Boarding the cat. Or not.

The SO and I have tickets to The Big Easy in December. She mentioned over the weekend that we’ll probably board the cat. I did find a pet-friendly hotel on Rampart, so taking the cat is an option.

I kind of hate to board him. Poor thing being left with strangers to spend time in a kennel, just doesn’t seem nice. On the other hand, he’d get his anti-seizure Phenobarbital.

He’s well-behaved, and would do OK in a hotel room; but when the SO moved out here he heard cats outside the hotel and howled. (He doesn’t howl at the neighbourhood cats here. He’s very quiet – unless he wants to be fed.) Still, he’d have our companionship at night, and he’d get his meds.

The SO mentioned she might have a sitter through someone at work. If she’s reliable, then the cat could stay home where he’s comfortable and someone would pay attention to him and give him his medicine twice a day. But can this person be trusted?

Well, we have just under six months to figure it out.

If you feel you can trust a friend to come in once a day and give meds and gooshy food and whatnot, do it. Nobody offers to do that kind of thing if they HATE animals, and unless you well and truly think the friend is only offering in order to rip you off, then it’s a no-brainer.

Cats are so much happier at home. I’d get a sitter.

We’ve never boarded our cats - sitters all the way. It’s either a family member, a friend, or a service that I know and trust. Less stressful on the kittehs, and I feel better knowing someone is coming to the house regularly.

Another vote for a sitter. Cats hate - above all else, even getting water squirted in their face - hate hate HATE changes in routine. I think if you asked your cat, the preference would be:

1 - stay home, have somebody come over with scritches and a can opener

2 - go with you and at least have your familiar presence even if everything else in the universe is disrupted

eleventy million after all other options have been exhausted - kennel

How are kitty’s meds administered? Make sure the sitter knows how to pill a cat - wouldn’t hurt to watch her come over and do it, plus you can show her where supplies etc. are kept.

Google around for your city - there are likely to be professional pet-sitting services that provide things like background checks on their employees, etc.

Many veterinarians offices are glad to recommend sitters. The vet I go to even has a “Pet Nanny” service. One of their vet techs will come to your home and feed/water/scoop/medicate/play with your cat while you are away.

Definitely. He even hides when someone comes to the door. (We don’t get many visitors.) The occasional firework going off doesn’t faze him; but let someone knock on the door… That’s why I’d hate to board him. And this will be the first time he’d been left alone since he started having seizures.

I’ll look into sitters and talk it over with the SO. I don’t know this person she’s thinking of. She’s the ‘new guy’ in the office, and I don’t know how much she knows about her. The new vet is much better than Dr. Mengele, and I think she boards pets. We need to get more Phenobarbital, so we can ask about sitters, too.

Anoth vote for a vet-recommended sitter. We had a great one who had been a vet tech and was able ot give the diabetic cat her twice daily shots, as well as feeding and playing with all the cats and scooping the cat box. Cats were happy and I was able to enjoy my vacation knowing that she would take them to the vet if needed and call me.

I’d be leery of boarding a cat because they do get so very upset about changes in the environment and because kennels tend to be noisy places, which would freak my cats right out. I’ve had good experiences with pet sitters, both professional and not-so-professional. We’ve had three types:

Twice we’ve been lucky enough to have a neighbor who’ll come over daily (or twice-daily, because she’s just that nice) to feed and play with and love on the animals for free in exchange for us being willing to do the same for her animals. I’d be uncomfortable asking her to administer medication, though, and if you don’t have a neighbor like this handy, you can’t really go out and get one.

We’ve also had teenaged daughters with reliable friends who welcome the chance to make some extra money, and we’ve hired them to stay over as live-in pet-sitters while we’re gone. This has worked out splendidly for us, but you really, really, really have to choose your teens wisely, and there’s a relatively small window between the time a teenager is old enough to be independent and drive herself to and from the house and the time that she goes off to college and/or gets a real job, making her unavailable. Our candidates have dwindled away to one or two because of this.

We’ve hired two different professional pet-sitters who were recommended by our vet or by someone in the vet’s office. They have both worked out well, but they typically will only come once a day, and they usually don’t have the time to sit around and spend quality time with the pets. They are, however, much more qualified to give medication, and when we’ve had to leave a pet who had medical needs, we’ve called on them. They are pretty expensive (I believe it started at $20 a day the last time we used one), but they came over once or twice beforehand to meet the pets and get a feel for how their routine went. They were also experienced in pilling cats, and I trusted them to know when they should call a vet if something came up.

