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How do I feed my cat while I’m away?

Leaving your beloved cat behind while you travel can be a daunting experience. You might worry about how to feed your cat while you’re away and if they’ll miss you as much as you’ll miss them. But fret not, with the right preparation and care, your feline friend can thrive even in your absence.

One option is investing in an automatic feeding device that dispenses dry food at pre-set times. This eliminates the need for someone to come over and feed your cat, giving you peace of mind knowing that your pet is well-fed. However, remember to arrange for fresh water for your furry friend.

Alternatively, hiring a cat sitter who can come to your home and provide fresh food, water, playtime, and attention is another excellent option. This way, your cat can stay in their familiar surroundings while receiving the care they need.

If you have a trusted friend or family member nearby, asking them to come over and feed your cat could also work well. Your pet will feel more comfortable staying in a familiar environment with someone they know.

In this blog post, we’ll delve deeper into these options and offer tips on how to prepare your cat for when you’re away. Keep reading to learn more about how to ensure that your kitty stays happy and healthy even when you’re not around.

Automatic Feeders

Fortunately, automatic feeders have revolutionized the way we care for our pets in such situations. These devices dispense pre-measured portions of food for cats on a schedule, eliminating the need for manual feeding.

With several types of automatic feeders available on the market, choosing the right one can be overwhelming. Let’s dive into the differences between gravity feeders, programmable feeders, and smart feeders.

Gravity feeders are the most straightforward type of automatic feeder. They consist of a container that holds dry food and a tray that dispenses the food into your cat’s bowl as it is eaten. This type of feeder is ideal for cats that do not require portion control or have specific dietary needs. Gravity feeders are easy to use and do not require any programming but may not be suitable for cats that have a tendency to overeat.

Programmable feeders, on the other hand, allow pet owners to set specific feeding times and portion sizes for their cats. These feeders typically have an LCD screen and buttons to program the settings, and they can dispense both dry and wet food. Some programmable feeders even have a voice recording feature that allows pet owners to record a message for their cats when it’s time to eat. This type of feeder is perfect for cats that need portion control or have specific dietary requirements.

Smart feeders are the most advanced type of automatic feeder. They connect to Wi-Fi and can be controlled through a smartphone app, offering complete control over your cat’s feeding schedule. Smart feeders come with all the features of programmable feeders, plus additional features like remote feeding and real-time alerts. Some smart feeders even have built-in cameras that allow pet owners to monitor their cats while they eat. This type of feeder is perfect for tech-savvy pet owners who want to ensure their cats are well-fed and happy while they are away from home.

When selecting an automatic feeder, it’s important to consider factors such as the size of the feeder, the type of food it dispenses, and how easy it is to clean. Choosing a feeder that is appropriate for your cat’s size and dietary needs is essential. Automatic feeders can be an excellent investment for pet owners who want to ensure their cats are well-fed while they are away from home.

Asking a Friend or Neighbor to Feed your Cat

Asking a friend or neighbor to feed your cat while you’re away is a great solution. However, before you ask for their help, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that your cat is well taken care of and your helper knows what they’re getting into.

The first step is to choose someone who is comfortable with cats and knows how to handle them. You don’t want to burden someone who is afraid of or unfamiliar with cats, as this could lead to your cat feeling anxious and neglected. Before making any commitments, be sure to have an open conversation with your potential helper about their experience and comfort level with cats.

Next, provide clear instructions for your friend or neighbor. This includes details such as your cat’s feeding schedule, portion size, and dietary requirements. Leave information regarding the location of their food and water bowls, litter box, and any other important details such as medication schedules. It’s also important to share your contact information in case of an emergency or if they have any questions.

Showing appreciation for their help is key. A small gift or thank you note can go a long way in expressing your gratitude. Additionally, consider returning the favor by offering to look after their pets in the future or helping them out in another way.

Hiring a Professional Pet Sitter or Boarding Facility

Choosing between hiring a professional pet sitter and boarding your cat at a reputable facility can be a tough decision. However, it’s important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each option before making a choice.

