There are times when you need to board your cat. Your cat won’t understand what is going on but will definitely react to the change in environment and be confused. In order to lower the stress and panic that your cat may have while being boarded it’s important to find a place that’s quiet, allows your cat to have its own space, and clean. Boarding a cat at your veterinarian may be fine if your cat is laid back. However, if your cat is like my cat, boarding at a vet is out of the question. I can see it now; my cat would sit in the corner of the cage, hiding his head under a blanket or the litter box and mew the saddest sounding mew ever to be heard. Whenever my cats have had to go the vet separately, the one who stayed home hisses and runs away from the one coming back from the vet. I think the smells of the hospital are seared into their brains as “OH NO! THAT PLACE!”
What can you do to find a good facility that will care for your cat and isn’t as scary as a vet hospital?
Here are a few tips to finding a good place for your cat to stay while you’re away
- Start searching for a place early. Don’t leave this as a last minute to-do. Ask some friends who also have cats or your vet.
- Take time to contact the recommended facilities and go check them out. A good facility will let you see the layout, where cats are kept, and let you know of their policies.
Questions to ask:
- Vaccination policies
- What do they do if your cat becomes ill or injured?
- Are they accredited with the Pet Care Services Association
- Are the cats in a separate area away from the dogs? If not, you may want to look for a cats-only facility if your cat does not like other animals.
- What is the daily routine at the facility? Feeding, cleaning, playing, and monitoring of the cats is important.
- Check to see if you can bring the food bowls, a blanket, and some toys.
- Can you bring the type of litter that your cat is used to using? Some cats are extremely finicky and may not use the litter box if the litter is different.
- If your cat needs medication make sure the staff is trained and able to do dispense it and make sure your cat gets the correct dosage.
- Check to see if you are allowed to bring the food your cat is used to eating. Ask how they handle cats that are so upset, they may not eat.
- Make sure the place smells and looks clean and is free of parasites.
- Look around to see if their business license is somewhere on the walls, if not, ask to see it.
When you pick up your cat check the fur for any scratches or bugs. Also, be prepared for your cat to slink around the house and re-explore, s/he may even want to hide for a night. Do not try to over baby your cat their first night back home, let your cat adjust and relax on its own. By the next day, your cat should be back to its old routines and happy to be home.
Image from White Angel Animal Hospital