Putting your beloved cat in a boarding facility for the first time can feel a bit daunting. Here are two things you can to ensure that your pet is fully prepared for their stay.
Visit the vet
It is important to make an appointment with your vet at least a few weeks prior to leaving your pet at a cat boarding facility. There are a few reasons for this.
Firstly, your cat may need to have its vaccinations updated (for example, they may be due for their booster jab). It is vital to ask your vet about this, as most pet boarding facilities will refuse to take in animals who are not fully vaccinated, as this can lead to disease spreading amongst the other pets being kept there.
Secondly, it will allow you to refill any prescription medication your cat routinely takes before they head off to the boarding facility. Whilst a lot of boarding kennels have in-house vets available to provide medication, it is best to obtain this from your usual vet instead, as they will be more familiar with your cat's medical history and will, therefore, be better equipped to determine which dosages are most appropriate for your particular pet, given their current and past health issues.
Invest in some treats for your cat
Cats feel most at ease in familiar surroundings and can become stressed when left in new places. The presence of other, potentially nervous animals close by can increase their stress levels even further. Whilst most cats adjust to the boarding kennel environment quite quickly, it can take a few days for them to settle in and feel completely comfortable.
If you are concerned that your cat may feel anxious or upset during the first couple of days, it's a good idea to pack a few treats and toys for them, to help them feel happy and safe during this period of uncertainty.
A toy filled with catnip is an excellent option if your cat tends to get quite anxious; this substance is completely safe, can drastically reduce a cat's stress levels, and serves as a wonderful distraction for them.
A portable scratching post is another useful item to include in your cat's 'luggage'. This will keep them occupied and allow them to release any pent-up anxiety through physical activity.
Lastly, consider packing one of your old throws or jumpers that you no longer use; having this item, which smells like you, in their bed should help to make your cat feel more relaxed and at ease.