How do you handle the feelings of leaving pets at home while traveling?

I’m in the middle of a 17-day trip through Spain. My 11-year-old cat is stuck at home, alone, while I travel. He has a pet sitter who comes by daily for 30-60 minutes (the most I can afford), and I am wracked with guilt and longing whenever I think about him (which is a lot).

Despite daily updates and photos from the pet sitter, the dreadful feeling that he’s stuck without me eats away at my mental and emotional resilience during the trip. It makes traveling a see-saw of fun and guilt. I feel this way whenever I travel, regardless if it’s one night, 10 days or three weeks. Ultimately, the feelings cloud my vacation and I often want to return home early (despite that not being a feasible option).

How do you handle the feelings of leaving a pet alone while traveling, despite knowing you’ve done the best you can for their care while you’re away? Any mental tricks or mantras you’ve found particularly helpful?


  1. I used to feel the same, so I got a petcam. I can check in on them on my phone at any time.

    I still feel guilty, but the reality is when I’m not there (and when I am) they just sleep all day. They aren’t sitting by the door staring at it wondering where I am like I imagine. Just sleeping on the couch like they would if I were home.

    When I’m home my cats follow me around, so I know they love me. They’re excited when I come home. But when I’m not there, they’re ok. And I’m sure your cat is too.

  2. Yeah honestly found different ways for this. My sister basically drops them off at my parents. My good friends won’t travel anywhere they can’t bring pets. Personally one of the the reason I don’t have pets is I don’t want to feel bad leaving it behind.

  3. I do miss them a lot when I travel. I’m also a cat owner btw. I tend to look at pictures at night when it really hits the most. Does the pet sitter send pictures to show you how he’s doing? If she doesn’t ask for it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.