Choosing the Right Cat Hotel
Understanding what makes for a perfect cat boarding facility is crucial in providing yourself with the peace of mind that your cat will be well cared for in your absence.
Here are some tips on how you can make informed decisions when it comes to choosing a cat hotel:
- SELECT A HOTEL WITH A REPUTABLE TRUSTWORTHY REPUTATION
Take some time to ask friends or fellow cat owners about feedback on places you’re considering. You could also ask your local vet, groomer or pet store if they have recommendations for you. Do a social media check on catteries that you are keen on, and see what anyone has to say about their personal experience with them.
- LOOK FOR A CAT-EXCLUSIVE ENVIRONMENT
Boarding facilities that open their doors to other pets; such as dogs, may cause unnecessary stress to your cat. Not only will it be in a completely new environment, unknown sound and smell will only add to your cat’s anxiety. A cat-only boarding hotel also means that the team is prepared and able to care for your cat with the love and attention it needs.
- MAKE A VIEWING APPOINTMENT
Visit the hotel to see how guests are accommodated and see if existing guests seem calm and happy.
During your visit, here are some things you’ll want to look out for, or ask important questions about:
Is there access to outdoors?
Is accommodation also suitable in bad weather?
Are enclosures fully secure?
Has a cat ever escaped and what was the outcome?
Is the hotel owner run?
Are the guests ever left alone or unattended – day and night?
Be wary of cat boarders who are hesitant to open their doors to you, or are reluctant to share information freely regarding their practices and policies.
Don’t be afraid to walk away from a dubious business that refuses to show you how they run their cattery.
- CHECK THAT SECURITY MEASURES ARE IN PLACE
Does it seem as if the space has been carefully and purposefully designed for a cat?
Cats love a good adventure, and can be great escape artists if they put their minds to it. Your cat boarding facility of choice should have multiple levels of security, i.e. electric fences CCTV, double doors and a closed-door policy so that the cats can’t get out, even if they tried.
Is there an evacuation plan , sufficient carriers and transport?
- BOARDING PREREQUISITES
In spaces where there is a high density of pets, there will always be a chance of viruses and bacteria spreading. Your cat boarding hotel of choice should have proactive measures in place to ensure that its occupants are properly vaccinated and protected against parasites and diseases.
If the boarding facility is asking to see proof of your cats vaccinations and
routine care – that”s a good sign!
You want to pay close attention to the design and management of the cat boarding facility of your choice.
Your cat should have the right to its own private lodging space. This provides a secure area where your cat can decompress and get used to its new surroundings.
A bonus is a “cat cave” igloo or kennel as a real safe haven.
How often is accommodation cleaned and linen changed – is there sufficient stock of linen especially in winter months?
Does the hotel have strict arrival and departure times allowing for enclosures to be fully disinfected between guests
How often is food and water changed and replenished?
Is food and water served in non plastic bowls – and washed in hot water – preferably
Are there toys and play activities available and are the toys sanitized?
What cat litter is used and does a responsible person clean or check litter boxes for health concerns?
A hygienic, well-run cat hotel should:
Have a secure, cozy area for your cat to stay
Be clean and free of odour
Understand the importance of frequent, stringent sanitization and disinfection practices
Some other things you may want to check on include:
Are all guests sterilized and does hotel insist on proof of up to date vaccinations and routine care?
Are all guests micro-chipped or have collar and tag?
Is there 24/7 transport available should a cat need a vet visit?
How far away is the closest vet?
- OBSERVE THE CATS IN THEIR CARE
The very best indicator of a cat boarding facility’s ability to care for its guests, is how satisfied and happy the cats in their care seem when you pop by. As a rule of thumb, you want to look out for a boarding facility that will:
Provide a Routine
Routine makes for a happy cat. By sticking to a schedule, your cat will know when feeding time is, and be able to expect play and rest at the appropriate time.
Help Your Cat Settle In
The caretakers should be willing to help you mimic your cat’s daily lives while you’re away.
Look for a place that would happily feed the foods you feed (according to your instruction) and make adjustments to help it get used to life away from you momentarily, and aims to care for your cat as if it were their own.
Investing the time and effort to check out a cat boarding facility that you can trust is well worth it. You can take comfort in the fact that your cat will adapt easily and quickly to its new environment, as long as ample provisions are available to ensure that your cat feels secure and safe in its temporary home.
Most importantly, you’ll thank yourself when you are able to take a long holiday without having to feel anxious about going away, or coming home to a cat that is unhealthy or upset that you were gone.