Checklist: Things to Do for Your Cat Before Leaving on Vacation

Ahh, summer. The time for forced family fun and long vacations. But what happens when not every member of the family gets to join you on your travels?

Before you hit the road, there are some important things you need to do for your cat who is staying at home. 

6 Things You Need to Do for A Cat Before Going on Vacation

  • Prepare Food and Water
  • Set up Pet Cameras
  • Schedule a Friend to Stop By
  • Check for Trouble Areas
  • Turn on Cat TV
  • Don’t Make Leaving a Big Deal

Prepare Food and Water

Cover your kitty’s essentials by putting out fresh food and water right before you leave. Water fountains are great for keeping your cat hydrated while you’re away. Also be sure that all of your cat’s food is set out and accessible for whoever will be feeding them. 

Normally, most people would agree that free-feeding is a big no-no because it can lead to excessive eating, but purrsonally, I like to leave out a small dish of kibble if I’m going to be away for longer than usual so that my cats have something to snack on if they’re hungry between feedings. My cats can be trusted to not scarf it down, but be sure to talk to your vet about what’s right for your cat’s particular needs. 

Set up Pet Cameras

Pet cameras are one of the best inventions ever. Even if I’m just at the gym for a short time, I love getting updates about what my cats are up to while I’m gone. These cameras are also helpful for when you’re away on vacation, because they can provide peace of mind when you see your cats safe and sound. 

Schedule a Friend to Stop By 

Even though cats act like independent animals, they still need someone to check in on them each day. Ask a friend or neighbor to go inside to play with, feed, and give fresh water to your cats. They can then text you any updates about your kitties. 

Important: Before you leave, give your friend or neighbor the phone numbers for your personal vet and any close emergency animal clinics in case of a problem. 

Check for Trouble Areas

My cats have a habit of getting into places they shouldn’t—especially when they are stressed out. If you’re leaving your cat for a vacation, there’s a good chance they will become stressed and act out. Survey your home for any places that could lead to trouble and try your best to make them safe. For example, shut doors to offices with shelves that could be toppled and put away any charging cords that could be chewed. 

Turn on Cat TV

While you probably don’t want to leave your tv turned on to YouTube videos of birds all day, you still have options when it comes to entertainment for your cat. Open blinds on a few windows just enough for your kitty to see out and set up some automatic toys throughout your home. These will help keep your cat’s mind active and engaged even while you’re away. 

Don’t Make Leaving a Big Deal

I’m guilty of giving my cats big hugs and kisses even before going to the grocery store. I get it. But you shouldn’t make leaving for vacation a big deal to your cat. Try to act as normal as possible to keep them from getting stressed out

Should I Board My Cat?

You should consider boarding your cat if your vacation is long or you don’t have anyone to stop by your home to check on them every day. Boarding your cat will be stressful for them, but it can be what is in their best interest to keep them safe. 

Always hire a trusted vet or professional pet sitter to care for your kitty, and be sure to pack your cat’s favorite food, snacks, blankets, and toys to help make their stay as stress-free as pawsible. 

Don’t forget to check in with your cat’s boarder each day for updates! Many will excitedly send pictures and videos while you’re away to let you know how your kitty is doing. 

Have a Purrfect Vacation

Whether you set your cat up for success at home with a staycation or bring her to a boarding facility, know that the work you put into your cat’s care will help make your travels easier. After all, you’ll be able to enjoy your vacation more knowing that your best friend at home is well taken care of!

I know a lot about cats, but I’m not a veterinarian. Please don’t take any of the statements I give as medical advice and do always consult your trusted vet, especially before introducing any changes to your cat’s life.

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