I am asking for suggestions and opinions. I will be gone (at the hospital) for a week. Question: Do I leave my cat alone for the 4-6 days with enough food and water, with all the comforts of his home OR leave him to stay at a friend's to stay in her bedroom to get attention and cared for ? ? ?
A pet sitter would be the best thing. I'm very fortunate with that because the woman I adopted my cats from runs a nonprofit that takes in stray or abandoned cats and also has a pet sitting business. She even collects my mail so I do not have to stop delivery. If you live in a large enough town there might be pet sitting available somewhere. Ask a vet. They may have contacts, that's how I found out about my wonderful sitter.
Do you trust your friend to spend time with your cat? I'm going to be in a similar situation in the near future. I will have my cats stay at home and a nephew will come over, clean litters and feed my cats. My nephew does not have the same philosophy on cats, ie. giving them attention, but I trust him enough to feed mine.
Firstly, best of luck at the hospital. Secondly, I "house/cat" sit for my sis & BIL when needed. I check food water, feed the canned to indoor & the outdoor. I make sure the litter box is clean. I try to hang out for a bit so they have some company, if they want, again, both in & out. If you can trust anyone to come out to your place to at least check in on your cats, that is the best, from my experience, anyway!
If there is no one to come in - I'd say the friend's bedroom
Can the friend not stop in once a day?
A week is too long alone. If anything went wrong you'd feel terrible.
Granted things can happen while you are home too. But a week is a long time.
If you were going to leave kitty home I'd recommend a timed feeder.
I hope your surgery goes well!
That's about the longest you can leave a cat for - but it's doable. Ours get waaay overfed, with a zillion waters laying around. Double the litter boxes... Oh, and I duct tape all the latches on interior doors, because I have an insane fear that one of them will lock himself somewhere he can't get out of. Just having someone stop through after a couple days might ease your mind considerably, as well.
That is what is so great about cats. Leave enough dry food , water & extra litter boxes & they should be ok. But let the hospital know in case your stay in the hospital is longer. Or a reputable sitting service. Just take your valuables to a safe deposit box.