Can you talk a bit about the cat boarding facilities at the Drake Center?

Yes, sure. Here at the Drake Center, we have a feline-only boarding area. We are cat-friendly certified. Part of the stipulations to become certified is to have a feline-only boarding area. We have multiple cages of different sizes and some have little passageways into another cage. It depends on how many patients we have boarding here at once, but it is always cats-only. They have a litter box, water, a food bowl, a little hideout area, and separate bedding. They are cleaned at least once a day, and of course, given fresh food and water.

Dr. Heather Kovacevich
The Drake Center

If a cat owner is looking for a boarding service, what types of things should they take into consideration?

Make sure that the facility is clean and that they're prepared to care for cats. If your cat has a special medical need, like medications or insulin injections, it's important to know that they'll be able to take care of that. If there's anything additional they would need while your cat is there, you should ask about it.

What will a good cat boarding facility do when a cat gets sick or injured during its stay?

They would notice right away if there were a problem. If the cat wasn't eating or had some type of injury, the kennel attendant should be able to notice that right away. At the Drake Center, the vets are here seven days a week, so we would be alerted right away. We will call the owner and talk to them about it. The real question is, "If my pet was boarded and there was a problem, who would they reach out to?" Some animal kennels don't have a veterinarian on staff, but they have a relationship with a veterinarian office to which they would reach out if there were a concern.

Will my cat get exercise or socialization while boarding?

It depends on the boarding facility. Some boarding facilities have playtime that you can sign up for and pay an extra fee as they might take the cats into a bigger room to interact with an employee. They probably wouldn't have time as a group of cats because most cats don't love that. You would have to ask about it. Most boarding facilities do not take the cats out of the cage, except to give them some affection, but they won't take them to a separate area like they would with dogs.

What type of diet would my cat receive while boarding?

We recommend bringing your own food, especially if your cat has a sensitive stomach or is on a special diet. This way, you can ensure there is no disruption and that they won't get an upset tummy if their diet is changed too frequently. We also have a diet to feed your cat if you don't bring your own food or forget. Cat food is included in the boarding.

Should I bring anything special or specific when dropping off my cat for boarding?

I would recommend bringing their food, so there's no diet change. You're welcome to bring a bed or a comfort item like a blanket. You don't need to bring food, water bowls, litter boxes, or anything like that. But something small would be fine. It's up to you.

How far in advance should I schedule a reservation if I'm planning to board my cat at the Drake Center?

Just a couple of weeks, but if it's a holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas, I would recommend you schedule at least a month in advance to make sure there's a spot for you. We fill up because we have limited space here during those holidays. Booking at least a month ahead would be advised.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (760) 456-9556, you can email us, or you can reach out on social media. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can.

Cat boarding - FAQs

Dr. Heather Kovacevich
The Drake Center

What happens when I board my cat?

Firstly, you would come into the hospital. We would have one of the kennel attendants go and meet with you to talk about the cat's schedule, special diet, and any medications the cat would need. You could bring in any items from home, and we will take a picture of it so that we know what you brought and note it in a chart. Then you'd drop the cat off, and we would place them in a cage and get them all comfortable in their house in the back. It's just a simple drop-off procedure, but we want to make sure that we can answer any questions or concerns you may have.

How long can a cat be left alone?

In the cage, they aren't technically alone because many people are moving around. We have an active hospital, so we're in and out of the cat ward all the time. They will be cared for multiple times a day. If the litter box gets dirty, we'll scoop that right away, we'll fill water bowls, and feed them as you direct. There is no one here overnight because we're not a 24-hour facility. But right before we leave, we make sure everyone's cages are clean and everybody has what they need before locking those cages tightly. We also have an alarm system here at the hospital, and all doors are locked during the night. They are alone overnight.

Can my cat get separation anxiety when I go on vacation?

That's a tricky question to answer. I wish I could ask them. If a cat seems extra stressed, like if they're not eating or if there are any signs of illness, the doctor would get involved right away and reach out to you. If we feel like it's not working or it's not a good fit, we'll let you know and potentially arrange a pet sitting option.

Are there any other things I should know about boarding my cat at the Drake Center?

We just want you to know that your cat is in good hands. We will care for them as we would for our own pets. We will make sure all their needs are met and that their cages are sparkling clean. So just knowing that they're in supervised veterinary care. We love cats, and we'll take great care of yours.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (760) 456-9556, you can email us, or you can reach out on social media. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can.