We all see how our pets get sad when we leave the house every morning, especially now that many of us are returning to the "normal" of going into the office. Now imagine how they might feel when you finally take that long overdue vacation.
Though there are many options when it comes to figuring out who will take care of your cat while you're on vacation, experts say there's one way that's really best for the animal.
According to Germany-based animal behavior therapist and veterinarian Heidi Bernauer-Muenz, cats fare best when someone comes and takes care of them in their own environment – that means no animal hotels or dropping kitty off at a friend's.
Someone should come by to feed the cat, check its litter box and spend time with it at least once a day. If you don't have a friend or relative to take care of kitty, there are classified ads or websites where pet sitters offer their services.
To make sure the chemistry is right, and all parties involved are on the same page, it's best to arrange a meeting between the owner, pet sitter and cat before heading off on vacation.
Cats feel best in the place they are familiar with. To avoid causing kitty any unnecessary stress, you shouldn't make big changes to your home while gone – for example, renovation work.
And when owners come back, they shouldn't be surprised if the cat sulks for a bit, turning away and ignoring their human.
"It's not just dogs – cats also miss their person when they are not there for a while," explains Bernauer-Muenz. But as soon as the cat notices that things are back to normal and they're getting their usual amounts of attention, they'll stop sulking.
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