8 Benefits of Cat Boarding to Ensure Peace of Mind for Your Next Trip

How to Prepare to Ensure Your Cat Has the Best Possible Cat Boarding Experience

A preconceived notion about cats is that they don’t care whether we (their humans!) are around, but anyone who has ever received a “gift” in their suitcase after they’ve traveled knows this isn’t always the case. Sure, some cats are more independent than others, but if you’ve got an upcoming trip, it’s best to make a plan to give you peace of mind while ensuring your feline friend is also in good hands. And while many people have cat sitters come to their homes, cat boarding is another excellent option. That’s why we’ve created a blog post that will go over the benefits of cat boarding and how you can prepare your precious pet for a successful stay.

The Benefits of Boarding Your Cat While You Travel

Boarding dogs has become so second nature; many of us don’t even think about it when we’ve got impending travel. However, the truth is, there are also many upsides to boarding your cat—both for you and for them.

Senior cat on a harness and leashed

Prepare your pet for a comfortable boarding experience!

Some of the benefits of cat boarding are:

  1. You won’t have to allow a stranger in your home — Even if it’s a friend or family member; this can often be inconvenient. Many of us feel like we must clean and organize our place for someone else to visit or stay, and this is often just one more thing to do when preparing for your trip. And if you are forced to have someone you don’t know do it, you’re taking some risks both in whether they’re going to be a reliable caretaker for your pet and going to respect your home.
  2. Your cat will get affection while you’re gone — Okay, okay, we know that another preconceived notion is that cats are aloof, but plenty of cats yearn for cuddles. And even if your cat doesn’t, they’ll still likely be soothed by the presence of humans and possibly other cats. These caretakers will also likely provide mental stimulation through games so you won’t return home to a bored and bitter feline.
  3. Cat boarding reduces the risk of your cat getting out and/or running away — As careful as your cat sitter may be, there’s always a risk that your cat could get out during their visits. This is particularly scary if your cat has strictly been indoors only. On the other hand, cat boarding is quite secure, and your cat will often have their own “condo” (or a shared one with other cats in your family) in a kitty wing. Either way, we recommend microchipping your pet, as it’s the only permanent means of identification should they ever get lost.
  4. Feline boarding facilities are often certified — Most pet boarding services and cat hotels are licensed by local authorities, which means they’re also insured. If this is important to you, you can always ask to see their license and certification. If something happens to your home during a cat sitter’s visit, there’s really no recourse for you to take.
  5. Daily litter box cleaning! — We should have led with this one, as every cat owner knows a break from having to scoop the litter box is a much-needed respite. Cat sitters could be lax about this, and cats can be very finicky about their litter boxes—any change in how their litter box is cleaned could result in them going outside of it (and in other creative places!). Daily litter box cleaning is a big perk of choosing cat boarding.
  6. Most cats don’t like travel — Unlike their dog counterparts, most cats get stressed when traveling in cars or on planes. This will cause your trip to be stressful for you, making cat boarding an excellent alternative.
  7. Cat boarding makes getting help for a sick cat more accessible — Some cat boarding facilities have veterinarians on staff, or they at least have a 24-hour emergency veterinarian on call. This makes it much easier to get your cat help should they fall ill when you’re away, as a person who comes into your home twice a day might not even notice that your pet is unwell. In addition, many cat boarding facilities have someone on staff who can give your cat medication, which may not be a task you want to entrust a stranger with.
  8. Cat boarding helps avoid those awkward favors — Just asking friends or family members to help watch pets can be stressful, so it’s sometimes best to avoid that altogether by choosing the cat boarding option.

Some Basic Things You Can Expect from a Cat Boarding Facility

Of course, offerings and services provided will vary from facility to facility, but there are some general things most overnight cat boarding establishments offer.

Boarding establishments will provide cleaning and care services for your pet.

Some things you can expect from your cat boarding experience:

  • A clean, private crate or pen with plenty of room to move and space for a litter box
  • Clean bedding
  • Frequent staff visits to ensure the litter box is clean and that your cat has an optimal amount of food and water

Depending on what you hope to get from the experience, you might also find a cat boarding facility that offers veterinary care, shuttle service, and/or grooming.



How to Plan for a Successful Cat Boarding Experience

Once you find a favorite cat boarding facility, this will all become second nature. However, if you’re new to the experience, a bit of planning can go a long way in helping your cat to adjust and do well while you’re away.

Some things you can do to prepare for cat boarding are as follows:

Head of a cream, striped cat poking out of a bag

Even you can conquer the cat carrier.

Conquer the cat carrier — Hopefully, you’ve already used the cat carrier to get to veterinary and other appointments. Even then, though, it might already have a negative association. Get it out randomly, put it in an area they enjoy, and put things in it that will entice your cat to go inside, such as catnip toys, blankets they love, or treats. You might even try taking your cat in it for a ride around the neighborhood. Conquering the cat carrier will make the whole process easier.

Make sure you’ve got the necessary immunizations. Many cat boarding facilities will (hopefully!) mandate certain vaccinations to keep all their guests safe from airborne diseases, so you should probably call to make sure you know which ones they require and get up to date on any that you may be missing. At the very least, the Rabies and FVRCP vaccines will be required.  

Consider your cat’s stress level — If you’ve got a nervous cat, you might consider letting the facility know so they can make special arrangements, such as having a Feliway diffuser let off stress-reducing scents in your kitty’s wing. Thankfully, your cat will likely get more and more relaxed with their boarding experience each time.

Schedule a visit/trial run — You can ask the boarding facility if they might let your cat spend a bit of time there to take it all in so it’s not entirely new on the first day. You should also visit on your own if you haven’t yet to ensure the place is well-managed, clean, has an attentive staff, and provides ample space for your favorite feline.

Make a packing list — You should ask the boarding facility what they allow first, but if you can, you should consider packing things like favorite blankets, toys, and bedding with your home’s scent, food if your cat is picky, medications with their instructions, and anything else your cat might find comforting. Most facilities will provide the litter, but if your cat is particular about the type, you should pack that, too.

Share your cat’s “favorites” with the cat boarding staff. If your cat is new to the facility, let them know about your cat’s favorite food, treats, toys, blankets, eating patterns and preferences, how your cat interacts with other cats and anything that might cause your precious pet to be upset. The staff will do whatever they can to take these things into consideration and make your cat’s stay a positive one.

Remember, when you pick your cat up after your stay, they will likely need time to adjust to returning home just as they did when you dropped them off. Give them time to feel at home again.

If you have any further questions about cat boarding in Austin or want to book your stay with us, contact us today!