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Author Topic: Please help  (Read 4330 times)
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dusty
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« on: December 19, 2011, 01:51:27 PM »

Hey guys. Smiley Need some advice, if anyone has some!

I'm going out of town for nine days, and I'm worried about Sparrow (year and a half old kitty).

I can't afford an 'official' pet sitter (I live in the DC area, the prices for the reputable ones cost an arm and a leg per day), and I generally have someone come every day to check on him/feed him/play with him when I'm gone. Trouble is, EVERYONE I have trusted to do this in the past ... has now either moved, or is going on a trip over the holidays themselves.

I do have one person who is going to come by, but she's not very enthusiastic about it, I think the best that will happen is that she comes over once every other day. And ... well, he's a very needy cat. He's waiting in the windowsill every day when I get home, and as soon as he sees me, he disappears to the door and then cries until I open it, and greets me as if he's not seen me for a month. I feel so bad, but I just can't afford another cat right now, the adoption fees + medicine + food is just too expensive.

Leaving out plenty of food and water isn't a problem: he only eats when he's hungry, so I can leave out as much as I want. What I'm worried about is ... him getting incredibly anxious because nobody comes by for a day or two, OR if he gets incredibly bored and starts getting into things he shouldn't. :/ I can't leave the TV/music on, as I live in an apartment and my neighbors would not be happy. He does have some toys I can (and will) put out. Is there anything you guys do to keep your cats occupied when you're not around? Any makeshift toys, or any toys you'd recommend? I don't mind buying him a few new ones right before I leave.

I think I'm just worrying over-much, but ... I don't want him to be miserable while I'm gone.
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bug
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RIP little angel Katey


« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2011, 02:13:21 PM »

Hi Dusty,

I wouldn't go anywhere if my cats weren't being looked after every single day. Have you considered boarding him at a vet or kennel for that time? At least he would have company and someone to look after him the entire time.

What about having a neighbor come in once or twice a day? No family in the area to check on him?

I would be concerned if he accidentally dumped his water or got hurt somehow or chewed on his toy and swallowed something he shouldn't have. They sleep most of the time but he's young and could get bored.

For me, it's no travel if I don't have someone staying over full time. Any chance you could pay someone you know to stay at your place and keep him company?

ETA: If you're going on a vacation, you need to factor in pet sitting services. It isn't fair to Sparrow to just leave him with no one that actually cares about him. Cut back on something you were going to do or buy and pay for the service to come out once a day in addition to your "friend."
« Last Edit: December 19, 2011, 02:16:01 PM by bug » Logged

My little babies, you'll always be in my heart. Mom will see you later. Look after each other, ok?
Spartycats
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« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2011, 02:14:52 PM »

Is there anyone here that you could afford?
Make sure you meet them, and ask for references, and talk to the references.

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/pas/
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bug
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RIP little angel Katey


« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2011, 02:17:59 PM »

Oh, check with your vet. Sometimes the vet techs/nurses do pet sitting on the side.
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My little babies, you'll always be in my heart. Mom will see you later. Look after each other, ok?
caylee
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« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2011, 02:28:15 PM »

Have you thought about asking someone in your apt building/complex if they would come in once or twice a day and then you could do the same for them in return. That is what I've done in my building. It worked out so good for me. Neither one of us had to pay up front.

Hugs
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catmom5
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« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2011, 02:32:10 PM »

I would never leave my cats alone for any length of time without someone coming in at least 2 times each day to check on them. When my regular pet-sitter was unable to come, I found a vet tech from MSU to come. It's not cheap, but I absolutely could not leave knowing they were pretty much on their own. I think it's best for them to stay at home if possible, but boarding would be better than home alone.

catmom5
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Fizzy1
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« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2011, 03:01:55 PM »

I think having someone come in once a day is the absolute minimum.  I always have mine checked on at least 2x, sometimes 3x a day.  Nine days is a long time to be gone and he deserves the extra attention.  There must be someone in your building who would help.  Maybe you could trade something in lieu of payment, like cleaning their kitchen or something.  Don't give up and just leave him alone, I beg you!

Toys won't help him much if he is anxious.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2011, 03:20:20 PM by Fizzy1 » Logged

I once asked a four year old what the secret of life was.  "Feed the kitties," she said, "Feed the kitties."--Ellis Felker
catwoods
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« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2011, 03:52:04 PM »

I agree with what others have said, there needs to be someone to check on the kitty frequently.
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lesliek
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Trooper,Remy & Fragile


« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2011, 05:00:43 PM »

I would ask in the building, hopefully a neighbor who has pets will also help out. I would be worried about only a check every other day too. Also you could leave a nature channel on tv with the volume very low or off. I would also have extra water & food out in different areas ,just in case of spills.
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"the world's most inept extortionist"
merrihart
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« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2011, 05:44:20 PM »

a tennis ball works well with my clowder, but some cats just don't get it and it takes another cat to teach them the technique.

a catnip tie isn't hard to make, you take a strip of polar fleece, put catnip in the middle, fold it over and tie it in a knot.  This may keep him busy for a while.

feathers are good, but don't last long in my house.

does he like cardboard?  a box with one of your shirts in it might help.
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Mandycat
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« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2011, 11:26:12 PM »

It is not a good idea to leave a cat along for 9 days no matter how many toys he may have.  There is just too much that can happen when they are alone.  Illness and accidents can happen in a blink of an eye even when we are home.  When we are there, we can take care of it immediately, but with no one there, your kitty could suffer for a long time before getting help.  Please try to find someone to come in. Kitties are usually more comfortable in their own homes, but will survive just fine at a vet or kennel if that is not possible.  Much better than being alone.  When we have pets, we have to also take the responsibility of having them cared for if we travel, or don't travel. 
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merrihart
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« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2011, 06:42:39 PM »

Let us know if you found someone or decided to board Sparrow.  I hired a petsitter from my local cat shelter and she did great with all the kitties, even Bisi who only decided after 3 days that she was approachable.  It was a bit cheaper than boarding, too.

If you board them, make sure you take in their beds or some old towels that smell like you.  You might not get them back, but it would help sparrow with the transition from home to a temporary abode.
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