While cats can be relatively independent and self-sufficient, they need boarding care services if you plan to leave your home for several days. Finding a reputable boarding service ensures that your cat is in a safe location and is well taken care of while you’re gone.
While the national average for cat boarding is $25 per night1, you’ll find that most boarding services have higher prices. These differences in prices will depend on your location and the type of care that your cat needs. Our price guide will help you to anticipate what you’ll have to pay to ease any worries and ensure that your cat is in good hands.
The Importance of Cat Boarding
Even if you have an independent cat, it’s important to place them with a boarding service if you plan to be away for a few days. You never know what might happen while you’re gone, even if your cat is at home. It may accidentally knock things over or get stuck somewhere.
Cat boarding ensures that someone is available to keep an eye on your cat. Boarding facilities have trained professionals that understand cat behavior and can adequately tend to your cat’s specific needs. If you have a cat that feels a lot of stress when outside your home, you can also find services that do overnight pet sitting at home.
How Much Does Cat Boarding Cost?
As we’ve mentioned before, the national average for cat boarding is $25 per night. Prices will vary depending on the range of services included in a facility’s boarding package. For the most part, you can expect your cat to be fed, supervised, and have its litter box cleaned.
Kennels and catteries are the most basic boarding option and tend to be the cheapest. They’re a viable option if you only plan to board your cat for a couple of days. Cat hotels and pet resorts are another option, and they’re more suited for situations where you plan to leave your cat for a more extended period. They’re more expensive than kennels, but they offer additional services, like bigger living spaces, individual playtime, and extra treats.
Prices also vary slightly depending on where you live. Here are some average prices you’ll find in various cities in the US:
|City||Average Price (per night)|
|New York City||$40|
Additional Costs to Anticipate
If your cat has additional care needs, you can expect to be charged extra. For example, most facilities will charge a small fee for administering any medication.
Some cats are more social than others and need extra playtime. Individual play sessions are usually an extra service that you have to add to the boarding facility’s basic care package. Facilities can also give your cat extra treats outside of mealtimes for an additional fee.
If you have more than one cat, most facilities offer a multi-pet discount. So, make sure to ask facilities about any specials and discounts before you book a stay with them.
What Do I Need to Bring to Cat Boarding?
A reputable cat boarding service will require updated vaccine records from your veterinarian. The following are common vaccines that cat boarding services request:
It’s also helpful to pack your cat’s meals in individual serving packets to keep the guesswork out of portion sizes. You can do the same for any medications. Make sure to include feeding instructions and any food allergies.
Some facilities may allow you to send a blanket or favorite toy with your cat but check with the facility about its policy for bringing personal items.
Does Pet Insurance Cover Cat Boarding?
Cat boarding isn’t a standard service covered by pet insurance because pet insurance is related to accidents and illnesses. If your cat requires overnight stays at a medical facility due to illness or surgery, pet insurance may help pay for them. These types of stays just have to fall within their parameters of coverage. Pet insurance companies will not accept claims for overnight stays related to pre-existing conditions and preventable injuries and illnesses.
Some pet insurance companies offer add-ons and riders to their insurance plans that expand coverage to boarding care. For example, Trupanion offers a Pet Owner Assistance Package that will help pay for boarding care if cat owners are hospitalized.
How To Prepare Your Cat for Cat Boarding
While we can’t verbally communicate to our cats that they’ll be in a boarding facility, we can still do our best to prepare them for a less stressful experience.
First, check to see that your cat has all the required vaccinations for your boarding facility. A lot of facilities require a fecal exam that was taken within 12 months of your boarding date. So, check your cat’s records to ensure that the last fecal exam date falls within the facility’s required timeline.
Next, prepare and package all of your cat’s food. You can also include some treats inside the food for your cat to enjoy. If your cat’s picky about its litter, you can also pack some litter the facility can use. Just make sure to mention this to the facility staff before dropping off your cat.
Lastly, be as calm as possible on the day that you’re dropping off your cat. Your cat will feel any emotional distress from you, and this can cause them to feel stressed out and anxious. If your cat doesn’t enjoy car rides, try tiring it out before getting in the car or using a calming supplement.
Cat boarding is a helpful service that ensures your cat is in good hands while you’re gone. You can expect to pay around $25 per night, but costs do add up if your cat requires specialized care or individual attention. Whatever the cost, finding a reputable cat boarding service can help you enjoy your vacations or focus on whatever you need to get done without worrying about your cat’s safety and well-being.
Featured Image Credit: Bussakorn Ewesakul, Shutterstock