Have you ever planned a vacation only to realize that your feline friend can’t make it to the journey? Well, it does happen especially when you need to attend a special business meeting, a family reunion, a wedding event or go for a vacation where failure to attend might ruin a fraction of your life. Now, in case of such a moment, what exactly are you going to do with your feline friend?
Although some people might prefer to leave their pets under the care of a neighbor, one sure way of guaranteeing your cat’s safety throughout your vacation is by considering a cat boarding service. Hailed for being a popular solution for most cat owners, cat boarding is among the surest ways of ensuring that your rosy friend gets the best treatment when you’re away.
Now, most facilities offer all kinds of services such as cat boarding, cat sitting, cat grooming, and cat training. Although some terms such as grooming and training are easy to differentiate, others such as cat sitting and cat boarding are closely related and might leave most cat owners quite confused. Therefore, before we proceed with this post, let’s first shed some light on those pet owners who might be lost.
What is cat boarding?
Cat boarding is a service that has been in existence for a very long time and is highly considered by most pet parents due to its numerous advantages. Unlike cat sitting, cat boarding requires you to take your cat to a boarding facility to stay there overnight or for several days.
This option is usually considered by those people who’re not comfortable with the idea of leaving other people in their homes or those who need their cats to be around other furry friends to socialize and be motivated.
Although cat sitting might seem to be an ideal option, most pet parents prefer taking their cats to cat boarding facilities to help them develop a strong social experience while still taking part in various daily activities to stay healthy. While a cat boarding facility will seem to be your best alternative, what exactly do these facilities offer?
- Cages: you see, cats are not too sociable like dogs. Therefore, to respect their personality, cat boarding facilities prefer to keep them in separate cages. In case you own multiple cats, the facility can opt to keep them together to eliminate boredom.
- Boxes: some cat breeds dislike publicity and always enjoy staying in hidden places. In such a situation, a facility might offer cat boxes or cat tunnels to make your feline friend feel more comfortable and secure.
- Playtime: for those cats that are too playful and sociable, cat boarding facilities can offer special cat trees and shelves within the cattery where your cat will climb, scratch, and relax just like how she does it when she’s at home.
- Veterinary care: if your cat requires special vet care, most facilities will comfortably offer this service to ensure that it maintains a healthy lifestyle throughout the boarding period. Remember cats are just like small babies who require extra medical services to stay fit and healthy.
- Feeding: when it comes to feeding your cat, a cat boarding facility will ensure that your feline friend gets exactly what’s enough for her depending on your feeding schedule. Some facilities might allow you to bring along your cat’s feeding bowl to ease the nervousness when feeding.
- Additional entertainment: finally, cat boarding facilities include large boarding areas or catteries that offer ample space for playing, stretching, socializing with other cats, exploring and bird watching from the comfort of their shelves.
Short term and long term cat boarding
If you’re planning to go on a vacation or a business tour, you don’t have to worry about leaving your pet behind as cat boarding facilities offer both long-term and short-term boarding services for 24 hours 7 days a week. Now, as a newcomer in the world of pets, what exactly do long-term and short-term cat boarding services really mean? Please read on to learn the difference.
Long-term cat boarding
Long-term cat boarding can be strenuous, bothersome, and very expensive if you don’t plan ahead. This type of boarding involves leaving your cat in a boarding facility for several days, weeks or months when you’re out for a vacation.
To guarantee maximum comfort and a real away from home experience for your feline friend, you need to search for a reputable and reliable facility that will not only keep your cat happy and safe, but will also try and replicate the warmth that only a true family can provide.
Short-term cat boarding
Just as its name suggests, a short-term cat boarding involves leaving your cat in a boarding facility for a single day or a short period of time. Also known as a cat daycare, this service allows your rosy feline to stay in a familiar environment with other cats when you’re out for a business tour or a short vacation.
In the facility, your cat will enjoy healthy meals, ample playtime hours, involvement in physical activities, and frequent veterinary checkups to ensure that she’s in good health.
