We all know the holiday season is a popular time to travel, but sometimes that can be tricky if you have pets at home. If you’re a cat owner with plans on skipping town this holiday season, we’re here to help.

Cats may have a reputation for being fairly self-sufficient, but if you’re going away for a long weekend, is it OK to leave them home alone?

First off, it’s important to note that cats naturally form strong bonds with their humans, and they will become lonely, distressed, and possibly destructive, if left alone for too long.

Let’s discuss how long is too long.

If you plan to be gone for an entire 24-hour day, most adult cats should be fine. To ensure they don’t get bored, though, it’s important to leave them with lots of entertainment. This means providing them with new toys, or maybe even consider leaving the radio or TV on for soothing purposes.

Experts say it’s generally OK to leave a cat home alone for 24 hours, but it shouldn’t be a regular thing. As long as you leave them with a clean litter box and they have self-filling water and food dishes, they should be fine on their own.

However, if you’re going to be gone more than 24 hours, you should arrange a cat sitter or, at the very least, have someone come over to spend time with them and scoop their litter.

Much like you wouldn’t want to be left alone for days with a dirty toilet and warm — possibly dirty — drinking water, your cat likely feels the same.

The age of your cat also needs to be considered, as that can make a huge difference in the period of time they can be alone. If you have a kitten or a senior cat, leaving them home for an entire day, or even more than a couple of hours, is not recommended.

Young kittens generally need feedings every 4-6 hours, and are usually too curious to know understand risky behaviors. Surely, you can kitten-proof a room, but you should still have someone check on them a few times during the day to ensure their safety.

Senior cats can become stressed a lot easier than adult cats if left alone too long. Unfortunately, stress can easily become illness in old age. In addition, if your senior cat needs medication, monitored or extra feedings, someone needs to be attending to them. That person should also make sure that are still eating.

We suggest setting your cats up for success when you leave. Spend extra time playing with and petting them. Give them a meal before you leave, empty their litter box, refill their water dishes, and leave plenty of exciting toys around.

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends at Premier Pet Supply for all your pet-related questions!