Vet Q & A: Summer Safety

Welcome to our weekly Vet Q & A with Dr. Richard Goldstein of the Mobile vet Squad Keep those questions coming, especially summer safety related questions. Send questions to

Please note: if your cat is ill, bring them to a vet. Dr. Goldstein cannot diagnose online. If you are going away for the long weekend and are not bringing your cat along, please make plans in case of an medical emergency. Provide contact info for your regular vet and a local emergency clinic for your pet sitter.

We’d like to go away for the weekend. How long can we leave our cat alone with food and water?

We like to think of our cats as more “independent” than dogs, which may make us more inclined to leave them alone with a bowl of food and a clean litter box.  But I’m not a big fan of leaving cats alone in the house, and it’s mostly for safety reasons. If you’re away, and something happens in the house (a broken pipe, a fire, or the house gets too hot), or if your kitty becomes ill or isn’t eating, you don’t want to come home to some serious issues. Plus, it gets lonely without any humans!

Whenever possible, I recommend having someone come into the house at least once (preferably twice) a day to check on your cat, and give her some attention. Ask a friend, or neighbor, who the cat knows, to pop over and spend some quality time. Or interview a good pet sitter. If you’re in a pinch, for an overnight trip, you can program an automatic feeder to give your cat his normal amount of food at regular feeding times. And if you’re really high-tech, a webcam may offer some peace of mind – with your cat’s permission, of course.


My cat like catching bugs of all kinds but what happens if she gets stung by a bee?

Youch! Bee stings are never pleasant. If you can find the stinger and the location of the sting is accessible (i.e. not in the mouth), you may be able to scrape it out with a credit card, or gently tease it out with tweezers. Apply a cool compress to the area. A paste made of baking soda and water applied to the sting area may help make it feel better. Some cats, like some people, can have severe allergic reactions to bee stings, including facial swelling, breathing difficulty, vomiting, or shock. If this occurs, seek veterinary care immediately. And never administer any medications without speaking to your vet first.

Editor’s note: More pet sitters and boarding facilities are providing webcams these days. Professional cat sitters will also bring in the mail, water the plants and make the house look occupied as a deterrent to burglars.

Flying insects are catnip for cats and sometimes the only chance indoor cats can hunt.  If a bee or wasp flies into your home and you don’t want to kill it, I usually take a broom and shoo it back outside or if it lands on a flat surface, I trap it with a plastic container, slip a piece of cardboard underneath, turn it right side up and release it outdoors.


1 thought on “Vet Q & A: Summer Safety”

  1. Hi Layla and Dr. G.,

    When we go out of town, we make sure there’s more than enough cat food for our cats and make arrangements with a neighbor or family member to stop by at least twice a day while we’re gone. It’s a bonus if they can stay in the house.

    We’re not comfortable leaving for more than two or three nights.

    Does the food stay fresh enough in automatic pet feeders?

    If a cat has an allergic reaction to a bee sting or something else and you can’t get to the vet within a couple minutes, would it be alright to give them a small portion of a Benadryl pill or a squirt from a Benadryl gel cap? If so, how much would be okay for most adult cats?

    I’d hate to lose a cat when a little Benadryl might save her life.

    For a bee inside the house you could also wait until it lands and use a folded paper towel to gently catch it to let it outside. I’ve done that a few times and never been stung.

    Good tips,

    =^-^= Hairless Cat Girl =^-^=

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *