What to do with the Cats when Traveling

My Cat Knows I'm Going to be Traveling
My Cat Knows I'm Going to be Traveling

I’m the mother of two cats. Never thought I would be but after two very long stories, I have a senior cat (13.5-years-old) and a young kitty (1.5-years-old). I take several one and two-night overnight trips throughout the year and although I’m gone for a short period of time, it takes some planning to leave the cats home alone. They’re on their own feline staycation.

Here are a few things I do to ensure they’re self sufficient when I’m away. The longest I’ll leave them alone is four nights. Any longer, I hire a pet sitter to look in on them.

Chow Time
Obviously I leave plenty of food for the cats. I fill up their bowls and have a food dispenser. Sometimes I wonder if there’s something else in the apartment because I’ll return home to empty bowls knowing the cats have eaten more than if I was home.

Toilet Seat Up
Okay, I know many of you will say, “Ew!” but this is something I learned from my grandmother. She always told me to leave the toilet seat up in case the cats drank all the water from their bowls. The toilet bowl provides fresh, almost constant water. Unfortunately, just like a dog, one cat drinks out of the bowl whether I’m traveling or not.

Secure the Doors
I prop open all doors within my apartment making sure the cats can’t accidentally shut one and lock themselves in a room for the duration of my trip.

Litter Box Duty
The litter boxes are cleaned out and full of litter. If I’ll be gone three or four nights, I break out a third one, just in case.

Spoil them with Toys
Okay, I feel like the parent of a human child when I do this but when I feel guilty, I bring home a gift. No, not a, “My Human Went to New York and All I Got was this Stinkin’ Shirt.” I bring home cat toys either when I see them on the road or from the grocery store when coming home. Not sure if they associate my trips with getting toys but think they appreciate them. I also read things like cat tree reviews to learn about the best cat products on the market at the minute. When I feel like really treating them, I’ll buy them something exciting like a cat tree.

Here’s a video of a toy I brought back from a trip to Oregon last spring. If you can’t view it below, check it out here.

So, what do you do with your cats when traveling?



Jennifer A. Huber is an award-winning travel and outdoor blogger and writer in Southwest Florida. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led her to a career path in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. She spent a decade with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Everglades National Parks. She founded the travel blog, SoloTravelGirl.com with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely. The unexpected death of her former husband in 2008 reminded her how short life is. His passing was a catalyst for sharing her experiences with the goal of inspiring and empowering others to travel solo. Jennifer holds a Travel Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society, is a certified food judge, member of the NASA Social community, and alum of the FBI Citizens Academy. When not traveling, she is either in the kitchen, practicing her photography skills, or road tripping with her dog, Radcliff.

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Temple of Serapis located on the coast of Gulf of Pozzuoli. Image credit: Joseph Walker.
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