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Feeding schedule for cats at home alone



 
 
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  #1  
Old June 18th 15, 07:09 PM posted to rec.pets.cats.health+behav
Rhino[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 34
Default Feeding schedule for cats at home alone

I may have to go out of town periodically in the coming months to deal
with my mother's health issues. I used to bring my cats with me (in a
carrier) when I had a car but I've got financial issues that keep me
from being able to afford a car for the time being.

That means I'm likely going to have to take the bus or train to get to
my mother's place and neither of them allow carrying pets in my area.
That means I need to leave the cats at home, which they'd probably
appreciate since they don't get along really well with my mother's cats.
I've arranged for a neighbour friend to come over and feed them and
scoop the litter box while I'm away.

However, I don't want to impose on my friend too much so I'm wondering
if it would be possible to feed the cats only once a day or even once
every second day, assuming we lay out sufficient food? I've never left
them alone for more than a few hours before and I'm not feeling really
good about leaving them but all my cat-loving friends already have cats
and I know that all the cats involved will just get stressed if my cats
stay with them. A kennel is not a reasonable option either; I've heard
too many horror stories about cats picking up diseases from the other
animals at the kennel.

I should mention that my cats are both 15 (years) and in good health.
One is male and one is female and both were neutered at six months. They
get along fine and usually snuggle and groom each other every day. They
normally eat twice a day at 8 am and 8 pm. However, when I had shift
work and couldn't be home for their normal dinner time, I gave them half
their dinner before I left and half when I returned and they coped with
that well so I think they are adaptable.

I'm not expecting to be gone more than two or three days at a time.

How infrequently can I have them fed without causing them undue stress?

Also, does anyone have any suggestions for how I can keep them from
feeling lonely while I'm away? My male cat cried all night once when I'd
left him at my mother's house to work in another city for a week; he was
apparently desperately lonely for me. On other occasions, especially
when I spent a couple of hours with them before leaving, there was no
problem. I'm in an apartment building so I don't want him yowling the
night away and upsetting the neighbours, especially while I'm away.
They've met the friend that is going to be feeding them - once, briefly
- but I'm not sure if they would play with him if he was here without me....


--
Rhino
  #2  
Old June 19th 15, 05:30 AM posted to rec.pets.cats.health+behav
MaryL[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,184
Default Feeding schedule for cats at home alone

On 6/18/2015 1:09 PM, Rhino wrote:
I may have to go out of town periodically in the coming months to deal
with my mother's health issues. I used to bring my cats with me (in a
carrier) when I had a car but I've got financial issues that keep me
from being able to afford a car for the time being.

That means I'm likely going to have to take the bus or train to get to
my mother's place and neither of them allow carrying pets in my area.
That means I need to leave the cats at home, which they'd probably
appreciate since they don't get along really well with my mother's cats.
I've arranged for a neighbour friend to come over and feed them and
scoop the litter box while I'm away.

However, I don't want to impose on my friend too much so I'm wondering
if it would be possible to feed the cats only once a day or even once
every second day, assuming we lay out sufficient food? I've never left
them alone for more than a few hours before and I'm not feeling really
good about leaving them but all my cat-loving friends already have cats
and I know that all the cats involved will just get stressed if my cats
stay with them. A kennel is not a reasonable option either; I've heard
too many horror stories about cats picking up diseases from the other
animals at the kennel.

I should mention that my cats are both 15 (years) and in good health.
One is male and one is female and both were neutered at six months. They
get along fine and usually snuggle and groom each other every day. They
normally eat twice a day at 8 am and 8 pm. However, when I had shift
work and couldn't be home for their normal dinner time, I gave them half
their dinner before I left and half when I returned and they coped with
that well so I think they are adaptable.

I'm not expecting to be gone more than two or three days at a time.

How infrequently can I have them fed without causing them undue stress?

Also, does anyone have any suggestions for how I can keep them from
feeling lonely while I'm away? My male cat cried all night once when I'd
left him at my mother's house to work in another city for a week; he was
apparently desperately lonely for me. On other occasions, especially
when I spent a couple of hours with them before leaving, there was no
problem. I'm in an apartment building so I don't want him yowling the
night away and upsetting the neighbours, especially while I'm away.
They've met the friend that is going to be feeding them - once, briefly
- but I'm not sure if they would play with him if he was here without
me....



