Here's How To Keep Your Cat Safe & Happy While You're Away

By Briana Hansen
Red cat sleeping in a wicker basket.
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During the holiday travel season, you may have to leave your feline friends behind. While they have a reputation for being lower maintenance than dogs, cats still require plenty of care while you're away. Because they're so self-sufficient, cat owners can be duped into thinking that leaving some food and water out will be suitable while they're gone for a few days.

Despite their sometimes aloof exterior, your kitty needs a good amount of human interaction. They are, after all, used to having you around every day (even if they spend a lot of time hiding from you). In fact, some cats can develop anxiety if left on their own for too long.

Luckily, there are ways to mitigate your cat becoming anxious while you're away. These few simple steps will insure they're happy in your absence. If you go the extra mile to make sure your beloved feline friend is cared for, they may even forgive you more readily when you do finally return.

If possible, get a live-in cat sitter.

The best possible solution for perfect kitty care while you're away is to hire someone to stay in your home to take care of your cats regularly. Having another person there not only assures that they're being regularly monitored, but gives the cat some comfort.

Gray kitten plays.
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Otherwise, find someone to swing by once or twice per day.

If you're not able to find someone who can commit to living in your home, you should at least recruit someone to check on them twice per day. Regular check-ups make sure the cats haven't gotten into anything dangerous, allow for their behavior to be noted, and give the cats some human affection while you're away.

At a minimum, have your kitties checked and loved on daily.

If it's genuinely impossible to find someone to come by more than once per day, at least have your cats checked on daily.Checking their food and water isn't enough – those fur babies are use to having a human around to give the some pets and nuzzles. So along with the basics of providing and cleaning for them, make sure the sitter takes the time to love on them, too.

Go high tech to ease your worries.

Tech-savvy owners are installing video monitoring systems that allow them to check in on their cats remotely. Should something go awry, you can reach out to an emergency contact to check in on them quickly.

Leave some of your clothing behind.

Place some worn clothing in a zipped plastic bag and ask whomever is caring for your pets to pull out a new item for them every day. The idea is just to give your kitties some comfort with little hints of your scent.

Pick up anything potentially dangerous.

Double check your home for anything dangerous your cat might be able to get into while you're away.

Russian blue cat stare out the window
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Leave access to their favorite window sill.

Your cat will love you for ensuring the window that overlooks their favorite tree is clear — you know, so they can get their staring on while you're gone.

Making certain they'll not only be safe but will also have access to all their favorite places gives you (and your kitty) a little peace of mind.

Keep them entertained.

Leaving recording of your voice can provide comfort to anxious house cats. Both YouTube and Pluto TV offer programming specifically designed to stimulate and engage bored kitties. It's just a little something extra to distract them from the fact that you're not around as much.

Be diligent if you choose to board them.

Many cat boarding facilities are wonderful, but make sure you check the reviews and do your research. If the facility is clean, quiet, and well staffed when you go in, that's a great sign for your cat. Cats are particularly sensitive to sounds and can get more easily stressed if they hear the wails or barks of strange pups. A quick tour and some easy research can help you make the best decision for you and your cat.