If you're a conscientious pet parent, it's likely that you're a little cautious when it comes to cat boarding. There are always vacations on which you just can't take your beloved feline friend with you, and one of the easiest ways to ensure that they are taken care of is a pet boarding facility. But how do you choose between them? Here are a few of the most important questions you may want to ask.
1. How Can I Check In On My Pet?
Modern pet boarding facilities often have webcams that you can access so you know your cat is being taken care of all the time. Other facilities will post pictures of your pet on a private website or send them to you via text. Either way, all reputable pet boarding facilities give you some way to check with your pet on a daily basis.
2. How Are Medical Emergencies Handled?
Ideally, your cat boarding facility should have vets that are standing by to administer care. They should have both an on-call vet and an emergency vet so that any issues can be dealt with quickly. They should also have protocols in place for how emergencies are handled if you can't be reached. With cats, medical issues can become serious very quickly, so it's important that they be able to act fast.
3. How Will My Cat Be Socialized?
Contrary to popular belief, cats crave both human and cat interaction. Your cats should be given play time with other cats (upon request) and staff members at least a few times a day. Cat boarding is about more than just feeding the animal. Good pet boarding facilities will also keep your cat entertained and mentally active.
4. How Many Cats Do You Board?
Fewer isn't always better. If you're boarding at a facility that doesn't specialize in cats, having only a few cats at a time may indicate that the staff members don't have a dedicated cat area or that they aren't trained in dealing with cats. Ideally, you want a facility that is fairly busy but still has suitable rooms for each animal.
5. How Long Are Your Staff Members Present?
Not all cat boarding facilities operate 24 hours a day, but hopefully you'll have a facility that is not closed longer than eight hours. If your cat is elderly or requires specific medications, having a facility that is only open from 8 AM to 4 PM probably isn't going to work for you -- your pet could experience a medical emergency while alone.
If you have the time, taking a tour through the facility is always a good idea. Not only will it give you a better picture of your cat's care, but it will also ease your mind while you're on your trip.