Friday, March 16, 2012

When You're Away, The Cats Will...

Cats are very independent.  With the variety of automatic gadgets available it appears that cats almost don't need us at all. When you are away for an extended time you can set the automatic scoop litter box, fill an automatic food dispenser, plug in the water fountain and know all their basic needs will be attended to. A cat's distant and independent attitude may give the illusion that this is enough but not only will your cat miss you when you are gone, leaving them alone could be dangerous for them:

Cats are curious: They like to explore the unknown and hide in small spaces. A cat I know decided to jump down behind a bed in a small space between the headboard and the wall. She snuggled up there for a nap only to discover that getting down there was easy but getting back up nearly impossible. If no one had been there to rescue her she could have been trapped for days or longer.

Cats like to play: I have seen cat get so entangled in the string of a "cat tamer" cat toy that she was completely tied up, helpless, and had to be freed.  

Cats are a creature of habit: They like what is constant and familiar.  They will notice the change of activity in the home.  Prolonged, this may cause anxiety or depression and be the cause of destructive behavior.

Gadget malfunction: Automatic gadgets may be helpful but they can malfunction. The automatic litter box may stop scooping or the automatic feeder may fail to dispense the food.

Trouble in the home: Things like a power failure, home flooding from burst pipes or heavy rainfall, loss of heat or air conditioning could cause the home to become a dangerous place for an unattended cat.

When away for an extended period of time it is best not to leave kitty alone.  Have someone check in and visit at least once a day. This could be a friend, family member or professional pet sitter.  Pet sitters who are experienced in cat care will not only keep kitty happy and safe but they will make sure all is well in the home. If an issue or emergency situation arises they have the experience and resources to deal with and correct the problem.  Upon your return you will find a happy kitty, secure home, and clean litter box!

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