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Preparing Your Cats for a Family Vacation and Pet Boarding #LitterOdorRevolution AD

Tips for Preparing Your Cat for a Vacation Without You

by Regan

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #LitterOdorRevolution #CollectiveBias

We are currently planning a vacation to Florida that centers around my grandmother’s 90th birthday celebration. Since we will be in Florida anyway, we decided to also spend a few days at Disney with the kids before heading down the coast to meet the family, so a one-week vacation quickly turned into two. 

Being cat parents, this means that we can’t forget about planning for the care for our two cats, Orion and Pete. We haven’t gone away for this long before and I am learning that vacation planning is almost doubled when you have pets. However, if you know what to expect and give yourself plenty of time, it will be a breeze.

Preparing Your Cats for a Family Vacation and Pet Boarding #LitterOdorRevolution AD

Plan ahead

Don’t leave the care of your cat to the last minute. Decide whether you would like to use a cat boarding facility, have a pet sitter come to your home, or if you will be leaving your cat with a friend. Once you’ve made the decision, arrange for your cat’s care as soon as possible. Especially during busy vacation times, cat boarding facilities and pet sitters may be fully booked if you wait too long. 

Preparing Your Cats for a Family Vacation and Pet Boarding #LitterOdorRevolution AD

Choosing a cat boarding facility

If you decide to use a cat boarding facility or kitty hotel, the internet is a great place to start. Many websites have a list of the services they offer, pricing, and photo galleries. A few even have videos. When starting our search we used the internet to create a short list of three facilities we liked best, then we arranged a visit.

A visit to the facility gives you an idea of whether the staff is attentive, if the size of the enclosures and exercise areas are adequate, and if the facility is clean. Cats are members of the family and you want to be sure they will be in the best hands while you are on vacation. 

Food and feeding instructions

When boarding your cats, be sure to bring enough food for their entire stay and then some, just in case. A simple plastic cereal container makes a great container for transporting dry food.

Be sure to include detailed feeding instructions for your cat. Remember, you want your cat to feel as close to home as possible. Using their regular food in the amount that they eat at home will help keep them on schedule and may provide them some comfort while you are away.

Preparing Your Cats for a Family Vacation and Pet Boarding #LitterOdorRevolution AD


Be sure that your cat’s vaccinations will be up-to-date at the time of their stay and provide copies of their records for your kitty’s caregiver. If your cat is overdue for some or all of their shots, make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Emergency information

If you are boarding your cat you will have paperwork to fill out that includes the name of your veterinarian and an emergency contact. If you are leaving your cats at home with a pet sitter or a friend, be sure to give them this information along with your cat’s supplies. 

Preparing Your Cats for a Family Vacation and Pet Boarding #LitterOdorRevolution AD

Toys and familiar items

While the family is away, familiar items from home may help ease some stress in your cats. Along with their food, we like to bring their favorite blankets and toys so they have some familiar comforts during their stay away from home. 


This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you are boarding your kitties, you will need to have them in a cat carrier. When choosing a carrier, be sure to purchase one that is big enough for your cat to lay down or turn around if they need to. Riding in the car isn’t usually a cat’s favorite activity so give them enough space so they can (try to) relax. 

Preparing Your Cats for a Family Vacation and Pet Boarding #LitterOdorRevolution AD

Clean litter box

After returning home your cat may be stressed. To help alleviate some of that stress, I like to make sure my cats have a clean litter box to come home to. After dropping my cats off at the cat hotel, I clean our litter box completely. This includes washing the box and filling it with fresh litter. 

Since we use reusable shopping bags, we don’t have a stockpile of plastic bags to use for cleaning out the litter box. Instead, we use the Litter Genie® Pail. It fits almost anywhere and is an effortless way to help control litter odors for up to 14 days. When the bag is full, simply cut-and-tie the bag and put it in the trash. Refills can last up to two months (with one cat) so it’s economical, too.

Litter Genie at Target #LitterOdorRevolution AD

While shopping at Target for some necessities for our vacation I found myself in the Pet Care aisle, as I often do. What can I say? My cats are spoiled. This was when I decided to pick up the Litter Genie® Cat Litter Disposal System. As it turns out, it has been well worth the $14.99 that I paid for it. 

Find out more about the Litter Genie® Cat Litter Disposal System on Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest.

What is your favorite pet care tip while you’re away from home?

Preparing Your Cats for a Family Vacation and Pet Boarding #LitterOdorRevolution AD

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Spencer Montgomery October 16, 2017 - 8:50 pm

Great tips! I’m going on a long vacation outside of the country, and this is certainly helpful. I like your tip in visiting the cat boarding facility to have an idea of whether the staff is attentive. I’ll be sure to keep that in mind.

Cindy Tesler December 21, 2016 - 9:50 am

I agree that you should not choose a boarding facility for your cat at the last minute. You also said that some places can be booked weeks ahead holidays. I think it’s good to choose a boarding facility that allows you to bring your pet to check out the place so that when you do drop them off, they’re already familiarized.

Lillian Schaeffer October 24, 2016 - 3:08 pm

These are some great tips, and I appreciate your advice to plan ahead when choosing a place for your cat to stay. My husband and I are going to be going on a several week vacation, and we need to find a good place to leave our cat. We’ll definitely start looking into boarding options so we can make sure something is booked well ahead of time. Thanks for the great post!

Debbie July 30, 2016 - 11:30 am

I just can’t bring myself to leave my cat at a boarding facility. He won’t get petted enough, if at all. And there’s no one for him to sleep with there.

Regan July 30, 2016 - 5:05 pm

Not all boarding facilities are created equal which is why we interviewed three of them. Ours does give the cats a lot of attention and they aren’t alone like they would be at home with a sitter who stopped by once a day. All situations are different and we can only do the best we can for our kitties.

Even so, most of these ideas are for all different sitting situations.

Anne S July 20, 2016 - 8:53 am

I can’t resist these cat posts! You always have such handy tips, and who doesn’t love looking at these beautiful felines?

We usually enlist a pet sitter when on vacation since we have not only cats, but also a large dog. Leaving clear instructions, way more food than we think they’ll need and restricting access to areas we don’t want disturbed are at the top of my checklist when preparing to leave.

Regan July 20, 2016 - 9:04 am

Thank you. I have been having fun writing them. 🙂

Jenna Wood July 19, 2016 - 3:05 pm

I need to get a hold of some of those wipes to go with our 2 Litter Genie pails! I am such a paranoid cat mom, I require photos of my baby every day, and have even facetimed with her. V acationing without my pets is the worst! Thanks for sharing these great tips! #client

Regan July 19, 2016 - 3:14 pm

Haha! I love it. The cat hotel we chose for this trip has video cameras in their enclosure so I know that I will be peeking in on them from time to time.

The wipes are seriously great for touch ups around the inside of the box.