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Cat Only Boarder in GTA or Surrounding Area

DustinsMom
December 22nd, 2008, 04:06 AM
Hi Everyone,

I am new to the forum and hope this question has not been posted and answered elsewhere. I am seeking a top-rate "cat only" boarder for my 6 year old male cat, and would ideally like someone in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area), or surrounding area(s).

This is the first time I am boarding my boy and am nervous that I don't know enough about cat-only boarders to select the right one. Can anyone recommend a loving boarder that they were completely impressed with and would have zero qualms using again? Are there any questions I should be asking the boarder owner, other than the obvious ones such as size of living/kennel space, feeding schedule, litter change/cleaning schedule & free time out to roam?

I am considering "Cats Only Bed & Breakfast" in Burlington (www.catsonly.ca) but do not know anything about them. The owner seems like a lovely lady on the phone and her website is pretty detailed. I just wish I knew someone who has used her and had a really positive experience.

I would also like to know if anyone has used "The Cats Pyjamas" (www.thecatspyjamas.ca), and how it compares to places such as Cats Only B&B.

Any and all help and advice is greatly appreciated.

~DustinsMom :cat:

DustinsMom
December 22nd, 2008, 04:11 AM
Oh, I forgot to ask if anyone knows of a website where people write reviews of their impressions and experience with Cat Boarders in Ontario. Does such a thing exist?

Thanks again!

Stacer
December 22nd, 2008, 05:20 AM
Hands down, the best cats-only boarder is Cat Nap cottages in Arkell, just south of Guelph, www.catnapcottages.ca. WE drove from Mississauga to bring them there, they won't be goign anywhere else from now on.

Here's my thread about our experience there with our 2 cats. http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=48820&highlight=cat+nap+cottages

Anita and her staff are awesome and it's apparent that they really love what they do.

I HIGHLY recommend Cat Nap Cottages for sure!

DustinsMom
December 22nd, 2008, 06:28 AM
Thank you so much for your reply, Stacer! I am totally blown away by the extra details provided at Cat Nap Cottage and am thrilled to hear that your kitties had such a positive experience there. This boarder sounds so good that I doubt she'll have any space available last minute (though I'll call today and inquire :fingerscr).

My sister had offered to cat-sit for me over Christmas for 10 days while I am away, but can't now due to serious behavioural problems that she is trying to resolve with her two adult cats. It's simply too risky to expose my cat to hers when things are finally starting to stabilize again in their living environment. So here I am scrambling around last minute trying to find a quality cat-only boarder - a task more challenging than I ever imagined! :frustrated:

Out of curiosity, and because I might be able to secure accommodations here, did you take a look at "Cats Only Bed & Breakfast" while you were researching boarders earlier this year? If I can't reserve a space with the #1 cat-only boarder, I'd feel better knowing I found the next best thing. :)

Thanks once again for all the help - it's truly appreciated! And if anyone else had a fantastic experience with a cat-only boarder near Toronto/Mississauga, I'd love to hear about it.

sugarcatmom
December 22nd, 2008, 06:58 AM
If there's no room at Cat Nap, what about hiring a pet sitter to come to your place? Depending on your cat's personality, that might be less stressful, and in some cases cheaper. Here is a pet sitter locator:
http://www.petsit.com/locate/

DustinsMom
December 22nd, 2008, 07:39 AM
Yes, I did consider a cat sitter then decided against it because I am concerned that the excessive time spent on his own will really upset him. I adopted this cat from a family of 4 who had 2 other cats, so he was raised with lots of feline stimulation and human contact. Since I work from home, he is rarely left for more than an evening on his own and has adapted extremely well to his new environment (we've had him 8 months now). It's just my husband and I and we don't have any other pets, so he thrives on all the attention he receives from us. However, we do sense that he misses having feline companionship and another pet to play with. For these reasons we are worried that a sudden reduction of people in his daily enviornment (other than a short daily visit from a cat sitter) might cause more harm than good while we're away.

Are we being over protective here and perhaps worrying more than necessary? This is our first cat so we're not 100% certain of his tolerance levels and don't want to risk any behavioural problems from developing. As much as I'm nervous about leaving him alone and using an in-home cat sitter service, I'm just as nervous about taking him to a cat boarder, but for different reasons.

DustinsMom
December 22nd, 2008, 07:57 AM
No luck with Cat Nap; just got off the phone with them and they're completely booked for my dates. I did place my name and number on their waiting list, just in case someone cancels in the next 48 hours. :pray:

Thanks again Stacer for the recommendation!

