Who Can Take Care of My Cat When I’m in Rehab?

A complete guide to help you with pet care planning as you get ready to go to rehab.

minute read

ARTICLE OVERVIEW: This article reviews the steps you (or someone else) can take to be sure that your beloved pet is cared for while you’re getting addiction treatment. Your questions are welcomed at the end.



Before You Leave Home

When you finally reach the decision and enter treatment for addiction (congratulations!), you’ll realize there’s a lot more to decide on. Planning can include not only which facility to go to but:

  • How long will you have to be away
  • What to do with all your stuff
  • Who you should tell
  • What to bring with you
  • How to cope

…and a smattering of other details. One of these decisions involves what to do with your pet while getting treatment. This can be very tough for you and your cat. However, the separation is short term. Still, the logistics can trip you up.

There are not a lot of rehab facilities that allow pets, typically due to safety concerns. For you, bringing your cat with you may give you support and comfort, but others may find it distracting.
Having that in mind, remember that your focus is to overcome addiction so you can live a healthy life… and be there for all your loved ones. That includes your fur baby!

It’s important that you’re ready for change. But you’ll also need decide what to do with your cat, as well. Below are your options on how to care for your pet while you’re away getting treatment. Note here that you can always ask a close friend or loved one to help…if you’re overwhelmed, reach out and ask someone to help.

Hire a Pet Sitter

Because of their minimal care requirement, cats are one of the easiest pets to leave in the care of a pet sitter. Pet sitting services can come to your home and take care of your baby for a certain amount of time. At the same time, you also get the benefit of having someone check on your house while you’re away.

For a fee, a pet sitter can come in depending on how many visits you arrange with them. Rest assured, a sitter is highly qualified in all tasks relating to your cat, such as:

  • Brushing
  • Cleaning the litter box
  • Feeding
  • Playing
  • Restocking food
  • Walking

Start your search for a pet sitting service early on, preferably weeks before you have to leave for rehab. You can ask your vet for some recommendations, or talk to your local pet store employees for some ideas. Or, do as I do, and simply do a quick Google search to find a qualified local pet sitter.

Choose a Boarding Facility

Yes, there are actually boarding facilities for cats!

Boarding facilities for pets specialize in caring for your furry friend for extended periods of time, so this is the ideal choice if you’re going to be away for a few weeks or more. This is the best option for pets that require a lot of attention, especially if your cat needs medication.If something happens to your pet while you’re away, you don’t need to worry about it since they usually contact a vet to arrange visitations or take your pet to the clinic.

Take note that this option could be very expensive, so you should choose a facility carefully. Depending on your arrangement with the facility, you can arrange payments weekly, daily, or hourly. If your pet is going to be staying there for a little longer, they will likely give you a discounted rate.

Consider all your options or ask your vet for some recommendations.If you’re not sure if there’s one in your area, a quick Google search can help you find establishments near your home.

Make sure you include food, treats, toys, and treatment in your payment estimates. Some boarding facilities may ask you to personally supply the food, while others provide it for a fee.

Check With Your Vet

Some veterinary offices actually take in pets for a period of time. It’s worth asking your pet’s doctor if s/he has a boarding option.

If your cat has special needs, this can be the best option for you, since the vet is readily available to give medications and provide your baby with the right medical attention he needs. This is especially advantageous for you and your cat since your vet has been caring for him regularly, which means your vet already knows what to do.

However, you still need to check on the space where your cat will be staying. Some vet offices are small, so they may use smaller kennels, which may cause some discomfort on your cat’s part. If you think the space is too small, try and ask one of the vet staff if they can pet sit in your house instead.

Ask a Family Member or a Friend

In these trying times, the support of family and friends is crucial. Often, loved ones don’t know what to do. You can offer them a tangible and practical way to help! So, for the duration of your time in rehab, ask a trusted friend or family member to temporarily adopt your furry companion.

This is a viable option for those on a tight budget who don’t have the means to pay for a sitter or a boarding facility. Or, if you have a little bit of a budget, offer to pay for their time spent in caring.

Loved ones want to provide you with substantial motivation to succeed in your quest of getting better. It’s also easier to trust a family member or a friend than getting someone you barely know. Make sure you list down what your pet needs so they can perform the same duties as you would.

It’s important to remember at this at this point that you shouldn’t feel guilty for asking for assistance and help! Remember that there are people who love you who will back you up during these challenging moments.

An even better idea is to ask who among your friends or family needs companionship. Maybe a friend recently lost someone dear to them or an aunt could use a friend for their cat.

If there’s anything you should tread carefully on, avoid asking friends or family dealing with addiction as well. Your goal is to recover from addiction, and that won’t be easy if you’re constantly worried about what has happened to your beloved cat.

Fostering Programs

Last but not the least, there are a great many fostering programs that cater to people in your situation. Ask animal shelters or your local humane societies for recommendations.There are also organizations that provide financial assistance for people with pets in need of rehabilitation. Try Red Rover, or PACTforanimals.org for other fostering options.

Good luck!

Your Questions

Still have questions?

Please leave your questions in the comments section at the end. We’ll do our best to respond to all real lie questions with a personal and prompt reply!

By Emily Parker, Catological.com
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