Cat Vacation Checklist – Cat Owner Tips Before Going Away

Summer is a popular time for vacations. Not everyone takes their pet with them when they travel. If you are going to be traveling and be away from home, whether it be a few days, weeks or an even just overnight, then you want to take some actions to keep you pet safe while you are away.


You can rest easy by doing some simple preparation before going away this summer without your pets. You can be sure your cats, dogs or other pets are receiving the care they need by choosing the best place that suits them while you are gone. A few factors you should consider when making decisions are your pet’s age, activity level, and any individual needs such administering medications or insulin.

Popular options for pet care are hiring a home pet sitter to stop by a couple of times a day, a boarding facility or having your cat stay with a friend or family member. Another excellent option is if you know someone who can stay at your home and simultaneously watch your house and pet. With this choice, your pet gets to stay in their own environment and doesn’t have to adjust to a change of location while you’re gone. For cats, this is probably the best option and one which minimizes stress.

Pre-Vacation Checklist for Your Cat

Here’re some items to consider to help you prepare for your vacation. You want to enjoy your vacation and not worry about your cat so do some prep work before you go, and it will be easier for you, your pet sitter and your cat.

Cat food

Stock up on cat food and treats. Choose your cat’s favorite flavors and maybe even some special treats while you are gone.

Feeding To-Do’s

Write down feeding instructions. For multiple cat households or even one kitty sometimes, include any meal time rituals such as where to place food bowls on the floor, whether cats need to be separated, which bowl each cat gets, etc.

Cat Medications

List any medications your cat needs, dosage and how often. Also, make sure to have plenty of your cat’s meds available to get through your trip and some extra just in case you get delayed returning home. For cats getting insulin or other shots, stock up on needles too.

Health Issues

Compile a list of any allergies or sensitivities your cat has so the caretaker can avoid any issues. Cats with special needs and older felines sometimes require a bit more attention to keeping them healthy and happy.

And if it’s shedding season and your cat likes to be brushed like all mine do, I leave my Furminator for cats deshedder tool for the cat sitter.

Primary & Backup Contact Info

Provide your cat caretaker your cell phone number along with the phone numbers where to reach you – your trip agenda with where you’re staying and dates.

It’s also a good idea to provide backup info in case they can’t reach you. Leave phone numbers of a family member, friend, or neighbor who knows your pet as a secondary contact and who you trust to make decisions about your pet in your absence.

Vet Contact Details

Write down your veterinarian name, phone number and business hours. Contact your regular vet and provide them backup names too so they know who can make medical decisions in your absence. Many vets have an emergency line and offer emergency care so be sure you provide that contact info also if it’s different from your regular vet details.

For cats with health insurance, also provide any relevant pet insurance information to your cat sitter just in case there is an accident or your pet becomes ill.

Litter Box Instructions

Make sure your cat sitter knows to scoop and possibly clean the litter box at least twice a day. Buy some extra cat litter before you go in case a box needs to be completely changed out.

If you have an extra box, let them know that too. It may make it easier rather than having to clean out a dirty or stinky box. Your cat sitter still needs to dispose of the litter but can leave the cleaning ritual to you when you get back.

You don’t want your pet sitter guessing what kind of cat litter to get and selecting the wrong one. Cats are finicky, and most become accustomed to one kind of litter. Switching types of litter is usually not as easy as just filling the box with the new one.

Cat Toys

Let your cat sitter know which ones are the favorite cat toys. Some cats have interactive toys such as a feather toy or laser light which requires human intervention to play the game. If you give your cat catnip, be sure to have a fresh supply for your pet sitter to give your cat too.


Be sure your pet’s vaccinations are current. You can check with your vet if you’re not sure when your cat is coming due for shots.

By doing the above, you will be able to enjoy your vacation and worry less about your cat. Coming home to a happy cat is a nice way to return from time away. You have time to relax, and hopefully, you lessen the stress and anxiety your cat may feel while you’re gone.

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