Professional Pet Sitter:

Opting for a professional pet sitter means your cat can stay in familiar surroundings, which can alleviate stress for them. Additionally, the pet sitter can follow your cat’s regular schedule and provide additional services such as litter box cleaning, playtime, and administering medication if needed. Hiring a reputable and trustworthy pet sitter with good references is key. However, if your cat requires 24-hour supervision or medical attention, a pet sitter may not be the best option. Finding a reliable and trustworthy pet sitter can also be challenging.

Boarding Facility:

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Choosing a boarding facility means your cat can socialize and interact with other cats and staff. Boarding facilities often offer 24-hour supervision and veterinary care if needed. You can choose a facility that meets your standards for cleanliness, safety, and staff qualifications. However, some cats may find being in a new environment stressful and may not eat as well as they do at home. Boarding can also be expensive depending on the facility you choose.

Providing Access to Fresh Water

Access to fresh water is a crucial aspect of their health and wellbeing as dehydration can lead to severe health issues. Therefore, it’s vital to provide your cat with clean and fresh water at all times, especially when you’re not around.

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Thankfully, there are several ways to ensure that your cat has access to fresh water while you’re not at home. Here are some options to consider:

Automatic Water Dispenser

An automatic water dispenser is the easiest way to provide your cat with continuous access to fresh water. These dispensers come in different sizes and styles and can be found at most pet stores. The dispenser works by refilling the water bowl as your cat drinks from it, ensuring that there is always clean and fresh water available.

Multiple Bowls

Another option is to leave multiple bowls of fresh water around the house. This strategy ensures that your cat will always have access to fresh water no matter where they are in the house. Be sure to place the bowls in areas where your cat spends most of their time, such as near their food bowl or bed.

Large Bowl with Ice Cubes

If you prefer not to use an automatic water dispenser or leave multiple bowls around the house, you can try leaving a large bowl of water with ice cubes in it. The ice cubes will slowly melt, providing your cat with a consistent supply of cool and fresh water.

It’s critical to note that leaving your cat without access to water for an extended period is never an option. If you’re going to be away for more than 24 hours, consider hiring a pet sitter or asking a trusted friend or family member to check on your cat and refill their water bowl as needed.

Choosing the Right Feeder

Choosing the right feeder for your cat can make all the difference in their health and happiness. But with so many options available on the market, it can be overwhelming to decide which one is the best fit for your cat.

  • Automatic Feeders: If you’re looking for a way to regulate your cat’s feeding schedule while you’re away, automatic feeders are an excellent option. These feeders can dispense food at specific times during the day and often come with portion control settings and timers. This type of feeder is ideal for cats who need a consistent feeding schedule or who tend to overeat. By setting up an automatic feeder, you can rest assured that your cat will have access to their food at the right times and in the right amount.
  • Gravity Feeders: If your cat enjoys grazing throughout the day, gravity feeders are a great choice. These feeders use gravity to dispense food as your cat eats, ensuring that there’s always a steady supply of food available. While gravity feeders don’t offer portion control, they are perfect for cats who like to eat small amounts throughout the day. However, it’s important to monitor your cat’s intake and adjust the amount of food accordingly.
  • Puzzle Feeders: Puzzle feeders are an innovative way to keep your cat entertained while they eat. These feeders require your cat to work for their food by solving puzzles or manipulating obstacles to access their food. Not only do they provide mental stimulation for your cat, but they also slow down their eating speed and can help prevent overeating. Puzzle feeders are perfect for cats who need more mental stimulation or who tend to eat too quickly. By using a puzzle feeder, you can keep your cat entertained and make mealtime more enjoyable.

When choosing a feeder for your cat while you’re away, it’s important to consider several factors. Start by evaluating your cat’s eating habits, dietary needs, and overall health. If your cat has a specific feeding schedule or tends to overeat, an automatic feeder may be the best choice. Alternatively, if your cat likes to graze throughout the day, a gravity feeder may be perfect. And if your cat needs more mental stimulation or tends to eat too quickly, a puzzle feeder may be the way to go.

Testing the Feeder Before Leaving Your Cat Alone

One of the most critical aspects of caring for your cat is providing them with the right amount of food at the right time. But what happens when you have to leave your cat alone for an extended period? How can you ensure that they are still getting their meals on time? The answer is simple: test the feeder before leaving your cat alone.

