Feeling so guilty for boarding my cats

Paris Pluto

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Hey everyone,

I dropped off my 3 babies at the vet who have a cat boarding facility and I feel so damn guilty. I'm going away for 5 nights but they're staying for 7 nights due to opening hours and I can't stop feeling anxious and on edge. Imagine how they're feeling! This is the first time I've gone on a holiday with animals and it's their first time being boarded. I'm not too concerned about one of them as he is so bold and was already running around his condo exploring but I am very worried about my two girls (both hid in the corner straight away) especially the older one (almost 6 years old) as she is a very anxious cat who had a UTI a few years ago and I'm scared this may cause her to get another one. I have authorised for them to be given Zykene if required but I don't even want to go away anymore. Anyone with advice/experience with boarding their cats for the first time? I feel absolutely terrible :(
 

Kieka

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I boarded my cats (with our vet) when our house was being fumigated a few years back. Due to hours and wanting to ensure the house was clean, they were there for a week too. I didn't want to try to find a pet friendly hotel because I really didn't want to have anxiety about a maid letting them out or them stress damaging the room. I didn't have anyone nearby who I could send three cats to for the week (plus same letting out or stress damage issues). I sent them with cave type beds I got specifically for their stay and did have them in their own cages just to prevent them lashing out at each other (which Rocket would have 100% done). I also didn't visit to prevent any added confusion for them. I gave authorization for any medical care if needed and I couldn't be reached. I also left instructions to ensure Rocket was eating because that little one will stop eating when stressed.

Ultimately, they were fine. No after effects other than cuddly when they got home. No medical treatment was needed. Everyone ate and pottied just fine. According to my vet, two stayed the whole time in their caves and the third yowled whenever he saw someone nearby. I have had to board all three cats for medical reasons at least once (not at the same time). Link for a week after his broken leg, again for a few days after his coyote attack and a few days when he was constipated. Fury was boarded for two weeks when he has digestive issues and needed fluids and force feeding (never figured that one out but he got better). Rocket when she wasn't eating and also needed IV fluids (another never knew why but better now). So I do have the benefit (?) of knowing that mine have not had non recognition issues after separation or medical boarding.

I could have picked a nice boarding cat hotel in the area. But I went with my vet because the vet staff would be more likely to notice potty issues or losing weight or anything medical AND be able to take informed steps over a boarding facility with no medical training.

If I go out of town or needed to board again, I would 100% do it at the vet again. Pet sitters are only there for a few minutes to feed and clean litter boxes. Neighbors might only swing by for a little bit. Either might miss issues because the cats are hiding or because they don't know what is normal for cats in general. Boarding at my vet ensures that someone with medical training will know when poop isn't normal, when they aren't eating enough and can take steps before we are dealing with an emergency. That piece of mind is worth the minor discomfort of a strange place for a few days IMO.

Don't feel guilty about doing what you had to. You picked, what I feel, is the safest option of them being at a medical center that can ensure they are physically healthy when you get back. As for emotionally, most cats will do just fine when they get home. They may not like any blankets, beds or towels you left with them for boarding anymore but small risk in the long run.
 

KittyFriday

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I boarded Friday once at a facility in the area that people tend to rave about. It didn't go very well, but that was largely because a lot of the "features" they brag about really aren't a great idea in hindsight. For example, they have a "cat room" that has a bunch of scratchers and windows with bird feeders outside, so cats can get out of their smaller kennels and wander around. Sounds great in theory, but apparently they put all the cats in there at once, so Friday ended up being attacked (and they didn't bother to mention it).

If I had to board him again, I would 100% do it at the vet. They are better equipped for medical emergencies, but also most vets seem to be more savvy with behavior and the needs of the animals in their care, so I don't think they would be putting random cats together unless they were sure it would be fine.

I have a really anxious dog as well; I don't have to board him often but when I do I always do it at the vet for the same reasons as above.

I'm sure your kitties will be just fine. It sounds like they have a really good set up, and they have each other. They'll settle in.
 

arr

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When I travel I leave my cats at home and have someone come twice a day to feed them, clean the litter box, and make sure everything is okay. Even though they are in their familiar environment, I still have trouble enjoying my vacation and worry about them the whole time. I think it’s just the fate of a pet owner to worry, no matter how carefully you have arranged for their care.
 

cmshap

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I could have picked a nice boarding cat hotel in the area. But I went with my vet because the vet staff would be more likely to notice potty issues or losing weight or anything medical AND be able to take informed steps over a boarding facility with no medical training.
I just wanted to vote +1 for this idea. That's always what I did in the past. I felt so much better when he was at my vet's clinic for boarding. Plus, they had a guaranteed-playtime policy.

