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Cat Sitting vs Boarding: What to Consider, Pros & Cons (Vet Reviewed)

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on March 20, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Cat Sitting vs Boarding

Cat Sitting vs Boarding: What to Consider, Pros & Cons (Vet Reviewed)


Dr. Luqman Javed Photo


Dr. Luqman Javed

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

As a proud cat owner, you want to make sure you’re providing the best care possible for your feline friend. One area that pet parents go back and forth on is cat sitting versus boarding. The ideal choice for your cat will depend on their temperament and health and your personal preferences, as both methods have their advantages and disadvantages.

Don’t worry if you’re not sure which option is best for you and your cat. Here, we explore the pros and cons of each to help you make an informed decision.

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At a Glance

Cat sitting vs cat boarding comparison
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Cat Sitting
  • Personalized attention
  • Minimal travel stress
  • Familiar environment
  • Variable costs
Cat Boarding
  • Interaction with other cats
  • Professional supervision
  • Structured routine
  • Fixed costs

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Overview of Cat Sitting

Caring for your cat in the comfort of their own home can be a stress-free and convenient option for both you and your pet. Cat sitting offers personalized care and attention, allowing your cat to maintain their usual routine while you’re away. Let’s explore how cat sitting works and its pros and cons.

cat sitter petting a cat on her lap
Image Credit: Larisa Stefanjuk, Shutterstock

How Cat Sitting Works

Cat sitting involves hiring a professional or enlisting a friend or family member to care for your cat in your own home. The sitter will typically visit your home once or twice daily to provide food, water, litter box maintenance, and companionship to your cat.

When to Choose Cat Sitting

Cat sitting is an excellent choice for cats that are more comfortable in their familiar environment and may become stressed or anxious in new surroundings. It is also suitable for cats with special needs or those that require close monitoring.

  • Familiar environment
  • Personalized attention
  • Minimal travel stress
  • More flexible cost options
  • Less professional supervision
  • Security concerns

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Overview of Cat Boarding

For those who prefer professional supervision and the opportunity for their cat to socialize with other feline friends, cat boarding can be an ideal solution. Boarding facilities provide a controlled environment with trained staff to care for your cat during your absence. Here, we discuss how cat boarding works and examine its advantages and disadvantages.

cat inside a pet boarding hotel
Image Credit: Bussakorn Ewesakul, Shutterstock

How Cat Boarding Works

Cat boarding involves taking your cat to a specialized facility where they will be cared for during your absence. Boarding facilities typically offer a range of accommodations, from communal living spaces to private “cat condos,” and may provide additional services, such as grooming and medication administration.

When to Choose Cat Boarding

Cat boarding is ideal for cats who are more social and enjoy interacting with other cats. It is also an excellent choice for owners who prefer professional supervision for their pets.

  • Professional supervision
  • Interaction with other cats
  • Structured routine
  • Fixed costs
  • Potential stress
  • Exposure to illness
  • Additional travel

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Other Factors to Consider

Consider your cat’s specific needs, such as medication administration or special dietary requirements, when choosing between cat sitting and boarding. Additionally, the length of your trip may influence your decision. For shorter trips, cat sitting may be more convenient, while boarding may be preferable for longer absences.

Boarding facilities often require proof of up-to-date vaccinations, which may not be necessary for cat sitting. If you have friends or family members who can provide reliable cat sitting, this option may be more cost-effective and comforting for your cat.

If opting for cat boarding, research the facility’s reputation and read reviews from other cat owners to ensure your cat will be in good hands. Some cat boarding facilities offer additional services, such as grooming, playtime, or even live video feeds for you to check in on your cat. Consider these services when making your decision.

It’s also important to ensure that the cat sitter or boarding facility has a plan in place for handling emergencies, such as unexpected illness or injury. If you have other pets at home, consider how cat sitting or boarding will impact their care and well-being.

Which Is Right for You?

To determine whether cat sitting or boarding is the best option for you and your feline friend, consider factors like your cat’s temperament, health, and any special needs they may have. Additionally, think about your preferences regarding professional supervision, costs, and convenience.

It may be helpful to try both options on different occasions to see which one works best for your cat’s well-being and happiness.

When to Use Cat Sitting
  • Cats with special needs
  • Cats that prefer a familiar environment
  • Short-term absences
  • When trusted caretakers are available
  • Cats who dislike other cats
When to Use Cat Boarding
  • Cats who enjoy socializing
  • Owners who prefer professional supervision
  • Cats that require daily medication (such as diabetic cats)
  • Long-term absences
  • When additional services are desired

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Ultimately, the decision between cat sitting and boarding comes down to your cat’s individual needs and your personal preferences. By considering the pros and cons of each option, you can make an informed decision about the best way to care for your feline friend while you’re away.

Remember, your cat’s comfort and well-being should always be the top priority, so choose the option that best meets their needs and helps them feel safe and secure.

Featured Image Credit: (L) Dora Zett, Shutterstock | (R) Bussakorn Ewesakul, Shutterstock

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