Depending on your association with the word “boarding,” cat boarding might sound institutional and a bit worrisome, or like a fancy daycare for your feline friend.
So what is cat boarding, and when is it right for your cat?
What Exactly is Cat Boarding?
Cat boarding is a way to have your cat cared for either while you are away or if there is any other reason at all why your cat, temporarily, cannot be cared for at your home. It involves taking your cat to a facility that specializes in caring for animals.
Boarding Facility for Cats
A boarding facility for cats is one that specializes specifically, in taking care of cats while their owners are either away or otherwise unable to care for their cats themselves at their own home.
This is different than a boarding facility for animals in general, which may have cats, dogs, and possibly other animals in the same facility.
Some places even have dogs and cats in the same room, just in separate cages, compartments, or sections. This may be distressing to some animals who are not used to the sounds and smells of so many other creatures.
Boarding facilities for cats vary widely. Variations between facilities including differences in the amount of space and privacy allotted to each cat, whether the cat will be near – or aware of other nearby – animals, as well as other amenities.
Cat Boarding Cost
Nationwide, the average cost for boarding a cat is about $25 per cat per night.
Some cat owners report paying as little as $15 to as much as $30 per cat per night to board their pets.
The cost varies based on the location as well as the amenities of the facility. Costs may vary further depending on the amount of time you need your cat to be boarded and if you are boarding more than one pet or have any special needs or requests.
Cat Boarding Places Near Me
If you need a place to board your cat, then it is very likely that a cat boarding place exists near you. There are many local, individually-owned cat boarding facilities, as well as large chains with several locations each.
You can also see other cat owners’ reviews and easily compare the descriptions of features, amenities, and prices from one cat boarding facility to another.
A cat hotel is a type of cat boarding. It is usually considered a nicer and more cat-friendly option.
This is because these facilities specialize in only caring for cats. There are many benefits to this.
First of all, there will be no dogs or other animals in the facility. This way, you do not need to worry about your cat being disturbed by the sound of dogs barking, or their smell or any other aspect of these animals.
This will likely help your cat be less frightened and more comfortable.
Managers and employees of cat hotels are also typically more specially trained and experienced with caring for cats. Therefore, they are usually both better prepared and equipped to care for cats’ unique needs and personalities.
Because of this, they also may be more alert to any issues that your cat may be dealing with during its stay and be able to more quickly identify a remedy.
They also are more likely to have features that your cat enjoys and appreciates, such as better food and toys that are more geared toward cats rather than generic pet enclosures.
Is Boarding Your Cat Bad?
Generally, boarding your cat is an effective way to be sure that your cat is safe, fed, and looked after while you are away or otherwise unable to watch your cat yourself.
The difference in environment can be stressful to your cat, however. Also, although professional precautions are taken, there is somewhat more of a chance that your cat could catch germs from being an environment with so many other animals, even though they are kept separately.
Alternatives to Cat Boarding
If you are concerned that boarding might not be the best decision for your cat, there are a few alternatives.
You could ask a friend, relative, or neighbor to check on your cat for you while you are away. You will need to give specific instructions about food, water, the litter box, and making sure that the cat does not escape.
You could also pay a professional pet sitter. If you will be gone for more than a few days and opt not to do cat boarding, a professional pet sitter is generally recommended.
What Is Boarding Your Cat?
Cat boarding involves caring for your cat at a facility that specializes in caring for animals. It is meant to help either while you are on vacation or if there is some other temporary reason why your cat cannot be cared for by you at home.