I've also used a professional service where someone came to my home daily. They used an app where they would take pictures and write updates daily. I made sure to leave instructions for "in case of emergency" although their client agreement says they are not responsible if something happens that's not their fault (which I understand 100%). But I felt that everyone there was communicative enough that they would contact me in the case of an emergency, and I could authorize/pay for stuff over the phone if necessary.

Even with all my satisfaction with the petsitting service, I still felt better when my cat stayed at the vet clinic.

Cats are adaptable and get over temporary events like this. I understand feeling bad, however. We want them to be comfortable and spoiled 24/7. But they are okay through situations like this.
 

doomsdave

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I've never had to board my kitties for a vacation for me. Back when I had six, boarding them at the vet's would have cost a small fortune, if they even had the room. My roommate and I help each other out with things like that, so, so far so good.

I've had to board them when they had medical issues, though.

Honey Bun, the Lady of the House, had gotten skinny like a skeleton, and the vet told me she had swallowed a hairball and couldn't pass it, which is why she wasn't eating and starting to starve. So, he kept her there for about a week, giving her liquid food, till she passed the hairball, and is her lovable voluptuous self again.

The first picture shows her immediately after I got her home from the vets'. You have to look closely to compare with the second picture to see how skinny she'd gotten. In the second picture she's helping me with some editing.

tar baby after vet stay.jpeg


tar baby by the monitor.jpeg
 

neely

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When I travel I leave my cats at home and have someone come twice a day to feed them, clean the litter box, and make sure everything is okay.
:yeah: Ditto!

Personally I agree that a boarding facility is more stressful for your cat since they are territorial and prefer to be in their own home/environment. However, I'm sure your cats will be fine and very happy when you return.:lovecat2: In the future you may want to consider looking into a reputable pet sitter if it would help put your mind at ease or if you know someone who is familiar with cats and could stay at your home that would also be a good option. Our pet sitter visits a few days before we leave then comes in twice a day when we are gone. She feeds our cat, changes the water bowl, plays with him, gives medication if necessary, cleans the litter box twice a day and has the number for our vet should anything urgent happen.

Here's a TCS Article that may have some helpful information for you: A Pet Owner's Guide To Pet Sitters
 

iPappy

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Hi, I co-own a boarding facility :) I can say with confidence that the majority of cats come around within 2-3 days and are curious and wanting to interact with people. Are your cats all staying together, or at least near one another?
Do you have a number to call so you can check on them? No staff member should ever make you feel annoying for doing so, most places welcome it and some might even be happy to text you pictures or videos if you ask. :) We have people who will call or text me 1 or 2 times a day, and it is not a problem but just remember depending on the number of pets they have, they might not be able to get back with you immediately but should within a reasonable amount of time.
 
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Paris Pluto

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Thank you so much to everyone who replied I appreciate it so much! I spoke to the vet today and as I thought, my boy Oshi has has no issues and loves 'play time' when he's out. The two girls have been hiding and shy the whole time but are eating and peeing but no poop so they have been given Zylkene so fingers crossed that helps them with the anxiety.. I can't wait to get back to my babies and will probably not go on another holiday for 10 years 😅
 

iPappy

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Thank you so much to everyone who replied I appreciate it so much! I spoke to the vet today and as I thought, my boy Oshi has has no issues and loves 'play time' when he's out. The two girls have been hiding and shy the whole time but are eating and peeing but no poop so they have been given Zylkene so fingers crossed that helps them with the anxiety.. I can't wait to get back to my babies and will probably not go on another holiday for 10 years 😅
It sounds like they are in EXCELLENT hands :)
 

lollie

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I have left my girl overnight at home before. I was so neurotic about it the first time, that I would pull off the road every fifteen minutes to look at the cameras I had placed to watch her. I essentially spent my entire trip watching her on my phone, as she slept and ate. Obviously, it was not a very relaxing trip. Ditch the guilt, they will be fine. You sound like a good parent.
 
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Paris Pluto

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How did your trip go? Have your cats forgiven you?
The two girls were pretty stressed. They were given Zylkene, lyrica and some other mild sedatives to relax them but my boy Oshi had the time of his life. Safe to say I will probably never go on holiday again! They were pissed at me for about 3 hours and now they're all being Velcro cats 😅
 

Alldara

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The two girls were pretty stressed. They were given Zylkene, lyrica and some other mild sedatives to relax them but my boy Oshi had the time of his life. Safe to say I will probably never go on holiday again! They were pissed at me for about 3 hours and now they're all being Velcro cats 😅
Oh goodness me. Well. I'm glad Oshi had fun at least.
 
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