Question about babysitting a cat.

My grandmother will be gone for 10 days on one of her outlandish cruise ship vacations.

I’ve been asked to watch her cat. The question is whether I should bring the cat to my house for 10 days, or visit him periodically at my grandmother’s place.

He’s an indoor cat. On one hand, the change of location would disrupt his routine. On the other hand, it could get lonely for 10 days without anyone at the house.


It really depends on the cat. Some will adjust to a new location quite quickly, others not so much.

How well does the cat know you? That would also be a factor.

How old is the cat? How does he react to being put in the car and taken somewhere (like the vet)?

Generally speaking, most cats would rather stay in their own homes with their own scents and their own things to climb on or under. Moving into a new environment is stressful.

What does your grandmother recommend?

Has she done this before - if so, what happened then?

I’m at grandma’s house for Jewish holidays. So the cat isn’t too familiar with me. He’s about 10-12 years old.

If it isn’t too far to go, I’d say it would be less traumatic (for the cat) for you to visit the cat periodically. Take along a laptop or a book to read and just be there to feed him and keep him company.

What? is there even any question? You must move in to grandma’s house for the full 10 days and be on call for the kitteh’s every whim. Why has no one asked the cat?

Visit. Feed. See if cats wants to play. Find out from Grammy where cat like to sit on her lap. if any, liek on couch watching TV. If so, watch some TV, see if cat wants lap.


*Bring a bag of treats & shake it from time to time. But don’t feed him every single time.

*Get 10 or so feet of string, tie one end around your wrist, and walk laps around the downstairs.

*Buy a ping-pong ball and bounce it on the kitchen floor a few times before you let him play with it.

If sitting the cat is likely to become a regular thing then taking him to your house makes sense. He might be upset at first but he will get used to it and in the long run it’s better for both of you.

Another factor is whether he has ever moved house or been in kennels.

I’d say go over to your Grandma’s house and spend an hour or two there keeping the cat company if you can - cats do sleep a lot during the day, but they still like company. If you could spend the evenings at Granny’s house watching tv, that would work really nicely, too.

I also agree with Springtime if sitting would be a regular thing - cats don’t usually like travelling and going somewhere new, but if you can get kitty used to your house, it would probably work best for both of you to have kitty come over and stay.

I’d be surprised if 12yo cat wants to play. And I’m also pretty certain cat doesn’t want to be taken from his home. He might want some lap time though and definitely some treats.

My 15yo bengal still likes to play.

Cats of all age love to play. I have a cat that’s 12, and she goes nuts on catnip. I had a cat live to be 16, and up until the last few months of her life, when she had a stroke that left her blind, she was still pretty damned frisky.

Please, please, don’t take Kitty to your house – cats generally don’t take change very well.

The average cat does better at its own home. A daily visit should be sufficient to stave off lonliness.

Agreed. Cats bond to places as well as to people, but do get lonely. And FWIW, our 17.5 year old tabby plays- chasing and batting things, peek-a-boo games with us, etc. In my experience the difference is that older cats don’t play as often and as long as younger ones, but they definitely play.

Seconded. I cat-sat with a neighbor’s feline once, for a week. The cat stayed under the bed for the whole time, emerging only for emergency food and box time. And this was a cat who knew me from visits to his home on occasion.

When the owner returned, he had to coax the cat out from under the bed. I felt sorry that I hadn’t volunteered to merely walk across the street for feeding.

One thing to keep an eye on if you’re leaving the cat at your grandmother’s house alone for several days at a time: doors. Cats can close them. And shut themselves in places accidentally. I cat-sat for my parents’ 2 critters for a week when they went to Europe and checked in on them every 2-3 days (I have my own cat that hates their cats, so bringing them together wasn’t an option). The second time I stopped in, it turned out they’d somehow managed to shut themselves in the master bedroom, away from food, water, and litter box. They had completely destroyed all the carpet near the door trying to dig out. I don’t think it was for very long because they hadn’t used the floor as a litter box yet and were fine once I let them out and fed them (I hung around for a few hours to be sure), but it still scared the hell out of me.

Get your grandmother to either close off some rooms and/or make sure there are objects keeping doors from being slammed shut by a cat racing around. Rocks, door stops, encyclopedia volumes, anything.

First of all why does your grandmother have only one cat? That’s cruel. As soon as she leaves, go to the nearest shelter and get another cat, preferably an altered adult. By the time your grandmother returns the cats will have established their routine, and she wouldn’t have the heart to separate them. Or she may not even notice.

Not that it needs to be said, because nobody is this dense on accident: don’t get a cat for someone without their permission. Some cats are cat-aggressive and do better as only pets. It isn’t cruel to have an only child or an only pet. It’s just different. And it’s better for one happy cat to get a home than no cats, because some people don’t want to own more than one animal.

You’re an extremely weird person.

OP, I’m sure the cat will be fine if you visit once a day. You can play with it and watch tv with it, but you don’t have to. It’s a cat, it might get a little lonely but it will be fine once grandma is back home.