When it comes time to head on vacation or leave on a business trip, you want to make sure your cat is cared for. That means finding someone you can trust to look after your furry friend. But, this isn’t always easy.
If you’ve turned to the internet and searched for “cat boarding near me,” you’re not alone. Thousands of cat owners look into cat boarding when they have to leave their feline family members. But what even is cat boarding? And do you have another option?
In this article, we’ll uncover some of the mysteries of cat boarding and provide you with an alternative: cat sitting.
What is cat boarding?
Cat boarding involves taking your kitty to a local facility where they can stay while you are away. That’s the basic definition, but cat boarding varries between facilities.
In basic kennels, cats and dogs are often kept in one building, even in the same room. Cats remain in a small room or cage for the duration of their stay while attendants provide food and water as well as clean the litter box. Many vet offices offer kennel boarding, even if your cat isn’t a patient at the office.
While kennels used to be the go-to boarding option, new choices have appeared on the market. From cat hotels to luxury resorts, there are an overwhelming amount of upscale boarding options.
In these facilities, cats stay in a room rather than kennels or cages. These rooms often contain cat towers, scratching mats, and other cat-friendly design elements. Many offer large windows which allow cats to bask in the sunlight and look outdoors. These businesses cater to cats, so you don’t have to worry about barking dogs.
Some of these facilities allow you to board multiple cats in the same room. So, if you have a pair of bonded kitties you can keep them together while you are gone.
The level of interaction between humans and cats varies between facilities. Some boarding businesses’ employees will only interact with cats while they provide food and water and clean the litter box. In these types of places, add-on playtime and snuggles may be an option. Other businesses include a set amount of human to cat interaction in the boarding price.
What does cat boarding cost?
The exact costs of cat boarding vary depending on your location and the type of facility you choose. So, you’ll want to check out a facility’s exact prices before you choose to board your cat.
To give you an example of costs, we’ve checked out a few places in the Bay Area. Basic boarding options in areas like Daly City start at $25 per cat per night. If you start looking at boutique cat boarding options in San Francisco and the surrounding areas, expect to pay between $40 and $70 per cat per night.
When you’re trying to determine the cost of cat boarding, it’s important to read the fine print. Many cat boarding facilities charge extras for activities, so playtime or exploration in a larger room cost more! So, don’t just assume you and your cat will be happy with what the base boarding rate provides.
Cat sitting: The cat boarding alternative
If you don’t want to leave your cat alone, but don’t want to send them to a boarding facility, you have other options! Cat sitting is a great alternative.
While you may think that cat sitting involves your kid neighbor or best friend coming over to check on your kitty, you can also hire a professional sitter. That means no more worrying about if your cat will actually be fed or given their medications.
Companies such as the Comforted Kitty only hires individuals who have ample experience with cat care. Plus, these sitters are fully insured and bonded in the case that something would go wrong.
What exactly do cat sitters do? While some sitters may stay in your home full time, daily visits are a more common option. With these routine visits, your cats can be cared for and you’ll ensure your home’s privacy.
When cat sitters come to your home to check in on your cat, they provide food and water, clean the litter box, administer medications, and supply your cat with enrichment via playtime and snuggles. That means lots of purrs for them and few worries for you.
How Cat Boarding and Cat Sitting Compare
As you probably guessed, the main difference between the two is where your cat stays. Cat boarding involves your cat staying in some place besides your home while cat sitting allows your cat to stay in their own home. What you might not know is the differences that come with your cat staying at home versus in an unfamiliar place.
Cat Comfort Level
By staying in their own home, cats avoid the stress that comes with being in a new space. Plus, they can keep their normal routines! That means your furry friend can spend all morning basking in front of their favorite windsow and the evening napping on your bed.
Along with keeping their daily routines, cats can avoid traveling. That means no dealing with the potenial stress (both human and feline) that comes from carriers and car rides.
If your cat stays in a boarding facility, you’ll need to take them there. That means finding time in your schedule and navigating traffic…all while you’re getting ready to head our of town. With cat sitting, you simply leave your home and wait for a sitter to check in on your kitty.
If you’ll be traveling for more than a few days, you’ll want someone to perform basic home duties like collecting the mail and watering plants. Cat sitters can provide essential tasks and make sure your home is safe.
Keep Your Kitty Happy and Safe
When it comes time to leave your cat, you now know your options. Cat boarding is a choice, but it’s not your only one. So, when you search for “cat boarding near me” make sure to check out “cat sitting near me” as well.