boarding my 10yr old female cat for 6 weeks

SadieDarlin111April 25, 2012

I'm in the process of purchsing a new home and while moving my house out for the new house to be placed in my existing lot, I will need to put my loving, vibrant cat into a foreign environment boarding house for 6 weeks. She is with me at all times when I'm home and I'm really concerned how upsetting this transition period will be for her. I don't want her to think I've left her there forever. My cat and I are very connected to one another. Will boarding her be the wrong decision? Will she be okay in a cat only boarding facility in a beautifully secured and wooded area? Maybe I'm more upset about it then she will be? I would certainly appreciate some feedback and similar experiences you've been through with your beloved animal. Thank you!

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Wow - I can't imagine doing that and have never done so, so can't offer anything from my experience. I do sometimes think I am more traumatized by some things than my cats are though. A while back I made the decision that I needed to keep my older cat confined in a bathroom at night and during the day when I'm gone. I was horrified at the thought and sure it would be a horrible trauma for him as well. Well, we have been doing this now for many months and he is fine and once I realized that I am much better too without the litter box complications I had been trying to deal with for months.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 9:37AM
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where will you be staying? Is there NO WAY for your cat to join you? I agree 6 weeks is a long time to board.
It can be done though if you must. There was a lady a couple yrs ago on this forum who had to board her cat due to a bat found in her house and the cat didn't have a current rabies vaccine. IIRC it was for 4-6 months. I'll try to dig up that thread and post it later.

If you can visit daily and play w/her out of her cage that would help. Also feel free to bribe the staff with delicious food gifts weekly or as often as you can. I worked at a couple vets before and I believe most people at animal hospitals really love the animals, and we were always open to bribery--not money, but food, cards of thanks, etc. Cat only is a big plus, at least she won't have the stress of barking dogs all day. Good luck with your cat and congrats on the new house!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 11:43AM
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I can't offer any advice. I have four cats and all are bonded to me but especially one in 11 year old. I really don't think she'd survive without me. I baby her and she's on my lap every time I sit down. A cat only place would be far better than one with dogs. Are you sure you can't have her with you in any way? Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 4:11PM
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no no no no no no no!

If she could remain in her familiar environment with a petsitter coming in, maybe, but cats are sensitive & tend to shut down when too many things change, and she's too old to undergo this kind of stress.

She'll die, during the 6 weeks or shortly after.

Take her with you whereever you're going, whatever it takes.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 4:41PM
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She won't die from boarding. Goodness sakes lets just scare this poster to death with opinions shall we?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 10:52AM
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spedigrees z4VT

Each cat is different, but in my experience my older kitties adapted to boarding much more readily than my younger, more energetic cats. The older cats tend to just sleep a lot. I've never boarded a cat longer than two weeks, but I imagine a longer stay would not be that much different.

Certainly a dog would be more likely to be stressed by long term boarding arrangements than your average cat.

As long as the boarding facility provides a clean cage with comfy bed and clean litter tray, and the caretakers are mindful of the health of their charges, I think your cat should be fine for the duration. Good luck in your new home. Hope the transition goes smoothly and that your kitty will be with you in the new home before you know it.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 1:23PM
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I agree with spedigrees. After working with a rescue and seeing all the adult cats that came into the system from long term homes, I learned that cats can adapt much easier than we give them credit for.
I assume your cat is going to be in a large room vs kennel/crate? The cats in our rescue had free reign in a large room and those in quarantine were kept in another room.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 2:19PM
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I happen to agree with Sylvia. Cats are creatures of routine and this poster seems to have a good close relationship with her cat. She knows her situation better than we do, but I have never boarded my cats and not even my dogs. My cats stay in their home and someone tends to their needs. I swear my cats wear watches. They know when I'm going to feed them, when I leave, when I sit down to watch TV. I don't think Sylvia meant that boarding her would kill her, but psychologically it might harm her and then cause behavioral issues. Or maybe the depression without the owner could lead to a decrease in her immune system.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 2:55PM
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murraysmom Zone 6 OH

I board my cat and 2 dogs whenever I go away and they have never had a problem. They stay at a really nice place where the people are always glad to see them.