Hmm, if he’s having seizures and needs to be medicated that bumps the boarding (at the vet preferably, if they have separate cat facilities) way up the list for me.

If you can’t find a knowledgeable pet sitter who’s willing to find and pill a shy cat every day, then I think the vet’s is safest for him. Seizures can be weird, and a seizure storm can be deadly - you really want someone who knows what to look for. A good vet will understand the scared cat thing and do all they can to reduce the stress.

How long will you be away?

If you can’t find a sitter, Cats Exclusive in Shoreline does a really nice job. They have bird and fish videos playing 24/7 and the staff takes every one out, individually, to play with a human twice a day. There are no dogs, so no barking. The pens theyhave are nice and big with multi levels to climb and hide.

They are a bit more expensive than the pet warehouses, but worth it.

I was for a sitter until you mentioned the phenobarb. I have a cat with seizures, too, and she is great about taking her pills. Jumps on the bed at night to get them, even without kitty treats. Great, that is, until the sitter tries to give her pills. Then she runs and hides, including once crawling in the keyboard tray on a desk. She was impossible for the sitter to pill. We board her now, as much as I hate that option.

We have a pill crusher, and put half a pill in a little wet food twice day. Funny cat, my SO’s… He only likes a taste of wet food. He prefers Purina dry food. We don’t let him have his dry food until he’s eaten his half-teaspoon of wet food.

We have boarded out cats in the past and they have been just fine when we picked them up. We only boarded when we had no one else to look after them. Now we have great neighbors and their son comes over to feed, water and play with our cats while we’re gone.

Nevermind. I thought you were going to waterboard your cat.

We used to board our cat at our vet’s office, and she once made a vet tech cry because the tech couldn’t get her to swallow her pill. Thankfully, she no longer needs those pills, and we can have a cat sitter at home. Because if a tech couldn’t do it, I wouldn’t impose it on a pet sitter.

An ex-girlfriend and I had a cat at one time, and we had a sitter come in on occasion. She seemed to live for cat sitting, in a somewhat strange way. I called her catlady. She would leave gushing notes about what a great cat we had. We were kind of worried that she would catnap the cat. It turned out that she was just very enthusiastic, and a very good cat sitter.

I also had one occasion in grad school where a friend asked me to cat sit his indoor-outdoor cat. Instructions: let the cat outside in the morning, then in the late afternoon let the cat back in, and make sure food and water are sufficient. I asked how I would find the cat in the afternoon, and he said that wouldn’t be a problem. I was somewhat skeptical, but first day I pull up in the driveway in the afternoon and the cat pokes its head out of the bushes and meows. I go to the door and it follows me in. The third day, I pull up in the driveway and the cat dashes out of the bushes, leaps up onto my car and presses its face against the windshield. Nope, no problem finding the cat in the afternoon.

We’re lucky.

Our cat came to us as a stray. Not a kitten, but less than a year old we think.
As these things happen, Mrs. started feeding her, then letting her stay in the basement when it got cold. Bottom line is, we gots a cat. She’s an indoor/outdoor cat; a cat door lets her choose when or if.

When we go away for a weekend or a week, we load up her bowls with food and water and say goodbye. Our next door neighbor has an indoor only cat that she (our cat-not the neighbor) torments every couple of days by basking on her windowsill and whispering through the screen of the joys of hunting birds and chipmunks. Bill keeps an eye on her, as much as any 9-6 worker who briefly spots cat movement outside can.

When we return home, she’s usually on the roof or on the shed just surveying the landscape. I sometimes think if we never came home, she’d just wander the neighborhood looking for some new suckers. At least THEY won’t have to spend $500 to fix her…:smack:

I would board in this situation, mainly due to the medical condition. That way someone will be watching it more closely.
My cats both hate traveling so I would never take them with me. I’d also be worried that if the cat were to dart out of the hotel room one day when the cleaning people come or something that I might lose it in a strange city.

I used to board my cats, but last year everyone was overbooked, so I reluctantly used a sitter. When I got back they were perfectly fine, much better than when I’d boarded them. One of them, who had always been somewhat stand-offish, was actually friendly for the first time! I’ll never board them again.