There are many benefits to boarding your cat while you are away instead of opting for alternatives. Many of today’s facilities have highly trained staff, beautiful accommodations and even activities for your cat to partake in while boarding. However, “shopping” for a boarding facility that meet those requirements and all the specific needs of your precious feline requires some careful thought and a bit of research.

Allow enough time: To ensure that you are comfortable with your decision, allow enough lead time before your vacation to research facilities online, make calls and take thorough tours. Keep in mind that during busy times, such as holidays, reservations may need to be made weeks (or even months) in advance.

It’s not all about price: While searching online for a facility, remember that you are not just considering price. In fact, there are many facilities that do not display prices online. Typically that is because they have a variety of options for accommodations and activities that will make the price differ depending on what you choose. Despite this, most facilities are very affordable and have options to fit every budget.

Searching the website: Though websites vary greatly, there are some key items you should look for on every facility’s site. Check for staff experience, awards they may have won, client testimonials and photos of the facility. This is also where you will get an idea of what type of accommodations and activities they provide for your cat while you are away.

Narrow your options: Once you have searched several websites, narrow your options to a few facilities. Check local search engines for reviews, keeping in mind that almost every business will have a few average reviews. If the vast majority of them are good and they have a high overall rating, then chances are that most clients have had a pleasant experience.

Call and tour: The next step is to call the facilities and find out more information such as type of rooms, amenities, availability and pricing. Expect that this call may not be quick as many facilities will ask you questions about your cat, how you heard about their facility, etc. This is a great time to ask some of your own questions. For instance if your cat has allergies and it is vital that you bring your cat’s own food, ask that question now. Based on the answers to your questions and the customer service you receive on this call, ask about coming in for a tour. Some facilities may require reservations for tours, though most of the high quality facilities will allow you to pop in at any time. This is a great sign because it proves that they have nothing to hide.

On the tour: A tour should provide you with a very clear understanding of what type of care your cat will receive while you are gone. When you first walk in the door, are you greeted by a friendly receptionist who seems genuinely happy you are there? While on the tour ask about cleaning and disinfecting procedures, if you can bring your cat’s own bed or if they provide one, how often the cats get attention, how many meals they receive, if they get out of the room for exercise, etc. This is also a good time to learn about the facility’s policies and procedures such as vaccine requirements, emergency plans, security and more. The number one thing is to follow your instincts. If you feel comfortable with the staff, care and accommodations, then secure your reservation.

Making the reservation: Once you have made the decision to board with a particular facility, they will need specific information about your stay. This will include, but won’t be limited to, length of stay, feeding or medication instructions, emergency contact information, etc. This is also the time you will be able to choose the room and activities that your cat will enjoy while you are away.

Activities: Choose activities based on what your cat likes to do at home. Some options may include cuddle time, play time with toys or laser pointers, time outside (if the facility offers a secure porch or patio for cats) and even apps on IPads where cats touch moving objects on the screen and create a painting. The painting can then be printed out and framed! All of these activities will make your cat feel more at home while providing physical and mental stimulation.

Boarding is a wonderful option for most cats and can be a very enjoyable experience for you and them. With spacious rooms, indoor and outdoor activities, nutritious meals and love and attention from passionate staff, your cat will be on vacation too!

Meadowlake Pet Resort’s sunny, separately housed and ventilated Kitty Park, is second to none. Kittens and cats love our private condos, luxury suites with outdoor patios, and screened porch for fun and recreation. All guests relax in private, climate controlled rooms and are cared for by devoted cat lovers trained to give each pet special and individual care. A variety of amenities are featured in Kitty Park, including two large, indoor/outdoor suites with windows and screened-in patios as well as specialized activity packages. Activities include options such as play times, cat app on the Ipad, porch time and more.