General Question

andrew's avatar

Boarding my cat: cat hotel or vet?

Asked by andrew (15771 points ) December 17th, 2009

Well, my previous question is moot now. Basil spent the night at the emergency vet because he has blood in his urine. His ultrasound showed a bunch of debris in his bladder, and his urinalysis revealed a lot of crystals.

Even though the normal vet I saw today reassured me that it’s not hugely serious and will most likely self-correct in 5–7 days, there is a risk of obstruction (and a little part of me feels like this vet wasn’t as worried because he hadn’t seen the ultrasound).

I’m scheduled to go home tomorrow. Normally I’d cancel my upcoming trip. However, I haven’t been home for Christmas in 2 years and my dad has a major surgery coming up in January, so it’s important to me to see him.

None of my close SF friends have pets (and I don’t really want to ask a bunch of them to do rounds a few times a day), I’ve decided to board him for my piece of mind.

SO: Which would be best for my boy? A cat hotel (where’d they give him all the medication and food I’ve just bought), or boarding him at the vet?

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17 Answers

gemiwing's avatar

Since he recently had blood in his urine- I would vote vet. It may not be as super-comfy but if something did happen knock on wood then he would already be at the place he would need to go to.

bobbinhood's avatar

I would definitely say the vet. If you were confident that the issue would self-correct and Basil would be fine, then the cat hotel would be reasonable. However, you seem to think that the vet you talked to today isn’t as concerned as he/she should be because he/she didn’t see the ultrasound. If the vet isn’t as concerned as you think he/she should be, then you will spend your whole trip wondering if the issue is actually clearing up, or if Basil is in trouble. If you leave him with the vet, then you will know that he will be cared for if the issue gets worse instead of better.

Buttonstc's avatar

Yeah, I would second the vote for vet. If he had not had any recent health issues, it would be the reverse, but better safe than sorry.

Either way he won’t be tremendously happy as cats like nothing better than one day being exactly like the last one.

They do love their routines :)

SeventhSense's avatar

Cats love Vegas. Just be aware that they are notorious gamblers.

syz's avatar

Vet, definitely. It’ll be more expensive, but they’ll be able to recognize signs of problems and treat immediately, rather having to arrange for a transfer. Make sure they know his history!

Your vet must not see many emergencies. We get blocked cats in on practically a daily basis. Some weekends, there are three or four in the hospital.

CMaz's avatar

Well I can only speak for my dog.

I prefer the vet, and he likes it there.

Besides it is always better to have a Doctor close.

andrew's avatar

@syz New vet at the “top rated” clinic. I’m really frustrated that my voicemail autodeleted the referral from my vet in LA, the best vet in the world. (No offense syz).

I think everyone is thrown with how super energetic Basil is. Even when he was pissing blood everywhere, he’d still be racing around playing fetch. He even peed with the foam ball in his mouth.

Siren's avatar

I would go with vet. The other hotel may be slow to notice any changes in your cat’s health, and may require you to sign forms to take the cat to a vet should problems develop.

With the vet, they will be watching your cat everyday and if they’re like my vet, staff often pick the cat up several times a day and give lots of hugs, and let the cat roam a little

andrew's avatar

What’s the etiquette for the vet boarding? Do I give them the food and medicine I just spent a bundle on and they’ll administer it? Can I call and check in on him?

erichw1504's avatar

There’s a hotel for cats? Or is this going to be a sequel to Hotel for Dogs ?

gemiwing's avatar

Yes, just give them the food and meds. If any vet won’t let you check up on your animal- then they’re not the vet for you.

casheroo's avatar

Hmm, this is difficult. We’ve had great experiences with pet hotels for our dog, they LOVE him and I know he’s cared for the entire time, so if something went wrong, they’d immediately get medical attention. But, being at the vet might be beneficial in case his condition gets worse.
Make sure he’s got lots of blankeys that smell like you!

SamIAm's avatar

i’d say vet if there’s someone there to watch the cat 24 hours a day. but if the hotel offers a way to get the cat medical help if he needs it in an emergency, that option is fine too. the hotel sounds more appealing. let us know what you decide… i recently moved to SF and have 2 cats, and could use a good vet/place for my babies to stay if i have to board them.

SeventhSense's avatar

I still say Vegas

pearls's avatar

I would play it safe and board him at the vet.

andrew's avatar

Update: The vet was very nice to him. His bladder issue has cleared up (apparently not a UTI at all, just crystals). When the tech handed him over to me this morning she said, “I have to tell you something. Basil is the best cat ever.” Sweetie pie!

syz's avatar

Yay!

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