When choosing a cat boarding facility, you may want to check on the facility's certifications and associations. These can sometimes help you decide if the facility is the right one for you.

Looking for Certifications and Associations

While certification isn't mandatory in most places, it still helps to establish an idea of the level of care you can expect. Certifications also show a commitment to the field of pet care.

The same goes for memberships to associations. If you know the certifications and associations the boarding facility has, you can research them to figure out just what it takes, and what it means, to gain them.

For example, the International Boarding & Pet Services Association (IBPSA) requires a monthly or yearly subscription to the service. It offers certification in various aspects of pet care, as well as other educational programs. A membership to this association shows the boarding facility takes its job seriously, and has in interest in continued education in their chosen profession.

Are All Certifications and Associations Valid?

You'll also want to look for updated information. Organizations come and go, and some certifications can come from defunct programs. For example, the American Boarding Kennel Association and the Pet Care Service Association no longer exist. Many places still display their certificates from these places.

Note that these services did have high standards. Someone with certifications from them really did have to go through recognized training and learning programs. The PCSA had strenuous, and exacting, requirements for boarding facilities.

So it's possible the certification is outdated. But, it's worth it to consider the facility, at one point, went through the process of proving its dedication to pet care.

Individual Certifications Matter as Well

It's not just the facility itself you should consider. Individual members of the staff can also have certifications. It's a good idea to see if members of the team have certifications that match their job functions. For example, the primary caretakers should have certification or membership in some form of pet care association.

  • National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS)
  • Pet Sitters International (PSI)

Once again, older or defunct certifications can come into play here as well.

Does the Government Require Certifications?

How local governments deal with boarding facilities will vary from place to place. Local law will typically require a boarding facility to have a license to operate and various other licenses and certifications to run the facility as a business. They will also need insurance or even several types of insurance.

In the end, your best bet is to just go to the facility, tour it, speak to the staff and check out what others say about the place. Certifications can help to tell you a lot about a cat boarding facility, but they can't tell you everything.

It's good for the facility to have certifications. However, you shouldn't let that represent your only deciding factor when choosing a cat boarding facility. 

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