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Boarding My Kitty?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I am going on vacation for 3 weeks. The trip involves several flights to 3 different cities and, due to the events of the trip, its just not possible to take him with me. So, I am wondering if anyone has ever boarded their cat, especially for such a long period of time?

I would be boarding him at his vet which is cat exclusive. He would have a large "cage" and I can book play times for him. Also the "cage" would be up against a glass wall so he can look outside all day. I hate to leave him for such a long and worry that he will forget me or be traumatized in some way. He is a very easy going cat, not nervous or anything, but wants lots of affection that I doubt he'll get being boarded. However, I feel that it would be better to board him than to find people to come and check on him at home. At home, he would be alone for 3 weeks except for the 20 mins a day when someone comes to check up on him. At least at the vet, he see people every day. I'm just very nervous about it but am not sure what else to do. I'm looking for success stories I guess!
post #2 of 11
I'd probably board my cats if I couldn't find someone to spend at least a couple hours a day with them. There are some very nice places to board animals, but you really need to look around. Your vet does sound like it's a nice place, but it doesn't hurt to look around a bit more.

I don't know that this is a success story, but my grandparents owned a pet store, and they did boarding for dogs (and possibly cats, but I don't remember for sure). Those dogs were very well cared for, walked several times a day, visited often, etc. There are boarders who do it because they genuinely care about the animals.
post #3 of 11
Based on your description of the boarding facility, I think your cat will be just fine.
post #4 of 11
My family has boarded our cat and dog at our vet in the past, when we didn't have any close friends available to pet sit. They have always been treated very well there. While I don't like having to board them, I find it comforting that they are at the vet on the possibiliy of a medical problem or something. Due to the fact that I'm away at college and my parents have business trips or vacations, they have boarded a few times. Many of the people who work there have been there for several years so our pets know them from their vet check ups and prior boarding. Which is good since it is not a complete stranger looking after them.
post #5 of 11
I worked at a vet clinic that boarded dogs, cats, & bunnies...just wanted to let you know that most vets' offices are staffed by certified animal nuts...meaning that we just can't get enough of them, even though we work with them! Many of my clinic's employees (myself included) would actually go back & spend part of their lunch hour hanging out with the boarding pets. Tons of petting & a few snacks (to those allowed to have snacks!) were doled out during this time. Your clinic sounds like they make the extra effort to look after their boarding kitties...scheduled playtime sounds great! If you're worried about your baby being nervous or uncomfortable away from home, see if the clinic will let you send along a T-shirt or nightshirt you've been wearing so something smells like home to him. Also, the Bach Flower essence called Rescue Remedy is very helpful for calming cats nerves; if you bring it along, the boarding staff probably won't mind adding it to your baby's water.
post #6 of 11
I've boarded my cats before, and they've always done fine (though I'm very picky about where I'll board them - they stay at a cats-only clinic too). Some boarding facilities will even schedule "playtimes" where your cat will get some extra time & attention out of the cage in a play area. The good thing about a cat clinic is that there will usually be people coming & going, and stopping to say hi to the cats. Also, you can be pretty certain that all the employees like cats and know how to handle them, and if the cats need medical care, it'll be right there.

Be sure to check out the facility first (it sounds like you already have). Talk with the people responsible for caring for the cats and observe them with the animals, and you can usually tell if they really care about animals.

It's also a good idea to check the place's policy for preventing escapes - most good boarding facilities & vet clinics have a sort of 'escape-resistant' setup where if the cat gets out there are at least two sets of doors that would have to be open for him to get outside.

Hope this helps
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
I have now been presented with another option. I would fly Lenny (via a cargo program offeredy by Delta) to my mother's house where he would stay for 10 days until I arrive. During those 10 days, a friend of the family would come to check on him and give him some attention at least once a day. He would then fly back home with me as carry-on luggage.

Even though I know the flying will be hard on him, I think this might be better because it involves be separated from me for 10 days rather than 3 weeks (although maybe its better for me, rather than him! ) Any thoughts on this arrangement as opposed to boarding him for 3 weeks?
post #8 of 11
It might be a little hard on him. I think either one may be a little hard, he won't know what is going on. I left my cats alone for 10 days and had my sister come check on them every other day. Found out she only came every 3 or 4 days, but they had each other to play with plus I had 6 litterboxes out. So it was okay, just not ideal.

I don't know if I have an opinion either way I guess I am not much help. I think it would depend on how long the flight is.
post #9 of 11
You could also ask a trusted friend that your cat knows to cat sit. Let them live in your house for the 3 weeks and pay them what you would have to pay to board your cat. It would be much less stressful if he/she were able to stay in their home.
post #10 of 11
Personally, I'd be reluctant to fly a cat as cargo...I've heard too many horror stories, and even if the flight could be made safely, it's sure to be very stressful.

If you have someone that you absolutely trust to check in on him at least every day, preferably twice a day, that might be best, but make sure it's someone who will check on your cat every day, come hell or high water. I've heard horror stories about neighbors/friends forgetting to check on cats too. If you go for a pet sitter, get one with good references, and who has veterinary experience.

If he's a social cat boarding probably would be fine for him, and you can be sure he'll be watched over and tended to. Boarding is more of an issue for cats who aren't social and are fearful of strangers and strange places - super-shy cats may stop eating while they're being boarded. My tortie who was so shy of strangers that she'd run under the bed when someone walked near my apartment tended to lose a little weight while she was boarding, but I found a nice place where she actually liked the kennel guy, and she did fine there - she boarded with them for 2 weeks and didn't lose any weight. The other four who are relatively social have always done just fine boarding.
post #11 of 11
Originally Posted by touro1979
You could also ask a trusted friend that your cat knows to cat sit. Let them live in your house for the 3 weeks and pay them what you would have to pay to board your cat. It would be much less stressful if he/she were able to stay in their home.
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