When I was growing up in the 80s, our family would leave our cat home alone for a week with a fresh litter box, two giant bowls of water and two giant bowls of dry food. We’d give her a pat on the head and a cheek scratch before we headed out the door and tell her not to get into any trouble while we were gone. We would return to an incredibly full and stinky litter box, two dirty bowls of almost untouched water, two empty bowls of dry food and 1 angry cat. It would take several days for her to be nice to us again. I never gave it much thought back then, I just assumed everyone did this to their poor kitties whenever they left town. Now, I know better.
Being in the pet care industry since 2007, experience has taught me the importance of every day visits. I now know not to leave a cat or other small caged animal unattended for more than 24 hours (dogs shouldn’t be alone for more than 10-12 hours), too much can go wrong. Cats are adventurous and can get themselves into trouble when alone for extended periods of time. They may spill their water, run out of food, fall or get stuck somewhere. It’s even possible an unexpected health issue may flare up. Cats have sensitive systems, so if one were to be in distress for as much as two days, a very manageable condition could quickly turn into a life-threatening situation.
Aside from possible health and safety issues, cats need the socialization that only a human can provide. Cats are social animals. While some may not show it, they enjoy the companionship of their human counterparts. You would be surprised at how much of a comfort a human presence can be to even the most aloof cat. Once a day visits let them know they have not been forgotten when you go on vacation.
Cats are incredibly curious and playful creatures. They need the mental stimulation of play to keep them from looking for trouble. Infrequent daily play sessions can lead to upended water bowls, getting themselves locked in closets and discovering items that are swallowing hazards that can lead to blockages (Q-tips, dental floss, rubber bands). A blockage can be and usually is life threatening for cats.
Cats are also creatures of habit. They dislike any change to their routine. By having a cat sitter come at least once a day, they can keep to the feeding and play routine they’re used to. Also, cats are very clean animals and their litter box needs to be cleaned at least once a day. If a litter box is not clean cats may spray in the house, on beds or on the rugs. Not an ideal situation to return to.
When cats get sick, their health deteriorates rapidly. Cats are known to be pros at hiding their physical ailments so if your cat becomes sick, they will most likely hide their illness until they cannot hide it any longer. By the time you realize that something is wrong, your cat will most likely require a visit to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Using a once a day cat sitter allows you to prevent most potential problems because we monitor their eating, drinking and elimination habits. If you have a male cat, it is especially important to watch these things. They are prone to urethra blockages and if a cat is having trouble urinating it is often life threatening within 24 hours.
These are the kinds of things no one thinks will happen but can and do! Whether cats or dogs, your pets’ health, happiness and safety are our greatest priority and this is why we require once a day cat sit visits.
Has anything happened while you were away that made you glad you had a pet sitter there? Tell us your story in the comments.
To get started with Passionately Pets, call us today at 571-438-2323 or visit our website www.passionatelypets.com to schedule your consultation.
Passionately Pets has been a trusted pet care provider in Northern Virginia since 2007. We proudly provide dog walking, pet sitting and overnight services for dogs, cats and other companion animals in Arlington, Alexandria, Annandale and Falls Church. Visit our website, www.passionatelypets.com, to request a consultation or more information. For more pet filled content, follow us on Instagram and like us on Facebook @passionatelypets.