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Cat Daycare: Is There Such a Thing? Facts & FAQ

Ed Malaker

By Ed Malaker

Cat and woman owners holding cats in shelter to adopt

Cats are wonderful pets that give us many years of companionship. However, we might sometimes need to take a trip or spend extra time at work, which can cause many people to wonder if there is such a thing as cat daycare. Fortunately, yes, there is a daycare for cats! Keep reading as we fill you in on the details and provide tips and tricks for finding locations in your area and choosing the right one.

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Understanding the Need for Cat Daycare

Attention

Cats are independent and self-sufficient animals that can be left alone longer than dogs, making them popular among busy individuals. However, this independence doesn’t equate to self-sufficiency. Cats still require stimulation, interaction, and care, especially when their owners are absent.

young cat owner playing with her pet at home
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

Behavioral and Health Issues

Neglecting a cat’s need for social interaction and mental stimulation can lead to behavioral problems like excessive meowing, scratching, or anxiety. Scratching can damage your property, and lack of physical activity due to no human interaction can also contribute to obesity and other health issues. Cat daycare can help address these concerns.

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What Do Cat Daycare Facilities Provide?

Safe Havens

Cat daycare facilities have emerged as a response to the increasing demand for cat-centered services. These facilities provide a safe and stimulating environment for cats to spend their day while their owners are at work or otherwise engaged.

cat adopted at shelter
Image Credit: Artem Beliaikin, Unsplash

General Care

Cat daycare facilities offer various services, including playtime with other cats, interactive toys, grooming, and even specialized diets. Some facilities also provide a separate area for napping and relaxation.

Social Interaction

Cats are social creatures that benefit from interactions with humans and other cats. Cat daycare enables cats to engage with others of the same kind, preventing loneliness and fostering positive social behaviors.

Mental Stimulation

Engaging toys and activities at daycare facilities can provide the mental stimulation that indoor cats need to prevent boredom and associated destructive behaviors, such as scratching furniture.

a siamese cat playing with a wand toy
Image Credit: Olya Detry, Shutterstock

Physical Activity

Many cats living indoors have limited opportunities for exercise. Cat daycare encourages physical activity through playtime and exercise routines, which can help the cat maintain a healthy weight and muscle tone, especially if they visit the facility regularly.

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How to Choose the Right Daycare

Location and Reputation

When selecting a cat daycare facility, consider its proximity to your home or workplace, as you need it to be readily available as needed. Additionally, research the facility’s reputation, read reviews, and ask for recommendations from other cat owners to find one that feels right.

a woman hugging a cat in a shelter
Image Credit: V2505, Shutterstock

Cleanliness and Safety

Visit the facility in person to assess cleanliness and safety. Ensure that it is free of hazards, such as toxic plants or unsecured windows. You should also ensure that there is adequate ventilation.

Staff Qualifications

Inquire about the qualifications and training of the staff. A well-trained and compassionate team can make a significant difference in your cat’s care, and it will be more likely that your cat will want to attend.

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How Can I Prepare My Cat for Daycare?

Gradual Introduction

Introduce your cat to the daycare environment gradually. Bring them in for short visits at first to allow them to acclimate to the new surroundings and interactions. Watch how they react to the environment. Some cats may be curious and want to explore, while others might seem frightened and refuse to leave their carrier. Patience and creating a positive atmosphere is essential.

travel with cat carrier
Image Credit: Natalia Fedosova, Shutterstock

Vaccinations and Health Records

Ensure that your cat is up to date on their vaccinations and has a clean bill of health before scheduling a visit with your local cat daycare. Most facilities will require proof of vaccination to protect the health of all cats in their care.

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Tips for Keeping Your Cat Healthy and Safe

  • Schedule annual check-ups with your veterinarian to monitor your cat’s health.
  • Keep up with vaccinations and preventative treatments for parasites like fleas, ticks, and heartworms.
  • Ensure that there are separate areas for play, rest, and meals.
  • Bring familiar items from home, such as your cat’s bedding or a favorite toy, to help them feel more comfortable.
  • If your cat has specific dietary requirements, discuss these with the staff, and provide the appropriate food.
  • After returning home, follow up with your cat to ensure that they are settling back in comfortably.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Cat Daycare Suitable for All Cats?

Cat daycare can benefit most cats but may not be ideal for very anxious or aggressive cats. Some facilities may have behavior assessments to determine if your cat is a good choice before you sign them up.

Can I Check on My Cat While They’re at Daycare?

Many cat daycares allow owners to call or visit occasionally to check on their cats, especially when their pets are still adjusting to the facility.

adopting a cat from shelter
Image Credit: JW Design, Shutterstock

Is Cat Daycare Expensive?

The cost of cat daycare varies depending on location and the services offered. It can range from affordable to expensive, so budgeting for this expense is essential.

Can Cats Go to Daycare Every Day?

Cats can go to daycare regularly, but the frequency and duration may depend on your cat’s needs and your schedule. You also probably don’t want your cat to spend more time in a strange place with strangers than in your own home with you!

How Can I Find a Cat Daycare?

The easiest way to find a cat daycare near you is to search online.

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Summary

Fortunately, there is such a thing as a cat daycare, and you can take your pet there if you need to travel or if you feel that your cat needs more exercise, mental stimulation, and interaction with other pets. Most facilities have separate areas for sleep, play, and feeding. Some will even assess your cat before you sign up to make sure they are compatible with other cats to reduce the risk of fighting.

Prepare your pet by ensuring that they are up to date on their vaccinations, then introduce them gradually so they don’t get too frightened. Don’t forget to inspect the place carefully and get to know the staff members so you can feel more confident about leaving your cat in their hands.


Featured Image Credit: BearFotos, Shutterstock

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