Boarding Your Cat

For a variety of reasons, more people are discovering the delight of living with cats. In urban areas, apartment dwellers find that cats offer companionship, without the need for frequent outdoor exercise periods. In rural areas, cats still fulfill their function as rodent catchers for many households. If you are a cat owner, you are undoubtedly very attached to your furry roommate. However, there will be times when you will have to make arrangements for your cat’s care when you are traveling on business, vacations, or when you host out-of-town guests who are allergic to cats. Therefore, you should examine some of the facts about cat care that will help you to understand the advantages of boarding your cat with an ABKA member pet care facility. 

What options are available? 
It is important to remember that cats do not usually travel well. Many people who try to take their cats along with them on their vacation end up spending most of their vacation time searching for their escaped pets. Leaving your cat with friends is just as unsatisfactory. A cat must go through an adjustment period in a new environment, and this means that your cat will not look upon your friend’s house as “home” for quite awhile. Therefore, your cat may try to escape from the strange house at every opportunity or hide as a fear reaction. Most cat owners recognize that it is not fair to impose this kind of responsibility on their friends, nor is it a safe arrangement for their pets. Having a boarding facility care for your pets in your absence is, therefore, the best alternative.
How do you arrange for placing your cat in a boarding facility? 
Stop by your local ABKA boarding facility and visit with the owner. Get acquainted with the people who will be caring for your cat. Ask questions—take nothing for granted. Find out if toys or bedding are welcome. Find out about the diet the facility provides. (If there is a special diet that you would like your cat to adhere to, most boarding facilities will allow you to provide such food and will see to it that your cat is fed only what you request.) Discuss safety features. 

The experienced staff members at an ABKA boarding facility are trained to recognize the warning signs of potential health problems, and will contact a veterinarian if they feel it is called for. It is not, however, part of the staff’s job to diagnose or to prescribe. If your cat requires veterinary aid while he or she is boarding, you should be aware that you are financially responsible for such aid. Make certain that you understand the rate structure for all services and hours of operation. The fee for boarding includes, not only the care of your cat, but also the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your cat is safe and with someone you can trust. 

You should be aware of the boarding facility’s policy and discuss it with your veterinarian prior to boarding your cat. In fairness to the facility, you should also make sure that your cat is not exposed to any contagious cat diseases prior to boarding. 

Stress is a factor 
Any animal in strange surroundings suffers from stress. This means that the normal immune process is affected, as well as eating and digestive habits. Remember that the more often your cat boards, the more adjusted your cat will be to the boarding environment, and the easier the boarding process becomes for your cat. 

Welcoming your cat home 
After you pick up your cat from the boarding facility, let it "tell" you about its stay. Lavish attention on your cat so he or she knows it was missed.