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To Board or Not To Board - That is the Question

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I'll try to keep this brief. Inky (he's a 1+ year old Orange Tabby) and I (56 year old white-haired man) live in a small studio apartment. Inky's been with since March and is pretty well-adjusted to not going out -- the shelter I got him from didn't know much about him, except that he was turned into the Baltimore Police.

My real residence is in Massachusetts where my wife and stepson live -- I'm hoping to move my job home in the next few months. I go home about once a month for a few days, except for holiday weeks like Memorial Day, Labor Day, and of course, Thanksgiving when I spend a week at home. I have always boarded Inky at his vet and except for the fact that he gets real quiet when he figures out where we're going, he seems to be OK about it. The folks at the vet are good about playing with their boarders and they change the cats cages once a day. They report that he's noisy and growly the first day or so and then he settles into being there and seems to be fine.

So, my dilemma: I feel awful every time I have to do this to Inky. I could hire a cat sitter to look in on Inky, but I am fearful that he will escape and that I won't be there to find him. I leave the window (with screen, naturally) open for him during the day which he loves. I live in a large apartment complex and if he gets loose, I'm not sure if he would know where to come back to, assuming he came back at all. I've always felt that when he's boarding at the vet, I know where he is, that he's in good hands, getting 2 squares a day, being played with and I don't have to worry about him. Everybody at the vet always says how much love Inky.

I apologize for the length, but I would value any opinions you might have.

Jeff (and Inky)
post #2 of 6

it seems that Inky is ok with boarding. Why would you think he would get out. A reputable cat sitter would not allow that to happen. Do you think he will knock out the screen? Of that's the case only allow the window open two inches at the bottom. Maybe he likes the vacation at the vets, if the choice is to be home alone. It sounds like you are more comfortable with him there. Can you conduct an experiment and just leave for one day and night returning early the next day to see how he fared?

I have a friend come over once a day, and the last time had a cat sitter come over twice in the week to give one cat a pill. I have three cats now.
I always leave them at home with a once a day visit. Onc time I took and elderly cat on vacation with me, she cryed the whole three hours in the car. Valium did not help. I won't do that again.
post #3 of 6
Given your fears, perhaps boarding is a better option.

How easy/hard is it for Inky to get out? Are you worried about thieves breaking in and Inky getting out then?

Whether you decide to board or not, but especially if not, please get Inky microchipped in case he gets out (acts of god and war, etc. etc.) If Inky wheres a collar, make sure it is a safety collar that will break loose if he's caught on something.

Welcome to the Cat Site!
post #4 of 6
I say if he's used to it, and it gives you peace of mind, then boarding him is fine. He sounds well looked after there, and then you don't have to worry about him so much while you're away.
post #5 of 6
Welcome to The Cat Site!! You've come to the right place for advice

I think it sounds as though you're more comfortable with him at the vets. You'd probably be worried sick with a cat sitter!

Ask around or maybe ask the vets and see if they know any reputable cat sitters, and maybe meet with them and see what you think then. If you're still not comfortable with it, then keep him boarded at the vets.

Good luck, and feel free to stop by regularly for all your kitty questions
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of your advice and comments. Just to clarify, I'm not worried about thieves, but my apartment complex management has a habit of deciding to change a/c filters, etc. when it's most inconvenient -- which is next week when I'm gone. I'd put up a fuss, but they don't know I have a cat and there is an $800 deposit (!) required if you have a cat or a dog. We all know that the deposit is so big because dogs can't use litter boxes! I'll save my rant about people who keep dogs cooped up in small places later.

I've decided to board Inky this time and try the cat sitter on a long weekend. The cat sitter works for the vet, so she is fine with my decision. I had Inky microchipped when I bought him, but he won't wear a collar. My understanding is that animal control people don't always check to see if cats and dogs are microchipped...

I've started posting again after a long absence. As soon as I have enough posts, I'll post a picture of Inky.

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