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jessicazi Donating Member (458 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:42 AM
Original message
Questions about leaving cats home alone...
I adopted a cat and her baby a week ago and will be leaving them home alone when I travel to Seattle for Thanksgiving. I will have a friend check in on them, but she won't be able to for about three days. I don't really know anyone else that can fill in for my friend for those three days, but I think they will be ok. Does anyone have any advice on things I can do to make the three days go well for the mama and her baby? (baby is 8 1/2 weeks-mom is 1 year old)

I will be leaving plenty of food and water. And I will be putting away their toys for the week prior to me leaving, and then bringing them out when I leave, so they have toys and won't get too bored (and the toys will be new to them). Any other ideas or suggestions? Thank you.

Jessica
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:44 AM
Response to Original message
1. ooh.....I dunno
three days is a bit too long, especially with a kitten. You can leave plenty of food but they can still get in trouble in three days. Are you sure you cannot find anyone else to look in on them sooner?
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yellowdogintexas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 02:00 AM
Response to Reply #1
13. Cats can usually manage very well up to 4 days w/o people
This of course depends on how co dependent they are with you. Mine sleep with me and when I have to be gone, even if my daughter is at home with them, they act like it was the end of the world when I return. LOL
and they drive HER crazy while I am gone as well.

I used to have to leave my old cat alone for a weekend once a month. He did fine.

Since you have a mom and young cat, they will keep each other company, I do think that they sleep a lot more when we are not around.

You should be able to find a teen or college student who will be willing to just check in on them once a day or so if it will make you feel better. Check with your church's youth minister, if you are a church attender...that would be a good source of potential kitty sitters
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:47 AM
Response to Original message
2. probably ok
but can you confine them to just one room? I agree - its the kitten that might get into trouble.

I leave my cat for that long occasionally - she seems to take it just fine.
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GingerSnaps Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:48 AM
Response to Original message
3. If you have extra cash
Take them to the vet so that he/she can board them or to a pet motel?
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barb162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #3
25. I have done this and they always seem to do better at home
with someone looking in on them daily. The last two times I boarded a cat they came back sick and I had 1000 bucks of bills. Oh and that was at a VET boarding place who was very careful about making sure my cat had all his shots. What a joke; I brought in a healthy cat and took home a very sick cat. I suspect they were boarding sick cats from their hospital and healthy cats together. Cats get very stressed in cages in a strange environment; it is not healthy.
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NJCher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:48 AM
Response to Original message
4. yeah, I don't think I'd do that
Call a vet's office and see if they have any petsitter people in your neighborhood. Another option would be to see if there are any teenagers in your neighborhood who would be able to come and play with them once a day or so.


Cher
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mpanno Donating Member (99 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:48 AM
Response to Original message
5. hmmm...
Whenever I had to leave my cats alone for a few days, I would unplug all of my electrical stuff... cats have a way of inventing their own fun and can get hurt very easily. My sisters' cat electrocuted itself by chewing on a cord for a lamp.
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alittlelark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:53 AM
Response to Reply #5
10. A friend's rabbit did that... it was sad
I have not had experience w/ a cat doing it (Darwin Award?)
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OrwellwasRight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #5
20. My ex-in laws had a bird that would sit on a certain power cord
in the house and then do a strange jiggling motion that looked suspiciously like it was "getting off," if you know what I mean.

The creepy part was not the bird (who can blame him?), but the fact that the family would show guests this "trick" like it was a dog rolling over.

Good thing I got out of that family.
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OrwellwasRight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:49 AM
Response to Original message
6. I've had my cat for 11 years and I leave her alone
for weekends quite frequently (leaving Friday am and returning late Sunday night). She's always fine, I just keave her with two bowls each of food and water instead of the usual one.

However, if I am ever going to be gone longer, I always have somebody come in, at least every other day to dump to old water, give completely fresh, to top off the food bowls and clean the litter box .

One thing you don't have to worry about is a cat eating all of its food the minute you leave (as a dog would). Thank god for that. The cats will likely behave no differently than they do when you are gone to work during the day. They might give you the cold shoulder when you return though.

If you need someone to drop in (because every three days seems a bit sparse), you can always pay a pet sitting agency to come by. Get a bonded one.
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warrens Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:50 AM
Response to Original message
7. leave a radio playing softly
Some talk thing without wingnuts yelling. It reassures them.

Frankly, if food is there, a mom and her kitten will have plenty of fun without you. Bonding time. The mom usually resents humans messing with her kid til she shows it how to use the kitty litter and how to pounce on vermin. They will be fine.
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ogradda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:50 AM
Response to Original message
8. 3 day? ouch.
can you call and ask your vet? that might at least give you ideas on how to "cat proof" the house.
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alittlelark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:50 AM
Response to Original message
9. I would not worry. I have left cats for up to 10 days
w/ checking only every 3-4 days. As long as they are not overly Dependant, it will be fine. Cats are superior to us, as you probably know....
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jessicazi Donating Member (458 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:54 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Thank you
They are very independent and I have left them for a day already to see how they have done. I will check around and see about a pet sitter, but this is a smaller city and resources like that are rare, if they even exist at all. I was thinking of leaving my tv on for them, so maybe I will do that for the three days. What about leaving a hallway light on too?
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alittlelark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:58 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Get a couple of timers
one for the TV (Discovery channel or similar) and one for the light in their main room of residence. Set the room light for your general schedule, and the TV timer for their most active hours.

Put pajamas or other 'scent clothes' around for them.

