When your cat is sick, you would stay home if you could, but sometimes you just can’t reschedule that important trip. You may be wondering if it would be better to go with medical boarding or professional pet sitting. Here are a few things to consider.

What is the least stressful environment for your cat?

Medical boarding is when you leave your cat in the care of a veterinary facility. When you’re out of town, you should always opt for the least stressful environment for your cat. Usually, that is in your own home with someone you know and trust checking on your cat, such as a close friend or pet sitter.

Pet sitters can come once, twice, or three times a day. They can stay for extended visits, such as overnight or throughout the day. They can also schedule longer visits that last for an hour or more. If you use a non-medical boarder through a pet sitting company, then then your cat would receive company as often as the boarder is home.

It’s important to note that in these scenarios, there would always be hours in the day that someone is not home with your cat. If it’s very likely that your cat may have an emergency while you’re gone, medical boarding would be a safer bet. Otherwise, your cat could be alone and suffering until the next visit, which may increase the chances of not recovering. Not to mention, they would have to spend time in transit to the vet.

Does your cat need close supervision?

When considering if medical boarding is right for your cat, make a few phone calls to ask about whether or not a veterinary doctor, not just a vet tech, is on staff 24 hours a day. Emergency veterinary facilities will usually have a doctor on staff around the clock that can closely monitor your cat and make swift decisions. Local vet clinics that offer medical boarding sometimes have staff that all go home for the night, or only have a doctor on call, so that’s something to keep in mind.

If your cat recently had surgery or is having a rough recovery from an illness, unexpected complications such as blood clots, loss of appetite, and infections at the surgery site could occur. Therefore, whether you go with pet sitting or medical boarding, you may also want to consider leaving your credit card on file at a vet’s office and pre-authorizing certain life saving emergency procedures. Timing is of the essence in an emergency.

Have you been easily managing your cats needs at home?

On the other hand, if your pet is in stable condition and only needs daily oral medication or subcutaneous fluids, these are regimens that an experienced pet sitter can easily do in your home. If you’re worried that your cat will not behave well for the doses, try to switch the method to make administration more palatable for your cat. Schedule a visit from the pet sitter while you’re home so that you can show them how to administer the doses.

Do you need help deciding if in-home pet sitting, boarding in a pet sitter’s home, or medical boarding is best for your situation? Give us a call, and we’d be happy to talk to you about your unique situation.

Candace Elise Hoes is a pet sitter and blogger at Katie’s Kitty. She is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts.

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