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I have a kitten; about 10-11 weeks old, who I rescued at around 8 weeks. I also have an adult cat, about 14 years old.

I have two unavoidable trips coming up. Next week I will be away for 6 days. In 6 weeks I will be away for nearly 3 weeks.

I am not worried about the adult cat. The kitten, however; I am extremely anxious about these trips; the long one more than the short. For both I have a cat-sitter who I trust and who has great experience with kittens.

I am also concerned because she'll be about 12 weeks for the first trip, and 16-19 weeks for the second. That's a lot of time to miss, and she's in some pretty critical development stages (and I'm putting a lot of care into raising her as best as I can).

So my question is: What kind of effect will these trips have on the kitten? How can I minimize any damage to her development and to her relationship with me? Am I worrying too much? They're basically my kids.

I socialize her with other humans but I am the only human living in this house. The cat sitter will be at my house, but will only be able to be here 2-3 hours/day (another thing I'm very concerned about). The kitten gets along well enough with the adult (the adult is a particularly patient and tolerant cat, although he does not enjoy play with the kitten so much, and the kitten is very active and unfortunately does not have a cat playmate).

I am trying to find ways to take the cats with me on the longer trip; but it's a significant expense (both money and time; basically it would involve an RV and a road trip instead of hotels and planes - yes... I am a crazy cat person) to set up a comfortable and constant environment for them if I take them with me. And besides, it may be best for the kitten if she stays in her home territory (I think?) -- I don't know if this would do more damage than harm.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

If you are worried about the development of the kitten or your bond with the kitten then don't worry. Your trip will be a blip. I'm sure when you get back she will act a bit differently at first but it won't make the bonds weak or stunt the development in the long run.

I can understand worrying about the cats welfare when you are away. I feel the same way when I take trips. Even though I am a guy emotionally I have a very maternal bond with my cats (especially the ones I've had for 14 years) and I do always fret about them when I am away. If you have a good cat sitter your cats should be happy and healthy when you get back. When I get back I always find mine are more interested than usual in cuddling with me... I can actually tell how good the cat sitter was (in terms of paying attention to them) if they act more "normal" (not extra affectionate) when I get back.

If your older cat isn't used to taking trips, doing so with you would be a big strain on it because cats tend to equate territory with well being. A young cat can potentially be taught otherwise but then that would mean the old cat is at home and the young cat is off with you. I'd suggest both stay at home.

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+1 for "I can actually tell how good the cat sitter was (in terms of paying attention to them) if they act more "normal" (not extra affectionate) when I get back." –  mhwombat Dec 3 at 16:36

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