A cat and food in bowls.


‘Someone has to check in on the cat daily’: Owner’s travel hack—a 5-day kitty buffet—sparks debate in viral TikTok

One vet weighs in on the viral clip.


Dan Latu

Internet Culture

Published Dec 31, 2021   Updated Jan 3, 2022, 10:51 am CST

One cat owner’s travel hack has sparked a pet care controversy on TikTok.

The original video of their cat food buffet has climbed to over 3.6 million views since being posted 5 days ago as TikTok users weigh in. 

User @slappyzacky posted a video with his cat and bowls of pre-assembled food sitting in a row.

The original video is captioned, “POV your humans are about to leave for a few days and you see the five bowls of food laid out for you.”

Commenters quickly jumped in with their opinions on the cat food buffet. 

“what?? someone should check the cat once a day,” said @angieveep.

“My cat would eat it all in 1 day,” added @_erikkax 

Others questioned how the water or litter box was being prepared for the trip.

Some users enthusiastically supported the cat food buffet method.

“I legit left mine a serving tray filled with food,” commented @PrncsInPnk

“LITERALLY THOUGH!!!! I put different bowls all around the house! And I hide treats so they can find them,” said @justin.wayne18. 

The Daily Dot spoke with Dr. Karen Cantor from Westside Veterinary Center who said cats should not be left alone for more than 24 hours. 

“Someone has to check in on the cat daily. You never know if they can get into mischief or something happens,” said Dr. Cantor.

As far as food, Dr. Cantor says, “Ideally you want enough food for morning and evening. And have someone come in daily to give it out.”

The concern isn’t that a cat would go hungry without a human, but that an unsupervised cat could eat something by mistake or have a medical emergency. 

Dr. Cantor recommends having a neighbor or trusted friend check on your cat routinely if you plan to be gone for a long period of time. 

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*First Published: Dec 31, 2021, 3:23 pm CST