Six weeks is a long time, but the cat should be fine. Suppose the cat was sick or in quarantine? Or suppose the cat ended up in a shelter? Do you really think the cat would die?

That's just silly. Animals adjust. They live in the present. Sounds like a really good place that kitty will be staying in while they are apart. And if she can visit, I'm sure kitty will be happy, but I am also sure that kitty will be just fine and will appreciate not being a part of the turmoil of moving.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 3:25PM
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Against the advice of an experienced rescuer who had vowed to never again accept an older cat because of her previous heartbreak & disastrous experiences, I once took in 2 older cats whose owner had moved.

Within 6 months, they died, one from lung cancer, 1 from an upper respiratory infection that developed into pneumonia.

Do as you must, but cats are indeed creatures of habit, & stress depresses the immune system (when have you ever heard of a cat having lung cancer? & it was verified by the vet).

I wish you, & your cat, the best.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 6:59PM
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How cruel to tell someone their beloved pet will die if they do what they have to do. In case you missed it the 'familiar place' is going away. Cats are very resilient and this cat will be fine. It may not be happy for a few weeks but it will not die just because it is in an unfamiliar atmosphere. If cats died just from being removed from familiar surroundings we wouldn't have cats filling up shelters and rescues because they would all be dead.

Sadie I'm sorry. You came here looking for reassurance because you already felt bad about upsetting your poor kitty and now you must feel terrible. Please don't believe that your cat will die just because you have to board it. If she is healthy and will be well taken care of she will be fine. In fact, if your living arrangements will not be stable or comfortable for the cat during those six weeks then you are definitely making the right choice. I hope your move goes smoothly and faster than expected so you both can get settled into your new home soon.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 11:06PM
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Clucking reassuringly would be much crueler.

The familiar place is to be replaced by another home with her familiar belongings & with her owner in it.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 11:35PM
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Sadie doesn't say how old the cat is.

My newest cat was at P******t for 2 months before we discovered him. He's still alive and kicking (I mean sleeping).

Sylvia, I'm sorry for your very sad experience, but your cats were probably sick before you got them. How do you explain all the rescue cats available for adoption if they can't live through the ordeal?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 1:14AM
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I stand corrected. I subject clearly says 10yo cat. Sorry.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 1:16AM
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I don't know that the cat will die, but knowing routine is SO important to a cat, to have that trust destroyed might not be in the best interest of the cat. Over night , okay, but for a 10 year old cat, six weeks. NO. She may never get over it.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 12:23PM
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spedigrees z4VT

She will get over it. She will adapt to the new routine at the boarding place, and then she will re-adapt to the new home (which will be new and different even if some of her old familiar furnishings are in the new home).

I should add that I have, in the past, on two occasions, cared for cats in my home, two belonging to a friend and another to a relative, while both were going through several weeks long moving processes. These cats were a bit spazzed out at first but made themselves at home within a week. When they went back with their owners to their new digs, they adapted to their new homes with the same relative ease and went on to live long lives.

My two old cats were aged 18 and 19 when I last boarded them (for two weeks), and they were unfazed by the change in their routine. They slept most of the time, as they did at home, both before and after their time at the kennel. Older cats are less likely to be stressed by a change in surroundings, provided the surroundings are comfortable.

The op will be moving and things will change for her cat regardless. A quiet well managed boarding facility is a less stressful option for her cat than to stay with her owner (if this is even possible) in an interim housing arrangement during the upheavals and confusion that accompany overseeing installation of a new home. Cats indeed like routine and everything in the same place and this is more likely to be the case at the boarding place than with her owner.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 1:30PM
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I guess the thing that bothers me most about the insistance that this concerned owner will have good results is the argument that, since people don't always have dire results, dire results don't matter.

My Uncle Charley smoked rank, raw, home-rolled cigarettes until he was in his nineties.
That does not mean smoking is a good idea.

If this were my cat, I'd keep her with me, with as many of her familiar objects as possible.

& by the say, "routine" at a boarding facility is the routine of the people who go there every day; it's a complete shock to the animals.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 4:55PM
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