I have a pet sitter who comes twice a day when I am gone. That is ideal
because it is good to feed cats on a 12-hour schedule (although I
actually feed my cats 3 times a day now because one of my cats
occasionally throws up after eating). However, I can understand why
that would be a difficult process for you since your neighbor is
probably doing this on a volunteer basis. So, I think once a day would
probably be adequate as long as your neighbor will be vigilant about
checking on their well-being. On the other hand, please do *not* try to
go less often that, especially given the age of your cats. All sorts of
things can happen in that time period, and I would really encourage you
to try to stick to twice a day if your neighbor does not object. Do you
have another friend who could do "half-time" duty so each person could
come in once a day. Just make sure that both people are completely
reliable and would not try to skip some times.

As for loneliness, one good (and easy) trick is to leave a radio or TV
tuned to a station with classical or easy-music. That seems to help
many cats when they have left alone. Obviously, leave lots of toys, and
please ask your neighbor to spend some "quality time" playing with your
cats, grooming them, etc. Leave a few snacks in the refrigerator for
your neighbor and encourage him or her to spend some time just sitting
around reading, drinking coffee, etc. In other words, be "another you"
and spend some time in the house. I realize that you can't expect that
person to spend hours there, but it would be good if your friend could
spend some extra time instead of just running in to put out food and
then leaving right away.

I hope all this will work for you. It is good that your cats will be in
their regular environment. That alone should alleviate some of their
loneliness.

MaryL

  #3  
Old June 20th 15, 06:33 AM posted to rec.pets.cats.health+behav
Pit2nya
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 17
Default Feeding schedule for cats at home alone

On 6/18/2015 11:09 AM, Rhino wrote:
I may have to go out of town periodically in the coming months to deal
with my mother's health issues. I used to bring my cats with me (in a
carrier) when I had a car but I've got financial issues that keep me
from being able to afford a car for the time being.

That means I'm likely going to have to take the bus or train to get to
my mother's place and neither of them allow carrying pets in my area.
That means I need to leave the cats at home, which they'd probably
appreciate since they don't get along really well with my mother's cats.
I've arranged for a neighbour friend to come over and feed them and
scoop the litter box while I'm away.

However, I don't want to impose on my friend too much so I'm wondering
if it would be possible to feed the cats only once a day or even once
every second day, assuming we lay out sufficient food? I've never left
them alone for more than a few hours before and I'm not feeling really
good about leaving them but all my cat-loving friends already have cats
and I know that all the cats involved will just get stressed if my cats
stay with them. A kennel is not a reasonable option either; I've heard
too many horror stories about cats picking up diseases from the other
animals at the kennel.

I should mention that my cats are both 15 (years) and in good health.
One is male and one is female and both were neutered at six months. They
get along fine and usually snuggle and groom each other every day. They
normally eat twice a day at 8 am and 8 pm. However, when I had shift
work and couldn't be home for their normal dinner time, I gave them half
their dinner before I left and half when I returned and they coped with
that well so I think they are adaptable.

I'm not expecting to be gone more than two or three days at a time.

How infrequently can I have them fed without causing them undue stress?

Also, does anyone have any suggestions for how I can keep them from
feeling lonely while I'm away? My male cat cried all night once when I'd
left him at my mother's house to work in another city for a week; he was
apparently desperately lonely for me. On other occasions, especially
when I spent a couple of hours with them before leaving, there was no
problem. I'm in an apartment building so I don't want him yowling the
night away and upsetting the neighbours, especially while I'm away.
They've met the friend that is going to be feeding them - once, briefly
- but I'm not sure if they would play with him if he was here without
me....


You do not say if they are on both free dry feed as well as canned food
twice a day.
If on free dry kibble left out all of the time, that would make once a
day wet food more reasonable.

If you have a message phone, you could also phone and leave a message
that they could hear while being recorded, and your 'pet sitter' could
play again when he comes over...maybe even no need to new-record all the
time, for them to hear your voice when your sitter comes over ;-)
Hope This Helps,

Sylvia M.
  #4  
Old June 21st 15, 04:49 AM posted to rec.pets.cats.health+behav
Rhino[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 34
Default Feeding schedule for cats at home alone

On 2015-06-19 12:30 AM, MaryL wrote:
On 6/18/2015 1:09 PM, Rhino wrote:
I may have to go out of town periodically in the coming months to deal
with my mother's health issues. I used to bring my cats with me (in a
carrier) when I had a car but I've got financial issues that keep me
from being able to afford a car for the time being.

That means I'm likely going to have to take the bus or train to get to
my mother's place and neither of them allow carrying pets in my area.
That means I need to leave the cats at home, which they'd probably
appreciate since they don't get along really well with my mother's cats.
I've arranged for a neighbour friend to come over and feed them and
scoop the litter box while I'm away.

