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TigerTiger 22 Apr 2012 10:10

Feline dilemma
Morning all, I've been planning a big bike trip that could last anywhere between 4months and a year, and am incredibly excited about it, however have come slightly unstuck because I had hoped my parents would take in my 5 year old cat...alas they won't take him.

I'm now having a bit of a crisis because I don't want to cause my (really quite clingy/loving) cat more disruption than absolutely necessary, so wanted to know what other people have done when they've gone away on a big trip? Some friends of mine in Scotland have offered to take him, they would do a fantastic job and would love him to bits but just worried that he doesn't "know" them so might get very upset, and wouldn't it be better to get a cat lover to rent my flat while I'm away with him in it so that he gets to keep his own turf?

Apologies if this all sounds a bit neurotic, but I feel terrible about my cat esp as my mother doesn't want me to go away at all so is using the cat as a major guilt trip - its awful! Any sound advice very much welcome please as this is a far bigger worry to me currently than crossing the DRC...!

itchyfeet38 22 Apr 2012 15:05

Most animals are fairly resilient. Their main concerns are getting fed and keeping warm and dry and if they get a friendly face thrown in all the better. I would take your friends up on their offer. Much better your cat is with someone you know and trust than a complete stranger who lets your flat.

Do you need the income from your flat to travel? If so, you don't want to lessen your chances of finding a tenant by insisting they take in a cat. What do you expect them to do when they go on holiday, or if the cat gets sick? Are you going to leave money for food? It could cause you all sorts of headaches and you will never be sure your cat is being looked after.

I also wouldn't give up on your parents coming round to the idea. They probably just don't want to do anything to encourage you. Once it becomes apparent they can't change your mind they may relent.

maria41 22 Apr 2012 15:47

My cat was 16 year old by the time we were about to go travelling.
When I started planning my trip I never thought she would live that long. Especially as it was a rescued cat and could have been older that we were told!
In any case we could not count on family members to take her on (they had pets of their own and my cat hate other cats and dogs).

We asked all our friends and one day, out of the blue, one of husband's friend, from his monday night 5-a-side football gang, offered to look after her for a year with his partner.

We left them some money, and all details, guaranteeing that we would pay any vet bill should the need arise for a vet visit.

When we came back from South America we were not sure we would get the cat back but in the end this couple split up (nothing to do with the cat!) and we had her back.
She never seems bothered by all this funny enough. She settled back in our house as if she never left!
She died last year aged well over 20!

Ask all your friends. Tell them you will take all costs in charge (vet bills can be high!). Ask friends of friends and neighbours!
Good luck!

TigerTiger 22 Apr 2012 17:21

Wow thanks Maria, what an amazing cat, and how fab that you found someone to take her in! Today's been a very good day - a friend of mine rang earlier and told me that her brother in law and his fiance would love to come and rent the flat and take care of the cats (and yes definitely will leave a standing order for food deliveries and pet insurance care etc), so it looks like I may have a solution. Feel so much better knowing they'll be well cared for, and certainly didn't expect her to come up with that idea. Nice to hear that your cat didn't seem too bothered by her upheaval, I get the impression that as long as my cats are loved and fed they'll be fine, but good to have that confirmed!
bye for now, C

TigerTiger 22 Apr 2012 17:27

Sorry ItchyFeet, didn't mean to ignore you, only just spotted your post too. Thank you for your thoughts - yes, I agree I need to leave everything in place so that I've got most things covered as far as food etc goes. If it works out with my friends bro in law and fiance, I know them and they love cats so will love to take them on and care for them well, and I have some brilliant neighbours who are all great at feeding them if I'm away on a weekly basis so I can get things organised as well as possible before I go. I definitely wouldn't leave them with just anyone in case they weren't really "into" keeping cats.

The local vets is only around the corner and the cats are fully insured so if anything did happen to them I can organise for my dad to be the emergency contact if things need to be co-ordinated, which has happened to me once when I was away for a fortnight and my cat got hit by a car the day before I left. I think if this solution doesn't work I will take up the offer from my scottish friends to take them in, so it looks like there is a good option whatever happens. And you're right, my parents may well change their minds if they know I will still be going, they are just very keen to get me to stay right now!!

Bye for now, Claire

oldbmw 22 Apr 2012 22:59

I think leaving your flat unoccupied for four months is more of a worry. Most insurances wont cover an abandoned building for this long. So a house/Cat sitter would be ideal.

pbekkerh 23 Apr 2012 01:29

I once had a cat on my farm. The cat was used to catching its own food. I left it for 8 days with extra dry fodder but it had disappeared when I came back. Three months later, I found out, that it just checked out, because of the lousy service and moved into the neighbour farm, with lots of milk and a warm stable.

Cats are very independent but maybe your real concern is that the cat will forget you :(

TigerTiger 23 Apr 2012 20:18

Thanks all - it now looks like my friend's brother in law and his fiance (who loves cats) are very interested in renting the flat and loving the cats for me while I'm away so things are looking up! Have been apart from my cat for about 2 weeks before (he was fed by a neighbour during this time) and he definitely didn't forget me, though he did try and give me a tough time with some hard core blanking!! What can I say, my cat likes to hold a grudge, but luckily not for long!

thanks, Claire

geofergo 3 May 2012 06:51

What may be an idea for your peace of mind is, take your cat to your friends in Scoland, (It's a better Country, LOL. I' Scottish,) stay the weekend, and come back without the cat. This may brake the cat in with you, you may see the reactions of the cat, etc. etc and have peace of mind. Your parents, If you just go, make a point if contacting them regularly and it may make it easy for the future if not the momment.
All the best, I'm Envyous.

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