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.