Stacer
December 22nd, 2008, 08:40 AM
I didn't look at Cats Only when we were searching, sorry. One place in Mississauga that I will NOT recommend that you call is Cat's Meow Motel, absolutely awful conditions, cats roaming everywhere, smelly, dirty.

We learned our lesson the hard way with that place, our cats were only there for 1 day (we needed a quick place to put them while our apartment was being treated for ants, that's a whole other long story, lol) and when we picked them up they were so friggin' stressed it took them days to get back to normal

onster
December 22nd, 2008, 08:54 AM
Just wanted to add another reccomendation to catnap cottages. I took my kitties there on reccomendation of Stacer. They were boarded for about 2 months this summer...best place ever. I couldnt reccomend them highly enough.

Heres a thread I had made about my experience..
http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=55232&highlight=catnap+cottages

Also Rogers did a piece on Catnap when my kitties were there and they got to be stars :cool: lol. see here http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=55752&highlight=catnap+cottages


I hope they do end up having a cancellation...they might! I ended up shortening my holiday so other ppl were able to get in last minute :thumbs up

DustinsMom
December 22nd, 2008, 08:54 AM
Good to know about Cat's Meow. My biggest fear is that our cat will end up stressed out and not bounce back due to the upset from a half-baked boarding experience. And I don't know what's worse - having him feel semi-abandoned by leaving him alone all day if we hire a cat-sitter to come in and feed and change his litter, or the stress of being held in a foreign/kennel environment. This is a really hard decison that I've never had to make before, so now I'm feeling stressed! :wall:

DustinsMom
December 22nd, 2008, 09:00 AM
Onster - thank you for sharing your experience and confirming that Cat Nap is an excellent facility. I'm can only hope that someone changes their mind or needs to cancel their booking and that I receive a call in enough time to drive my cat to Guelph. I live in NE Toronto, so it's a bit of hike to get out there - but I'm willing to drive the distance if it means our kitty is well cared for.

onster
December 22nd, 2008, 09:00 AM
i just read that its 10 days ure looking to board them....honestly its not soooo long that I would worry about having a cat sitter. If its between a cat sitter and a boarding place u have no info about I would go with a sitter :shrug: He might be a little bored but im sure he'll be fine..usually sitters will tire them out good during the time theyre there.

DustinsMom
December 22nd, 2008, 09:10 AM
BTW, I tried to watch the video on Cat Nap but the Rogers link to the clip you provided isn't working anymore. What a shame - I really wanted to see more of Cat Nap and spot your two kitties!

DustinsMom
December 22nd, 2008, 09:22 AM
i just read that its 10 days ure looking to board them....honestly its not soooo long that I would worry about having a cat sitter. If its between a cat sitter and a boarding place u have no info about I would go with a sitter :shrug: He might be a little bored but im sure he'll be fine..usually sitters will tire them out good during the time theyre there.

You have a good point. I'm so torn between these two options (sitter vs. boarder) and what the best solution is for the cat. I just don't want him to act out due to any anger or stress about being left alone for 10 days and start peeing on the carpets or attacking the furniture. Not that he has ever done either one before, but hey, he has never been left this long on his own in his life either. <sigh>

mona_b
December 22nd, 2008, 09:23 AM
A friend of mine has used cats only...She said they were GREAT..And she would use them again...:thumbs up.

Have you ever thought of getting your kitty a friend?...:D

I have 2 cats..They are fine to leave alone for the weekend..But as of Wednesday,I will be gone for 5 days..The ex will be checking up on them. Which he does when I have to be gone longer....I just feel it's better for them to be in their own enviroment then sending them somewhere...But that's just me...:D

Stacer
December 22nd, 2008, 03:31 PM
I too wouldn't worry too much about leaving him at home with a pet sitter visiting once a day. He'll probably be more comfortable in his own environment and less stressed. I think most sitters let you choose how long you'd like them to stay and keep your pet company (within reason).

It might even work out cheaper to have a sitter come rather than board. We might try this route next time we go away, just to avoid disrupting the cats' routine of sleeping on our bed, eating, then jumping on the counter, chasing each other around the kitchen table, eating, then back up to bed for another snooze, lol.

DustinsMom
December 22nd, 2008, 08:44 PM
A friend of mine has used cats only...She said they were GREAT..And she would use them again...:thumbs up.

