Whether planning a vacation or an unexpected trip away from home, making arrangements for your feline companion can be stressful. Booking a cat boarding facility that provides a safe, comfortable, and engaging environment for your furry friend is crucial for peace of mind while you’re away.
In this article, we’ll guide you on the best time to book cat boarding and offer tips for stress-free scheduling, ensuring a positive experience for you and your cat.
What is Cat Boarding?
Cat boarding refers to the temporary care of your cat by a professional boarding facility, like a cattery, boarding kennel, cat hotel, or cat daycare. Each facility has its unique set of services, accommodations, and care levels catering to different cat needs and preferences.
A cattery is a dedicated cat-only boarding facility that provides individual or communal living quarters, depending on your cat’s personality and socialization level.
Boarding kennels mainly cater to dogs, but some establishments offer separate cat facilities, ensuring a peaceful environment for your feline friend.
Cat hotels are:
- More luxurious boarding options.
- Offering upscale amenities like spacious suites.
- Cat trees.
- Even entertainment systems keep your cat engaged during its stay.
Cat daycare is a more short-term boarding alternative, providing supervised playtime and socialization opportunities for your cat during the day. In some cases, cat sitting and pet sitters may be an alternative to boarding facilities, where the cat remains in their familiar home environment and trusted individual visits or stays to provide care as needed.
When is the Best Time to Book Cat Boarding?
Determining Your Vacation Schedule
To ensure availability and a more stress-free booking experience, start by identifying your vacation schedule. Booking cat boarding during peak seasons (like school breaks, summer holidays, and significant celebrations) can be more challenging as spots fill up quickly. Off-peak seasons often have more availability, giving you added flexibility during the booking process.
Booking your cat boarding well in advance is always the best approach. Providing at least a month or two notice increases the chances of securing your preferred facility and allows for better preparation on your end. Some establishments may offer discounts or deals for early bookings, making it more cost-effective.
Last-minute bookings can be more stressful and challenging, as availability tends to be limited. This may result in settling for a less-than-ideal facility or higher rates due to increased demand.
Tips for Stress-Free Scheduling
Manage Your Calendar
Proactively keeping tabs on your calendar can help identify upcoming trips, giving you ample time to arrange cat-boarding. Having a shortlist of preferred boarding options on hand is also a good idea to expedite the booking process.
Find a Reliable Cat Boarding Facility
Researching and narrowing down your options for cat boarding facilities, like those that cater specifically for cats and dogs, will help you decide when to book. This way, you can better ensure your pet’s safety, comfort, and happiness while you’re away.
Factor in Special Needs Cats
If your cat has unique medical or behavioral requirements, you’ll want to factor in extra time for booking. This may involve finding a facility specializing in special needs cats or discussing specific accommodations with the boarding staff.
Plan for Emergencies
In case of unforeseen circumstances, having an emergency plan for your cat can relieve stress and ensure their well-being. Identify a trusted friend, family member, or pet sitter who could step in and care for your cat if needed.
Preparing Your Cat for Boarding
Ensure your cat’s vaccinations are up to date prior to their stay at a boarding facility, as most establishments require proof of shots and vaccinations to ensure the health and safety of all their guests.
Gradually acclimating your cat to new environments and social situations can help minimize stress during their boarding experience. This may involve taking them to the facility or introducing them to new people and animals.
Regular exercise can help keep your cat healthy and reduce anxiety during their stay. Providing toys, scratching posts and engaging in playtime can alleviate stress and promote emotional well-being.
Familiar Objects and Environment
Including a few items from home, like a favorite toy or blanket, can create a sense of familiarity and comfort for your cat in the boarding facility environment.
How to Choose the Perfect Cat Boarding Facility
Research and Recommendations
Start by gathering recommendations from friends, family, or online sources like review websites to compile a list of potential options. This can help you get a feel for each facility’s reputation and quality of service.
Visit the Facility
Take the time to visit each boarding facility in person, as this allows you to evaluate the environment for cleanliness, safety, and comfort. Be bold and ask questions or request a tour to assess the facility fully.
Evaluate the Environment
The ideal cat boarding facility should have a safe and clean environment. Inspect the living quarters, food preparation areas, and communal spaces to ensure proper hygiene standards are met.
Staff Interactions With Cats
Observe how the staff interacts with the cats in their care, as it’s essential to choose a facility where cats are treated with kindness and attention.
Some boarding facilities may offer additional care services for your cat during their stay. These may include grooming, playtime sessions, medical care, or additional accommodation options. Confirming that the facility has a working relationship with a nearby veterinary clinic is essential to ensure prompt and professional care in case of illness or emergency.
If you want a reliable pet boarding facility with excellent services, feel free to contact All Creatures Veterinary Care.
Medical and Emergency Services
Special needs cats must inquire about their preparedness for medical and emergency surgeries with the facility. This includes having trained staff on-site and access to nearby vet clinics.
Protecting your cat well cared for while you’re away is a top priority for pet owners. By identifying the optimal booking period, researching and selecting a reliable boarding facility, and thoroughly preparing your cat for its stay, you’ll create a positive and stress-free experience for both you and your pet. So go ahead, and book that much-needed vacation while confidently entrusting your cat’s care to a top-quality boarding facility.