by Ruth

People planning on going away for a few days break need to make arrangements for their cat’s care for while they are gone.

I find it shocking the number of people who think it’s acceptable to leave cats alone for 2 days or more without having anyone to pop in, see to their pet’s needs, make sure they are well and also to offer a bit of company to them.

Poster by Ruth

Young cats and old cats in particular need to be checked on twice a day, in fact ideally no cat should be left alone for a long period of time.

Cats can become ill very quickly and they may develop serious health problems if they have nothing to eat for 2 days.

Litter boxes soon become unpleasant and unusable. Cats are very particular and most won’t use dirty litter. Some out of desperation mess on the floor, some become constipated or develop bladder problems by holding off as long as they can.

Food goes stale, water can be spilled and even if not, it’s not nice drinking stagnant water.

Accidents can happen, a declawed cat especially can slip when jumping to a height and can break a bone.

There are many household hazards too, a bored lonely cat might be in danger by investigating an electric lead or he might pull at a thread in a blanket or fabric and get it stuck around his teeth or in his throat.

A home alone cat is vulnerable to any random burglar, he could not only be physically hurt by the intruder, he could run outside through the smashed door or window and be run over or lost miles away by his family return home.

I’ve heard of people who leave their cat flaps open or even their cats shut outside all the time they are away. I really don’t know how they can go off and enjoy their break without a thought to the danger their cat could be in.

Far kinder to ask a trusted friend or a neighbour to look after the cat in the pet’s own home, or if no one is willing, to pay a professional Pet Sitter to call twice a day. Making sure of course the cat meets the sitter before the days away so that he/she isn’t entirely a stranger.

The best option of course for longer holidays is a good cattery for the cat to stay at. Make sure to inspect the place first, a cattery owner with nothing to hide won’t mind anyone who wants to check on it and see that the cats boarding there look well cared for and that the place is clean and the cats not cramped in small cages.

The main thing to remember is to make some arrangements for the cat in good time and never to simply go off leaving him home alone thinking he will be OK.

Maybe he would be, but maybe not.

I would never risk our cats being hungry, thirsty, ill or injured because we’d left them alone too long.

Cats have emotional needs too.

Long lonely days and nights while their humans are enjoying their break is no way to treat a loved feline member of the family.

They deserve better.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

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Apr 17, 2012
The question is ………………. NEW
by: cat lover

The question is would the people who leave the family cat alone for days on end do the same to their pet if it was the family dog?
If the answer is no…..then enough said!

Apr 17, 2012
Great article and poster NEW
by: Mrs M

I also shudder at the number of people who think cats are OK alone for days on end.
Yes I’ve heard that excuse too Rose, they can’t afford a cattery or a sitter.
Hello you people how can you afford to go away yourselves then?
Some people treat cats so lightly and I don’t know why they got them if they don’t want to care for them as they need to be cared for.

Apr 16, 2012
Cats get bored easy ! NEW
by: Anonymous

Terrific story with great reasons not to leave a cat alone.
Those of us with family know the consequences a bit too well, a proverb should be “if kids are too quiet, trouble looms” our baby was about 18 months old, I was about to finish the laundry in other room.
It suddenly hit me “What’s David up to? not a whimper for at least 20 minutes” so I ran to kitchen & to my horror, he’d gotten into grease container, poured on himself, floor, wherever he could, a BIG mess/smell indeed. Practically had to use degreaser to get rid of smell. When husband arrived we didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
Cats are just like kids, if their human is not around they’ll find a manner to be entertained, sometimes with tragic results.
Cats should not be left alone for more than a few hours, when we go on vacation arrangements are made with a reliable to care for them. I say RELIABLE, sadly most petsitters are not.
A cat lover/rescuer/helper
Southeast Arizona (USA)

Apr 16, 2012
Stress NEW
by: Maggie

Another brilliant article Ruth, but you missed out what I consider to be the most important thing. Stress! When an environment changes, or a cat is left alone for a long period of time, they stress! It doesn’t take much to stress a cat, and having volunteered in a shelter that also runs a boarding facility, I see a lot of stressed cats. In the boarding cattery in particular. Usually they settle into their new environment quite quickly, but I find that the signs of stress are related to being separated from their owners. Some cats will hide behind their bed and refuse to come out, others will excessively vocalise and stare out the window. Cats who the owner says are very happy, confident or friendly, have become depressed, aggressive, or very scared. We do our best to enrich the boarding cats, we grooms them, cuddle them, give them toys, and give them the option of leaving their pen for 10 minutes or so while it’s being cleaned, but in general there’s little you can do, because what they REALLY want, is to be back at home with their family.

Even leaving your cat for 8-10 hours alone while you’re at work is too much. You shouldn’t have a cat while you’re working those hours. If you do, have a companion cat for him at the very least, so he’s not completely alone!

Apr 16, 2012
Yes too true! NEW
by: Rose

Great poster and article as always!
Yes anyone who can afford a holiday for themselves can afford to pay to have their cat cared for.

Apr 16, 2012
Cats count 365 days of the year NEW
by: Barbara

Great poster Ruth illustrating the selfishness of the family who go off on their jollies leaving Blackie home alone. As the poster shows a bowl of water can be easily overturned, no drink for Blackie unless he goes searching the home, and oh yes maybe the toilet seat is up and there’s a nice chemical drink in the bowl for Blackie to slake his thirst with, maybe by the family return Blackie will have died from ingesting chemicals! Maybe Blackie will have fallen into the toilet and drowned! Maybe if the toilet seat was down Blackie will have gone thirsty and just have kidney failure instead.
Why do people get a cat without thinking ahead to all the holidays they will wish to take? Why can’t they provide proper care for their cat while they’re off enjoying themselves? Do they need the money too much for their own holiday? What is it with some people that they think cats are something that they can give attention to when it there’s nothing better to do and leave them to fend for themselves when there is!!

Barbara avatar

Apr 16, 2012
Thanks Michael NEW
by: Ruth

Yes Michael cats do pin you down and good caretakers like us do feel bad at leaving them even with someone to look after them.
I know I miss our cats if I’m out even a few hours and worry if I get held up, so I don’t know how anyone can go off for days leaving them to their fate.
Cats may not show their emotions but I’m sure they must feel abandoned and lonely if left too long.
We treasure every moment with our cats and it sounds like you do too with Charlie.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Apr 16, 2012
Hardly leave him NEW
by: Michael

Thanks for a nice article Ruth. I find that I struggle a lot with leaving my cat, Charlie, alone. I know he’ll miss me and that affects me a bit when I am away.

I certainly would not leave him alone for more than say 8 hours max. (day time) without getting some one to check on him.

Domestic cats pin you down (if you care and are a good cat caretaker). It is part of the territory of caring for a cat and people who intend to adopt a cat should realise that beforehand.



  1. Great story. I never want to go away for too long a time. I always make sure, if im going away that sometime looks in on the animals. In our house they are most welcome to sleep whereever in the house and will only go for a week at a time.

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