Have you ever thought of getting your kitty a friend?...:D

I have 2 cats..They are fine to leave alone for the weekend..But as of Wednesday,I will be gone for 5 days..The ex will be checking up on them. Which he does when I have to be gone longer....I just feel it's better for them to be in their own enviroment then sending them somewhere...But that's just me...:D

This is great news and a real relief! The owner of Cats Only (Ursula) is trying so hard to help me out since she is booked solid as well. However, she has offered to lodge our cat in her home and in a kennel that is the size a German Sheppard would use...?. Dustin will have roaming privledges during certain times each day in her home, and perhaps a bit more if he is a good boy. The kennel will be placed by her bay window looking out at bird feeders which is important for him (he loves looking out windows). Since she has proper openings on the 29th, she will transition our furball into the main cattery at that time. Before he officially moves though, she will take him into the common area of the cattery to get a feel for the place so it isn't a shock to his system.

What does everyone think of this idea - is it out there or risky in any way?

The cat sitter option does have it's pro's, no doubt about it, but at this late stage I am in panic mode and don't have a clue who to investigate. Does anyone have a cat sitter (service) that they love and would recommend? I've never used or hired a cat sitter before and wouldn't know where to begin. My hubby feels strongly that its too late to find a good sitter and that we should just commit to Cats Only since the owner is so willing to help us (and does sound like a lovely lady). BTW, I came across Cats Only by referral from a cat boarder in Perth, Ontario (www.catsmeowinn.com/Boarding.html).

Eventually we are going to get another companion cat for our kitty-boy since we feel strongly that he'll be super happy to have his own 'pet' to raise and play with. :)

DustinsMom
December 22nd, 2008, 08:55 PM
I too wouldn't worry too much about leaving him at home with a pet sitter visiting once a day. He'll probably be more comfortable in his own environment and less stressed. I think most sitters let you choose how long you'd like them to stay and keep your pet company (within reason).

It might even work out cheaper to have a sitter come rather than board. We might try this route next time we go away, just to avoid disrupting the cats' routine of sleeping on our bed, eating, then jumping on the counter, chasing each other around the kitchen table, eating, then back up to bed for another snooze, lol.

Once I get through this last-minute ordeal with a cat boarder (looks as if I'll have to go this route right now), I will seriously look into a sitter service the next time we have to go away for this length of time. I, too, feel Dustin will be more comfortable in his own home, even if he feels somewhat lonely. I guess I'll know for certain what way we'll go the next time once we get back from this trip and observe Dustin's behavior in his home environment.

Stacer - did your cats adjust quickly when they returned home from Cat Nap after your two week trip? I know that Cat Nap is great, but I guess a boarder is still a boarder regardless of how good they are. And a cat might still act a bit 'off' once it returns home, even though it was well cared for.

Stacer
December 22nd, 2008, 09:32 PM
Yeah, it took them a while to reacquaint themselves with our apartment, but they didn't seem stressed, just needed to put their scent all over everything againact differently.

They weren't stressed from their stay, by the time we picked them up they had adjusted to the boarding. They were a little stressed from the car ride home more than anything.

You could try getting Bach's Rescue Remedy if you're concerned with stress. You can find it at Shopper's Drugmart in the supplement section. It's a natural anti-anxiety formula that helps relieve the stress of travelling or new environments. It works on anxious pet parents too!

mona_b
December 23rd, 2008, 10:13 AM
This is great news and a real relief! The owner of Cats Only (Ursula) is trying so hard to help me out since she is booked solid as well. However, she has offered to lodge our cat in her home and in a kennel that is the size a German Sheppard would use...?. Dustin will have roaming privledges during certain times each day in her home, and perhaps a bit more if he is a good boy. The kennel will be placed by her bay window looking out at bird feeders which is important for him (he loves looking out windows). Since she has proper openings on the 29th, she will transition our furball into the main cattery at that time. Before he officially moves though, she will take him into the common area of the cattery to get a feel for the place so it isn't a shock to his system.

What does everyone think of this idea - is it out there or risky in any way?

Now just a question..Is he going to be in this kennel cause of other cats in her home? Is there not a room he can be in? Just wondering how Dustin would take to this...:)

I do like the idea of how she does her transitions....;)

A GSD Kennel is pretty big....:D

Also,do you have any neighbors that you are close to that can check in on Dustin? Or close friends?

