The hotel is reserved, the flights booked, and the packing lists made. You’ve checked almost everything off your vacation to-do list, except finding care for the family cat. Don’t delay this important task, which will likely require some preparation. Do your cat a favor and ensure she has a good experience by considering these useful tips.
Schedule a visit
Visiting the intended facility before you decide to board your cat there for multiple days is imperative. You want to ensure your furry friend is in a clean, well-managed, organized accommodation where she is exceptionally cared for. Ideally, the facility will have spacious cages equipped with clean bedding, toys, and litter boxes, space for cats to play outside the kennel, and friendly, attentive kennel staff. The cat kennels should be separated from the dog kennels to minimize stress. A boarding facility associated with a veterinary clinic in the same building is an excellent bonus. Should anything go wrong, your furry friend will be in an ideal place to receive the care she needs.
Do a trial run
Before dropping your cat off and leaving for a two-week vacation without warning, consider taking her to the boarding facility for a day or night to allow her to become accustomed to the change in surroundings. There is a lot to take in—a new bed, new smells, new playmates, new caretakers, and possibly a new food. For cats who spend most of their time indoors doing the same activities in the same environment every day, boarding can be incredibly stressful, so help minimize that stress by slowly introducing her to this new adventure. If she doesn’t do well the first day, be patient and try again, keeping in mind that old habits die hard. An older, finicky cat, in particular, may take longer to adjust than her younger, more adaptable counterpart.
Introduce your pet to a crate
If your cat has never seen the inside of a traveling crate, now is the time to get her accustomed to one. Familiarizing her with the crate for travel to the facility is as important as a trial kennel run. To avoid your cat associating the carrier with feelings of loneliness or abandonment, keep the crate in the living room or an area where she enjoys relaxing. Equip the inside with your cat’s favorite toy or blanket, and encourage and praise her when she approaches or enters the crate. You can use treats to entice and reassure her, as well.
Make a pet packing list
Make a list to ensure your cat has everything she needs. Come boarding time, you and your cat can rest easily, knowing you’ve thoroughly considered her needs. Items may include:
- Favorite blankets, bedding, and toys—if you leave them unwashed, they will have a familiar scent, which may comfort your cat
- Medications, with instructions on dosages and frequency
- Food—most boarding facilities will provide food, but if your cat is a picky eater, it’s best to bring what you know she likes; familiar food may also help minimize her anxiety and stress while boarding
- Litter—The facility should provide litter, but if your cat is particular about litter boxes and litter types, check to see what your boarding facility uses, and consider bringing your own
- Grooming tools, as needed
- Any other items your cat may find comforting during her stay
While your cat is boarding, check in occasionally for an update on how she is doing. She may not know you are calling, but you can find comfort in knowing she is safe, secure, and well-taken care of. This may help reduce your own stress while she is gone.
Our Pet Resort at Stone Ridge team will be delighted to give you a tour of our facility and answer any questions you may have about boarding your cat. Contact us here.