Complete Guide To Leaving Your Cat Home Alone While On Vacation

How to Take Care of Cats While on Vacation

Complete Guide To Leaving Your Cat Home Alone While On Vacation

You’ve finally planned and booked your perfect holiday and everything is organized, but you’ve got just one final problem – where to leave your cat while on vacation. We’ve already tackled the issue of how to leave your dog at home while you’re on vacation or away, and now it’s time to answer the difficult question of what to do with cats while on vacation. Luckily, you have plenty of options for arranging care for your cat while you’re away. Your decision will come down to your cat’s temperament, the way your home is laid out, and your personal preferences. Read on to find out all your options in our complete guide to leaving your cat home alone while on vacation.

How To Feed Outdoor Cats When On Vacation

Water Dispensers

Water dispensers are a must-have if your cat is going to be left for an extended period. Especially in the hotter months, you may be surprised just how quickly water can evaporate from your cat’s normal drinking bowl. Investing in two water dispensers and setting them both up before you leave will give you peace of mind that, no matter what else happens, at least your cat has access to fresh drinking water at all times.

Automatic Pet Feeder

If you’re not going to have anyone dropping by your house to feed your cat regularly, you will need to look into automatic pet feeders to give your cat a predetermined portion of food on a set schedule. If you’re worried that the machine will malfunction, invest in two automatic pet feeders and set them up next to each other. If your cat is used to being fed twice a day, set up one machine to dispense the morning meal and the other machine to dispense the evening meal. Even if one machine malfunctions, you’ll have peace of mind in knowing that at least your cat is being fed once a day while you’re away.

Worried About Leaving Your Cat When You Go On Holiday? Set Your House Up For Success

Cat At Home During Vacation

Doors Opened Or Closed?

Before you leave, you will need to make some decisions about which areas of the house and backyard you want your cat to have access to while you’re away. Blocking off your cat’s access to a specific room – the bathroom, for example – is as easy as ensuring the door is properly closed. However, it’s a good idea to use heavy objects to keep all of your internal doors open so they don’t accidentally close by being rubbed up against by your cat, or because of an outdoor breeze. The last thing you want is to worry that your cat is trapped inside your bedroom for days on end with no way of getting back out into the main living area. If your cat will have access to an outdoor area while you’re away, read on for 10 tips to make your yard safer for your dog or cat this spring.

Electrical Cords

You may think that your cat is not the sort who would willingly chew on electrical cords – but you also don’t know exactly what your cat is going to get up to when left alone in the house for extended periods. Before you leave for your vacation, unplug all electrical cords that aren’t absolutely necessary (for example, your fridge and freezer), roll them up and pack them away. Check out other essential tasks for spring cleaning – make sure that your dog or cat is safe!

Why It’s A Good Idea To Take Your Lightbulbs Out Before Leaving Cats While On Vacation

It may sound extreme, but many people choose to remove lightbulbs from all accessible light sources – particularly lamps – before leaving a cat alone in the house. Particularly if you have several cats who enjoy chasing each other around the house, by removing lightbulbs you don’t have to worry about fire or broken glass hazards that could occur if a lamp was tipped over and the lightbulb smashed.

Lights Strategically On

Think about how your house will feel to your cat, both during the day and at night. To give your house more of a lived-in feel and to help your cat feel like everything is normal, leave a few lights on, such as in the bathroom or hallway. This has the added benefit of making it look like someone is home, hopefully, to deter would-be burglars.

Cat Separation Anxiety Vacation Tips: Creature Comforts

Radio Noise

An easy way of helping your cat feel like they’re not alone is to leave a radio on at low volume while you’re away. Choose a talkback radio station that has more conversation than music, so your cat gets to hear ordinary people talking all day long, helping them feel like they’re still part of a family community.

How To Keep Cats Entertained While On Vacation

No one knows your cat better than you, so you’re in the best position to know how best to keep your cat entertained while you’re away. Many cats love spending hours looking out the window, so try placing a cat tree or climber near a window that faces out onto the street. Soft toys, ping-pong balls, and other favorite cat toys should be left around the house, along with puzzle toys containing hidden treats – if your cat is used to solving puzzle toys. Stick with toys that your cat already has experience playing with and resist the temptation to try out a new type of toy while you’re away. An unfamiliar toy could pose a hazard to your cat.

Videos And TV

If your cat enjoys watching TV from time to time, consider leaving a TV on for them while you’re away. You could even stream videos or purchase a DVD that plays programs specifically intended for cats, which usually feature fish, rodents, birds, and other cats. It’s a good idea to see how your cat reacts to such a program before you leave, however, otherwise you may risk distressing your cat rather than comforting them.