As for another kitty, it would be GREAT for him....:D

cateroo
March 15th, 2009, 02:09 PM
Hi, wish I had found this website a few weeks ago! It might have saved the health of my cats, money, and a lot of stress.
Just returned from vacation and boarded our cats at a facility where the cats are allowed to mingle with one another. Thought I was doing the right thing and that they would be happier not confined to a crate. I checked the facility beforehand and had a look at the other cats who all seemed healthy and well cared for. Within a day of picking them up I have one extremely ill cat who has had to be hospitalized for severe dehydration and diarrea, and second cat is also exhibiting signs of gastro upset. My veterinarian is very unhappy and not impressed with my boarding decision. Emphatically stated that strange cats should never be allowed to co-mingle in a boarding facility, no idea of what viruses etc they have been exposed to and that the entire experience has proven to be very stressful for them. I will never make that mistake again. If you are considering a cage free boarding experience please check with your vet first. I wish I had.

DustinsMom
March 18th, 2009, 11:55 AM
Hi everyone - I'm so sorry for the long overdue update! :o I lost track of the link for this website and finally found it again after much searching. Suffice it to say, I am so glad I found this forum again!

Our experience using Cats Only boarding for 10 days during the Christmas holidays was EXCELLENT!!! The owner was able to put Dustin in his own kennel in the main boarding area, so there was no need to keep him in her house for a few days and then transition him over once another kennel opened up.

During Dusty's stay we were told that he liked to roam around in the common area while his kennel was being cleaned, etc., but that he wasn't overly interested in socializing with the other cats (who were in their own kennels). He basically ignored them. He also "might" have sneezed once so Ursula (the owner), ever so cautious, sent us home with some tablets to give him that would boost his immune system. He didn't need them and was perfectly fine, but Ursula's attention to every detail and concern over the cats she cares for was greatly appreciated all the same! This woman does not take any chances and is very careful to ensure that any cat that enters her facility has updated vaccine shots (must produce papers to authenticate) and is ear-mite and flea-free. If she even suspects for a moment that a cat might be sick, she will quarantene it in a special area that is separated from all the other cats. These extra precautions were very important to us because we did not want our kitty coming home ill or with fleas!

When we picked Dustin up to take home he was calm and relaxed and non-plused by his boarding expereince. However, once in the car he let us have an earful and was VERY vocal for a good half hour! He eventually calmed down again and was thrilled when we stopped for coffee and let him out of his carrier to sit on my lap and snuggle. When we finally got home he raced around a wee bit and then headed directly to my closet where he decided to take a nap for a few hours. He only uses my closet as a 'safe place' when he feels stressed or scared, so we knew he was a little out of sorts. Seeking the closet only lasted until that evening. Once he came out to say hello to us he was good as gold and resumed his normal activities and behaviour as if he had not been anywhere else for the past week and a half.

We were so impressed with Ursula of Cats Only and that our fella wasn't affected by the experience in any negative way, that we would use this boarder again without hesitation. :thumbs up Highly recommended - www.catsonly.ca/

dollface
June 7th, 2009, 08:03 PM
We just got home from our weekend away, and Ursula @ CatsOnly was awesome to deal with!

We were a bit hesitant at first to put our two in the same bunk cuz Forest has a habit of beating on Gizzy, but it worked out in the end! Ursula said they slept together in the same bed! I think Forest was a little peeved off at us when we were leaving though. He's never been away from home before, so when we were leaving he wouldn't even look at us but had a face that said "I hate you guys" :laughing:

Ursula said Forest wandered out to play but Gizzy stayed in the bed, since he's the shyer one :o. When we picked them up today, Gizzy clung to the pet bed but eventually we got him in his carrier. No problems, with Forest. Got an earful on the way home, but I think it had more to do with the car ride than the weekend away. When Forest is scared his meow sounds like "OWWWWWW" and Gizzy does his normal squeak mew :rolleyes:

So we get home, let them out, nobody hid and both just wandered around getting the feel of home again. No problems whatsoever, I'm so proud of them! :cloud9: Gizzy had 2 naps beside me and hasn't stopped chatting about his weekend :)

We went to St.Thomas for the weekend, so it was a plus that CatsOnly was on the way there. We have 2 more trips coming up but at in the Northern cities. I've looked for Cat Boarding near Barrie, but they don't come close to CatsOnly, and some are more expensive! So I doubt they will be going anywhere else.

I also recommend CatsOnly B&B (http://www.catsonly.ca), in Burlington! :thumbs up She books up fast when school's out, so if you need to board your cats call early! I'll be calling tomorrow! :laughing: