Cat Boarding - Important Points To Consider When Boarding Your Cat

Can you talk a little bit about the cat boarding facility at Animal Hospital of Statesville?

We offer cat boarding here. We have cat condos, and they are all the same size but you can purchase multiple condos to have your pet be able to go through a larger area that they stay versus just him at a time.

And if you have multiple cats, some of them can be joined so they can hang out together.

They can board together when they like each other, and they can be in their separate corners if they aren't feeling that closeness. Our cat-friendly side has relatively few dogs passing through the area to not cause as much stress.

Dr. Nichola Gaither
Animal Hospital of Statesville

If a cat owner is looking for boarding services, what type of things should they take into consideration?

I think the primary thing would be, has your cat ever boarded before, and how do they do away from home? With our dogs, we often take them out a little more, we walk them, and they're around people. Our cats are a little more socially loners, and they aren't always around more people. Or, even in a different facility, we often don't take them for a car ride or take them to a friend's house to have cat playtime, as we might with our dogs. So what is their stress level when they're away from home?

Different environments can do different things to cats, and sometimes they're excited to explore, and other times they're not so happy to do that.

What will a good cat boarding facility do when a cat gets sick or injured during its stay?

Here at the Animal Hospital of Statesville, of course, we're an animal hospital as well as a cat boarding facility. So if there are any problems with your cat, with your permission, the veterinarian attending can examine your cat and give any appropriate medication or treatment that might be needed. That's one thing we're able to offer.

Will my cat get exercise or socialization while boarding?

That's a great question. We don't particularly offer cat socialization time because most cats don't like other cats, especially ones they don't know. There are always exceptions, but they interact with our staff, which they usually love. We have various cat toys to interact with and catnip, which calms a lot of cats and can give a little playtime. We might put it on bedding or a blanket. And then if you have anything at home that you know they love, that can be brought and left with them.

We also have a window in the cat boarding area with a bird feeder, and they can watch birds while they're at our facility if they like to do that at home. That visual stimulation is good as well.

What type of diet would my cat receive while boarding?

That may depend on you. We allow you to bring what they're used to so that they're more apt to eat that and stay on a regular diet. But we also do offer intestinal-friendly food that we can feed here if you don't choose to provide your food.

Should I do anything special or bring anything specific when dropping my cat off for boarding?

Yes. One thing that you should do, if you don't travel much with them, is to get them used to the carrier. The carrier can be a stressful experience, but it doesn't have to be. If you only bring that out of the deep dark closet at times when you're coming to see me or drop them off for boarding for a week, that can be stressful. But if you leave the carrier out as just part of the living room furniture, or if you can give them treats where they can go in and out of the carrier willfully, even feeding them in there or take the top off and let them sleep in the bottom half of it. A big component of reducing their stress is just getting them used to that carrier ahead of time. Also, let us know their daily schedule when you bring your cat here, meaning, are they free-fed? Are they schedule fed? Are they on any medications? Is there anything health-wise that we need to know about? The more we know about your pet, the more like family it can become while they're here boarding.

We offer kitty comfort kits to bring them in for boarding if they need it. Our kitty comfort kits are available for any visit here, whether it's hospital or boarding, consisting of three primary things. It's catnip, which can be appeasing and calming to a pet, and a Feliway wipe. A Feliway is a synthetic pheromone that can calm the pet. You can wipe the carrier down with that prior to putting the pet in. And then it contains a few treats. Some cats are treat motivated, so you can put that in the carrier, which you've hopefully conditioned them for. That's to minimize that stress ahead of time. If needed, they could potentially have some prescription medication to calm them either on the way here or while here.

How far in advance should I schedule a reservation if I'm planning to board my cat here at Animal Hospital of Statesville?

As soon as you know that you're going to need that service, it's better to go ahead and schedule that. Of course, there are more popular times for people to travel, like around holidays or special events. All the other things that you would need to ensure are that you have the requirements needed for your pet ahead of time. If you're calling us a day ahead to schedule that morning, and then we may say they need certain vaccines or records, if they're not our patient, it's better to do that earlier so that you have more time not to be stressed and be prepared, so we don't have to deny boarding because the vaccines aren't there.

What are the costs involved in boarding cats at Animal Hospital of Statesville?

We actually have that listed on our website, so you can check that out at the Animal Hospital of Statesville website. As I stated earlier, we have the options if you want to purchase more than one condo to have your kitties spread out or if they're sharing a facility.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (704) 802-1280, you can email us, or you can reach out on social media. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can.

Cat Boarding - FAQs

Dr. Nichola Gaither
Animal Hospital of Statesville

What happens when I board my cat?

