Summer vacationing with or without your cat

Cat owners tend to have an easier time with day trips and weekend getaways.

After all, cats are trained to use their litter boxes and pet parents can buy time-release dishes that fill at set hours. But when it comes to longer vacations, cat owners need to make up their minds: Will their pet come with them or hold down the fort at home?

Traveling with your pet.

If you're going to hit the open road with your cat, be certain you've got a pet travel checklist. Hartz can provide some handy tips for this, but at the very top of it should be a cat carrier. Unlike dogs, you can't just leash up a cat and stroll around with him or her. Your pet will need to spend the majority of travel time in a cat carrier. Make sure to secure the carrier with a seatbelt if you're driving to your vacation destination. A loose carrier can be a danger to both you and your cat. Also, bring along plenty of water to keep your pet hydrated, along with a few tasty cat treats to show your appreciation.

Once you arrive at your destination, provide your cat with some familiar toys to play with. Your pet will probably make him- or herself at home quickly, but familiar scents will help ease the transition.Since you'll be traveling far from home, take the opportunity to get your cat a set of ID tags if you haven't yet. Also, stop by the veterinarian to make sure your cat is up to date on all vaccinations.

Leaving your cat at home.

Prefer to travel solo? If you're leaving your pet at home, chances are he or she will be fine without you. Cats are excellent at keeping themselves entertained, after all. However, this doesn't mean you shouldn't make arrangements to have someone come by to feed your pet and refill the water bowl. Be sure you hire someone you can trust. This may mean a neighborhood kid or a close friend or family member, depending on your relationships. Before you leave, go over the best ways to clean a litter box with the caretaker, and show him or her just how much food to leave for your cat.

A little human contact might be good for your pet while you're away. So, encourage the caretaker to interact with the cat if he or she is comfortable. A few cat treats and a little petting can go a long way toward calming any anxieties your cat might have about you leaving. This content post is provided by the pet experts at Hartz.