Our thanks to author, Lana Fraley Rich and our colleagues at the International Boarding & Pet Association for this article.

Whether you are planning a vacation or business trip, having remodeling done or hosting house guests who are allergic to cats, you will need to make arrangements for your feline family member’s care. And, even before you confirm the dates of your trip, your cat probably already knows something is going on!

Just as you have options for places to stay on your trip, you also have options for the care and safety of your feline family members while you are gone.

Maybe you have never really seriously considered boarding your cat. Borrow a little of your cat’s curiosity to explore all the options for your favorite cat’s care and enjoyment. Fortunately, there are some very good boarding facilities throughout the country which offer comfortable cat boarding.

HOME ALONE (NOT ALWAYS A FUNNY MOVIE)

Bored cats can get into trouble trying to entertain themselves, and no home is 100% safe for cats. When boarding your cat at a qualified facility, you won’t have to worry about your cat getting into “trouble” at home.

CUDDLY, COZY CAT CONDOS

Cats do very well in the cat condos or suites at a boarding facility. Most cat boarding facilities utilize their cat lover staff members in their specially designed cat boarding areas. Everyone wins since the cat staff gets to work with cats and the cats get to be”served” by the staff members who understand and relate to them the best.

They feel comfortable and secure with their own scent surrounding them and maybe one of their favorite small toys from home in their condo with them. Some facilities offer playtime and exercise time in a separate room and only allow one cat family in it at a time. Most facilities offer music and/or TV with cat-friendly DVDs for entertainment.

BETTER SAFE, THAN SORRY

You won’t have to worry about what might happen to your cat in case of an emergency at your home. What if a fire or flood occurred, the A/C shut down, your security alarm went off for some reason, or your cat had a seizure or cardiac event at home between the pet sitter’s visits? If there is a break-in or your home is not properly secured, your cats could escape or be injured.

DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY

At a high-quality boarding facility, (like New Mexican Kennels,) your cat will be closely supervised (varying from 8-10 hours a day) by a knowledgeable and attentive cat-loving staff.

Professional pet care providers are trained to recognize the warning signs of potential health problems and will contact a veterinarian if they feel it is necessary. With close monitoring throughout your cat’s stay, possible health problems such as urinary issues are often more easily detected while being boarded than at home.

Many IBPSA members voluntarily complete education and certification programs developed by veterinarians and industry experts, (NMK staff take these courses) and all pledge to provide conscientious care, deal honestly and fairly, respect customer confidence, continuously learn more to improve services and operate their business honorably.

BOARDING CHECKLIST

So, you can relax while you are away, knowing that your furry family member will be safe, here are some things to ask when considering a boarding facility:

  • Is it an IBPSA boarding facility?  (New Mexican Kennels is an IBPSA Boarding facility)
  • What are their requirements and policies for boarding (immunizations, age, health, etc.)? (See FAQ’s on our Cat Boarding page.)
  • How far in advance do you need to make reservations?
  • What information is needed about each cat and can you complete forms online? (See Cat Boarding and Reservation pages on our website.) 
  • What is their rate for all services and hours of operation? (See Cat Boarding page)
  • Do they offer long-term boarding rates or multi-cat family rates? (YES.)
  • Do they offer connecting suites so your cat family can stay together (if they are compatible with each other)? (YES.)
  • Do they have an isolation area if a cat doesn’t feel well? (YES)
  • Do they have a veterinarian on call or nearby who they use routinely? (YES, however, we call your veterinarian first.)
  • Can they administer medication, if needed, and what is the fee? (Yes, see our Special Needs page.)
  • What kind of food do they feed and can you bring in your own? (See Cat Boarding page)
  • What kinds of toys are allowed? How many and what size? Be sure to mark your cat’s toys with your name if they are allowed! (One or two toys, please mark with your name.)
  • Do they offer grooming services? (Sorry, we only bathe dogs. (We will brush your cat and trim nails.) What about flea control? (Please see your veterinarian for any flea control products.) 
  • Ask for a tour of their facility and to meet some of their staff. (YES, tours and meetings with the staff are always recommended.) 

Author: Lana Fraley Rich – catsultant.com