(Closed) Cat Sitting—– how long can you really leave a cat?

posted 4 years ago in Pets
Post # 16
2120 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

I think it depends on the kitty. My old cat was very aloof, so I would feel ok leaving him 2-3 days without someone checking on him, but the longest I was ever away was a week (with someone checking on him and playing with him of course). My current kitty is SUPER people oriented and the sweetest snuggler, so I don’t like to leave him more than 24 hours without some sort of people presence! Luckily, my best friend is a crazy cat lady (her husband is allergic, so she can’t have one permanently in her house), and they come over to play and cuddle, and watch HBO lol.

I think if it’s longer than a week or two, I would put them in a kennel, but kitties hate changes in environments, so that could create a bigger set of issues than only having people contact once a day.

Post # 17
116 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

Don’t kennel a cat. Mine was so stressed out she didn’t eat for the week she was at the kennel. I’ve left her for 5-7 days with someone checking in on her every 2 days. She was super needy for about 2 days after I got back.

Post # 18
2179 posts
Buzzing bee

We are doing a week right now, the longest we have been away from him since I got him. We decided to board him at a nice place that will show him attention, let him out to roam around and stuff. His kennel is a cat tree condo basically, with different levels for him to lay on. He also gets let out of his “condo” daily to roam around and climb on cat trees. Its pretty fancy for him.  I feel more comfortable leaving him there than leaving him at home. I also have had friends say they will stop by and feed/water/clean his litter and decide not to do it so its not worth the risk to me. I’d rather know for sure there are people around him like 12 hrs out of his day that are getting paid (well) to take care of his needs. 


Post # 19
6665 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

I have left my cat for a week with no one checking in on her – a self-feeder and a self-waterer are available and I scoop when I get back.  She manages just fine but it’s clear she’s been lonely when we get back.  She used to have a “sister” to spend her time with.

When I’m on a real vacation, I just have a friend pop in every few days.  Scoop and keep her company.  It’s not like most cats are hugely sociable anyway.  However if you are adopting now, I really suggest getting two so they can be buddies. 

Post # 20
716 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

The longest we’ve left ours with someone coming to check on them each day is two weeks. But it’s usually never longer than a week at a time. They are always completely fine.

Post # 21
3016 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

It depends on the cat. I have a needy boy cat who starts screaming at walls if I arrive home one minute after 6:00 and starts inappropriately urinating on every piece of furniture after two days unless we have a friend who is very skilled with cats visit him twice a day to play with him, pet him, and tell him how cute he is (not just feeding)! 

But my other cats were fine 5 days to a week on an auto-feeder as long as someone came in to change their water and scoop their poop. 

Post # 22
268 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

I’ve left my cat with a lot of food and water for four nights. Anything over that though I hire someone to come in every other day or so to feed him/clean his litter box. The longest I’ve gone away is 2 weeks. Honestly, if you have family or friends close by who aren’t allergic or mind having a cat stay with them for a couple days, I’d recommend that for longer trips. I always feel bad leaving him alone for so long. 

Post # 23
3048 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

Ive done cat sitting for a couple friends. All they required was I stop in once a day…change the litter, give them a can of wet food, refill the dry food/water if low in the bowl. Then I left. Took about 20 minutes. Sometimes I’d stay a bit longer to pet them for a minute.


Cats are pretty independent so I don’t see it as high maintenance as a dog whom needs outdoor activity daily. I think you’ll be fine having someone do the above for each day you’re gone.

Post # 24
8805 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: Dorset, UK

I don’t leave my cats for more than 1 night alone with no one to check on them. In the summer I went away and had someone stop in twice a day to feed, top up water, do litter trays and fuss them. Although my cats are super cuddly they do like company and do like people to be around, so sometimes it isn’t just a case of making sure they have enough food and water but company too.


If I pull out a suitcase my cats seem to get sad so I try to make sure they are looked after in the best way possible. I wouldn’t ever put them in a cattery.

Post # 25
245 posts
Helper bee

We usually have long weekends but were away for 2 weeks last summer. Pet sitter came 2-4 times every day to feed/clean/cuddle. She also sent us a few photos so we knew our car was OK! Our cat was certainly pleased to see us after but seemed happy enough. Much better than a cattery.

Post # 26
1553 posts
Bumble bee

I think the longest we’ve left our two boys with someone checking them daily is a smidge over a week. Any longer and we get a house sitter. They get lonely!

The longest without anyone checking would be if someone checked in the morning, and then we get home the following afternoon. But we try to avoid it where possible.

We’ve have kenneled them before and they were okay I think. Maybe because they shared a cell (haha) so they had each other. They both hate being taken anywhere and find it quite traumatic, so we prefer for them to be looked after at home. 

Post # 27
3564 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

We have 3 cats, and we have left them for up to 3 days without anyone checking in on them.  Cats are very independent, and as long as they have plenty of food/water and litter boxes, they’ll be fine.  We just left them this weekend, left in the middle of the night Friday night and came home Monday evening, and our cats were fine.  We just put a mound of food in their bowls and we have a water fountain for them to drink out of.  I have a cat that has anxiety issues and she’d freak if we tried to kennel her…but she’s not affected in the slightest if we don’t come home for a few days.  

We don’t have the luxury of frequent week-long vacations, and the only time we needed someone to check on the cats was while we were on our honeymoon.

I’m not even sure if my cats understand the concept of time or even realize that we’ve been gone for 3 days.  We get greeted the same, whether we’re coming home from work or coming home from a 3 day trip.  I think we miss them more than they miss us.  The only thing they missed was the front door being open. lol 

Post # 28
2123 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

We don’t leave our cats now as we have too many. But when the numbers were lower, we were happy to leave them for one night on their own. Anymore than that and we’d get someone in to check on them daily. We have put our pets in a kitty hotel. It was a lovely place, beautiful setting and the cats all shared a large heated pen between them. They had lots of human interaction and were well cared for there. They also had my bunny when I was away for two weeks, and I got back to the happiest bundle of fluff. If your cats don’t mind being uprooted (mine really don’t, they even travel well with us) then this is a good option.

Post # 29
1326 posts
Bumble bee

I’d say it depends if they go out or not. My cats go in and out through a cat flap every day and go to the toilet out there. If they didn’t have that distraction and a clean place to do their business every day then I’d have to have someone come every day and clean their litter tray. As it is my neighbours feed them for us every day if we are away, but I think every other day would be fine if it wasn’t convenient. 

Post # 30
4891 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

californiabride2013:  If I was going out of town for the weekend, I’d just leave enough food/water for my cat and he was usually good with that (he grazed versus eating at certain times). If I was gone longer, I either had a friend or my parents stop by every other day just to make sure he had food/water.

And, when I returned – no matter the length of tmime – he would never leave my side… it was adorable.

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