Why You Should Not Leave Your Cat At Home By Itself For More Than 24 Hours

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Cats are amazing. There’s quite a difference between cats and dogs … after all, dogs love anyone that feeds them. Cats on the other hand only love people who treat them like royalty. If you have gained the love and affection of a cat, you’re no doubt doing something right.

Away Home & Pet Care of Utah is a full-time, professional pet sitting and dog walking company serving the Ogden, Utah metropolitan area. Cat Sitting makes up a large portion of our business, so we have had experience caring for many hundreds of cats in their own homes in the time we’ve been in business.

If you’ve ever owned a cat you know how independent they can be. This independence has led many people to believe that cats can be left in their home for long stretches of time and that they are pretty much self-sufficient. As a professional cat sitters, we get calls all the time from prospective clients who want us to check on their cat every other day or even every 3 or 4 days. Because we are cat sitters by trade and we have cared for hundreds of cats in their homes, we have had exposure to a lot of unfortunate situations the cats can get themselves into. We’d like to share our experiences with you so you can make the best decision regarding the care of your cats while you’re out of town.

Urinary Tract Infections and Blockages In Cats

Urinary tract infections in cats are definitely a cause for concern. Just like in humans, UTIs can cause a great deal of discomfort for a cat and are potentially life-threatening.

Cats of any age can get a urinary tract infection, but they are far more common in older cats and in females. However if a male cat gets a urinary tract infection a blockage could occur and this is potentially deadly.

Our cat sitters are trained to look for signs of urinary difficulties in cats. Some of the symptoms to look out for include:

  • Visiting the litter box more frequently than usual.
  • Leaving the litter box without having deposited a normal volume of urine.
  • Urinating in an unusual spot or urinating in the house.
  • Not eating or drinking normally.

When one of our cat sitters suspects a urinary tract infection and a cat, we immediately make an appointment with the veterinarian. Over the years we have detected urinary tract issues and prevented them from becoming much larger problems.

Almost Burning Down the House

We started pet sitting professionally over a decade ago. When we first started in the business we were eager to take on any client, with any pets, under any circumstances. There is one situation in particular that really gives us the chills even to this day.

In our first year of business we agreed to care for a cat every other day while its parents were out of town. Our cat sitter walked in the house and noticed that the temperature in the home was warmer than usual. Our cat sitter went upstairs to look for the cat and found the hair dryer on the carpeted floor … turned on! The cat had knocked over the hair dryer and due to the increased temperature in the home, we can only surmise that the hair dryer had been on for an extended period of time. That home could have easily gone up in flames.

This experience was the one that got us thinking about the safety of cats being left alone for several days by themselves. We wanted to make sure that no other pet owners or cats would ever have a similar experience, so we implemented our policy of requiring a visit at least once every 24 hours.

Getting Stuck Behind the Refrigerator

About 3 years ago Away Home & Pet Care was hired to pet sit for a beautiful Maine Coon cat. This client recently moved to the area and wanted her car to have extra attention while she was out of town. The client request that her cat sitter visit the cat two times daily for 10 days. This was definitely a cat mom who cared deeply for her kitty.

Everything was going according to plan until the cat sitter arrived on day 4. He couldn’t locate the cat anywhere. He looked under the beds, in the closets, in the cabinets and under the furniture. The sweet kitty was nowhere to be found. The cat sitter thought he made a grievous error and accidentally let the cat sneak out of the house despite the great lengths we go to in order to prevent something like that from happening.

The cat sitter was getting ready to call the client and break the bad news to her when he heard a faint meow coming from behind the refrigerator. The cat had gotten on top of the refrigerator and somehow slipped behind the refrigerator and was stuck between the appliance on the wall. Luckily it had only been 12 hours since the cat sitter was last at the house. Had this been an every other day arrangement the results would’ve been catastrophic.

Turning On The Water and Causing Water Damage

Not only are cats mischievous, they have the uncanny ability to turn on water faucets. Over the years we have walked into homes where the kitties have turned on the kitchen water faucets, bathroom faucets, and knocked over water bowls. Sometimes the results can be costly.

Cats That Lock Themselves In Rooms

Cats are playful creatures, and often time their playtime gets a little too rowdy. It’s not uncommon for cats to find a way to lock themselves in a room with no access to food, water, or a litter box. It doesn’t require a creative imagination to realize how dangerous this could be for a cat, if they were left along for multiple days on end.

One of the first things our cat sitters do when arriving at the first visit is conducting a walk-through of the home to ensure there are no doors the cats could accidentally shut.

The Cat That Got a Little Too Playful With Packing Tape

We’ll never forget the call we received about 5 years ago from one of our pet sitters who informed us the cat they were caring for managed to entertain herself with a roll of packing tape the client left on a counter. Unfortunately the cat had long hair, and ended up with tape wrapped around her body. The more she moved, the more the tape got tangled in her hair.

Luckily, the pet sitter arrived just in time to calm the kitty and remove the tape.

Our Policy Regarding Visit Frequency for Cats

Because of our experiences dealing with unpredictable cats, we have a policy that requires our cat sitters to visit your home at least once per day. While we understand it’s tempting to save money and hire a pet sitter to stop by every other day, or every three days, as a professional business we pride ourselves in ensuring clients come home to a house that was just as they left it, and more importantly, their cats are safe and sound.

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