Due to their independent nature, cats are fine to stay at the house alone during the day. However, if you’re going on an extended vacation or you have a cat with special medical needs, you may find that a stint in a boarding facility is unavoidable. Use these tips to make sure you’re choosing the right one.
Tour the Facility
Start your search well ahead of your vacation so you have time to tour any prospective boarding facilities. Stop in to see where your cat will be staying. Look for a facility that’s clean and quiet, with spacious accommodations for your pets. Consider things like the proximity to other animals, both cats and dogs. Is there room in the cage for your cat’s favorite bed? Will she be released for portions of the day to play? Don’t leave your animal in any situation that you don’t feel comfortable and optimistic about.
Talk to the Staff
Speak with a few members of the staff about what their daily routines are and how the animals are cared for. If you hear different information in person than what you obtained on the phone or you find that the caregivers aren’t consistent in their answers, you may want to look for another facility where care is better organized.
Ask the staff how they handle problematic situations such as frightened animals. They should be knowledgeable about the best way to calm a cat and how to interpret their behavioral cues. If the staff doesn’t understand something like how a cat says “I love you,” you may want to seek a facility where the employees are better educated and more enthusiastic about their work.
Check the Rules
Read the fine print and check all the rules at the boarding facility. Always go to a boarder who requires current vaccinations for its pets. While it may seem convenient not to have to rush out to update your cat’s shots, keep in mind that if your pets don’t have to be vaccinated, neither do the others in the building. This creates a potentially hazardous environment for your cat.
Ask for recommendations to help you find the best boarders in your city. Consider questioning:
- Family and friends
- Your veterinarian
- Pet owners in local cat-related Facebook groups
- Cat owners in pet-focused forums
- Other customers picking their pets up when you tour the facility
Look for a boarder that gets strong referrals from cat owners in particular, as our feline friends have different needs from canine counterparts.
Consider Your Cat’s Needs
Every cat is unique, so it’s important to find a facility that fits your pet’s distinct personality. If you have a cat and dog that are close friends, look for a place where they can stay together. If your cat is aggressive toward other felines, you’ll want a place that offers isolation from this stressor. Active cats need more room to run, and snugglers want that extra attention.
With proper research, you can find a safe and reliable place to care for your cat. Give your search plenty of time to make sure you’re in the right spot.