Is it stressful to bus cats around?

I’ve agreed to look after two cats while their owner is away. The owner will be gone for 21 days. How stressful do you think it would be to the cats to take them from their home (where they have access to outside) and into mine(where they wont have outdoor access) for a period that long and then return them? Might there be problems on their return with them getting lost/disorientated? The alternative is me going to stay at the owners house to look after them but I’d rather not for various reasons.

Please help me decide what to do.:confused:

Does the owner live very far from you? If not, you could leave them at their home and just go by everyday to make sure they’ve got food, water and a clean litter box. You could hang out with them for an hour or so a couple of times a week if you think they want the company.

Depends on the cat. Some are natural-born globe-trotters, and take travel and new places completely in stride. Others are horribly traumatized by sticking their noses outside their own front doors. We have one who loves to ride in the car, but gets pissy and howls because she has to ride in a carrier instead of running all over the car. When we arrive, she bounds out and goes on a tour of inspection and domination. We have another who huddles in the corner of the carrier, shaking, and throws up from the stress. On arrival, she dashes under a piece of furniture and doesn’t come out for three or four days. If she’s gone for over a week, she does the same thing when she gets home. (I think she forgets where she is; poor Moo isn’t very bright.)

Check with the owner about how these particular cats react to that sort of thing before you make any decisions. Check, double-check, and TRIPLE-check that it would be all right for you to let this person’s indoor cats go outdoors. A lot of cat owners are fine with that, others will have your ass on a silver platter for doing such a thing.

Ask the owner. Some cats do very well left alone except for short visits. Some will go psycho. Some have to remain in their own space. Some can travel very well and are extremely curious.

It really REALLY depends on the cats.

In general, I think most cats do best when left in their own space, and most do fine when left mostly alone. I would curtail any outside access for the length of your catsitting–cats who feel abandoned can run away, or at least roam farther than normal. And you won’t know where to look, when to look, or anything.

Besides (though you don’t have to mention this), cats with outdoor access have a much shorter average life span!


I’d echo Ringo, if you can check on them approx daily they’ll look after themselves.

Otherwise, there shouldn’t be a problem with them getting getting lost/disorientated on return - cats can be dumb, but not that dumb.

The stess factor depends on the cats in question and how well they react to you - the owner should be able to say if they are high-strung freako cats or not. I looked after one such and it seemed to have completely disappeared from the house - only the fact that the cat food was being eaten stopped us from panicing!
We worked out the only place it could possibly be was under the bath - so we tore the panel off the side to find it crouched sheepishly. We never worked out how it squeezed its fat little body in and out of there!

On the other hand my cat seemed to positively love “going on holiday” to other people’s houses - didn’t miss going outside 'cos it had somewhere new to explore for a while - basically it depends on the cats
Damn, - just previewed to see everyone giving the same advice!

Jeez, I thought you were going to ask if you could actually take cats on a bus. I know one person who did that, once. (He had no driver’s license. The cat went to the vet to be neutered, and that was the last time it saw a vet). The cat (in a carrier) wailed all the way there and all the way home. I’m surprised they let him stay on the bus.

My cats are wonderful travelers, but many are not. As others have said, ask the owner what he thinks.