The importance of testing the feeder cannot be overstated. By doing so, you can avoid any potential malfunction or mishap that could harm your cat while you’re away. To ensure everything runs smoothly, here are some crucial steps to follow:

First, read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to familiarize yourself with the feeder’s functionality and features. Once you’ve done that, set up the feeder and fill it with your cat’s favorite food. Then, test it by activating it and observing how it dispenses the food.

It’s crucial to test the feeder multiple times to ensure that it functions correctly every time. You can also adjust the settings or programming of the feeder as necessary to ensure that it dispenses the right amount of food at the appropriate time. Testing the feeder a few days before leaving your cat alone will allow you to make any necessary adjustments early on.

In addition to testing the feeder, having a backup plan in case of any malfunction or failure is crucial. Consider leaving extra food and water bowls and asking a trusted friend or neighbor to check on your cat regularly while you’re away.

Leaving Clear Instructions for Your Cat’s Caretaker

Leaving your beloved feline behind can be an anxious experience. However, by being well-prepared and leaving clear instructions for your cat’s caretaker, you can ensure that your furry friend is well-fed and taken care of while you’re away. As an expert in this topic, let me guide you through the steps you should take to provide clear instructions for your cat’s caretaker.

Start by creating a written document that outlines everything about your cat’s feeding routine. This includes details such as the type of food they eat, the amount of food they require, and how frequently they need to be fed. Be sure to include any dietary restrictions, allergies, or specific feeding preferences that your cat may have.

In addition to the feeding routine, provide detailed instructions on how to properly store and prepare their food. Highlight where to store the food, how to measure the correct portions, and how to mix any supplements or medications into their meals.

It’s also important to include emergency contact information in case something goes wrong while you’re away. Provide contact details for your veterinarian or a trusted emergency animal hospital.

Before you leave, schedule some time to instruct the caretaker on your cat’s feeding routine. Make sure they understand your instructions and are comfortable with the process. Consider leaving a small supply of food and any necessary supplements or medications for the caretaker to use in case of an emergency.

To make things even easier for your cat’s caretaker, leave clear instructions on how to clean your cat’s litter box and any other necessary tasks that need to be done while you’re away.

Providing Emergency Contact Information

Leaving your beloved feline friend alone for an extended period can be daunting, but with some preparation, you can ensure they are well taken care of in case of an emergency. One critical aspect of this preparation is providing emergency contact information for your cat. As an expert in cat care, I’m here to tell you why this step is crucial and what you should consider when selecting an emergency contact.

Emergencies can happen at any time, and having a trustworthy individual who knows your cat’s routine and habits can make all the difference in ensuring their wellbeing. The person you choose should have experience handling cats and be able to provide food, water, and a clean litter box.

When selecting an emergency contact, consider someone who is familiar with your feline’s personality, likes, and dislikes. This person should also have access to your home and your veterinarian’s contact information if any health issues arise.

To make things easier for your emergency contact, leave clear instructions on how to care for your cat. This includes feeding schedules, portion sizes, dietary restrictions, and details on your cat’s behavior. For example, if your cat is shy or aggressive towards strangers, let your emergency contact know.

It’s essential to display this information prominently in your home. A note with your emergency contact’s name and phone number should be placed in a visible location such as on the fridge or near the front door. This way, anyone who enters your home can easily find the information needed to care for your cat.

In addition to providing emergency contact information to a trusted individual, keep them informed of any changes in your cat’s health or behavior while you’re away. And don’t forget to thank them for their help when you return home – they’ve done a great service to both you and your feline friend.


In summary, when it comes to feeding your cat while you’re away, there are a few options that can ensure your furry friend stays well-nourished and content. Automatic feeding devices offer the convenience of pre-set meal times, while hiring a cat sitter ensures your pet receives fresh food, water, and attention. Alternatively, asking a trusted friend or family member to drop by and feed your cat can also work well.

Don’t forget about the importance of fresh water. Automatic dispensers are an easy solution, but leaving multiple bowls around the house or adding ice cubes to a large bowl can also do the trick.

Choosing the right feeder for your cat is key in maintaining their health and happiness. Be sure to test it out before leaving them alone and provide clear instructions for their caretaker on how to store and prepare their food properly.

Lastly, make sure to provide emergency contact information for your cat’s caretaker in case of any unforeseen circumstances. Select someone who knows your feline’s personality quirks and has access to both your home and vet’s contact details.