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Guilt over boarding cat

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi, I'm new here. My kitty is nine months old and my husband and I are going on a trip soon. We have no choice but to board our cat. How do you deal with the guilt? I feel terrible. What are your experiences with this issue? How does you kitty act when coming home, etc. Any info would be appreciated.
post #2 of 5
The guilt is really tough. When my husband and I first moved to California, we had to go apartment shopping and keeping the cats in the hotel wasn't an option. The boarding place was okay, but I kept thinking about them all time. I finally went to visit and they were SO mad. They just kept squawking at me, telling me to get them out of there. I left there bawling, but we hadn't found a place yet. Turns out they were in a stall that had water dripping from the ceiling onto one of their beds. I was HOPPING mad and I'm never going back there. Luckily, I found an awesome gentleman that comes to my place when I travel and feeds and plays with the boys. They love him and it's worth every penny. Is that an option for you? An in-house sitter?
post #3 of 5
Look at as many boarding places as you can, talk to the people there and find out as much as you can. The way to tell the good ones- like good breeders- is that the people will be keen to talk to you about every little detail, love talking about cats and want as much information as you can give them. They also won't mind you ringing as often as you need to to check how things are going while the cats are with them. And find somewhere you like the look of. There are some really excellent kennels around, run by people who put a lot of thought and care into the cats they board. Living alone, there are times when I have had to board the cats out occasionally and they always go to the same place, where our cats have been going for years. It's a cats-only kennels, they have good sized runs where they can comfortably put my guys in together, and they have large pens where the cats can go for a couple of hours with a lot of room to play and have a different view. The other reason I love that particular kennels, apart from the staff, is that the pens are placed in a quiet garden with a view of a lake, on which are ducks and all kinds of other local wildlife. The entertainment value for the cats is huge!

Because they've consistently gone there my guys know they go, it's fine and I always come back. It might help when you do find a place you like, to let your kitty have just one night there before you leave, to get to know the place and to set the habit that you will always come back. It IS hard, I don't like doing it and I miss them like crazy, but finding somewhere you like and you trust and helping the cats to find it routine makes it easier on all of us.

A few other things we do by habit- send some of their own toys. The kennels (if they're any good at all) will have toys in the pens, but familiar and special ones are good. Their own baskets or beds, or towels/blankets etc, or a sweater of yours that you've worn, so there's something that smells of home and comfort they can sleep on. All good kennels will feed exactly what you feed at home, to your schedule and use the same catlitter, check that in advance. And I always leave the name and phone number of my own vet, although the kennels have their own vet to attend if needed, so that their full medical records can be accessed and checked. It's the little things that keep the blood pressure down.

Much sympathy- do try not to worry though. Sometimes it is necessary, like trips to the vet. It's finding ways to make it an ok experience. In over fifteen years of contact with this kennel and many different cats, we've only had one who was unhappy during her stay, she was bordering on being semi feral, and even she ate while she was there and was completely undistressed by the experience as soon as she was home.
post #4 of 5
It's hard, but just rememeber that they kitten is in good hands. He will be fine and happy to see you when you return.
post #5 of 5
My cats are boarded a couple of times a year. I've always started new additions off by taking them for a weekend, before the full stretch of a two week holiday. I think the key to your peace of mind is finding one that you are happy with - we have one with centrally heated runs, which overlooks fields, so there's something for the cats to watch. The lady is a former breeder as well, so she knows her cats and is really soft about them.

We tried taking blankets, etc, like the post above suggested, but the lady said she was really sorry, but she wasn't allowed to accept them. Apparently regulations here say that all beds should be easily washed, the plastic type, then she had to have her own supply of blankets, which are washed for each new boarder in the washing machine kept in the cattery for that purpose. She was too afraid of spot inspections to let us leave them. We weren't allowed to even leave a cardboard box that our cats enjoy playing in - she was too worried about her licence. Having said that she is a lovely, caring lady who we trust implicitly with our cats.

I expect the cats are bored out of their minds (when the novelty of yowling at the cat in the next pen has worn off) and hate being incarcerated in the pens, but I would rather know that they are safe and bored, rather than worry about what might be going on if they weren't there.

Reactions when we pick them up have ranged from the really fussy and happy to see us, being really clingy and following us around when we all get back home, to having a complete monk on and refusing to have anything to do with us for a couple of days!
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