At Your Destination: So Much to Explore!

 

You've arrived!  With great relief you stretch and move your bags into your new lodging.  But wait -- don't immediately let your cat out.  First, check out the new surroundings to make sure they are safe for your cat.  You'll be surprised at some of the things you are going to find!  (I actually found a diamond earring once.)  If you are checking into a hotel, start from one side of the room and work your way to the other.  As you go, also make a list of any damage you find in the room and make sure you report it to the front desk.  A front desk representative should come to your room to see the damage and make note of it to ensure your cat doesn't get the blame.  Here's a checklist of things to consider:


  • Look at the carpet -- is it stained or damaged?  If so, make a note of it.
  • Look at the wallpaper -- is it stained? damaged? peeling?  If so, make a note of it.
  • Look at the bed, chairs, couch -- any stains or damage?  If so, make a note of it.
  • Check the bed -- does it have solid sides?  If so, your cat won't be able to get underneath it or up into the springs of the mattress.  Is there a space behind the headboard where a cat could squeeze through?  If so, can you block the sides up with the duct tape and cardboard you brought with you?  If not, consider making the bathroom a cozy place for your pet especially when you are not there or if you will be in a hurry the next morning.
  • Check under the bed (if it doesn't have solid sides).  Is there anything under there?  Among other things, I have found rat poison under beds and plates of charcoal briquets.  Remove anything you find, put it in one of your garbage bags and find a garbage dumpster for it.  Is the box spring covered or is the covering sagging down?  If there is a hole, your cat will be able to get up into the springs.  Use the duct tape to tape the covering into place and patch any holes.
  • Check the bathroom.  Put china mugs and glasses safely away in a drawer to ensure your cat won't break them and cut itself.  Close the lid of the toilet or put a garbage pan in the seat to prevent your cat falling in or drinking the water.  Check all the walls and under the sink to make sure there are no holes your cat could escape through.  Also, if you do find holes that a paw could go in, put your hand in and check what's in there.  Another popular place for rat poison in hotels.  Patch all holes with your cardboard and duct tape -- or consider asking for another room.
  • Check the airconditioner/heater.  Can your cat get a paw in anywhere and if they do will it be a problem.  Again, check for holes.  Patch with duct tape and cardboard.
  • Draw the drapes and check all the windows.  All weatherstripping in place?  If not, make a note of it.  Make sure all windows (including any in the bathroom) are closed and locked.  Check to see if there are screens in place in case you do want to open the window for a breath of fresh air.
  • Check electrical plugs and cords to make sure there are no damaged ones your cat could play with.
  • Look in each drawer to make sure there is nothing inside -- cats sometimes like to climb in the backway.
  • Check behind all furniture to see if there is anything that shouldn't be there that your cat could get hold of.

 

OK, now you've made sure the room is secure - or got a new room in which case you need to repeat the roomcheck -- and reported any existing damage to the front desk.  Your cat wants O-U-T! N-O-W!  Well, just a few minutes more and he'll be free to explore safely.

  • Get your all your luggage in now and the door safely locked so your cat can't escape. 
  • Take the litter pan and put it in the bathroom -- stand it on the lid to catch stray litter.
  • Put out your food and water dishes. Give your cat the bottled spring water -- giving it the local water could bring oon a bout of diarrhea or expose it to various parasites that sometimes infect water supplies.  Put out a small meal for now and then refill the food plate when your cat has finished one plate.
  • Put your cat's bed in a cozy place.
  • Put out the scratching post you brought with you.
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    Take one more look around to make sure everything is safe and then open the carrier door, sit back and relax for a few minutes.  Your cat will slowly come out of the carrier and start to explore -- make sure you show it where the litterpan is.  Put the carrier in a corner but leave the door open in case your cat wants to retreat into a covered area.  Pretty soon your cat will be ready to play with its favorite toys and then settle down for a nap.  By now, you're probably ready for your dinner as well!  Its been a long trip and you've been worried about how your cat would manage -- so far, so good though.  Before you leave, move your cat's bed and scratching post into the bathroom and shut your cat in while you are gone.  That way, if anyone should enter your room for any reason (like the maid coming in to turn down the bed), your cat won't be able to escape.  As you leave, put the Do Not Disturb sign on the doorhandle.