As summer approaches and much of the country reopens, many pet parents are antsy to get out on the open road. But if you’ve adopted a cat in the past year and have hardly left each other’s side, you may be wondering about the logistics of taking off for a few days. Learn how to feed a cat while on vacation, including using an automatic pet feeder.
Should you leave your cat home alone?
Although cats are very self-sufficient, we don’t recommend leaving them home alone for more than 2-3 days at a time. If you’re going to be away longer than that, you should place your cat in the care of a friend or family member, or hire a pet sitter to check on them every 1-2 days.
If you’re going away for only a couple days but this is the first time you’re leaving your cat home alone, we recommend that you have a friend or family member check on your kitty regardless. Cats commonly have separation anxiety, especially if they’ve never been apart from their owners for very long.
How to feed a cat while on vacation
So, you’ve finally booked a getaway. You feel comfortable leaving your cat for a couple days. How do you ensure your cat’s basic needs are met while you’re gone?
Use an automatic cat feeder
Automatic pet feeders dispense kibble based on scheduled meals or when the bowl is empty. If you’re wondering how to feed a cat while on vacation, look no further than the Feeder-Robot. This WiFi-enabled, automatic pet feeder will feed your cat the right amount of food on time, every time. You can even get notified each time it dispenses food through the app!
How does the Feeder-Robot provide peace of mind while you’re away from home? Its sophisticated hardware detects food backup and features anti-jam technology to prevent missed meals. Even if the unit goes offline, your cat’s feeding schedule is saved and will continue to dispense. The built-in backup battery also provides 24 hours of use in power-saving mode. And if food is not dispensed for any reason, you will be notified by the app.
Set out extra dry food
Not interested in purchasing an automatic pet feeder? Set out 2-3x as many food bowls as usual filled with dry kibble, depending on whether you’re going to be gone two or three days. Skip the wet food, as it will spoil in a matter of hours.
Note: If your cat tends to gorge on food, rather than graze throughout the day, this method of feeding your cat while you’re away from home will not work. You’ll need to have a friend or pet sitter come by once or twice daily to feed your cat.
Enlist a friend or hire a pet sitter
As mentioned above, there are several reasons why we recommend hiring a pet sitter or having a responsible friend or family member feed your cat every day. Consider this if:
- You’re going to be gone more than 2-3 days.
- Your cat has special health needs or dietary requirements.
- Your cat tends to have separation anxiety.
- Or, your cat has never been left alone for more than a day.
Don’t forget about water… and the litter box
It’s essential that you set out extra water for your cat while you’re away from home. Here are some tips with regards to water:
- Use water bowls that can’t be tipped over by your cat.
- Plug in a pet water fountain, which may entice your cat to drink more often than stale bowls of water can. (Make sure the fountain sits in a spot where it wouldn’t be a huge issue if it happened to overflow.)
- Leave a faucet dripping at very low pressure, as some cats prefer running water.
- Preferably, have a friend or pet sitter provide fresh water daily.
Furthermore, try to provide your cat with a clean bed of litter to do their business while you’re gone. If you use traditional litter boxes, set out extra boxes filled with fresh litter so your cat isn’t forced to use one that hasn’t been scooped for several days. Otherwise, you may come home to a not-so-accidental accident on your favorite rug!
An even better option is to provide an automatic, self-cleaning litter box like the Litter-Robot. This way your cat will have a fresh bed of litter for every use. And with one cat in the house, the waste drawer typically doesn’t get full for 7-10 days.
Figuring out how to feed a cat while on vacation doesn’t need to be stressful. Try an automatic pet feeder to know that your cat will be fed on time every day. And for anything longer than 2-3 days, a little human contact for your cat is necessary!