More than half of U.S. cat owners believe that cats can be left at home alone for several days. They often will just put down a huge bowl of food and water when they leave and don’t arrange for anyone to stop by and visit.

If you’re considering leaving home for more than a day, you’ll really want to consider hiring a pet sitter or consider a boarding facility. Most cats don’t do well with change so leaving them at home is often the better choice for them.

While most cats are independent, sophisticated, and smart, they can and do get anxious and lonely without their human companions. As a professional pet sitter, we insist on seeing your kitty, at the very least, every day for a number of reasons. Here are the top four reasons:

1) Food and Water – Leaving huge amounts of food out for your cat at one time is not the best choice. Cats can gorge on their dry food and canned food can be consumed all at once or dried out and become stale. Even self feeders don’t refill the bowls themselves, we’re constantly having to “pull” down the food.

Cats need hydration, from either their wet food or from a water source. They prefer clean, fresh water. Slim can build up in stale water, water dishes can tip or they can become full of cat hair. Fresh water should be provided daily.

2) By nature, cats are very curious and enjoy exploring. Sometimes they can get themselves into sticky situations. They can become tangled in blinds, get stuck under or behind furniture, fall and be injured, get locked behind closed doors, get their collar caught in their mouth, get a nail lodged in their scratching posts, can’t move and go without access to food or water to name a few. I think you can see where I’m going here.

3) Dirty Litter Boxes – Believe it or not, cats really do prefer clean litter boxes. Full, dirty boxes are unhealthy and unsafe and will often lead to your cat not using their box altogether or worse yet, eliminating in an alternate place if it’s not cleaned regularly. A pet sitter can also monitor what’s happening in the box, any diarrhea, bloody stools/urine or a lack of evidence in the litter box activity. Having a dirty box with mounds of soiled litter won’t go over well with kitty.

4) Sick or Injured – Without human companionship, stress and anxiety may contribute to depression and cats may stop eating all together causing liver failure. It is very common for cat’s to develop urinary tract obstructions without warning, it can become very painful, and cat’s can go downhill very quickly. They may have a fall and become injured.

We recommend hiring a sitter rather than asking a friend or family member to take over. As a professional pet sitter, we get a lot of last minute requests because someone has flaked out, leaving them in the lurch or the hobby sitter didn’t show. We consider this our job and take your pets care very seriously. Having a pet sitter visit will give the attention, stimulation and care your cat needs and will put your mind at ease.

It’s your responsibility to keep your cat safe, healthy and happy, so why take a chance on something happening?