What should I look for in a quality facility to board my cat while I go on vacation?

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There are many types of boarding kennels. Some specialize in just one type of animal while others will house both dogs and cats. Some are very basic, while others resemble spas, with spacious and luxurious surroundings.
Some pet boarding kennels even have web cams that allow pet owners to keep an eye on their animals as long as they have an Internet connection.
The best way to determine the right one for you is to be very clear on what you expect. Also, if possible, visit the facility before you send your pet. Look at things like cleanliness, the animals’ mental states (i.e., do they seem happy or depressed?) and even the attitude of the staff. Be sure to inquire about the facility’s policy on health certificates and vaccinations. Is a veterinarian within easy access?
Be clear also on the pros and cons:
• Round-the-clock supervision, allowing the facility to detect health and other problems sooner. A kennel is a commercial business with multiple staff members. Even the most reliable pet sitter can have an emergency arise and, unless he or she has backup, your pet may not receive care. In a kennel, with a full staff, there will always be someone there to care for the animals.
• Your pet will be around people much of the day: Since pet sitters usually only visit for a limited amount of time, your pet may spend a lot of time alone.
• Pet stress. Dogs and cats both hate having their routines disrupted and the slightest thing can set them off. If yours is particularly sensitive, the stress of removing your pet from its home and leaving it with strangers in an unfamiliar environment could make it ill.
• Because your dog or cat will be around a large number of other animals, it can also be subject to catching an illness, such as kennel cough or parasites, such as fleas.

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