I recently adopted a cat from the Ontario SPCA, a beautiful one year old black domestic shorthair. Her name is Tonic (catatonic). She was a battered cat, but is getting along surprisingly well. As I do with most things in my life, I’m getting a little obsessed with her and caring for her (i.e., I’m being a crazy cat lady). I’m feeding her wet food and raw food, although I’m keeping her dinner as kibble so it’s easier to feed her when I’m travelling (super-crazy-expensive high-end kibble that costs more than my flights!).
This is my question: how do you travel and have a cat? As I see it, I have three options:
(1) leave her a bowl of water and kibble and hope things work out;
(2) pay someone to come by daily or every other day for $15/time; or
(3) have a friend come by once-in-awhile (I don’t feel comfortable asking someone to come by too often).
Although I’ve engaged in home-automation for her nightly feeding (the feeder automatically dispenses kibble for dinner), and her litter, I can’t ensure she has fresh water, or that there isn’t a malfunction with the automated tools. Thus, option (1) is out.
For $15, there’s a local service that comes by for 30 minutes to change the litter, food, and water, and will provide some companionship for Tonic. With adequate water and food, I’d feel comfortable with a visit every-other-day. For long trips, I’m thinking this makes the most sense. For a 10 day trip, it’s only costing $75, which really isn’t bad.
For short, weekend trips, I think having a friend pop by once makes the most sense. Obviously it’s free (less the cocktail I’ll owe them), but I wouldn’t ask them to provide companionship or change the litter. I’d just ask them to check on her, change her water and give her food.
I’ll be going on a trip to Vegas during Easter, which will be my first trip while having Tonic. Luckily it’s a short trip, but it will be a good test to see how she manages.
I’m jumping into this pet-ownership thing kind of blind. As a kid I had pets, however, they had a family to care for them, and parents to pay for their needs. Now that I’m liable for paying and caring for Tonic, I’m trying to learn a little more about what others do for their cats when they travel. So, crazy cat ladies, what do you do? Any suggestions or anecdotes?