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I am currently pursuing a new job which will require a decent amount of travel. I am very conflicted since I don't know who could look after my cat each time I'm away if I get this job. I don't have any friends that live close enough, and bringing my cat to a kennel would be a hassle and it's expensive.

What solutions would you suggest for making sure that my cat is properly cared for if I get a new job that requires travel?

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    How long are the travel stretches likely to be? The answer is going to be different if you're away for a couple days at a time versus weeks or months. – Monica Cellio Apr 10 '14 at 23:03
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There are a few distinct ways you can tackle this:

1) Look into getting a quality cat sitter. Talk to friends with pets, people in your neighborhood with pets, people at your vet's office. The unfortunate thing is that you will have to filter through a lot of bad info, but eventually you should be able to find some really good pet sitters. I'd concentrate on getting info from people who you know are REALLY close to their pets. Vet offices can sometimes be misleading because they sometimes have a mutual backscratching deal. The young techs get pet sitting referrals by default so aren't necessarily the best pet sitters.

2) Fostering: can you find someone who would be willing to have your pet as their pet on a part time basis? Say a friend of yours in the area. Unfortunately this solution has the same issues that the next one does: namely, cats are instinctively attached to their territory. A move, be it short or long distance, is always very stressful for them, unless they experience frequent moves and come to realize, "hey, my territory is not the source of my food and all the other goodies". This is easier to do with a young cat than an older one who has been in the same place for a long time

3) Take your cat with you. Cats instinctively hate to travel but some people have broken them of that. If you start when the cat is relatively young, and frequently take it to different surroundings, the cat should be conditioned to lose its strong natural instinct that territory is what defines well-being. There is a really stupid book on the subject (actually several) called "The cat who went to Paris". Basically the owner travelled a lot and took his cat wherever he went. I can't recommend the rest of the book, but the parts about his cat I liked. It may be of use to you.

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    I'd say the first option is best. care.com has a pet-sitting category. Otherwise there's the NAPPS. – Spidercat Apr 8 '14 at 22:11
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    @MattS. I am not sure if these sites will provide results for Gallifrey where the OP is reported to live. But they may be helpful to others. – James Jenkins Apr 9 '14 at 13:46
  • Thanks for your suggestions. (1) I've thought of cat sitters, but I find it strange to have someone I don't know in my condo while I'm away. I know that there are reviews you can go by, but in the end you don't actually "know" the person that is babysitting your pet. (2) Fostering wouldn't work for me since, I don't have any friends in this area that would be willing to look after her. (3) If it is travel via plane where I am staying in a hotel, then it would be rather difficult to bring my cat with me and not something I'd want to do unless if my travel meant being away for months. – THE DOCTOR Apr 9 '14 at 17:17
  • @JamesJenkins - Lol, this is true. Whoever I would choose as a cat-sitter would need to be able to travel through space and time via their own TARDIS to my current location. – THE DOCTOR Apr 9 '14 at 17:19
  • If you have a time machine you can return to just a few hours after you left and feed the cat. – Oldcat Jul 14 '14 at 18:37
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Dan S has a super answer (+1), but the OP has ruled out all of those options in recent comments.

Look for a local cat rescue organization. I volunteer with a rabbit rescue, and one of the things we do is boarding in a volunteers home. Members/volunteers with the organization will board for a weekend or longer. It is not unusual for boarding to last months or even more than a year.

Most of the long term boarding parents have obligations that require their extended absence. They generally make a monetary donation to the group while boarding. While local they help 'pay back' by their volunteer activities with the group.

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I travel frequently for work. If you are gone for up to 3 days (possibly 4) your cat(s) will be fine if you leave adequate food and water and buy a humongous litter box and scoop it before you leave. For 1-2 week long trips I have relatives or my S.O. checkin on the cats every few days, scoop the litter, refill water/food, feed treats, pet them and play with them a bit. It's not really a big job and the cats seem to get by just fine. I feel like if you don't have a local relative or friend, that a responsible teen or neighbor could work for this duty at little to no expense.

BIG Litter Box

-2

I am abruptly faced with a business trip to Canada and I have 2 cats. The trip won’t be for a few weeks and is supposed to just be overnight but, I really do not like to be forced to travel, without accounting for the fact that I have pets. I have no friends and I’ve had to leave my family: I DO NOT want someone I do not know to actually have the keys to my place. Yikes! I guess so many people own so very little nowadays, they don’t mind. That is not for me. I can’t put my cats in someone else’s care because, if anything happened to them, obviously, my relationship with the person would come to an immediate end.

The only thing I can do is what I’ve already long been setup for and that’s that I have cameras everywhere. I didn’t purposely run out an buy a bunch of cameras. I ended up with them because newer ones turned out to be better than some older ones and, then, they came out with pet cameras that play and dispense treats. The ones that dispense treats ARE NOT for providing actual meals. Just treats. So, I wil be leaving ample food for the 2 day trip - wet, dry, water and frozen wet to thaw. But, I will be able to check in on them, as long as tech doesn’t let me down, as it often has. It is important to note that, if you get these pet cameras though, that if your pet is in distress, all you can do is to watch from afar. You cannot help them. Still, they may be better than nothing in a world where you are sometimes snatched from those you love to spend major time with those you do not.

Thank you for sharing your experience! Pets Stack Exchange answers require more context than an interesting anecdote alone can provide; this story-based answer really needs some authoritative references to support it. Please add links to help support the experience you're describing, or this answer might eventually be removed.

  • I appreciate that you are in a similar situation, but our purpose is to try and provide answers to the questions, thus helping the OP (original post(er)) and others. Can you reword your answer? – elbrant Feb 5 at 3:11

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