Should I take my cat home with me for the holidays (where there is another intense cat) or have my friends stop by to feed/watch her ?
Cats are VERY territorial so it would be a horrible idea to bring your cat to your parents' home and expect to immediately get along with another cat.
Leave it at home and have a friend come in daily to feed her, scoop her litter, give her fresh water and interact with her.
I suppose it depends on the specifics of your cats needs and the amount of time you are able to dedicate to your cat this holiday season. How far will you be traveling? If it's a one hour drive it might be do-able, but how will you manage if it is across a few states or across the country? Will you be gone for only a few days or for a month or more? If you are gone for a few days, it might be better to leave kitty home. If you're going to be gone for a long time, it might be more rewarding to take your cat along. Does your cat have separation anxiety? This is a big one. Some cats stop eating, stop using the litter box, stop drinking, start destroying carpet, chew on anything, or start endless meowing. You might want to take your cat along if this is the case unless there is another person your cat is familiar with for the period of time you need a sitter for. Are you able to stop every few hours to get the cat to use a litter box, get a drink, and perhaps a small bite to eat if you are traveling on the road for long periods of time? If you aren't able to pull over and stop on the road and often then it may be better to leave your cat in the comforts of home. Considering this other territorial cat will be around, will it cause your cat a lot of stress or are these cats easily kept away from each other (perhaps in a large home, different rooms, etc.)? If this will cause either cat constant stress, it is best not to bring your cat along and if you do, not to stay for a long period of time.
I can say, I have gone across the country without cats (round trip) by car and with cats (round trip) by car (over 2,300 miles one way). I don't know the distance you are traveling, but perhaps this can help:
Without cat advantages:
-It is easier to keep on the road and driving without the cat.
-No worries about the cat meowing or being stressed being in their carrier
-You don't need to worry about paying money to get them traveling certificates to go across state lines with your pets (yes, this is a thing, and any check point can ask if your pets have traveling certificates/certificates of health for your animals. If you don't have a certificate of health for each pet, you may not be able to continue on with your pets. Please ask your vet about this before traveling along with any other useful tips).
-You don't have to worry if you decide to stop and use the bathroom or go inside somewhere and grab a bite to eat and no one else is to watch your cat, you would need to worry about your pets health in the car alone (they can get too hot or too cold extremely fast).
With cat advantages:
-They will be with their familiar owner(s), which is comforting for the both of you
-You don't have to worry about if the pet sitter is doing their job or ignoring your pets
-You don't have to worry about asking the pet sitter to stay another few days if for some reason, you must stay out an extra day or so (due to storm, too tired and needed to pull over to a hotel, an emergency, etc.)
-You don't need to worry about your cat falling ill while you are away.
-Even though traveling with a pet can cost some money, pet sitters are not cheap unless you hire a friend that is willing to do it for free or a super cheap rate. So you may be able to save yourself some serious cash.
Whichever you choose, make sure to make the best decision for both you and your pet and be safe this holiday season!
Have Trustworthy friends care for the cat where it is. Cats hate travel and get stressed to the point of getting sick. Then to fight another cat in it's private territory would be horrible for your cat. Be sure you can really count on your friends to spend a little time with the cat as well as feed it and clean litter boxes but let the cat stay put.