Avoid Leaving Cats at Home While You’re Away by Hiring A Professional

Pet Sitter To Visit Your Home

For some people, leaving cat with friend while on vacation simply isn’t a viable option because your cat may be too territorial to ever enjoy spending time in someone else’s home. If you feel that your cat would be happiest in their usual home surroundings but you’re not comfortable leaving them home alone, consider calling in a favor from a friend or hiring a pet sitter to visit your home at least once a day to check in on your cat. If your cat has health issues or you have other pets to consider, look for someone who will live in your home while you’re away, providing 24/7 care and attention to your pets. You may be able to find someone willing to feed your cat in exchange for free accommodation while you’re away, otherwise, you will need to pay someone a daily rate for their services. Since this person will be in your home when you’re not there, it is vital to take proper precautions and ensure you receive a police clearance from the person, meet them at least once before you leave, and speak to some of their former clients before you hand over your spare key.Where Can I Leave My Cat While I'm Away?

Pet Sitter To Mind Your Cat In Their Home

Leaving a cat alone in your home might be suitable for a short trip away, but leaving cats alone for 2 weeks is never a good idea. If you’re wondering where can I keep my dog or cat while on Christmas vacation or spring break you will need to look at some different options than just leaving your cat unattended at home. One viable option is to hire a pet sitter to host your cat in their home while you’re away. There are plenty of online services that can match you with pet sitters. Make sure you ask plenty of questions of your prospective sitters before making any bookings and ask to see references or speak to previous clients before going ahead. Many of the online services include verified reviews from people who have booked previously, making it easier to choose between the variety of sitters available. It can also be worthwhile visiting the sitters’ home to ensure that their area is safe and suitable for your cat to stay in while you’re away.

Boarding Cats While On Vacation

If the thought of leaving your cat home alone is more than you can handle, consider leaving your cat with a cat boarding facility. If you’re wondering where can I keep my cat in Vancouver? What are my cat boarding options? you’ll be pleased to know that Vancouver is renowned for reputable cat boarding facilities, where the staff have plenty of knowledge and experience in caring for cats of all breeds, ages, and temperaments. While dropping your cat off at a cat boarding facility is obviously going to be a more expensive option than leaving them at home while you’re on vacation, the cost will buy you peace of mind knowing that your cat is safe, fed, looked after, and not spending hours trapped inside a tiny space you didn’t know you had in the back of your wardrobe.  Make sure you brief the staff at the cat boarding facility on your cat’s likes and dislikes, and choose a facility that will adhere to your normal playtime and feeding schedule. Bring some of your cat’s favorite toys, their existing bedding, and perhaps even an unwashed item of clothing that belongs to you so your cat can feel close to you even while you’re away. A professional cat boarding facility will be happy to use your items to make sure your cat’s area is comfortable and homely as possible. If you’re considering choosing a cat boarding facility for your next vacation, here’s what you need to know about cat boarding hotels, catteries and cat sitters in Vancouver.

Bonus Tips For Leaving Cats While On Vacation

Bring Out The Suitcase

The last thing you want is for your cat to start to panic every time they see your suitcase. Get into the habit of bringing your suitcase out at least a week before you leave for vacation, while you slowly pack into it. Put some of your cat’s treats and toys in the suitcase and encourage them to dip in and out to retrieve them. All of this helps your cat form positive associations with your suitcase, rather than associating it with you leaving them alone.

Want To Avoid Your Cat Acting Different After Vacation? Try Cat-Scented Socks

Here’s an interesting trick that can help you and your cat slip back into life as normal when you return from vacation. A couple of days before you leave for your trip, take a clean pair of socks and put them in your cat’s bed. Let your cat sleep on or near the socks and make sure they get plenty of your cat’s hair on them. If you need to, rub the socks over your cat. Before you leave for your vacation, take the socks and seal them in a resealable plastic bag and take them with you on your trip. On the day of your return, wear your cat-scented socks. This will help your cat recognize their signature scent on you, helping them remember that you are family and making it much easier for everyone to get back to life as it was before your vacation. If you have every member of your household take these same steps, you’ll find that you all slip back into your normal routine without your cat acting differently after you return from vacation.


If you find yourself worried about leaving my cat when I go on holiday, you’re certainly not alone. Cats may appear to be highly independent, self-sufficient creatures, but they are still entirely reliant on humans for food, water, shelter, and basic safety. The decision of what to do with your cat while you’re on vacation is ultimately yours and will come down to how long you’re planning on being away, how safe you think your cat will be in your home, and whether you have access to someone who can drop in regularly to check on your cat and their food and water supply. For complete peace of mind, dropping your cat offer at a reputable cat boarding facility will allow you to enjoy your holiday, safe in the knowledge that your cat is being cared for by highly trained staff. Now that you’ve got your holiday sorted and your cat’s care arranged, read on for 22 ways to take care of a dog or puppy while you’re busy working. Click here if you’re interested in dog boarding.