Mindful Monday – Is it Okay to Leave Your Cat Home Alone?

Peeek-a-Boo

Peeek-a-Boo

You may not know this, but I’ve been traveling again. Just got back from a great week in Alaska. Again, I wrote blogs before leaving and scheduled them to be posted while I was gone. It appears that everything went smoothly. And I’ve come home with a lot of new information, resources, perspective, and stories for those of you who live with and love cats and enjoy reading about them.

I sure missed our cats and I fret some about them when I’m gone—that they’re pining away for us, that they’re worried we aren’t coming back, that they will not be cared for in the way they’re accustomed to. I wonder how much of this is justified.

Cats seem to know when you’re preparing for a trip. Lily and Sophie start the piercing stares as soon as they see the luggage appear. On travel day, we have to check before going out the door to make sure Lily hasn’t snuggled into one of the bags.

We do our best to provide excellent care for the kitties while we’re gone. Ideally, we’d have someone they know and love stay at the house with them. But we haven’t managed that luxury yet. They get their fresh food and water on schedule and someone cleans their litter boxes. Lily gets petted every day, but Sophie hasn’t found the courage to bond with anyone but us, so she misses out on that until we return.

How does your cat react when you return from a trip? I’ve had cats who seemed to punish me for leaving—they’d avoid me for a time. Katy, for example, would sit across the room and stare for anywhere from ten minutes to nearly an hour before she’d allow any petting. Lily marches to a different drummer, however. She’s waiting at the door when we walk in and is eager to get her petting and scratching. She follows me everywhere, helps me unpack, and expresses an interest in the things I bring back, such as this cute little stuffed moose. lilymoose

While some cats seem to see right into our soul, it’s impossible for us to read their mind, but I have to wonder, does it harm a cat to leave them alone for long periods? Well, I did a little research and here’s what I learned: Certainly, you would not leave a cat alone without any human contact for more than a day. Anyone who has had cats for any length of time knows that some illnesses can come on rather quickly. Cats can run out of kibbles, spill their water bowl, or get into a dangerous situation around the house. What if one of these things happens when we’re gone for days and there’s no one checking in on them? Here are three sites I recommend for some great perspective and ideas for when you must leave your cat behind. http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2014/01/06/home-alone-pet-cat.aspx#! 

http://www.catchannel.com/experts/marilyn-krieger/do-cats-get-lonely.aspx  

http://www.sheknows.com/pets-and-animals/articles/849147/how-to-leave-your-cat-home-alone

 

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