Cats are usually comfortable, secure, and happy in their familiar spaces. Some cats are up for an adventure and travel well, but most cats do not. A cat who doesn’t travel well will likely become stressed out which means fear, digestive issues, and even attempts to escape from the car, the hotel, or grandma’s house.

As you’re planning your holiday travels, decide if you will take your cat or leave him behind. If you decide to let her stay at home, preparation is key.

Even though cats are usually self-sufficient, you shouldn’t leave your cat(s) home for more than 2-3 days. If you have a kitten, an older cat, or a nervous cat, that time should be more like 1-2 days. If you will be gone for longer than these suggested times, employ a trusted friend, neighbor, or pet sitter to check in on your feline family members to ensure they are fed, the litter box is scooped, and they get some attention.

Before you leave, it’s important to make sure that your home is a safe space for your unsupervised cat. Put away shopping bags, hide breakable items, unplug small appliances, and make sure that all windows and doors are securely shut. Close closet doors, cupboards, and any room you don’t want him to have access to. Put away medicines, cleaning products, string, and any other potential hazards.

Be sure to put away all food except the cat’s food. While you can leave out enough kibble for a day or so, the best way to make sure your cat doesn’t get too much food or water is to use water and food dispensers. Keep food and water bowls separate so your cat doesn’t spill water into their food bowl making their food soggy.

Of course, the litter box should be cleaned right before you leave for a trip. If you usually clean the litter box often, or you have multiple cats, you may want to add an extra litter box. Make sure the person you ask to check on them understands how important cleaning the litter boxes is, and that they are comfortable doing so.

Leaving toys for your cat can help alleviate some of the separation stress. You might also consider leaving the radio on or using a smart speaker that can be remotely controlled to turn music on and off. Leave shades partway open and cat trees near the window so kitty can look outside. To help when your cat misses you, leave a t-shirt with your scent on it.

Even when you feel like you did everything to prepare, you may still worry. Setting up a pet camera is a great way to keep your mind at ease so you can enjoy your time away. When you return home, set aside some time to give your cat(s) extra attention. They will be happy to see you and appreciate the reassurance.

Ophir is a beautiful, young, green-eyed tabby who came in with a litter of kittens. All of them have gone to their new homes, and it’s her turn to enjoy some love. She loves playing with other cats and, although she is a bit shy, she likes attention from people too.

Second Chance Humane Society’s Animal Resource Center and Shops have served San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties since 1994. Adoption hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 pm. View our shelter pets and services online: Connecting Pets, People, and Community While Saving Lives