Ideally, when going out of town, your cats can stay at home in the environment that makes them most comfortable. Sometimes, though, that isn’t possible, and boarding your cat is necessary.
Here are some steps to help make the boarding experience more enjoyable for your cat:
- Visit the boarding facility before scheduling your cat’s stay. Be sure you’re comfortable with the environment. Is it clean? Do they require proof of vaccination? Does your cat have room to move around, or will he be in a cage most of every day? Some boarding facilities have compartments, or condos, that give your cat room to roam and climb. These facilities have have windows so cat are able to look outside, and some are even equipped with televisions to keep the cat’s attention.
- Once you’ve decided on a boarding facility and are ready to take your cat there, be sure to leave a bag with his food, treats, any medications, a piece of clothing with your scent on it and litter. Your cat will be stressed already, so it’s important to keep consistency with these items. Be sure the boarding facility understands any special instructions regarding food or medications. Don’t bring your cat’s litter box, though. Your cat will already have a negative reaction to the boarding facility, so you don’t want that negative reaction to also be tied to his litter box.
- When cats are stressed, they usually look for a place to hide, so it’s important to set up a hiding place for your cat in his boarding space. A large paper bag is a good makeshift hiding place, so include a few paper bags with his other supplies to afford him hiding places for the duration of his boarding stay. Sometimes a towel inside the bag can provide some additional comfort if your cat becomes overly stressed. If the bag tends not to stay open, try rolling down the sides of the bag to make a cuff.
- If your cat still seems overly stressed, suggest the staff tape newspaper over the opening of your cat’s boarding area.