It’s not uncommon for our cat clients to request care every other day or even every third day when they’re traveling on long vacations. After all, cats are more self-sufficient than other pets and you don’t need someone to check on them every day, right?
Even though cats have a well-earned reputation as independent pets, the truth is that they require much more attention than the average person might expect. Cats still crave company and love, and they deserve fresh water, clean litter, and proper food management. It also helps to have a frequent set of eyes on your cat’s environment to make sure it’s safe, clean, and in good order.
These are just a few reasons why we firmly insist on daily cat care when you’re on vacation (or any time you’re gone for days at a time) so your feline feels nurtured and supported.
Cats Need Human Contact
Whether it’s obvious or not, most cats form social bonds with humans. They need a minimum of 20-30 minutes of attention daily to get their fill of enrichment, which is vital to the development of a healthy, social cat. A cat that doesn’t receive enough attention may exhibit problematic habits.
Destructive behavior often arises when a cat is bored, craves contact, or has not been taught otherwise. This behavior can include:
- Knocking items off tables or shelves
- Chewing house plants and wires
- Excessive grooming
- Pica, which is eating no-food items.
All of these behaviors can very easily lead to messes around the house. When cats are left alone for longer periods of time, these messes can easily compound themselves, making clean ups more time-intensive and less manageable.
Cats Thrive in Reliable Routines
Cats are habitual and they love daily routines, just like humans. When these routines are broken, you risk unsettling your feline. Some of these recommended daily routines include:
- Scheduled feedings – Ditch the all-access buffet and offer food at scheduled meal times instead. The number of meals per day depends entirely on the family schedule. Cats should eat at least two meals each day about 12 hours apart, according to VCA Animal Hospitals.
- Cleaning the litter box – A sanitary and tidy litter box can prevent health and behavioral issues. And always keep in mind: a dirty box is just as unappealing to a cat as a dirty toilet would be for us. So it always makes sense to scoop your kitty’s box once a day.
- Coming-and-going rituals – Establishing rituals for when you or a caretaker leaves and comes home for a day can help ease the anxiety your cat has when she’s left alone. Routines may include morning play before mealtime or an evening cuddle when you get home. Or if your cat goes crazy when you come home, get the toys out for playtime.
Keep Your Cats Active
We all know how important activity and exercise are to dogs, but we don’t think about it as much with cats. Sure, you might not make your cat go fetch, but she still loves to play her own way. It could be a favorite toy, or a ball of yarn, or a scratch post. All of these activities will keep your cat healthy and socialized. But if they destroy a toy quickly or it gets lost, how can your cat re-engage without a helpful human to clean up after them or to find a replacement? A daily toy check can solve this problem. Alternatively, and as strange as it sounds to some people, you can even walk your cat to make sure she gets the exercise she needs!
We’ll Keep Your Cat Company!
It’s clear to see that your cat needs attention every day, even when you’re not around. Fortunately, we have your tail covered, whether it’s early morning, mid-day, evening, or overnight! Schedule your in-home cat care by calling us at 301-PET-CARE or by booking online.