I’ve never had to board any of my cats before, but now 2 of our 3 cats have asthma. Next week Rico has to go to Vegas for business. That’s where we got married 2 years ago so I want to go. We’ll have to be gone for 3 days so can’t leave Ashleigh and Duffy. I’ve made reservations at the vet to board them. What do I need to know? Favorite toys? Food? Medicine? ???
If your vet doesn’t provide something similar, make sure they each have something to hide in–a paper grocery bag works well (fold the edges so that it stays open). Sending along a piece of clothing you or someone they know well has worn recently can help too. If it’s possible, see if they can share a double cage, or at least be next to each other.
That’s all I can think of…CrazyCatLady will probably have some great ideas.
If you can find a vet or kennel that specializes only in cats, that can be less stressful to them than one where they smell dogs and hear them barking. If they are picky eaters, you might need to provide the food.
3 days? Leave a big bowl of food, several bowls of water, and don’t worry about 'em. Cats are quite self sufficient, and will probably be less pissed at you if you leave them home than if you stick them in a kennel. I know people that have left cats for up to 8 days, fresh litter, LOTS of food, multiple BIG water bowls. No problems except for one pissy cat, which happens no matter what.
That is what I’ve always done in that past, but now that they are on daily medication I must do something different. We will leave Pearl home to fend for herself, but Ashleigh and Duffy take pills every day. Unless there is some way to teach them to take their pills without me…
Yes, I did consider it and looked into it. Rico was out of work for awhile this summer and we have never caught up. It was looking for a long time like I wouldn’t even be able to go on this trip. As it is, Christmas is getting the shaft so I can go. And we got a special deal on the boarding through our vet.
Getting a pet sitter can actually be cheaper than boarding your animals. The place I used to work charged $12 per cat per night (dogs were a sliding scale depending on weight), whereas I pet-sat for $5 a day (the price went up with multiple animals and medications, but was never more than $15 or so). In addition, a lot of places will charge you an extra fee for medicating your animals while they board, so find out if your vet does that. Lots of techs petsit, so it might be worth your while to call around and see what it would cost you.
If your kitties don’t adapt well to new situations, make sure they have something to hide in. The clinic should have plenty of cardboard boxes around to set them up with, so that shouldn’t be an issue, really. Toys tend not to do them much good, since there’s not enough room in a kennel to run and jump and throw things around. If it’s not doing the cat any good, it’s just more crap for the staff to keep track of. Leaving them clothes doesn’t help most of them, either. Usually, they piss on it within the first 24 hours, and trying to keep track of it in the laundry is a royal PITA. Same for fluffy little kitty beds and stuffed animals.
Do bring the medications, definitely. It’s much easier to give your medications than to keep dispensing from the pharmacy a pill at a time, and it saves you having to pay for more meds. Unless the cats are on a special diet, I wouldn’t worry about food; see the more crap to keep track of bit above.
try to take a look at the room where the cats are kenneled. you know they’re going to be in little cages with probably a little towel and litter box, but it’s good to check out how they’re kept. i’ve worked in two hospitals that had boarding facilities.
one was a kitty wonderland where they had huge windows for the cats to bask in, lots of toys and “play time” when they would let a cat out to run around the room, be cuddled and so forth. they had no problem letting an owner tour the boarding facilities.
the second place was a great vet, but the boarding was horrible. dank, dark, smelly, noisy. yuck. the boarding manager wouldn’t let clients take a peek because of “insurance reasons”.
and I second CrazyCatLady’s suggestions. the clothes usually do get peed on pretty quick.