Cat boarding pricing
Since you’ve decided to consider a cat boarding service over cat sitting alternative, I believe you must be wondering about the charges right? Okay, to give you a sigh of relief, you first need to research and recognize a reliable facility that will match your needs and your pocket. Next, you need to think of those factors that are likely to influence the pricing. Some of these factors you need to watch out for include:
- Your specific cat breed
- The number of cats you wish to board
- Are you boarding your cat during peak or off-peak periods?
- Does your cat require any special care?
With some of these factors already on your radar, I believe you’ll not be caught in a surprise the moment you take your feline friend to a cat boarding facility. Now, with that being said, this post will present a table that will display the average pricing of most cat boarding facilities across the United States.
|Budget Cubicles||Cozy Rooms||Luxury Suites|
Luxury cat boarding
Apart from the normal cat boarding services, most facilities offer additional luxury cat boarding services on separate wings where your feline friend will receive special care and treatment the same way she does while at home. Unlike our canine friends, cats are not very sociable and only require being in a cool quiet place with minimal disturbances if any.
To ensure that your cat gets the respect she deserves, most facilities have included spacious catteries with integrated fresh air circulation systems, litter area, special diets, grooming services, daily exercises, and thorough veterinary checkup to keep them healthy at all times. Unlike budget cubicles which offer services at a reduced rate, luxury cat boarding services come at an added fee that ranges from $25 to $40 depending on the location, the facility, and the time of the season.
How to choose a cat boarding facility
Getting married, going for a vacation, and going for a family reunion are all fun yet stressful things we do during holidays. Actually, the most stressing part is when you realize that you’ll have to part with your feline and trust a stranger to take good care of her. But is this really necessary today especially when there are hundreds if not thousands of cat boarding facilities available?
Before booking your vacation or planning to travel home for a family reunion, you need to give your feline the first priority by searching for a suitable facility that will take good care of her. Take time to discuss with fellow cat owners, friends, neighbors, dog trainers, cat rescue groups, and professional vets. Once you’ve shortlisted a number of potential facilities, pay a visit or book an appointment to inspect the facility and ask relevant questions to avoid any surprises in the future.
Tips for choosing the right cat boarding facility
Now that you’ve decided to take your feline friend to a cat boarding facility, the next assignment will be to tour the area to check whether it meets all your requirements. To ensure that you stay informed, happy, and confident throughout your vacation, here are some tips you’ll need to consider.
- Vaccines: your cat’s health is the first priority you need to think of. The best facility should offer vaccination services to cats to ensure that they don’t transmit airborne diseases with other felines within the facility. Among the most crucial vaccines that must be administered include; rabies, feline leukemia, and FVRCP.
- Ventilation: how well are the catteries ventilated? This is another area of concern you need to be keen on. You see, a squeezed cattery is a recipe for infections. Therefore, ensure that the rooms are wide and fitted with proper ventilation.
- Observe the daily routine: here, you’ll need to check how the facility operates on a daily basis. Through that, you’ll know whether or not your cat will have ample time to play and exercise.
- Cleanliness: how clean is the facility? This is another factor you’ll need to investigate before making your decision. The best facility should be clean at all times to avoid the spread of bacteria and other infections.
- How does the staff operate: here, you’ll need to investigate how long the staff members operate and whether or not there’s someone at night to watch over your cat.
- What amenities do they offer: for those pet parents who respect their felines a lot, there’s a need to check whether the facility offers addition services such as luxury cat boarding.
What relevant questions do you need to ask?
For those of you who have already undergone the pressure of searching for a reliable cat boarding facility, you’ll bear with me that the process is not just a walk in the park. There are so many factors you’ll have to put together before you can make an informed decision. Now that you’ve booked an appointment and you’re anticipating to meet the facility’s management, which relevant questions are you planning to ask? Here are some pointers you might need to consider.
