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Unread 08-20-2009   #1 (permalink)
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Default Boarding my cats

I was wondering if any of you board your cats when on vacation? In october, both my husband and I have to go away on business trips for 5 days. We will be boarding our dog (she's used to it by now!) and also the cats. However, we've never boarded the cats, only had a friend (whom they know very well) come in 3x a day to see them.
The boarding facility-Petsmart-gave me a tour of their kitty condos, and I met the staff that would be caring for the kitties. I made very strict rules about my kitties NOT being taken out of the cages and handled (Dante bites people he doesn't know, if they try to touch him). My worry is this: the facility is over an hour away by car, and the kits would be there for 5 days. I am soooo worried about them being overstressed, but I have to board them since my regular cat-sitter will be unable to do so, and we don't know anyone else in our area that we have enough trust in to give a house key to!

Any advice? I have no way of getting out of this business trip, neither does my husband unfortunately. I really don't want to stress my kitties out, not if I can help it!
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Unread 08-20-2009   #2 (permalink)
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Crystal, we always take the girls to a cattery when we go away, up to 14 nights sometimes. Although our cattery is only 10 minutes away I just hate leaving them and like you leave lots of instructions. I also take their own toys and something they sleep on like a blanket so it has their scent. However when we pick them up they are always fine. They take a couple of days to settle down according to the owners but then just adjust and eat perfectly well. Our cattery is wonderful and they take time every day to let them out into a secure run (one pen at a time) to have a bit of a play.

If you have to do it then don't worry too much, it is a bit of a stress for them but they soon settle, and are just fine when we pick them up and get them back home again!
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Unread 08-20-2009   #3 (permalink)
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Oh, I am sure they will be fine. It's just the mama in me, worrying about my babes!
Petsmart does have a "play-time" where they take the kits out, one cage at a time (my kitties would be sharing a double cage) and let them explore and play. I'm just not sure about this, since I mentioned, Dante bites anyone who tries to touch him that he doesn't know! Once he warms up of course, he is fine.
I plan on going to the facility and talking to the staff, and explain my concerns. They have always been wonderful in caring for Lily (my dog), so I am sure they will take wonderful care of Dante & Cami as well.
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Unread 08-24-2009   #4 (permalink)
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Crystal I feel your pain. We have to take the kittens to be boarded at the end of this week as we are going away for a week. My son is going to look in on Zipper but I didn't feel comfortable leaving the kittens on their own.(He works nights that week and wouldn't be able to come for long) We will be taking them to our vets and I will be taking their food, circle bed and a few toys. I stewed over this decision so much I got a tooth ache from clenching my teeth. I just want them to have as much human contact as possible and I know they will there.
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Unread 08-24-2009   #5 (permalink)
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We decided against boarding at the vet's, mostly due to the attitude of the receptionist when she told me that they "stick them in a cage, and they wait to be picked up!" No interaction at all, but then again, it is a vet's office and they are pretty busy most of the time.
Since our dog is being boarded at Petsmart, we decided to try out the kits there as well. I did talk to the manager and 3 staff members. They know Dante is skittish, but the 1-on-1 TLC time will hopefully help him quite a bit. I do want him to learn that not every human is going to hurt him, like his previous owner and her family. Cami is a lovebug and likes everyone, so no problem there!

Now my biggest worry is the drive. The closest Petsmart/boarding location is a hour and 45 minute drive. The most the kits have been in a vehicle is about 5 minutes, a ride to the vets. Anyone have any suggestions on how to make the car trip as stress-free as possible?
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Unread 08-24-2009   #6 (permalink)
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All the staff gushed over my kits and the vet said there was always someone taking the kittens out for some loving. I give my kits Bach's Rescue Remedy before going in the carrier. I got it at our grocery store that has a big health food section. They are drops which I put into the back of their mouths.
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