Well, it depends but preferably no. I’ve been pet sitting for 19 years now and one thing holds true—cats will not ration themselves on food during a vacation, in fact, they tend to eat more than they normally would when you are home and the hustle and bustle of average day to day happenings. Hey, I can relate, I tend to snack more when I’m home bored with nothing to do!
If your kitty normally eats a measured portion of food on a daily schedule, that is what their minds and bodies will be expecting. They will not be able to rationalize that you are gone, and the pet sitter is feeding a larger portion for every other day visits so they shouldn’t eat it all at once. It just doesn’t work like that-not for cats who are creatures of habit. For their best mental and physical health, it’s best to keep their routine as close to normal as possible when you do need to be away.
Usually what we end up seeing is the kitty eats all of the doubled up portion of food at once, then they vomit it up. Now they have no food to eat until the next visit which can cause stress induced gastrointestinal upset resulting in more vomit or diarrhea.
Did you know that Fatty Liver disease can come on as quickly as 24-48 hours with deadly consequences if a cat goes without eating? This very serious illness often affects kitties that have extra weight on their body but can happen to any cat. That’s why hiring a professional pet sitter that knows to look for signs and symptoms such as jaundice or lethargy is so important! Would the neighborhood kid or your brother know to look for these signs? Additionally, having more frequent visits would allow for closer monitoring of food intake and prevention of health issues related to gorging or not eating.
One of our jobs as a pet sitter is to keep that routine for your pets. Routine equals comfort and safety to our pets. Think about how we, as humans, rely and thrive with routine-when you wake up in the morning, is that steaming hot cup of fragrant coffee in your favorite mug on your mind pretty quickly? Or perhaps that feeling of contentment that comes when you settle into your warm cozy bed at night and fluff the pillows just right. It feels good right? We want our pets to have that same peaceful comfort by keeping their schedules as close to normal as possible!
So as a pro who has seen it all, I highly recommend keeping your kitty’s normal schedule with daily, or even twice a day visits to maintain their feeding schedule and human comfort.
If they are free fed, I still recommend daily visits to ensure eyes have been laid on the water, house settings, and general kitty health. Things like power outages, appliance failure, kitties getting into mischief or shutting themselves in rooms without food or water access, getting their collar caught on things are all possibilities. Daily visits offer the best chance of making sure those things are caught quickly.
For kitties with more frequent feeding needs, if you feel it is cost prohibitive to have your pet sitter come twice or more a day, consider investing in a high quality automatic feeder (in addition to daily pet sitting visits). Though not foolproof, they are becoming more tech savvy and easier to monitor with your phone in case of malfunction or power outage. It is still wise to have your friendly APP sitter come for daily visits to be sure your kitty is safe and sound, hears human noises, and everything is well in your home!
: SmartFeeder,Automatic Pet Dog and Cat Feeder,6-Meal Auto Pet Feeder with Timer Programmable,HD Camera for Voice and Video Recording,Wi-Fi Enabled App for iPhone and Android https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07N5BBFZY/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glc_i_WM27Fb65EB9EZ?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
Even though some kitties appear to be super independent, maybe even aloof, they still thrive on routine. Anything can happen while you are away and having eyes on your home and fur babies on a daily basis can alleviate your worries and theirs!