They'll be fine!
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KT2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 02:13 AM
Response to Reply #11
15. Leave more than one water dish
it is so easy for a little one to tip them over and you want to make sure they are covered.
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OrwellwasRight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #11
23. If there's light from your window in the day time
I wouldn't worry about a light in addition to the tv. Cats are nocturnal in the wild and can see well in the dark
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buddysmellgood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 02:12 AM
Response to Original message
14. Hmmm. I think it depends on whose home you will leave them in.
Ah ha. ah ha ha ha.....sorry. Good luck.
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morillon Donating Member (809 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 02:20 AM
Response to Original message
16. A few suggestions...
Another poster mentioned unplugging things. I definitely second that.

Also, make sure that any cords for blinds or drapes are either put out of reach or folded up and bound with rubber bands or twist ties.

Put any toxic chemicals in a closet they can't get to. My cats have always been able to open cabinet doors, so if you don't have childproof locks on them, assume your cats can get in there. Animals get into the strangest things, sometimes. My sister's puppy ate a tube of terra-cotta-colored oil paint!

Put any poisonous house plants into a room they can't get into. (Better yet, don't have plants that are poisonous to cats!)

Go through your house and look for anything a cat or kitten could get stuck under or inside. Stash anything like that in a place or room they can't get to.

Leave out a lot more drinking water than you think is necessary.

If they're current on their shots, you might consider boarding them at the vet. The vet should give you a price break on mama and baby because they can stay in the same cage. It wouldn't hurt to get an estimate of how much it'll cost, and it may be much cheaper than you think. I say this because sometimes the person who's supposed to be checking on the animals ends up not doing it, for one reason or another. I don't trust my cats with anyone other than my sister, one of my closest friends (who used to live here), or my vet. It's not that other people are evil or anything -- it's just that I can't be absolutely certain that they'd do things the way I'd want them done. And if something bad happened, I'd never forgive myself for not being pickier about who I had asked to take care of my pets.
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Rhiannon12866 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 02:31 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. All your ideas are great
I think that the kitties would probably be fine, but, for peace of mind, there are so many places who board animals, for a very reasonable fee, and not just animal hospitals. This seems to be a growing industry. This way, someone would be constantly monitoring the cat and kitten, and would give her peace of mind. But you need to check anyplace out, first, but I'd trust anyone that my vet recommended. I have often picked up brochures for animal boarding at my vet, even though I've never needed them, but have recommended these places to friends. This is what I would do. :shrug:
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DustMolecule Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 02:39 AM
Response to Original message
18. Make sure you remember to....
....close the lids on all the toilets before you leave!

Also,if you have any 'kitten-sized' openings on sub-pumps, etc. make sure that they are all covered/closed off (don't know if you are in an apartment or house, etc.).

If a curious kitten went 'exploring' in such places....well, probably wouldn't go very well for the kitten...he/she couldn't get out.
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izzie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 03:42 AM
Response to Original message
19. I used to travel and leave mine but ......
Always hired some one to check them once a day,
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goodboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 11:06 AM
Response to Original message
21. the cats will be fine, I assure you. Leave the TV on Animal Planet.
Cats are really independent...
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Groggy Donating Member (317 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 11:13 AM
Response to Original message
22. should be fine
We have left our cats alone before. As long as they have plenty of food and water they will be fine. I would not leave them any longer than 3 or 4 days though. You might think about leaving a radio on low playing soft music (if they are used to the tv or radio being on). When your friend come, it probably would be good if she could stay with them a little while and give them some lovin. :pals:
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barb162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 11:18 AM
Response to Original message
24. my own opinion: someone should be looking in on them
every 2 days re CLEAN the litter trays, make sure the water bowls are not turned over, etc. Or else get a few more litter trays. Often cats will not use dirty trays and then humans get mad at them. The cats are not at fault. Also pull the electric plugs from the wall sockets so they don't chew. Some behavior they won't do when you are home they will start doing when you are gone for a long time.
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haele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:19 PM
Response to Original message
26. I've left my two alone for three days before...
Even as "kittens" (they were six months old the first time I left them) They were alright, even though I wouldn't go any longer without having someone - even a petsitter service - drop by for a few hours after the second day to clean litterbox, change out the food and water, and do a quick check around to make sure everything's alright.

The most important thing to do is to clean, put everything up, and close off the parts of your home that they don't need to be in prior to leaving. I would put out lots of newspaper in the front room (or have a roll-up rug I don't mind being messed up) and put the food, water, and litter box on those. Cover the furniture you think the kitties may be able to destroy should they get in a mood or decide to leave dropping on in their upset at being left alone after the second day.
All chemicals, cleaning products and breakables should be put in the closed off room; don't trust kitchen cabinets unless there's child-proof latches on them. Cats will get into cabinets when you aren't there.

Insure that you have a large feeder and water dispenser. Don't assume they can take care of themselves and let the cats drink from the toilet or sink while you're gone. (It's a bad habit, anyway...)

Since you have two, you shouldn't come home to too much damage...

We're also going out for a few days over Thanksgiving; and we have a fairly reliable neighbor checking in on Thursday and Saturday to make sure everything's cool - we also have a bird and three ratties that will need to be checked on. It's a bit late to hire a professional, bonded "petsitter", as they've all been hired out - just as 95% of the reputable kennels were booked solid for that period by the middle of October.

Haele
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jukes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:38 PM
Response to Original message
27. it's not a great idea
but reality intervenes. it's good that they are mother/kitten & that the kitten isn't too old; there's prb a bond remaining & they will comfort each other.

many bowls of water; toilet seats closed. adult cats usu don't have a problem, but a kitten trying to climb a seat can slam it down on itself, trapping it inside.

as many electric cords unplugged or covered in such a way as they can't be gotten too.
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