- What are the cat boarding charges at your facility?
- Why should I choose this facility over the rest?
- Am I permitted to bring along toys, blankets, feeding bowls, and other cat items?
- Can I come with my own cat food?
- How far is the dogs’ section away from the cats’ section?
- Is there a veterinarian present throughout?
- Will it be okay to board my cat when it’s on medication?
- How do you conduct playtime and exercise for cats?
- What are the official business hours and when should I drop or pick my feline?
- Are your feeding schedules flexible or random?
- Are there staff members who check for the cats at night?
- Do you offer long-term cat boarding services?
What to pay attention for when choosing a cat boarding facility
Now that you’ve toured the facility, there are those extra factors you’ll need to pay special attention to throughout your inspection. These factors are so critical that they can easily change your cat’s health condition within a short while. Please read on to check out these factors.
- Emergency vet: does the facility have an emergency vet? If so, are they ready to share the details and contacts of the veterinary that routinely checks the cats? Also, does the facility have a procedure on how they handle sick cats or cats under medication?
- Sick cats: during your tour, did you notice any signs of sick cats? Did you have a chance to check where the facility disposes the litter?
- Attention: for those cats that stay alone, how much care are they offered by the staff members? Are they closely monitored? Are they given special care individually?
- Cats only: does the facility offer boarding services for both cats and dogs? If they do, what’s the distance between the cats and the dogs section? This is very important as most cats are easily frightened by the loud barking of dogs.
- Cleanliness: finally, we have the issue of cleanliness. During your tour, did you notice any smells in the catteries? Did you see any cat litter or urine in the catteries? If the answer is yes, please make a U-turn and go back home.
Possible problems with cat boarding services
Although considering a cat boarding facility might sound like a really great idea, there are some potential problems you’re likely to face along the way. Some of these challenges include:
- Spacing: although the facility will claim to have ample space, spacing is indeed a real issue. In case you failed to conduct proper research, your feline will end up being locked up in a small cage with less space for stretching and playing.
- Comfort: of course there’s no place like home. When a cat is at home, she’ll definitely enjoy sleeping, resting, feeding, and playing with toys without any interference. This is not the case for cat boarding facilities.
- Smelly: although the catteries are cleaned regularly, a number of them fail to maintain a high level of cleanliness leaving your cat smelling like pee the next time you go to collect her.
- Quite noisy: some cats might not just accept the fact that they’re away from home and family. To reveal their frustration, such cats will purr at the top of their voices causing loud echoes that will tend to annoy your quiet feline.
How to reduce stress for your cat while in a boarding facility
It’s not possible for our feline friends to always accompany us on every vacation. Although we love them with passion, taking them to a cat boarding facility is the only probable way of showing them how much we love and care for them.
Unfortunately, taking your cat to a boarding facility will definitely leave her with a stressful experience and a serious separation anxiety that might leave her stressed. Now, to minimize the stress and give your cat a comfortable boarding experience, here are some pointers you’ll need to consider.
- Give your feline pal treats: in most cases, cats tend to feel nervous when they’re in unfamiliar environments. Therefore, to keep your cat motivated, remember to include her favorite treats when taking her to the facility.
- Bring along her favorite items: another way of reducing anxiety is by carrying your cat’s special belongings such as her favorite blanket, cat toys, and feeding bowl.
- Train your cat first: before thinking of taking your cat to a boarding facility, first consider day care services to ensure that she adapts little by little before you consider boarding her.
Although cats are considered to be independent animals, they highly depend on us to stay healthy and strong. Of course, you can’t leave her home alone when going for a vacation or when attending a business tour. Therefore, to ensure that they don’t get ill when left alone or feel lonely when you’re away, taking them to a cat boarding facility is the only sure way of guaranteeing their safety. Since we’ve covered everything you need to know about cat boarding, I believe this post has offered immense information to all pet parents planning to go for a vacation, a business tour or a family reunion.