Unbelievable… I just read an article online about leaving your cat at home alone while going on vacation. By all indications, the article was written by what we might consider a “responsible” pet owner, offering preparation tips such as: Leave at least 2 automatic water dispensers; Unplug all electrical cords; Remove toxic plants; Leave out an emergency bowl of dry food; Place folded towels in front of doors to keep them from closing…and so on. But why would anyone think this is the best option for their beloved cat? Because that’s just what people have done for years…and it’s been deemed “acceptable”.
I get it… Cats are low-maintenance and self-sufficient for the most part. Actually, many people get cats for just that reason. They’d like to have a pet, but they’re not home enough for a dog… so a cat seems like a good solution. Sadly, many cats are left home alone for 12 – 14 hours a day while their owners are commuting, working, and sometimes stopping somewhere on the way home for a couple of hours. Sure, your cat will be there when you get home, but all that time alone is not ideal… nor healthy. It is a common misconception that cats are perfectly able to take care of themselves in our absence. In fact, let’s call that “Myth #1”:
Myth #1: My Cat Will Be Just Fine Left Alone for a Few Days
FACT: Will they have enough food? Probably. Will they have enough water? Probably. They have a litter box, so…what’s the big deal? The truth is, being alone for extended periods of time is very stressful for a cat. Despite popular belief, they DO get lonely, confused and anxious without their person. Not only that but the health and safety risks of leaving cats alone are, well, just plain ole irresponsible. What if your cat is hurt? What if there is a fire? Tempting fate with the welfare of your best fury friend is just not worth it.
Myth #2: My Cat Won’t Like Being in a Cage
FACT: Reputable cat boarding facilities, like Holiday Barn, realize the importance of your cat’s comfort and well-being. Cats are not placed in cages. We refer to our cat enclosures as “Kitty Condos”. These multi-level rooms have features such as a private, hidden potty areas, a built-in aquarium with moving fish, and a number of windows to keep your cat entertained and stimulated. Cats enjoy leaping from level to level. Their favorite thing to do is “cat-nap” in the upper tier of their condo.
Myth #3: It Will Just Be Too Loud and Scary Being Around All those Dogs
FACT: Again, a reputable and conscientious boarding facility will not mix dogs and cats. Cats are kept in a separate building from the dogs at Holiday Barn. Although it is possible they may hear some outside barking, it is no more than what they would hear at home from the safety and comfort of their own home.
Myth #4: My Cat Does Not Like Other Cats
FACT: Unless they are “siblings” and their owner has requested that they board together, cats are not boarded with other cats. Likewise, there are approximately 10 inches between each condo so your cat will not be able to see the cat that is boarding next door.
Myth #5: I’m Afraid My Cat Will Catch a Disease Being in Such Close Quarters With Other Cats
FACT: As we discussed in the previous bullet, cats are not boarded together, and are unable to interact. In addition, our modern air filtration and purification system help to keep airborne bacteria and illness at bay. There are no communal spaces where food bowls or little boxes are shared. And, of course, our vaccination requirements were designed to reduce or eliminate the possibility of bringing disease into our facilities.
Myth #6: Staying in a Boarding Facility Will Be Way Too Stressful for My Cat
FACT: Much of what a cat likes and doesn’t like depends on their prior socialization, positive experiences with people and with new adventures. But to avoid sounding as if we are “sugarcoating” the facts, in all honesty, most cats just do not like change. On the plus-side, they DO like routine, which a boarding facility will provide. Yes, it may be stressful for your cat to board… at least in the beginning… but it would be even more stressful for them – and you – if they were to be left at home alone. With boarding, you will have the assurance of knowing that your cat is looked after, clean and cared-for. Cats generally take a day or two to warm-up to boarding, and then many actually seem to enjoy their stay.
Choosing activities for your cat that will provide even more human interaction will also help reduce stress. One pack member says that our feline guests really enjoy our “catfishing” play package and “kitty cuddle” one-on-one time… After which, they “zonk” out for hours!
Cat Boarding at Holiday Barn
Cat boarding is a fairly new concept for most people, but one we hope you will consider the next time you must be away from home. Come take a tour of our facilities in Richmond and Glen Allen, and let us answer any questions you may have. We would love to spoil your feline friend while you are away!