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Cat Boarding in Toronto

11801 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Alpaca

Any kitties from Toronto have had experience with cat boarding?

I will be going away for 2 weeks next month and am looking for a place to board my cats. Usually I just ask my parents or a friend to come visit them while I am gone, but this time I am going away with the parents and all of my close friends.

I know there are cat sitters that do daily in-home visits and I would love that...but my cats are living with my parents now and they just wouldn't trust leaving their keys with a stranger while they are gone.

This is stressing me out, because my cats really don't like leaving the house and I'm really worried about how this will all work out.

So far I've contacted 2 cat boarding places. They both describe their cat boarding service as "home-style" and "cage-free". I'm trying to schedule a visit to the "hotel" to check it out, but at the same time would like to know if anyone here has any experience with cat boarding, any suggestions, advice or recommended "hotel" in Toronto.

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The best places would be ones that don't require you to "schedule" a visit and allow drop-ins at any time, day or night. Some here even have cameras so you can go online and check out your kitty whenever you want.

I would trust the places with the least restrictions on rules.

Another option is to contact your vet's office. Some of my vet's employees do cat-sitting on the side, and I would trust them with my cats (and keys).

Hopefully you'll get some good recommendations from people with experience in your area.
Although I live in the area, I have never used a boarding service. So, all I can do is give you a few suggestions as to what you might look for or ask about, namely:

a) Virtually all of the home-style/cage-free "hotels" allow all of the cats to wander around together freely after the first night. So, I would ask what will happen to your cats if they don't take well to wandering amongst the other cats -- i.e., will your cats then be put in a cage or in a "private room" and, if the latter, what will be the extra cost for that?

b) I agree with Marie when she says she would trust those with the least restrictions on rules, except in one instance. I would expect the "hotel" to require you to provide proof of up-to-date vaccinations and, preferably, proof of a recent vet check. If they were lax on this rule, I'd stay away, since your cats might then be wandering around with cats who aren't healthy or up-to-date on their shots.

c) You should ask what they feed the cats and, if it's not high-quality or something your cats are used to, then ask whether you can bring your own food for the cats.

d) I would also ask to be put in touch with people who had boarded their cats at the hotel recently. Oftentimes, these places also double as cat sitters, and the testimonials on websites tend to only address the cat-sitting services and not the hotel itself.

Finally, prior to considering a boarding service, I would try to exhaust all possible cat-sitter alternatives, although you might have already done that.
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Thanks both for your advice.

I really really dread the idea of boarding my cats...we are all cat lovers on this forum and we know how stressful it is for the cats to leave their familiar environment. I've been feeling really depressed with my cat situation, and here is the long story behind my question about cat boarding...

I've had my cats for 5 years and I used to live in a condo by myself. Recently I got engaged and moved into a new house with my fiance. We are getting married next month. My fiance is extremely allergic to cats, so when we moved into the house together, I moved my cats to my parents' house.

I felt bad. I really love my cats, and I just felt totally irresponsible. I still go home to spend time with them all the time, and they seem happy to have more space to run around in my parents' house. My parents are not animal people, but they know how much I love my cats, and they would tell me cute things that my cats do at I thought everything was going well.

Two months ago, my dad all of a sudden suggested to me that we should give my cats away...he said it's because he heard from the radio show where a doctor said cats are the reason of 30% of the miscarriages, and he thinks I will eventually have babies after I get married. And he also said my mom doesn't like them anyways.

That miscarriage reason was the most stupid thing I've heard. I cried for days. I felt extremely terrible. I still remember when I first adopted them from the Humane Society, I had to do an interview, where I confirmed this is a long time committment, I'm not just getting them for fun, and I do really love them, and now, just because my fiance is extremely allergic to them, I have to leave them to my parents, who don't want them, and I have to give them away...

I know, I could try to convince them to let them stay, but there was another part of me that felt like...if they don't like the cats, it's also bad for them to just live in the loveless house.

This is just stressing me out. I don't know what to do... but for the past two months, I just keep going back home to see them as usual, and pretend the "giving them away" talk never happened. I just couldn't even take the first step to start looking for people to take them...everytime I just start crying when I think about it.

And now, we are getting married next month. We are having a destination wedding, so we'll be gone for 2 weeks. I found a pet sitter to go to my parents' house daily. And then my dad said no. He wouldn't allow me to have someone go to his house everyday, no matter how hard I tried to explain to him that it's common and reliable.

That's why, now I'm looking for a cat boarding place. And I feel so bad, because I know how much better pet sitting is, but I can't do it, and, I'm just hoping that somewhere, I can find wonderful reviews about cat boarding places, so at least I know it's not so bad, but every cat person I ask would tell me that they would not recommend a cat hotel. And I'm a cat person, so I totally understand...

And beside looking for a cat boarding place now, I also know that...soon I will have to look for someone to adopt them. And this just hurts me everytime I think about it...

Anyways, thanks for reading this. I am glad I found this forum. I feel a lot better writing this all out, as I am too sad to even talk to anyone about it...
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We have lots of members here who are allergic to cats who take medications and other steps to keep their cats. You might want to do a search here on the forum for allergies and see if your fiance would be willing to try them.
I'm sorry you have to go thru this. It certainly sounds like a difficult situation.

I agree with marie73. There are many people, including myself, who are allergic to cats. It's a common allergen. I've built up an immunity to my cat so I don't feel a thing asides from an occasional sneeze. Some people like me will develop the immunity to a particular cat over time. Of course, he can also try allergy shots. As well, occasionally wiping down the cat with a wet towel will help. Yes, do a search on the forum as well as google methods to deal with it. My allergies are so bad that when I volunteered at the shelter and was in a room with about 10 cats, my eyes would swell shut and be itchy. I was sneezing every 2 seconds and my nose was running like Niagara Falls. Yet, I got a cat. Ha ha. Well, guess your fiance can say that's bias cuz I like cats and he may not, however, I'm trying to illustrate that there are ways to deal with it if one wants to.

Anyways, good luck with your situation.
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