No matter the reason for boarding your cat, the process can be stressful for you both. But it doesn't have to be a dreadful experience that leaves you on edge and your cat mortified by the time you're ready to take the furball back home again. Here are three things you can do before boarding your cat that should make the experience more comfortable and convenient for both of you:
Visit the Veterinarian
One of the most important things you can do to ensure that your cat will be safe while its boarded is to make a vet appointment, such as with Pembina Veterinary Hospital, about a week ahead of your scheduled boarding date. The vet will make sure that your cat isn't showing any signs of stress or illness, and may be able to provide it with a vaccination that will keep it healthy while spending time with other strange animals at the boarding center. Have your veterinarian fill out a certificate of health that you can provide to the boarding facility and that proves your cat's health upon arrival. If an illness arises at the boarding center, the certificate should be proof that your cat didn't introduce it.
Collect a Basket of Essentials
While the boarding facility will likely provide the basics like food, shelter, and comfort, it is a good idea to collect a small basket or box of items to leave with your cat that will make them feel a little more at home. Include one or two of their favorite toys, a package of their favorite treats, and a blanket that you've cuddled together on so your scent is left behind for the car to enjoy while you're away. Ask the facilitator to introduce one or two things from the basket each day until you come back so your cat is continually surprised with something familiar.
Schedule Check-in Days and Times
It is also essential to schedule check-in days and times with the boarding facility before leaving your cat there. The schedule should be agreed upon between both parties to avoid confusion and ensure that your calls will be answered every time you check in with your cat. If possible, schedule visual check-ins using a virtual program like Skype if you plan to be gone for longer than a few days. This will give you visual confirmation that your cat is alright, and give your cat a chance to experience your face and voice even when you aren't there in person.
These tips and tricks shouldn't be hard to implement, yet they can save you and your cat from a lot of unnecessary stress while you aren't able to be together.