to be in a strange environment. If
the boarding kennel also houses
dogs, the barking and yapping may
stress your cat even more. Boarding
facilities have very strict requirements about vaccinations, which
may not align with your and your
vet’s judgment about what’s best for
your cat. The most expensive of all
➜ My view: If you want to board
your kitty, visit the facility and take
a full tour to make sure the place is
clean and safe.
Board at the vet
✓ pros: Probably the best option if
your cat has serious medical needs —
diabetes, asthma, or late-stage kidney
disease, for example.
✖ Cons: Expensive, and your cat’s
medical care will increase
the price. Your cat will