Cats, especially those who are indoor cats, are not used to living in many different environments which means that when they board for the first few times, the experience can be stressful. However, cat boarding doesn’t need to be a questionable experience for your cat. This is why we came up with this cat boarding prep list.
Getting your cat used to a new environment can be done in stages. We know that in some cases you need to board your cat right away, but if you have time for planning, your cat’s boarding experience can be greatly improved.
Visit the space where your cat will be boarding. Make sure the facility has a designated cat boarding area. The area should be clean, away from other boarding animals like dogs and should have some cat friendly amenities such as scratch posts, towers and cat toys.
Before your cat is boarding for an extended period of time. Bring them in for a short visit so they can become acquainted with the people and the space they will be in. Make this visit a few hours long so your cat knows you’ll be back for them. If you have time, repeat these visits making some longer and some shorter so your cat understands that no matter the length of time they spend at the cat boarding facility, you will be back for them.
Bring their own food to board with them. Cats that are boarding might be extra picky about their food so bring in the good stuff. Not just dry kibble, but some wet food they love, some chicken or sardines that they occasionally get as a treat.
Include some of their favorite toys in their overnight bag, their bed or blanket, and their favorite treats so the cat boarding staff can pamper and spoil your precious cat. It is also important for your cat to recognize a space as theirs which is why their own bed or blanket (that has smells of your cat and home) will make them more comfortable than the ones that can be provided at the cat boarding facility.
Even the trip in the car can start making your cat nervous so acclimating your cat to their carrier and going for short drives are great ways to help your cat adapt to new environments and experiences. Make sure that trips in the car don’t always mean something the cat dislikes, like vet visits. If you just take them for a short drive and then give them some love or treats and head back home, the trips won’t be instantly paired with something dreadful for the cat.
Make sure the cat boarding staff has detailed information about your cat’s personality, including likes and dislikes so they can best accommodate your cat’s needs. The more we know about your cat the more comfortable and fun the experience.