Thursday, June 30, 2016

6 Things to consider for your Cat when leaving for the 4th of July weekend

This is a repeat post, but for those who missed it the first time around, here you go! Have a great weekend all!

The Fourth of July weekend is rapidly approaching!! It is the time for BBQ's featuring
"All-American" favorites such as chargrilled hamburgers and hotdogs, corn-on-the-cob oozing butter from every scrumptious kernel, camping, parades, fireworks and sparklers!! Most cats and dogs are terrified of the sound of fireworks, and sparklers can cause severe burns to cats, dogs and their humans should a renegade ember ignite clothing or fur. Plan to keep everyone far enough away and safe from the evening light show.

It is hard to imagine that once the Fourth Of July approaches summer is already half over, yep, half over (at least as far as the back-to-school ads are concerned).

Many people leave town for a few days to enjoy some fun and sun. Can't take your cat along for the fesitivities? Please don't forget to provide for him in your absence.

Cats are more self-sufficient than dogs and tend to do well on their own (for no more than 3 nights) providing his needs are taken into consideration.

1) Provide plenty of food and water: there are many wonderful automatic feeders on the market (most tend to be 48 hr feeders) that will dispense food automatically either when a timer is set or when the cat taps a pad or lever to dispense the food. There are also commercial "water coolers" that are great for cats that can be filled in advance with plenty of water so he doesn't have to crack open a cold one from the fridge.  I would test the dispensers thoroughly before you leave to be sure they are functioning properly. To give you double peace of mind I would still put out small bowls of kibble and water around the house in the event the dispensers don't function properly while you are gone. To give your cat some entertainment you can even hide treats around the house for him to find in your absence (under pillows, in his bed, on windowsills, etc.) This will provide some fun and put his hunting skills to good use.

2) Call home and let your cat hear your voice

Still have an answering machine? Experts say that calling home and leaving a message for your cat can offer him comfort, the sound of your voice will reassure him. I used to do this with my Angel Bobo,  and have to admit it upset me more because I thought Bobo would be more distressed hearing me and not being able to find me. What do you think? I think another good idea which I have implemented is to leave a radio playing soothing music on or leave your TV on. The voices in the background will offer companionship and comfort for a lonely kitty.

3) Clean the litter box before you leave- Providing a second or third (depending on the number of cats you have) might be a good idea if you have a cat that is fastidious about using a clean litter box. Your cat may be angry with you for leaving and you do not want a dirty litter box to be an excuse for him marking his territory all over your home.

4) Leave windows closed or open just a tiny bit

Never leave your windows wide open in your absence. If you do not have air conditioning leave the windows just slightly open. The sight of a scurrying squirrel or other animal can excite your cat and he can possibly push the screen out while you are gone. Screen falls out, your cat is gone.

5) Think about the temperature in your home- Not using air conditioning when it is warm may be great for you when you are there with the windows open, for your cat, not so much. If you have air turn it on (your cat's comfort is more important than pinching pennies) or leave a fan running in a place that your cat cannot be harmed by the rotating blades.

6) Leave some toys out-But, put away any toys (such as toys that dangle by a string) that require supervision. You don't want your kitty accidentally in danger caused by a toy while you are away.

Your cat should do fine if the above tips are implemented. I have instituted all of them when I had a household that just had a cat and no dog,  and frankly I am much more comfortable with having a trusted friend or family member stop in at least once a day to check on my beloved baby. Be sure they are a bona fide cat lover, someone that truly cares about cats and will actually play with your cat, talk to him, soothe him and care about his well being while you are away, not just someone looking to earn a few extra bucks.

If you are having someone check on your cat be sure to:

Provide the phone number of where you will be along with your cell phone number.

Provide the name, address and phone number of your vet and the clinic you prefer your cat being taken to in (gasp) the event of an unexpected emergency. If you don't have one already, purchase The Petter Planner, this is a great resource to leave out for your pet sitter!

Call your caretaker at least once a day (not 4 and 5 times a day like I tend to do because I am a neurotic kitty mama) to see how things are going and to answer any questions they may have.

Have a list of your cat's favorite hiding spots- spare your caretaker the stress of having to search in a frenzied state for a kitty who they think is missing but is in fact snoozing serenely on the towels in your linen closet.

Now that all of the important things have been done to provide safety and comfort for your cat while you are gone, if you haven't already, GET PACKING and pussyfoot on out of here and have a HAPPY AND SAFE FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND!!!!!!


