Whether you need to board your cat for just a day or a week, there are things that you can do to make their stay easier and more comfortable. Cat day care and boarding centers can come in a handy for both last-minute and planned trips and vacations. While a lot of centers require advance reservations for your furry friend, some have drop-in services available as well. Make sure to plan far ahead on busy holiday weekends, however.

There are several reasons that you may need to drop your cat off for the day or board them overnight, including vacations, business trips, and meetings, hospital stays, and house guests who are allergic to animals. The majority of cats are uncomfortable in new and unfamiliar surroundings, but there are ways to make them more at ease while they're away.

Here are some tips for boarding your cat:

1. Plan Ahead 

While you may not always be able to plan ahead, such as in the case of emergencies, it's best to made advance reservations to board your cat if possible. This is especially true during peak travel months, such as June and July, and during the winter holiday season. You don't want to be stuck with no place for your cat to stay the day before you need to go out of town. so set up your pet's accommodations as early as you can.

2. Pack Your Own Food

While the cat daycare or boarding center may provide high-quality food for your pet, it's best to bring his own dry kibble or wet canned food from home, especially if you cat is a picky eater. The cat may be nervous while at the center, and a diet change could add to the stress. Pack their favorite treats as well, to give them a taste of home while away. Let the staff know about any dietary restrictions your cat has, or any medications that they need to take.

3. Bring Familiar Items

If your cat has a favorite blanket, bed or toy, put it in their bag. These items can provide comfort and stress relief, and the familiar scents may also have a calming effect on your cat. Avoid sending your cat away with catnip, which may make them too aggressive around new cats. 

4. View the Facility Ahead of Time 

Prior to your cat's stay, consider touring the boarding or day care facility. Make sure the center is clean and parasite-free, and that it offers plenty of space for your furry friend to play.