You live with a person. You want to go away for a break. You love your cat and set high standards of cat caretaking. Can you trust your partner to look after your cat while you are away? What sort of things can go wrong? How do you deal with it if you can’t trust your partner to care for your cat? It is embarrassing and perhaps a indicator that you should not be in a relationship.
These are some of the considerations that come to my mind. I am sure I have missed something:
- You partner likes a drink. She works full-time and has a bad attendance record at work. How much time is she able to give to your cat when she is at home and sober?
- You have a new live-in partner. You trust him but don’t really know him. He is allergic to cats. Is he going to cope with looking after your cat to a decent standard?
- Your partner has a slightly aggressive streak. He seems tense and irritable. You are not sure why. You love the edginess but you love your cat with a passion. He has no track record of looking after a cat. He goes out quite a lot and comes home late.
- Your partner is allergic to cats and likes dogs.
You can understand the sort of message I am trying get across. The above are just top-of-the-head examples. There are others. If you want your partner to look after your cat and if you are a damn good cat caretaker who genuinely loves cats, you do not want to leave the welfare of your in the hands of anyone other than someone who you are certain will do a good job.
That sets a high standard. It may mean that you don’t go away because putting your cat into a boarding cattery may not be acceptable to you.
As an alternative, can you employ a person working for a cat sitting company to come in and check up on your cat? I don’t think you can if the cat sitter is, in effect, checking up on your partner.
There is a worse situation. You have gone away and left your boyfriend in charge of your beloved cat. On your return there are signs that your boyfriend has abused your cat but you don’t want to believe it. You are in conflict between the love for your cat and the love for your boyfriend.
You come back and your cat is frightened. She is hiding. She has what appears to be minor bruising on her ears but your vet says the bruising is also deep inside the ear.
This is a scenario from the Catsite forums and the overwhelming opinion from visitors is to dump the boyfriend asap.
That sounds harsh but if you suspect that your boyfriend (or your partner, male of female) might be abusing your cat, when you are not there, it is time to say goodbye. The risks are too high and trust is already eroded.
Of course there has to be a sensible approach. The signs of abuse have to be real and tangible. If you leave your cat in good health and go away for a few days leaving her in the hands of your boyfriend and on your return your cat is injured and the injury is not consistent with a typical cat accident (on your vet’s advice) then you have to come to one conclusion especially if your boyfriend has shown little signs in the past that he dislikes cats such as being allergic to cats and keeping your cat away from his bag because hairs might get on it! If a person is that twitchy about cat hair, it does not bode well for the future of your relationship if you are committed to looking after a cat for the cat’s lifetime, which is the only way to do it.
I think we should trust our instincts on these sorts of things. People are able to pick up on small signs that indicate a problem. The biggest problem, however, is for the cat owner to face up to the possibility and put cat welfare first.