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Cats should not be left home alone when family vacations

Orlando, FL – Although there’s no place like home for the holidays, cats should not be left to fend for themselves when you travel. Most people know not to leave other pets home alone, but cats, due to their reputation of being self-sufficient and independent, are oftentimes left without proper care, which can be dangerous and sometimes deadly.

Not all cats are left behind all alone. Some cat owners ask family members, neighbors or friends to sit for their cats. Others may bring their cats to a general boarding facility with dogs and cats. When cats are left alone or with a sitter, they may experience medical problems, unforeseen emergencies, or other catastrophes when they are left unsupervised. Staying in a boarding facility is better, but cats may get extremely stressed when they are around loud, barking dogs. It’s best for cats to stay at a feline-specific hospital so they get the attention they need in an environment most comfortable and suited for cats.

“At Bay Hill Cat Hospital, our clean and quiet boarding area offers condos with shelves for the comfort of our feline visitors. Our kind staff is attentive to the desires of our furry guests,” explains Dr. Diane Delmain, medical director at Bay Hill Cat Hospital, located in Orlando. “We are happy to provide medical care for kitties with special needs, such as diabetic patients, and we’re able to spot signs of illness that friends and neighbors may miss entirely.”

If cats are left at home with a sitter, the veterinarians at Bay Hill Cat Hospital offer some tips to spot serious health problems. “Vomiting and diarrhea are signs of illness, along with changes in urination patterns. Both excessive urination or the presence of blood are red flags, as is a cat that will not eat,” suggests Dr. Delmain.

Cat owners who do decide to bring their cat to a boarding facility, such as Bay Hill Cat Hospital, need to be prepared. How to prepare for your cat’s stay before you go away:

  • Provide a copy of your cat’s vaccination records: All reputable boarding facilities require proof that your cat is up-to-date on his or her vaccinations. Be sure to ask what is required and schedule a visit to the veterinarian to be up-to-date.
  • Always include emergency contact information: Make sure the boarding facility knows how to reach you in case of an emergency. Provide your cell phone number, or the number of the hotel you will be staying at, as well as the name and number of a trusted family friend or relative permitted to make decisions regarding your pet’s health and treatment on your behalf–just in case there’s a situation where time is of the essence and you can’t be reached.
  • Book ahead: Christmas and New Year’s Day are popular travel holidays, so make sure to reserve your cat’s space well in advance, as boarding services will be in high demand. Try making your cat’s boarding arrangements at the same time you make your travel arrangements. Airlines suggest that you book a flight several months in advance for the best rate and a guaranteed space, so why not take the same approach with your cat’s stay at a boarding facility.
  • Include your cat’s favorite food: Most boarding facilities don’t require owners to pack meals for their pets, but you may still want to provide enough of your cat’s normal food to last them through their stay. Ensuring your cat sticks with his or her normal diet can prevent the stomach upset that comes from abruptly changing foods. Make sure to pack a couple extra days worth, just in case, and label your cat’s meals with his or her first and last name.
  • Pack your cat’s favorites toys, treats and blanket: These familiar items will remind your cat of home and can help alleviate much of the stress and separation anxiety associated with the boarding experience. Make sure to make a list of these “favorite things”, and mark larger items with your cat’s name in permanent marker, to ensure that everything is returned when it’s time to go back home.
  • Don’t forget your cat’s medication: if your cat requires special medications remember to pack them, along with instructions on when and how the medicine is administered. Also, remember to include any implements that you use to get your cat to take the medicine such as a liquid medicine dropper, flavored pill pockets or a pill shooter.

For more information about Bay Hill Cat Hospital, or for more ways to keep cats safe and happy this holiday season, please contact Libby McKenna at (813) 476-3894 or

About Bay Hill Cat Hospital
Bay Hill Cat Hospital is Orlando’s state-of-the-art full service medical center for cats. The state-of-the-art facility is fully-equipped with an in-house lab, allowing for prompt, accurate results and the most efficient treatment—capable of handling almost any medical or surgical problem. The caring and professional doctors and staff are enthusiastic about providing the best possible care for feline patients. Open since 1995, this full-service feline-only hospital is to the same standard as you would expect for a human.