However, I don't want to impose on my friend too much so I'm wondering
if it would be possible to feed the cats only once a day or even once
every second day, assuming we lay out sufficient food? I've never left
them alone for more than a few hours before and I'm not feeling really
good about leaving them but all my cat-loving friends already have cats
and I know that all the cats involved will just get stressed if my cats
stay with them. A kennel is not a reasonable option either; I've heard
too many horror stories about cats picking up diseases from the other
animals at the kennel.

I should mention that my cats are both 15 (years) and in good health.
One is male and one is female and both were neutered at six months. They
get along fine and usually snuggle and groom each other every day. They
normally eat twice a day at 8 am and 8 pm. However, when I had shift
work and couldn't be home for their normal dinner time, I gave them half
their dinner before I left and half when I returned and they coped with
that well so I think they are adaptable.

I'm not expecting to be gone more than two or three days at a time.

How infrequently can I have them fed without causing them undue stress?

Also, does anyone have any suggestions for how I can keep them from
feeling lonely while I'm away? My male cat cried all night once when I'd
left him at my mother's house to work in another city for a week; he was
apparently desperately lonely for me. On other occasions, especially
when I spent a couple of hours with them before leaving, there was no
problem. I'm in an apartment building so I don't want him yowling the
night away and upsetting the neighbours, especially while I'm away.
They've met the friend that is going to be feeding them - once, briefly
- but I'm not sure if they would play with him if he was here without
me....



I have a pet sitter who comes twice a day when I am gone. That is ideal
because it is good to feed cats on a 12-hour schedule (although I
actually feed my cats 3 times a day now because one of my cats
occasionally throws up after eating). However, I can understand why
that would be a difficult process for you since your neighbor is
probably doing this on a volunteer basis. So, I think once a day would
probably be adequate as long as your neighbor will be vigilant about
checking on their well-being. On the other hand, please do *not* try to
go less often that, especially given the age of your cats. All sorts of
things can happen in that time period, and I would really encourage you
to try to stick to twice a day if your neighbor does not object. Do you
have another friend who could do "half-time" duty so each person could
come in once a day. Just make sure that both people are completely
reliable and would not try to skip some times.

As for loneliness, one good (and easy) trick is to leave a radio or TV
tuned to a station with classical or easy-music. That seems to help
many cats when they have left alone. Obviously, leave lots of toys, and
please ask your neighbor to spend some "quality time" playing with your
cats, grooming them, etc. Leave a few snacks in the refrigerator for
your neighbor and encourage him or her to spend some time just sitting
around reading, drinking coffee, etc. In other words, be "another you"
and spend some time in the house. I realize that you can't expect that
person to spend hours there, but it would be good if your friend could
spend some extra time instead of just running in to put out food and
then leaving right away.

I hope all this will work for you. It is good that your cats will be in
their regular environment. That alone should alleviate some of their
loneliness.

Thanks for your suggestions. I'll give them a try so that my guys don't
feel miserable while I'm away.

--
Rhino


  #5  
Old June 21st 15, 04:50 AM posted to rec.pets.cats.health+behav
Rhino[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 34
Default Feeding schedule for cats at home alone

On 2015-06-20 1:33 AM, Pit2nya wrote:
On 6/18/2015 11:09 AM, Rhino wrote:
I may have to go out of town periodically in the coming months to deal
with my mother's health issues. I used to bring my cats with me (in a
carrier) when I had a car but I've got financial issues that keep me
from being able to afford a car for the time being.

That means I'm likely going to have to take the bus or train to get to
my mother's place and neither of them allow carrying pets in my area.
That means I need to leave the cats at home, which they'd probably
appreciate since they don't get along really well with my mother's cats.
I've arranged for a neighbour friend to come over and feed them and
scoop the litter box while I'm away.

However, I don't want to impose on my friend too much so I'm wondering
if it would be possible to feed the cats only once a day or even once
every second day, assuming we lay out sufficient food? I've never left
them alone for more than a few hours before and I'm not feeling really
good about leaving them but all my cat-loving friends already have cats
and I know that all the cats involved will just get stressed if my cats
stay with them. A kennel is not a reasonable option either; I've heard
too many horror stories about cats picking up diseases from the other
animals at the kennel.

I should mention that my cats are both 15 (years) and in good health.
One is male and one is female and both were neutered at six months. They
get along fine and usually snuggle and groom each other every day. They
normally eat twice a day at 8 am and 8 pm. However, when I had shift
work and couldn't be home for their normal dinner time, I gave them half
their dinner before I left and half when I returned and they coped with
that well so I think they are adaptable.

