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Cat boarding

February 2nd, 2006, 03:09 PM
We have a 6.5-month old kitty that we would like to find a good boarding facility for. I have two options that I'm considering. The first holds all cats in a large communal area, with food and water and litterboxes throughout the room. There are many things to play with and apparently the cats generally get along pretty well. The second option has large individual rooms with perches and individual outdoor runs. Cats are allowed out individually to roam throughout the house at certain points during the day. Cats are fed their own individual food and have individual litter boxes, and have no contact with the other cats being boarded. Both facilities are dog-free. Our cat is on a high-end diet and uses only an organic corn-based litter. Any opinions on the best facility to use? I haven't heard anything bad about either.

February 2nd, 2006, 03:24 PM
This is just my opinion, but I would NEVER leave my cats in a large room with a bunch of cats I didn't know. for a few reasons, most importantly, their health. I just wouldn't feel comfortable with them sharing litterboxes and possibly getting into fights with cats who may be carrying something - you don't know if every one of them is healthy and/or friendly.

so if I had to choose between those two, I'd go with the second option.

February 2nd, 2006, 03:38 PM
Thanks jessi76, that's sort of my feeling as well, but I keep thinking that maybe I'm being paranoid. But I really don't want other cats eating her food or using her litterbox!?!

Lucky Rescue
February 2nd, 2006, 03:48 PM
This is just my opinion, but I would NEVER leave my cats in a large room with a bunch of cats I didn't know.

Couldn't agree more! You could be exposing your cat to leukemia, FIV, chlamydia or just to being beaten up! This is a very poor boarding facility.

February 2nd, 2006, 09:28 PM
Agree with Lucky and the other poster - no way would I leave my cat in a place that allowed so many cats together. I am amazed they have a licence - Most regulated good facilities have individiual rooms for kitties with perches and do extra things that take the cat's needs into account.

February 3rd, 2006, 08:44 AM
No decent boarding facility allows cats from different homes to interact like that.You are almost guaranteed to bring home a very sick kitty.I would not even board a cat in a facility that allows cats from different families in the same common area,unless surfaces can and are washed thoroughly between cats.Cats are very susceptable to many viruses,not all of which can be vacc against.We board cats here in individual two story apartments with thier own blankets bedding litter box etc.After each cat goes home everything is washed,we use quat on cages and all bedding is washed using bleach/detergent/hot water.All cats must be up to date on all vacc.We have never had a problem with a cat being injured or contracting anything.Even though we board cats we try to encourage and recommend that people try to have someone care for the cat in thier own home,since no matter how good a boarding facility is it is more stressful for a cat than most dogs.No place like home for a cat!

February 3rd, 2006, 09:05 AM
I dont know where you're located, but if you're in Ontario within the GTA, this is a pet sitting service, that's very reasonable, and they come to your house to look after your pets. It was recommended by a friend and I will definiately be using them should I ever go away. I could and would never put my cats into boarding.

February 3rd, 2006, 01:29 PM
Is it really better leaving my cat alone for 2 weeks and having human interaction only once or twice a day than boarding her? That just doesn't seem right, but I am a first-time cat owner...

February 3rd, 2006, 02:01 PM
it sounds like you have the best intentions, but yes, in my opinion it is better to leave them home and have someone look in on them. Being in a new place is very stressfull for a cat. Personally, I wouldn't board my cats. If you do have someone who can look in on your cat, and who knows your cat (to play with her, pat her, etc), I think that would be just fine.

(btw, lots of us were first time cat owners at one time.. ask any questions you have!)

February 3rd, 2006, 02:02 PM
Under most circumstances I would say having someone drop by once or twice a day to take care of cats is much better than sending them out of their home to be boarded. However, the fact that you only have one cat, and your cat is only 6.5 months old makes two weeks seem like a long time for a cat to be completely by itself. I went to Hawaii for two weeks when my cat was an "only child" and she was about 9 months old, but my sister just lived in my apartment and stayed with her all the time. It depends on your cat, I guess. Most cats would hate to be uprooted from their home and daily routine, and would probably prefer to be a little lonely for a couple weeks, i would imagine, but then there are some cats that act more like dogs in the sense that they crave attention. I personally would get the cat-sitter, but then again, i have only ever had female cats that are typical females in that they are very independant...this is their home and they have their own lives that I am just lucky enough to be included in. :)

Lucky Rescue
February 3rd, 2006, 02:06 PM
and your cat is only 6.5 months old makes two weeks seem like a long time for a cat to be completely by itself.

Right. It will be a very long and lonely time for this kitty.:( I have left cats alone for two weeks, but there were always at least two for company.

Can you get another kitty?

February 3rd, 2006, 02:14 PM
Can you get another kitty?

That's a good try LR ! :D

February 3rd, 2006, 03:37 PM
Hmm.. a tricky one. What is the lesser of the two evils.. lonely or stressed?

Two weeks IS a long time home alone, especially for such a young cat.
I'd still say leaving her home is the best option, though.
Whoever is tending to her should be willing to spend time with her each day, for playtime, cuddles, etc.
I think I would try to enlist the help of as many "cat-visiters" as I could to ensure she has enough company - relatives, trusted neighbours.

Some preselected new toys that can be left periodically for her, and a cat perch where she can look out the window could help alleviate the boredom a bit.

Leaving out a couple of your personal items..., sweater, nightie, socks.. etc.. are also thought to be comforting to kitty while you're away.

If you do opt for the boarding, I would definitely say the one with individual rather than communal care.

I also like Lucky's suggestion!:D A kitty companion would be an ideal antidote for loneliness.

February 3rd, 2006, 08:30 PM
Thanks for all the great advice so far. We're actually not boarding Bella right now; it would be while we're on our honeymoon in about 5 months, so she'll be almost a year old. And getting another cat isn't an option in our current space, and I'm also quite worried about my allergies (which are usually quite bad around cats... my brother's gives me a rash.) We initially had Bella as a foster and then decided to adopt her, so I already knew that I was fine around her. I'd be too worried to just adopt another kitty without knowing how I'd be affected, and we really don't have anywhere appropriate to isolate a new cat right now. Bella seems fairly adaptable; when she first got here the Humane Society warned us she might be scared and hide but she was all over the place right away. She also loves new people and is quite cuddly, which is why I worry about leaving her alone. Plus, we'd have to leave her in the summer, and I worry about how to set the a/c, what to set it on etc. I'm fine with getting a cat sitter if that's the consensus, but I'm so paranoid! For a few days it would be a no-brainer for me, but a couple weeks? Again, thanks for all the great advice! Keep it coming! Oh, and if we do board her, it will definitely be at the individual facility.

February 4th, 2006, 01:45 AM
I'm glad Bella will be older when you leave. I would say you should leave her at home if you can get a really good pet-sitter (someone you know would be best). Someone to come in a couple of times a day and spend a fair amount of time cuddling her and playing with her so she is getting attention. Possibly have them leave a radio on softly for her inbetween visits, and they can also help with controlling the AC in your apartment. If that's not an option, than I guess I would go with the boarding facility. Bottom line is you know your cat best and I think only you can really decide what she would handle best: loneliness or stress from being in a new environment. One other thing to think about is, judging by some of the cat boarding facilities I know of, I wouldn't be too quick to assume Bella will be getting a whole lot of attention there either, as far as human interaction goes. Good luck with whatever you decide to do!