Going away for a while? Got a holiday trip planned, or just some “me” time? Whether it’s a day trip or a weeks’ long vacation (you deserve it!), you may be considering leaving your furry cat companion at home, where they might feel the safest and comfortable.
While it may be true that some cats are generally fine with being left at home and having someone come to care for them, the reality is that all cats are better off in a supervised environment where someone can watch for signs of a medical emergency. Being somewhere they can get regular feedings and attention is important, too. Without these supports, many cats could experience anxiety and distress, which could lead to further problems down the line.
Here are three big reasons we at Greenlin feel that it is a very good idea to board your cats instead of leaving them at home.
We Can Monitor Your Cat’s Medical Condition and Be There in an Emergency
Animal medical emergencies can happen at any time. If a crisis occurs while you are out of town, it could be hours until someone comes by the house again to check on them. In that time span, the cat could suffer further complications, including oxygen deprivation or organ failure. In extreme cases, the person checking on the cats might not arrive in time to get the animal life-saving care.
At a cat boarding facility, all animals can be monitored for signs of medical distress. In minor cases, we can report possible symptoms we have observed to you that you can investigate later with your vet. In times of crisis, our CPR and first-aid certified staff can intervene and provide life-saving care before your animal receives emergency veterinary treatment.
Consider that cats have evolved to hide their medical symptoms. If an animal is already suffering from a debilitating condition, then it could become worse while its owner is out of town. This scenario is especially likely when the animal experiences distress because of a lack of companionship or disruption of its routine. Without monitoring and regular care, a condition could develop — or a medical emergency could happen while the animal is alone.
While all of this sounds scary, the truth is that interventions are rarely needed, whether the cat is at home or being boarded. But for those situations in which quick action is needed, having someone to regularly monitor your cat can be a literal lifesaver.
Boarding Your Cat Can Help You Avoid Anxiety Behaviors
It’s no secret that most cats don’t really like going to new places or meeting new people. Knowing this, many cat owners assume that leaving the cat home to “rule the roost” while they go on a trip is the best option for the animal’s own well-being.
In truth, cats don’t like new experiences because they are creatures of habit. Any disruptions to their routine can trigger anxiety responses. This includes fight-or-flight behaviors, a fixation on certain activities, and yes even the dreaded “surprise” in your favorite pair of shoes when you get home.
The fact is, an empty house is much different than one in which there are familiar humans coming and going. Cats may be less prone to responses like separation anxiety compared to dogs, but research has shown that most felines (around 64%) still have a sense of “secure attachment” to their owners. What that means is that the cat feels more comfortable and secure in the presence of its owner. When the owner suddenly leaves for several days, it can make the cat feel as if it is in “limbo”. To ground itself, the cat may overgroom, engage in destructive behaviors, or seek out the comfort of a familiar scent in a secluded location like a closet — instead of their litterbox — when wanting to go to the bathroom.
We have even heard of extreme cases where cats not receiving regular care, food, and attention from their petsitters have caused huge messes by going “foraging” in pantries and cabinets. Finding scattered bags of bread, chips, and flour on the floor is not a pleasant surprise for your cat’s caretaker! Nor is it a good situation for your cat.
Being boarded will, admittedly, create a different sort of anxiety response because the cat will be in unfamiliar territory. But your cat will have the safety of their own private space, with lots of hiding spots to offer security. Over the course of a few days, they will adjust and form a new routine while getting comfortable with their surroundings. More importantly, they will receive food and supervision on a regular schedule, ruling out the possibility of you coming home to what looks like a scene from a natural disaster documentary.
Your Cat Receives Better Care
Getting a good pet sitter is a bit of a crapshoot. Even the most responsible of our friends and family won’t have time to give our kitties the supervision and attention they deserve. We all have busy lives! And our own animals to care for, in many situations.
In rare instances where someone can stay over and provide ongoing care for your pet, there is the risk that they may overstay their welcome while simultaneously failing to give proper care. Anyone who has come home to an empty fridge and a full litterbox after a trip knows what we mean!
There’s also the worst option, which is to pour “food mountain” on a plate and hope your cat can take care of itself for a few days. In most of these situations, the cat (or cats) will quickly engorge themselves on the excess food, have a tummy ache, and then be hungry for the remaining days until their owner returns. In the meantime, their litterbox fills up, encouraging them to look elsewhere to eliminate. For cats allowed free access outdoors through a pet door, they may go out looking for food and never return.
Overall, there is no ideal situation for your cat when they are left at home when it comes to regular nutrition and comforts. Their feeding schedule will be disrupted, and they may receive too much or too little food compared to what they usually get. Their litterbox may also be neglected, and they aren’t likely to spend much time receiving attention — which nearly all cats want, even if it’s in secret.
With cat boarding, your beloved pet can receive regular feedings, litterbox cleanings, and yes even cuddles, treats, and playtime, as warranted. They will have around-the-clock supervision, and they can receive it all within a safe and enclosed environment.
Come See Why Greenlin Can Be a Cozy Home Away From Home
Greenlin goes above and beyond to roll out the sisal red carpet for your precious kitty cats. Your cat will be provided with a safe, spacious condo visibly separated from our other campers. Our cat boarding facilities are separated from our dog facilities and have their own air filtration system, too, so kitties won’t feel as if they’re sharing an Airbnb with an unwanted canine.
Bringing your cat’s favorite food and litter is encouraged, and we can feed your cat on a regular schedule like they are used to. Optional playtime is available, including cuddle time for cats that like human attention and group playtime for cats that enjoy the company of other felines.
Come find out why so many cool cats think Greenlin pet resorts are a paw-some vacation spot! Reach out to a cat boarding location near you to get answers to your questions, tour our facilities, or book a stay for your next trip.