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I have two 5-year-old cats.

I've seen the many questions on this site and over the internet, where the recommendation is always to hire a cat sitter when traveling. And indeed, every time I've had to travel for a week or two before, and have always hired a cat sitter to come over once or twice a day to check in and play with them.

This time, however, I'm facing the prospect of a 2-3 month trip and taking the cats with me is not a possibility. So now the question becomes: what would be best for the cats? Staying at home alone (except for the times with the sitter) for such a long time* or sending them away to a cattery or a (petless) friend's house?

I'm well aware that cats prefer staying home, but wonder if such a long period of time changes the "calculus" to some extent.

The cats have historically been terrified of strangers, but over the last year or so have become much more relaxed whenever we have guests over: after some initial time making sure the new humans don't want to kill them, one or both of them will often come over asking to be petted.


* I could ask some family members to check in on the cats at other moments, but the covid-19 situation in Brazil (where I live) isn't great, so I wouldn't be surprised if these family visits happen less often than I'd like.

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I think the most ideal would be if you have a friend that is willing to both catsit and stay in your home for a significant chunk of the day, so the cats have lots of opportunity for human interaction. If you know anyone who currently works at home, this might actually be a good opportunity for them too, as many people are struggling to work at home while everyone else is home right now, so your home could serve as a convenient private office for them.

If that is not an option, I think it rather depends on how needy your cats are and what kind of care you can expect from the catsitter and cattery. I would be very hesitant to leave my current cat alone for 2 to 3 months with only minimal human interaction because he is VERY affectionate and really needs human interaction and stimulation. But for a more shy, timid, and independent cat, that situation would probably be much preferred over a stressful shelter. Of course, the catsitter does have the extra advantage of they can watch over your home as well while you're gone, to make sure nothing bad happens.

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  • Yeah, I've asked around my friends for anyone interested in cat/house-sitting, but no dice. – Wasabi Jul 17 at 21:09

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