Cat Behavior After Boarding

In our modern world, we often have to travel somewhere away from home, be it for business or for pleasure. If you own a cat at home, this probably means you will have to either get a cat sitter, or send your cat to a boarding facility where they will take care of your cat for the duration that you’re gone.

Separation is always hard for pet parents, but the fact is, it can be even more stressful for your cats. Sometimes, you may find that your little furry companion is acting a lot more aloof than usual, or his or her behavior has noticeably changed. There are a few reasons for this, and for the most part, there’s nothing to panic about.


Why cats behave differently after boarding

After a long vacation or a business trip, the first thing you’re probably going to want to do when you come back is to give your cat a long hug and stroking session, coupled with kisses and praises. And for the most part, you’re probably expecting them to react to your absence the same way – with affection and excitement.

However, sometimes your cat just doesn’t react the way you expect them to. Don’t be surprised to see that your cat is not responsive to your affection or excitement after you see them at the cat boarding facility or when you both return home. This behavior is common, and it has to do with the nature of cats. They love routine, and once they find that they’ve adjusted to a new routine (during boarding), they may take some time to readjust to being back home again, almost as if it was a new environment.


A whole new world

While you’re off on vacation exploring new sights and sounds – you’re not alone. Your cat is also exploring entirely new surroundings while in boarding, and all of their senses go into overload. Why are there other cats around me? Who are these people who are feeding me? How come I don’t remember where the door to the “secret room” is?

All of these questions (and many more) are running through your cat’s mind from the first time they enter the doors of the boarding facility. And as the days go by, your cat starts adjusting to the new surroundings, and starts to get comfortable. And when cats get comfortable, they don’t like changing their situation – so imagine how they feel when you come back and pick them up after your vacation. They’ve tried so hard to adjust to their new life and now they have to readjust to life back home. This is not so bad when you’re leaving them for a few days or a couple of weeks, but if you’re going to be away for months on end, the readjustment experience is definitely going to be pretty hard for them.


Cat stress in boarding facilities

It is a common sentiment among cat parents that cat boarding facilities may be too stressful for their little fur babies. This is true in some ways, but not to a large extent. For example, cat boarding facilities often house a large number of cats in order for them to run as a viable, operating business. The combination of being in a strange new environment, and seeing other cats in their little compartments may cause some uneasiness in your cats.

For some cats, separation anxiety is a serious issue. If they’re used to having only you in the house as a trusted companion, it causes adjusting in the first few days or even weeks to be very difficult, although their individual personalities do play a big part in how quickly they adjust.


Excessive meowing after boarding

Some cats may start meowing a lot more after they come back from boarding. It’s worth remembering that cats are vocal with humans only for a reason, and do not waste their time meowing if there’s nothing to communicate with you about. The increase in meowing could possibly be because they want to be reassured that you, their best friend, mother figure and warmth companion will not leave them again.

Although you can’t really promise your cat you won’t go away again – after a couple of hours of quality time spent on physical contact such as brushing, stroking, petting and playing – your cat will start to feel reassured again and your relationship will go back to normal in no time.


Clinginess after boarding

Cats are independent creatures, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t get attached to their human companions. In fact, if cats could talk, you’d be surprised at the kind of affection your cat has for you – especially if you’ve been a trusted friend, protector and loving hand to them, no matter how aloof they seem.

This means that if you’re gone for a while, they might want to express that they missed you. A lot. And the way they do it is to be close to you almost 24/7 after you take them home from the boarding facility. Your cats are looking for your comfort and your reassurance, whether it is in the form of praises or physical touch – but once your cat readjusts back to his or her daily routine back home, you’ll probably see this kind of behavior start tapering off as the days go by.

If this happens during the colder days of the fall and winter season, don’t be surprised if all your furry feline companion wants is to steal some of your body heat. Cats are known to be highly resourceful after all, and if your body has some of the precious heat that they love – they want some of it! Think of it as a win-win. You get to spend more precious time being close to your fur baby, while your cat stays warm and comfortable!


Final thoughts

Just like you, your cat has an emotional depth that causes him or her to act a certain way at times. Although these emotions may not manifest as clearly as their canine counterparts (we all know how dogs are), it’s always worth remembering that being away from your feline companion will cause a range of emotional responses in them. So when you come back, be sure to let them know you’ve missed them, because they’ve definitely missed you, too!

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