If you're planning to go away for a while and leave your cat at home, it's crucial to go through a checklist with your cat sitter to ensure your furry friend's safety. Cats can get mischievous when left alone, so taking necessary precautions is essential. Walk through your house and identify potential problems or issues that could arise in your absence.
Microchipping details: Before leaving for your holiday, check that your cat's microchip details are up to date. Contact the microchipping company to verify that all information, including your name, address, telephone numbers, and email addresses, is correct. People often overlook updating these details when they change. It's best to address any issues with microchipping before you leave to avoid additional stress if your cat goes missing while you're away.
Medication: If your cat requires medication, inform your vet about your trip and that your cat will be in the care of a cat sitter. Ensure that you have enough medication to last the duration of your absence and that it's stored properly. Explain to your cat sitter how to administer the medication, the frequency, and ensure they are confident in doing so.
Food and cat litter: Leave an ample supply of food and cat litter for the duration of your absence. Store the food in a closed cupboard or a place inaccessible to your cat. No cat sitter wants to arrive and find that the cat has helped itself to five pouches of food left on the kitchen counter. Provide clear instructions to your cat sitter regarding the amount and frequency of feeding.
Also, ensure that there is sufficient cat litter to maintain cleanliness while you're away. Cats prefer clean litter trays, so it's necessary to change the litter regularly.
Checklist for cat safety:
a) Lock away cleaning products: Properly store all cleaning products to prevent your cat from being exposed to them. Keep chemicals away from pets in the household. Discuss with your cat sitter where to find the products if needed while you're away.
b) Plants and flowers: Verify that any plants or flowers left in the house are safe for cats. Some plants and flowers are highly toxic to felines. Either move them outside or place them out of your cat's reach to prevent chewing.
c) Choking hazards: Check for potential choke hazards such as rubber bands, needles, or decorations like tinsel or Christmas lights. Cats may chew or ingest items when bored, even if they are well-behaved in your presence.
d) Electricals: Ensure that all electrical devices are turned off and unplugged. Check that appliances like hairdryers and curling tongs are properly unplugged. Secure any loose electrical wires to prevent accidents.
e) Windows and blinds: Verify that all windows are closed and secure. No cat sitter wants to arrive and find that an indoor kitty has escaped through an open window. Cut blind cords and remove curtain tie backs, as cats may get tangled in them and get injured.
f) House temperature: Maintain a comfortable temperature in the house while you're away. Set the heating to come on at specific times or keep it at a constant low to keep the house warm without overheating your cat.
g) Cat flaps: If your cat is allowed outside, ensure that the cat flap is working correctly and not damaged. If the cat flap is battery-operated, leave a spare set of batteries for the cat sitter in case they need to be replaced.
A photo of your cat: Leave a clear photo of your cat with the cat sitter. If your cat goes missing, it's crucial to act quickly. The photo can be used to alert people, create posters, or distribute leaflets to aid in finding your lost cat.
Discuss any concerns: Before embarking on your holiday, have a conversation with your cat sitter about any worries or concerns you may have. A good cat sitter will visit your home and provide advice on keeping your cat safe, allowing you to enjoy your holiday knowing your cat is in capable hands.