Taking your cat on vacation isn’t always an option, which means making arrangements for someone to look after your cat. If you’re away from home overnight or for a few days, you’ll need to hire a pet sitter or find a kennel or cattery where your cat can stay.
Boarding your cat at a kennel, cattery, cat hotel, or animal hospital isn’t always the cheapest option, but all these places will make sure your cat is safe and healthy. Generally, you should expect to spend between $15 and $20 per night on cat boarding. Read on to get an idea of the costs for each boarding option.
Click below to jump ahead:
- The Importance of Cat Boarding
- How Much Does Cat Boarding Cost?
- Additional Costs
- How Long Should You Board Your Cat?
- Does Pet Insurance Cover Cat Boarding?
- Alternative Options
The Importance of Cat Boarding
As much as we wish we could, we can’t always be there for our cats or keep them with us. Whether we go on vacation, get sent on a business trip, or have to stay in the hospital, cat boarding is sometimes our only option. While many people would prefer friends or family members to take care of their cats, not everyone always has the time or resources to spare.
Kennels, catteries, cat hotels, and animal hospitals all provide safe locations where our cats can stay when we’re away from home. Each place will ensure that your cat is fed and has access to water and clean litter. Some places will also provide entertainment and grooming services so your cat can have their own special vacation while you’re away.
How Much Does Cat Boarding Cost?
There are four main types of cat boarding available. Each range in price and suits certain budgets and cats more than others. On average, cat owners will spend between $15 and $45 per night on-boarding costs. The price depends on where you decide to board your cat.
The two most common boarding choices are kennels and catteries. Although kennels are more commonly associated with dogs, some locations are known to also board cats. Some cats can be wary about the presence of dogs, though, which is why catteries — which only allow cats — can be more favorable. Both catteries and kennels usually cost between $15 and $20 and are the cheapest options.
Cat hotels are slightly more expensive. Similar to catteries, cat hotels only accept feline guests. These places provide more luxury than regular catteries, and if you can afford the cost, your cat can have a room to themselves.
Animal hospitals are also expensive, and they’re more suited for cats that have health issues that need tending to. The staff in animal hospitals are qualified to provide specialized medical attention. Both cat hotels and animal hospitals can cost between $30 and $40 or more, depending on the location.
The 3 Additional Costs to Anticipate
Most of the cost of cat boarding covers the accommodation, the length of the stay, and any litter, food, and water that your cat needs. There are a few other expenses that can increase the final price.
1. Early Drop-Off or Late Pick-Up
Some kennels, catteries, or pet hotels will charge fees based on when you drop your cat off or pick them up. It’s always best to arrive on time, but sometimes, an early drop-off or a late pick-up is unavoidable. Either can result in an extra cost added to your bill.
An optional service that many catteries offer is grooming. Some places will enable you to request that your cat has their nails trimmed or their fur washed or cut.
3. Pet Taxi
Not all boarding locations will offer a pet taxi service, but the places that do can help you save time. For an extra fee, some catteries will collect your cat from your home or drop them off once you’re back from vacation.
How Long Should You Board Your Cat?
In most cases, cats are more than happy to curl up and sleep through the day if you’re only taking a short day trip. You’ll be able to leave in the morning and come back later in the evening without worrying too much about whether your cat was okay alone. Boarding is useful whenever you have to stay away from home for longer.
The length of time that you board your cat depends on your budget and how long your vacation is. For long trips, a kennel or cattery can ensure that your cat doesn’t get lonely. A professional pet sitter or the staff at a kennel will provide social interaction and activities. Boarding can help keep your cat’s mind off your absence and have their concerns soothed while you’re gone.
If you’re planning on boarding your cat, ask the facility whether it has any limits on minimum or maximum stays. Sometimes you might only need to board your cat for a few days, but longer vacations might require a few weeks.
Does Pet Insurance Cover Cat Boarding?
Pet insurance doesn’t always cover cat boarding, but there are occasions when it will reimburse you for the cost of a necessary stay at a licensed kennel. It’s best to ask your pet insurance provider whether it covers cat boarding as part of the policy or as an optional add-on (if it’s covered at all).
A few pet insurance providers will reimburse you if you’re ever hospitalized for any reason and need to send your cat to a kennel or cattery. There might be a limit to the amount that your pet insurance provider will reimburse you, especially if you spend a long time in the hospital. Discuss all the terms of your plan with the provider to ensure that you fully understand your policy and get an accurate quote.
While your pet insurance provider might cover cat boarding if you’re in the hospital, you’re unlikely to find a provider that will cover the costs if you go on vacation. Your cat’s care during your hospital stay technically counts as an emergency expense, which pet insurance is intended to cover. Finding accommodation for your cat while you’re on vacation is simply part of your responsibility as a pet owner.
Alternative Options to Cat Boarding
Most cats dislike having their routine interrupted. While some breeds are more adaptable and will manage fine in a cattery or pet hotel, others might not be nearly as settled. If you know that your cat is overly skittish and doesn’t like too many interruptions to their daily life, you can try hiring a pet sitter instead.
A pet sitter means your cat can stay at home, where they’re most comfortable, but still receive the care that they need when you’re on vacation. Unlike boarding them at a kennel or cattery, the sitter will visit your home while you’re away. They will make sure your cat is fed and groomed, their water bowl filled, and their litter tray kept clean.
The cost of pet sitting is about the same as boarding and will generally cost around $15–$40 a day. If your cat needs more visits during your vacation or you want the pet sitter to stay overnight, that will cost more.
If you take your cat to a licensed kennel or cattery, you should expect to spend between $15 and $20 per night for the length of your cat’s stay. Cat hotels will generally cost more, with animal hospitals being the most expensive option. You can also choose to board your cat at your home and hire a pet sitter to visit or stay overnight to make sure your cat doesn’t get lonely.
- See also: Cat Sitting vs Boarding
Featured Image Credit; hedgehog94, Shutterstock