I'm not expecting to be gone more than two or three days at a time.

How infrequently can I have them fed without causing them undue stress?

Also, does anyone have any suggestions for how I can keep them from
feeling lonely while I'm away? My male cat cried all night once when I'd
left him at my mother's house to work in another city for a week; he was
apparently desperately lonely for me. On other occasions, especially
when I spent a couple of hours with them before leaving, there was no
problem. I'm in an apartment building so I don't want him yowling the
night away and upsetting the neighbours, especially while I'm away.
They've met the friend that is going to be feeding them - once, briefly
- but I'm not sure if they would play with him if he was here without
me....


You do not say if they are on both free dry feed as well as canned food
twice a day.
If on free dry kibble left out all of the time, that would make once a
day wet food more reasonable.

If you have a message phone, you could also phone and leave a message
that they could hear while being recorded, and your 'pet sitter' could
play again when he comes over...maybe even no need to new-record all the
time, for them to hear your voice when your sitter comes over ;-)
Hope This Helps,



I appreciate your suggestions. I'll give them a try when I need to go
out of town.


--
Rhino
  #6  
Old June 24th 15, 04:51 AM posted to rec.pets.cats.health+behav
gamincat[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 5
Default Feeding schedule for cats at home alone

On Thursday, June 18, 2015 at 1:09:07 PM UTC-5, Rhino wrote:
I may have to go out of town periodically in the coming months to deal
with my mother's health issues. I used to bring my cats with me (in a
carrier) when I had a car but I've got financial issues that keep me
from being able to afford a car for the time being.

That means I'm likely going to have to take the bus or train to get to
my mother's place and neither of them allow carrying pets in my area.
That means I need to leave the cats at home, which they'd probably
appreciate since they don't get along really well with my mother's cats.
I've arranged for a neighbour friend to come over and feed them and
scoop the litter box while I'm away.

However, I don't want to impose on my friend too much so I'm wondering
if it would be possible to feed the cats only once a day or even once
every second day, assuming we lay out sufficient food? I've never left
them alone for more than a few hours before and I'm not feeling really
good about leaving them but all my cat-loving friends already have cats
and I know that all the cats involved will just get stressed if my cats
stay with them. A kennel is not a reasonable option either; I've heard
too many horror stories about cats picking up diseases from the other
animals at the kennel.

I should mention that my cats are both 15 (years) and in good health.
One is male and one is female and both were neutered at six months. They
get along fine and usually snuggle and groom each other every day. They
normally eat twice a day at 8 am and 8 pm. However, when I had shift
work and couldn't be home for their normal dinner time, I gave them half
their dinner before I left and half when I returned and they coped with
that well so I think they are adaptable.

I'm not expecting to be gone more than two or three days at a time.

How infrequently can I have them fed without causing them undue stress?

Also, does anyone have any suggestions for how I can keep them from
feeling lonely while I'm away? My male cat cried all night once when I'd
left him at my mother's house to work in another city for a week; he was
apparently desperately lonely for me. On other occasions, especially
when I spent a couple of hours with them before leaving, there was no
problem. I'm in an apartment building so I don't want him yowling the
night away and upsetting the neighbours, especially while I'm away.
They've met the friend that is going to be feeding them - once, briefly
- but I'm not sure if they would play with him if he was here without me.....


--
Rhino


I have been taking vacations once or twice a year for decades. Currently, I have a pet sitter that comes twice a day which is actually because I have birds and this works best for them. But if I only had my cats, I would probably opt for once a day. My sister travels with me and her pet sitter comes once a day also.

In my experience, cats are happiest when left in their own homes when you are away. Unless a cat has been made used to changing locations like people who take their cats to work with them, I think the majority prefer their home - even if you are away.

As for the feeding schedule, you may have to change the usual pattern if it is two meals a day at specific times. But also there are timed feeders that you can get if you want to stick to that. I have also used a great product by Pet Mate that allows you to leave wet food. It has an ice pack below the feeder which opens at a time that you set. I only went with a 4 hour delay on this feeder.

In terms of the loneliness factor, that depends on each cat individually in my experience. Some of my cats do fine with me being away and seeing the sitter twice a day. I have also had cats in the past that were closely bonded to me and seemed to miss me a lot which gave me some guilt - but not enough to give up my vacations! They survived in good health physically anyway.

I hope everything works out for you and taking care of your Mom.

Janet
 




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