The general check-in process is when you tell us about your cat so that we can best care for your cat with regards to feeding habits, any medical concerns, and temperament. Do they like to be petted? Do they like to be kinda left alone and watched?

Then your cat would be checked in and introduced to its home away from home, its staycation, as Kyle said. Then we would take care of your pet and give you updates while your pet's boarding with us.

How long can my cat be left alone?

I think cats, by nature, are loners at a boarding facility specifically, but of course, you would want to make sure that they're well taken care of. You want to know if they have access to water, have been fed or medicated, and have a clean litter box. Most of them can go the day hours without needing attention. Think about when you leave them to go to work. I don't know that there's an exact timeline depending on your specific cat, but several hours, because they sleep 25 of the 24 hours anyway, and overnight they're usually just fine.

Can my cat get separation anxiety when I go on vacation?

They sure can. That could be if they're left at home or in the boarding facility. We try to do things to help facilitate that by de-stressing or fear-free procedures. If your cat likes to be cuddled and allows us to do it, we can go in there and pick them up, spend some time with them, and give them some stress-relieving petting.

What type of environment enrichment feature does your boarding facility provide?

I think the best is the staff interaction with your cat. So if your cat enjoys interaction with people, the caregivers here really enjoy spending time with them, and they make that part of their daily care of the pet when they're feeding or cleaning their cage. Also, any toys that we provide or their favorite ones you provide. Other enhancements are the windows where they can look out and see the birds at the bird feeder. In the cat lobby, they can see people go by. Obviously, they can't put their paws through, but they can take a look and watch things. So they don't feel like they're by themselves, and they can interact.

Are there any warning signs that people should look for when dropping their cat off at other boarding facilities?

I hope you've done your research ahead of time and maybe even have gone and interviewed and toured that facility beforehand. But at drop-off, when you're interacting with the person that's going to be taking care of and checking in your pet, they should be knowledgeable of any facts ahead of time. You should tell them about any concerns, and they should be concerned and notate that. The facilities should be clean, and you should know what they do in an emergency and if they have a protocol as we do. In an emergency, if your cat were to get sick or have a problem, what are their concerns, or what is their procedure for handling that?

What vet do they take them to if they're not at a veterinarian?

What is the most important question about a boarding facility that no one ever asks?

This is an interesting question about the most important question, and I think we've answered some of those fundamental questions about how the cat is cared for and their policy if they get sick or hurt. Another one we thought of that I would think falls under the classification of things that don't get asked is what happened in a fire situation. Here at the animal hospital, we have a protocol of getting every pet in a carrier because cats aren't used to being on a leash and walked out. So that's the safest way to contain them. Then we have a meeting place where we would try to account for every person and animal.

We do have an alarm system and sprinklers as well. So that would notify the fire department ahead of time. We have a system of notifications for doctors and staff members to come up in the middle of the night to take care of everything.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (704) 802-1280, you can email us, or you can reach out on social media. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can.

Cat Boarding FAQs 2

Dr. Nichola Gaither
Animal Hospital of Statesville

What is the most important thing to look for when finding a place to board my cat?

One of the most important things is to look at recommendations and ratings to make sure they have good reviews, that it's a reputable boarding facility, and that they are safe for your cat.

What accreditation should I look for in a cat boarding facility?

Here at the Animal Hospital of Statesville, our philosophy is to support fear-free and cat-friendly guidelines. So what does that mean? We try to offer the best care and the least amount of fear associated with that. As mentioned in some of our previous videos on kitty comfort kits, we try to ensure a stress-free environment before they arrive or even while boarding.

What should I look for when touring a cat boarding facility?

One of the most important things would be that they have a safe facility, that the cats are secure where they are boarded. Cats can sometimes be little Houdinis. They can open cages or open the areas that they're in. So make sure they're safe and ensure that the facility is clean. Ventilation is a big part, especially if you're talking about litter boxes and cat litter. If you have multiple cats in an area, is it safe? Is it clean, and how are they housed? Are they separated and unable to touch or contact another pet there?

What are cat vaccination and flea prevention policies at the Animal Hospital of Statesville?

We have that listed on our website, but we also require the basic vaccines, the core vaccines for cats, which are rabies, and the kitty distemper, or FVRCP. We also require the Feline Bordetella vaccine that can be given when they arrive. Those are the vaccines they would need ahead of time; the kitty distemper and rabies.

The other kind of qualification we have is that male cats must be neutered. Back to that smell, male cats produce quite a potent odor with their urine, so we do not board intact male cats, unneutered male cats. As far as flea prevention goes, any parasites that are seen are required to be treated, whether intestinal parasites or flea and tick external parasites.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (704) 802-1280, you can email us, or you can reach out on social media. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can.