How to minimise your cats stress levels when going away
In the following article Cat in a Flat explores ways of how to minimise your cats stress levels when going away.
The feline personality
It is important to make cat owners aware that cats are simply not ‘dominant’ or ‘passive’ in their personalities. You will have confident cats that are well socialised with other animals and people from birth. These guys are certainly more resilient to change and are better at adapting when you have to go away.
If a cat does not have the benefit of enough socialisation during their core development they are more likely to be quite shy and nervous. This makes them far less likely to cope when their security or routine is threatened.
Having said that if enough changes or disruptions take place BOTH personality types can become incredibly stressed in your absence.
How to tell your cat is feeling stressed?
In cats, stress can manifest in many different ways and these signs can often be quite subtle and not conform to our preconceptions of what stress might look like in cats. These signs can often therefore be misinterpreted or sadly, missed altogether.
- Increased resting or ‘feigned’ sleep
- Going off food
- Over grooming
- Aggression to other cats or people
- Urine marking around the home
- Lack of play activity
So who is taking care of the cat?
Your holiday is approaching and you have prepared your passport and brought your sun-cream…. but who is taking care of the cat? A cattery? Is it the neighbour or a family member popping in? In the modern day, cat owners have a variety of options, but for those of you that want a safe reliable plan of action that will keep your cat’s stress to a minimum then prepare ahead and look into a cat sitting service.
Cattery vs. Cat Sitter
Traditionally the cattery was the “go-to” for when you need to leave town. The main problem with catteries is that they are not your home and certainly don’t smell, sound or feel like home for your cat! Whilst your little one will have their own pen, as luxurious as it may appear, it will be unfamiliar and will be viewed by most cats with trepidation.
Cat Sitters or Housesitting services take place within your own home. Your cat will not have the upheaval involved in moving to a cattery, surrounded by unfamiliar people and unfamiliar feline smells! By using a service like Cat in a Flat you will also ensure your sitter is able to administer medications, is police checked and both cat and sitter will also be covered against accidents and ill health.
How to minimise your cats stress
The key to minimising stress is to keep everything the same. All the major events in your cat’s routine should be identified, and then preserved as much as possible.
Types of food, bowls, cat litter, feeding times, TV times, you name it, you preserve it! The only thing that should be absent from your cats’ routine while you are away is you!
Pheromone diffusers, such as Feliway, are great but need to be plugged in at least a month before going away.
Build a rapport with your cat-sitter, but more importantly, let your cat build up a relationship prior to you going away. It is vital your cat sitter knows your cat and is well informed of your cat’s routine to make sure you are fully prepared.