what to do with cats while out of country for 10 days

gibby2015September 11, 2010

I'm trying to figure out what the best cat care is for my cats during this long trip. I'll be gone in mid-October. I can't remember the last time I was gone this long if ever. I have two cats - one is 11 and in good health, the other is 16 with IBD and hyperT though both conditions are under control with meds/food. The older cat has lost some weight recently but vet check, labs, etc. all looked good. We switched him to a different hypoallergenic food and he is now eating very well and starting to gain weight. So far no signs of any IBD symptoms but he's only been on this new food for about a week. He pretty much will only eat canned food now - the other cat would be fine eating dry food but she eats what he eats since his diet needs to be limited.

The older cat gets methimazole twice a day and 1/2 pred pill on Mon, Wed, Fri. I had tapered him off the pred completely but that coincided with the weight loss so resumed that - though he didn't start eating well until we switched food. So at some point I am going to try getting him off that again but probably not before this trip.

I have a professional cat sitter (former vet tech) who will come in 2x per day to do the usual plus give the older cat his pills twice a day. If Boris, the older cat, is eating well then I probably don't have too much concern about this arrangement other than leaving him alone so much - he just loves being on someone's lap and sleeping with someone and there will be very little of that while we're gone. This person has provided my cat care for many years and I have every confidence in her.

When he wasn't eating well and I was wondering if something more might be wrong, I was thinking maybe I should board him at the vet so he is more closely monitored. I'm still wondering about this because his health is kind of tenuous and he's on this "new" food which may still be working out fine by then. I also thought maybe he would have more frequent people contact but I need to investigate the boarding option more. What do I need to ask about boarding? I've never done this - always had care in the home.

The other thing I thought about doing was taking the older cat in for the radioactive iodine treatment - and have him there while I'm gone. Part of the reason I didn't do that to start with was that I couldn't stand the thought of him having to be at the hospital for two weeks but if I were going to board him anyway maybe I should do that treatment now.

The older cat is very easy going, loves everyone and I think might tolerate the boarding thing okay. The other cat however would probably be lonely at home but the cat sitter would come in every day or two to check on her.

So, what do you think?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would leave things as they are and have your regular pet sitter come by. She can monitor how the older cat is eating and his overall health when she visits. You should make arrangements with the vet office that your sitter has your approval to bring him in for treatment if it's needed.

I wouldn't put the older cat thru the iodine treatment while you're gone. Things can happen and last minute decisions may have to be made. Plus, you being gone and him in the hospital may cause behavioral problems with the cat left alone in the house.

My experiences with boarding is the staff doesn't have the time to interact with the animal. Plus, the change in environment for a 16 yr old cat with health problems would not be ideal. Yes, they could monitor his intake of food but his eating could decrease due to the boarding. He'll be much more comfortable in his home with his favorite sleeping places.

Hopefully by the end of Sept. your kitty will be eating well and you'll feel better about leaving. Enjoy your trip and stay in contact with the sitter.
I'd suggest you have the sitter turn the TV on in the AM and off at night. I've been known to leave it on 24/7! :)

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 1:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Please arrange to have the vets notified and a note put in their charts (if you do decide to leave them in somebody's care at home) so that if treatment is needed in your absence they have the authority to do it with no questions asked. I had to intercede and make some decisions for a dog belonging to my children who were back in England for a couple weeks. The vet was very reluctant to make contact with them long-distance for some reason even though phone expenses weren't an issue. Thankfully, I was sort of like their pets' health care POA and could intereract with the vets in their behalf.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 4:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I boarded a cat with a vet about 15 years ago. I think it really stressed him out. He ended up having to be on IV a few times while I was gone for one week because he was so stressed he wasn't eating or drinking. I can't remember just exactly why, I think he needed some pills twice a day for something, it was always something with that poor kitty. He was a nervous cat anyway and was easily stressed. My other cat I just had someone check on at home every day.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 7:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Okay - consensus seems to be that I should let the cats stay home. The older cat is still doing fine so maybe all will continue to be well between now and then - and through the trip. I was also thinking about a friend of my husband's in the neighborhood who loves our cats. He might be willing to come over a few times to have a beer and watch sports on our big TV with the cat on his lap. Often I come home and find him sitting with DH watching TV with our cat on his lap. He likes the TV and the cat so maybe I can work something out there.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 11:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just returned from my trip - happy to report that the cats did fine with the twice daily visits by pet sitter. It cost a small fortune but was worth it for the peace of mind. I think they're happy to have someone back in the bed with them at night.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 2:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you really think about it you got a great deal. Not only was the sitter there for your cats, but also there looking after your property. And of course you mentioned peace of mind...that is what the pet parents always say when I have finished a gig. How they really felt they did not have to worry about anything.
Making certain your pet sitter is on the same page as well as the vet (who should be notified you are going out of town) and that the sitter has permission to bring the pet in for any work which might need to be done and making arrangements for payment when you return has always been helpful to me....Glad everything worked out

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 6:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree - it is double peace of mind knowing someone is checking on the place along with the pets.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 6:27PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Last night I was frantically searching through messages...
Dog still has fleas after using Frontline Plus..
Two weeks ago, I gave my dog a bath and then applied...
Lactaid all right for my cat?
Like a lot of cats, my kitty is lactose intolerant....
sandyslopes z5 northern UT
My cat has an unknown illness! Help!!!!
Hi There I have a 14 and a half year old male cat Sylvester...
Constipated Kitty (Warning - LONG)
Hi All - I haven't been on the forum in quite awhile,...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™