  1. My human prefers to stay home, or close by on the Fourth, to make sure we are okay!

  2. Great tips Caren and Cody.I leave Speedy at the sitters who spoil him rotten so its a real home from home when I go abroad,but when we go on vacation in the uk Speedy comes with us,and he loves that and all the extra exploring he gets to do,xx Rachel and Speedy

  3. Oh yes - thanks for all the wonderful reminders Cody - this is a FUN holiday but a dangerous one AND it's best if we're home and safe as can be. Hope everyone has a super time on the 4th!

    Love, Sammy

  4. We don't get left without someone checking on us twice a day. Does that mean we're spoiled? Newton is just too likely to get into mischief to let him be unattended longer than that.

  5. Great tips! We're lucky, at least one peep stays with us so we're never alone!

  6. Some great advice. We stay home during the 4th.
    Sue B

  7. These are all great tips! I am very much a homebody and always prefer to stay home with my furbabies, which is what I'll be doing this 4th of July. Surprisingly, yet thankfully, none of my furbabies have ever shown any fear of the sound or sight of fireworks (they also don't give a hoot if there's booming thunder and flashing lightning outside).

    Happy 4th of July to you, Cody, and to your entire family!

  8. Cannot imagine how I'd write up a list of where the cats sleep or hide..."under the coat draped over the parlor chair"; "in the corner in the upstairs hall between the linen closet and the old speaker"! However, great advice all round...thanks!

  9. All great advice. We have to make sure our babies are well cared for when we're gone. We just to hire family members to house sit when we would be gone. It worked out very well.

    Have a purrfect day Cody. My best to your wonderful mom. ♥♥♥

  10. Great posty. Me would be mad ifin mommy left me here with all dat noise. We'ss see how Raena does this year. So far she's fearless. You be lookin' handsum as ever Cody.

    Luv ya'

    Dezi and Raena

  11. a most happee 4th two ewe cody & dakota & thanx for takin time ta post yur post....if yur mom & ore dad stayz home, just make SURE...ya both get sum surf & turf frum de grill....& if yur peepulz had knot planned on grillin....well, they iz now !!!!!! ☺☺☺♥♥♥

  12. Good post, and great advice ! That kind of celebration is often scary for pets. Purrs

  13. We always have a vet student come to take care of us when our humans are gone. We can't imagine being totally left on our own!

  14. I have shared this with my readers. It is a very important subject!

  15. Our humans never go away on holidays. They don't like crowded areas.

    Emma and Buster

  16. All great tips! The answering machine one is funny. I wish I could do that. :-)

  17. We're lucky our peeps don't leave us very often...and when they do, they always have someone come in and check on us at least once a day.

  18. Yous guys! This is a GREAT post!
    Have a fabulishious holiday, wes knows we will!

  19. Excellent post! Great tips. Have a nice 4th!

  20. Great reminders, Cody!! Thanks !
    We love your summery graphic!

  21. Great tips Cody !
    with Loustiquette we are lucky that there is always somebody home with us.
    Have a nice 4th of July.

  22. OMC! Who would leave their cats all alone all weekend? Great tips!

  23. You see that page reminding the peep of the vet appointment? Yeah. That would disappear :)

  24. Cody, where have I been? I missed some good ones And this one os a great bloggie. Mommy never could bring herself to just leave any of us. She is scared of automatic feeders v or afraid the water things will turn over so she just hires a sitter for us. BUT all those things are excellent that you suggested if you are more reasonable than my mom. I also have a portable "transistor" radio playing low on a talk station with some music so it is not always quiet. I know mom said she used to call Robin when she had a machine. xxooxx

  25. Good tips. Our beans never travel on holidays - they hate crowds. Plus they worry about us with all the noise fromt he 4th. Be safe and thanks for checking in on Sweetpea!

  26. Great tips! I hate to leave my baby alone in the house even for a few hours so I'm probably more of a neurotic kitty mama than you :)

    Happy 4th!

  27. SUGAR bff cat in Chicago is fearful of fireworks and hides under the bed.
    Wishing you guys a hapy and safe 4th of July. Golden Woofs

  28. Great tips, Caren and Cody! We always have a pet sitter if we go away. and we try to stay home on "loud" holidays ... like Gracie and Zoe, we are not bog fans of fireworks and such!

  29. We just stay home so we don't have to worry. :)