Things to Know Before Boarding Your Cat

Are you taking a trip soon? Getting things squared away before traveling can be stressful, especially when it comes to figuring out what to do with your pet. Some pet owners might be tempted to take their dog or cat with them while travelling. This is generally a bad idea, as traveling (especially air travel) can put your pet under a lot of stress. Not to mention, hotels have pet restrictions, and the possibility of your pet running away would be a complete tragedy.

You also might feel compelled to hire a part-time caretaker, like the neighborhood teenager, to come check on your pet routinely, making sure they are well fed. However, this can also be a risky idea, putting your pet in danger of running out of food, becoming ill, or harming themselves in your house.

Pet owners can greatly benefit from finding a reliable, professional, and ethical boarding kennel to keep their pets while on vacation. Knowing how to find the most competent and trustworthy boarding kennel can be a confusing and demanding process for pet owners. Today, we’re going to answer some questions that will hopefully make the process easier.

Choose a Qualified Boarding Facility

Qualified boarding facilities will have a variety of operations and standards in place, ensuring your pet stays safe during its stay. Before choosing a kennel, ask them if they have any special certifications, or if they belong to any associations. Qualified facilities will hold certifications from the Pet Care Services Association (PCSA), which was formerly known as the American Boarding Kennel Association.

Kennels that are PCSA certified have to pass various inspections, as well as document effective procedures for fires, hurricanes, floods, and medical emergencies. PCSA kennels are also held accountable for documenting every facet of your pet’s stay, from playtime to cleaning and grooming.

Tour the Boarding Facility First

If you have time, it’s a good idea to ask if you can tour the kennel before checking your pet in. Good kennels will be mostly odor free and clean with good lighting. If you’re trying to board your cats, the kennel should be somewhat quiet. Dog kennels will almost always have a lot of noise.

Kennels should also not be too populated. Don’t be afraid to ask the staff how many animals are usually boarded, as well as how much staff is usually on a shift. There should never be more than a one to ten ratio between the staff and pets.
When touring the facility, pay close attention to the staff, making sure they seem attentive. Check out the communal play areas to make sure they are free of urine and excrement to prevent the spread of disease. Pets should look happy and comfortable with their environment. Some boarding facilities offer web cams, so you can periodically see your pet from your computer while away.

Making Sure Your Pet is Immunized

Before taking your pet to a kennel, you can save yourself some time by making sure your pet is properly immunized first. The main vaccines that most kennels require for dogs are rabies, distemper, parvovirus, and adenovirus. Some kennels may also want your dog to be vaccinated for Bordatella and canine influenza.

Cat kennels require different vaccinations than dog kennels, including: rabies, feline panleukopenia, calicivirus, and rhinotracheitis. If your kennel allows your cat to socialize with other cats, you may be required to have testing for feline leukemia and feline aids. It’s a good idea to check with your kennel to see if they require any specific immunizations for your pet.

Beyond making sure your pet is healthy and immunized for boarding, the most important thing to remember when choosing a kennel is to trust your instincts by basing choice on how the staff and environment makes you feel. Choosing a dog or cat kennel that you trust will make you and your pet feel more relaxed while you’re traveling. If you're planning to travel, contact us to know more about our pet boarding services. The Little Cat Clinic is a Cat Friendly Practice certified by the American Association of Feline Practitioners.