Even after spending much time and effort planning for that special vacation, something makes you think twice about leaving – your beloved cat! You should start making the rounds visiting cat boarding facilities in advance so you can pick the best one where your cat will be well taken care of when you go on your well-deserved vacation.
Here are some of the red flags that should raise an alarm for you when you observe them during your visit to the kitty spa, resort or hotel:
1. Schedule a meeting – Making an appointment with the personnel of the boarding facility can clear things up a bit for you. If the person you are talking to doesn’t seem to ask about relevant information and contact numbers, then they might not be that careful and concerned with your pet. A caring and knowledgeable staff is important.
2. Tour the place – Ask the person you’re speaking with if you can have a tour of the place. If they refuse, that should raise a red flag and you should check that facility off your list.
3. Get a Whiff of Air – Start your tour with the front office and then into the holding area for pets. Any smell of cat urine and feces should not be taken lightly. It could prove to be hazardous to your pet’s health to stay in a place where cleanliness is not on top of the priority list. Find out whether cages and litter boxes are disinfected between boarders.
4. Look for Sickly Cats – Are there sick cats in the boarding area? If your answer is yes, then head straight back home. Sick cats should not be in the boarding area where they can infect other cats; they should be with the vet or in a separate place.
5. Roomy Spaces and No Cages – If you see that the facility use cages, or places your pet in a confined space, then you should consider another boarding home for your kitty. Animals need to have space to move around, and multi-level enclosures are best.
6. Veterinarian Available for Emergencies – There should be a vet nearby where your cat can be taken if there are any accidents, injuries or sickness. Make sure also that someone is on-site during evenings and weekends in case of emergencies.
7. Enough Air – Check the ventilation of the place. In each boarding unit, there should be good ventilation.
8. Toys and Personal Favorites – You should also ask whether the facility will allow you to bring your pet’s favorite toys and personal things. This can help ease your pet’s separation anxiety. If they say no, it is a sign that they might not care so much about your pet’s comfort.
9. Daily Play – Attention is very important, especially if you check your cat into a boarding facility. You should take note of the daily attention given to your pet such as playing and grooming time.
10. No Dogs Allowed – There are facilities which board both dogs and cats, which can lead to stress in cats. If there are dogs in the facility, make sure they are being housed away from your feline friend.
Finding a well-run, caring and clean boarding facility is an important part of your cat’s wellbeing, and can ensure your peace of mind while you are on vacation or out of town.