If you think about it from your cat’s perspective, the first time you went away, he (or she) probably thought he was being abandoned. When you came back, he was probably all snuggles and relief. Then, slowly, he realized that you pretty much always come back.
And that’s when evil was born.
In the eyes of your cat, your absence is a minor annoyance — which quickly becomes a major annoyance if you stay away for a long period of time. As you surely already know, if you annoy your cat, you will be punished.
So, here they are, The 10 Ways Your Cat Will Punish You for Traveling — and how to thwart his nefarious plans.
1. Toilet paper obliteration.
Cats don’t use toilet paper, but they know that you do, and they view it as an unnecessary privilege (which happens to be a lot of fun to
revoke destroy). Thwart him: Take the toilet paper roll off the roller before you leave. TP’s not nearly as much fun to play with if it doesn’t spin. Still, while you’re at it, put it in a cupboard to be safe.
2. Plant consumption.
Your cat may occasionally nip at your houseplants, but if you are gone awhile, they have no qualms about chowing down on the better part of a scrumptious indoor palm. It’s not about hunger, it’s about getting even. Thwart him: Put your plants where he can’t get them; up high or in a closed room.3. Throwing up on your Persian rug.
Whatever your most expensive floor covering is, prepare to come home to a nice pile of vom on it. This is most often a direct result of #2, so to thwart him, follow the instruction above.
4. Pooing on your bed.
This is an act of domination. Pooping on your high thread count linens is your cat saying “Guess what? While you were gone, I was in charge. And when you get back, there gonna be some changes.” Thwart him: Close your bedroom door. Does your cat really need to sleep in your bed without you? No.
5. Expensive claw-made couch modifications.
Without you there to shout, your cat is happy to claw up your fine furnishings (in peace at last). It just feels so good. Thwart him: The only way to stop your cat from doing this is to train him beforehand. Make sure you always squirt your kitty with water if you catch him clawing, then pick him up and set him in front of a scratching post. If you see him clawing the scratching post on his own, give him a treat. He’ll get the idea eventually. (If he feels like it.)
6. Writing utensil chewing.
Your cat is very likely to nom on your writing utensils or anything you use regularly to ensure you will have a constant reminder of what you did wrong (left him alone). Thwart him: Put your stuff away.
7. Scoot scoot crash.
“Scoot scoot crash” is a technical term for your cat’s hobby of delicately pushing everything off the table, the shelf or what-have-you. If it’s not nailed down or bigger than a catbox, expect to find it on the floor. Thwart him: Nail stuff down. Just kidding; put your stuff away.
8. Finding new hiding places.
You may come home to no cat at all. Your sabbatical is a great time for him to explore the house and find new places to hide, such as inside TV stand, behind the books on the shelf or in a shoebox in your closet. In addition to hiding himself, he may also hide anything you didn’t nail down in a whole new place you’ve never thought to look — forget “under the couch.” How amateur. Thwart him: As above, put your stuff away, and when you come home to no cat, open a can of tuna and set it on the floor. Watch to see from whence he comes. You may have to do this a couple of times in different rooms before you discover the exact location.
9. Making his toys disappear.
Your cat may punish you by being an ungrateful sourpuss, achieved by hiding all his cat toys in those new hiding places. “Where’s that freaking mousie?!” may come out of your exasperated, travel-weary and cuteness-starved mouth. Thwart him: Sorry, you can’t. If the cat hides his own toys, they are under the couch or lost to the universe. Somewhere, there is a dimension filled with cat toys of yore. It’s physics.
In addition to hiding, your cat may behave like an absolute jerkstore when you get back; ignoring you or even hissing at you. Thwart him: Time heals all wounds. Hiss back at him and wait a day or so. You will probably never be forgiven, but kitty will be back to purring all over you like a motorboat just as soon as he forgets you were gone.